Happy July yogi friends! This month we are happy to honor our teacher of the month Kristin. She started as a dedicated student at Yoga By Degrees in 2014, completed our 200 hour Teacher Training program in 2015, and is now sharing her love of yoga with so many students as an instructor. Kristin is dedicated to creating a supported, caring space for her students to practice. She pours herself into her sequences and dedicates herself to growing and blossoming as an instructor so that her students have the best experience with her in class. She is a wonderful asset to our YBD team and we are so grateful for her! Here’s where you can find her:
8:00 YBD2 105 Wheaton
8:00 YBD2 105 Western Springs
6:00 YBD2 95 Western Springs
8:00 YBD 105 Western Springs
7:30 YBD 2 Glen Ellyn
10:15 YBD1 Downers Grove
12:00 YBD2 95 Downers Grove
1:30 Restorative Downers Grove
4:00 YBD2 95 Western Springs
5:30 Restorative/Meditation Western Springs
When and how did you come to yoga?
After the birth of my son roughly 10 years ago, I started taking yoga at the gym. I immediately loved the challenge of vinyasa yoga and started noticing the benefits quickly. My balance improved in no time and my pants became easier to put on, not just because I lost a little weight, but because my balance and flexibility had improved. When I moved to the suburbs, yoga was not offered at my gym and I drifted away from vinyasa practice. After suffering from a herniated disc, I returned to yoga. I sought out exercise that was low impact to avoid further injury to my lumbar spine. When I found Yoga by Degrees, I found my new home away from home and was completely hooked.
What is your favorite pose?
Savasana wins hands down. There is nothing like a great savasana after a satisfying practice. My favorite flow posture is Prasarita padottanasana (Wide legged forward fold). Not only does it feel so good on the hamstrings and low back, it is a pose that offers playtime for other poses that I love: inversions and arm balances.
Who inspires your teaching?
YBD has a truly remarkable and inspiring community of students and teachers. The well is full, for which I am tremendously grateful. I am continually inspired by students overcoming physical and mental challenges with continued yoga practice. My husband and kids are a constant source of ideas for dharma themes. Also, I am inspired by so many books and videos and audio recordings which include offerings from Thich Nhat Hanh, BKS Iyengar, Bernie Clark and Shakti Gawain.
Tips for beginners…
When I first walked into yoga, I found it sharpened my listening skills. It is helpful to listen attentively to the cues while focusing on your breath. It helps people to move into and deeply feel a pose. Learn to rely on the cues and your breath, and try to only look at a teacher’s demo if you really need a reference for an unfamiliar pose. Breath is one of the most important primary tools for growth and transformation in practice. Remove your ego as much as you can and awaken your senses within. Honor your intuition (which means skipping postures and adding others in when you need to) to nourish your body in practice.
What’s your favorite quote?
A favorite excerpt from Michael A. Singer’s Untethered Soul: “Your inner growth is completely dependent upon the realization that the only way to find peace and contentment is to stop thinking about yourself. . . letting go allows you to free your energies so that you can free yourself. Right in the midst of your daily life, by untethering yourself from the bondage of your psyche, you actually have the ability to steal freedom for your soul. This freedom is so great it has been given a special name – liberation.”