Meet Kirstin, Our Featured Staff Member of the Season!
Kirstin has been teaching AMAZING classes at Waynesville Yoga Center for years! Join Kirstin for Flow and Yin every Thursday at 10:30 AM and for Mixed-Level Flow every other Sunday at 12 PM. Thank you, Kirstin!
Our fabulous Jake interviewed Kirstin! Take a look and a listen in the video below!
Tell me about your experience with yoga: how it began, where it has taken you, and how yoga has impacted your life.
The first time I took a yoga class it was a disaster. And not just because I signed up for it with my boyfriend at the time. The teacher was rigid, and there was no space to be a learner. She criticized every pose I came into, from the very beginning. Apparently I could even do Child’s Pose wrong. I abandoned the class after about three sessions. And the boyfriend not long after. It was more than ten years later that I had the guts to try it again. A friend was becoming a yoga teacher and was offering some free classes. She invited me to come try it, promising that the experience would be different. It was. She taught with grace and humor, and showed me that I didn’t need to be flexible, or already know how to do the poses in order to practice yoga. This sweet woman is still a dear friend and I tell her regularly how much I appreciate the gift of yoga she gave me. I’d been an athlete most of my life, playing soccer and Ultimate Frisbee, and stretching very little. Yoga was the physical balance I needed. I learned over time that it was the spiritual and emotional balance I needed, as well. I have, at times, wandered away from my practice, and every time I’ve come back, I’ve discovered again that I need it for so many reasons. I love what yoga teaches me about my body, about patience and letting go of outcomes. Practicing yoga has helped deepen my spiritual life, which has helped me grow into myself more and more. There always seem to be new levels to get to internally, and yoga has opened those doors for me in ways I’m not sure I could have found otherwise. When I had the opportunity to be part of the first YTT class that WYC offered, I jumped in. I could not have found a better fit for me. The focus on fitting poses to our bodies, rather than forcing our bodies into “ideal” versions of a pose, was like an antidote to my first yoga experience. It gave me a path other than “perfection” to strive for, one that was more about understanding myself. I am deeply grateful to be part of the WYC community, as a teacher and as a student.
What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?
Honestly, whatever style I’m doing at the time seems to be my favorite. I know that sounds trite, but I mean it. I love paying attention to what I’m drawn to at any given time and following that. I enjoy teaching flow classes, and love Sun Salutations. Yin is wonderful for the deep work, both physical and mental, that it brings. I love the slower pace of Gentle and Restorative classes and the relaxing vibe of them. Recently, I’ve been in the mood for a challenge, and so have been enjoying Iron Yoga and Barre classes.
What’s your favorite pose and why?
That answer probably varies with the day, but in general I always love supine twists. They give me a sense of wringing my body out and I appreciate how small adjustments can target different areas.
What do you do when you’re not practicing yoga?
I write every morning, mostly fiction. I love creating characters and stories and giving them voice. I also take pottery classes, which is beyond fun. My husband and I enjoy hiking and backpacking, especially with our two dogs, Artie and Sam. Said dogs also allow me to accompany them on morning walks or runs, which is a lovely start to the day. After several years of working as a chaplain in healthcare settings, I am enjoying now the different pace of life I have here.
Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.
I have a vast and eclectic storehouse of song lyrics in my brain, from 80s and 90s music to rap to hymns. When I get started singing, as my husband will attest, it is sometimes difficult to get me to stop until I finish the song.