Kristi is a yoga instructor and a personal trainer at the Institute and she will be teaching Hatha yoga classes twice a week at Bardo's starting June 13th. We asked her some questions on yoga, herself and what you can expect when joining your first yoga class.
What exactly is Hatha Yoga and why is it one of the more popular types of yoga out there?
The Hatha branch of yoga is popular in the West and it relies on breathing techniques and the use of body postures to attain fitness, relaxation, and enlightenment. Hatha yoga is one of the more popular types of yoga because anyone at any skill level can participate. There are many modifications and no pressure to perform or do anything perfect. "Ha" means sun and "tha" means moon.
What was it that made you passionate about yoga?
Through my entire life I have pursued high intensity sports such as boxing, mountain bike racing, snowboarding, martial arts and soccer. I realized that I needed something to calm my soul and create balance physically and mentally. This is something that I was missing in my life so I tried yoga and fell in love with it my first class. I learned that some techniques that you learn in yoga you can be used in any aspect of your life. For example, just breathing full breaths if you feel stressed or anxious. It has really helped me physically and mentally.
What advice would you give to someone that is hesitant or even intitdmanated by joining a yoga class?
During a yoga class most people are too busy paying attention to themselves to watch what their neighbor is doing. You are there for you and only you. It doesn’t matter if you are next to the best yogi in the world. The only thing that matters is that you are taking the time to be present, to breathe and to enjoy your time on your mat. Also, if there is a particular movement that you cannot do there are always modifications.
What are some of the misconceptions about yoga?
The biggest misconception about yoga is that you have to be flexible in order to do yoga. This is not true at all. Anyone at any level of flexibility can do yoga and benefit from it. Body alignment and breathing are more important than being flexible or being able to bend or reach your toes. Another misconception is thinking that you have to know yoga prior to going to a yoga class. Follow the instructor’s queues and just do your best. There is no judgement in yoga.
Book yoga class with Kristi.