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Candor from your fearless leader...

It's been a while since I've shared a blog post. There are many yoga topics I could expound on, philosophies I could share, but instead I have chosen to expose a little insight into the behind the scenes and inside the mind of me. While it may seem like a bit of a rambling, I hope there is some insight and wisdom to be gleaned. And if nothing else, some honesty. Plus, if you missed the anniversary event, there is some information on what I'm working on these days.

As I finalize the new fall schedule, I also ask for your input through the following survey:

A little story -

I remember fondly a psychology class I took in my second year of college - more specifically the instructor. She had a very sweet demeanor about her that was also very genuine and honest. In her teaching, she incorporated personal stories, made time to process the material as a group, and was always good for a smile or a laugh that included eye contact. At the end of our course together, she presented a slide that she took the time to create that gave a nod to each individual student. She flipped through stating each of our names and one unique thing she appreciated about us. I remember thinking at the time, ‘Well this is bold - when did it become socially acceptable to just tell someone what you think of them?’ When she came to my name she said, ‘Kristin, I appreciate your unwitting candor.’ Ironically, I had to ask what candor meant. I remember vividly that day both learning a new word and the following life lessons...

That single experience taught me a few things -

1) How I perceive myself is often very different than how I am perceived. When it comes to the way we perceive ourselves and others, the feeling of dissonance is often stronger and more familiar feeling than harmony. Too often, we’re prepared to see the worst in others because we anticipate where we’ll disagree, how we’re different, where things will go wrong, or the imaginary threat they pose. After further reflection, I now know that this is because when our physical senses experience something - see, hear, touch - our minds are quickly made up about what that thing is. We simply need to take the time to sit, look deeper, listen, and remain curious about what is in front of us, and trust that there is always more beneath that.

2) The characteristics that make me who I am do not have to be watered down because some people find them disruptive. This is the affliction that keeps us living under our true greatness. For what felt like the first time, someone was celebrating my honesty and insight as a personal gift rather than attempting to quiet my voice because it complicates their belief system.

3) I learned the impact that can be made by kindly and openly expressing the positive light in which someone's true self can be seen. When she told me (and the entire class) that my candor was refreshing, the feeling in that moment was so potent and positive that my memory of that experience remains fond and vivid to this day.

With that, I also want to mention the teaching motto of my Guru, Baba Hari Dass. In my final days of Yoga Teacher Training, we had a chance to sit with our Guru and ask the burning questions that come when we’re about to set out into the world as newly transformed yoga instructors. I asked him, ‘How do I respectfully carry on these traditions with such little experience and expertise?’ In his 63 years of silent teaching, he wrote, ‘Teach to learn.’

And that I have…

Being a yoga instructor, a bodywork therapist, a teacher to teachers, and a business owner all rolled into one has taught me more about the practice of yoga than ‘going to yoga class’ ever has. When we go to a yoga class, we typically experience a sense of physical relief, mental presence, a peaceful environment, and relaxation. Since the teachings and philosophies of yoga have become not only how I navigate my own experience of life, but also how I express myself and advise others on how to navigate their own lives, I have been on an internal roller coaster wavering between the gravity of heavy responsibility, intense contemplation about how I can best serve my community, and gratitude beyond belief for the way Janesville has received me and my business.

With that, I embark on my third year of studio ownership, teaching yoga to the variety of people who walk through the doors, offering unique and effective bodywork therapy to manage pain and emotional stuckness, and focus on more specific projects that include:

- Offering rehabilitative yoga to addicts and incarcerated youth and adults who face great struggles as a reminder they are worthy of love, wellness, and learning to rely on themselves.

- Offering self care with cupping and thai massage technique courses to licensed massage therapists for continuing education credits and anybody else interested to better serve their clients, friends, and themselves.

- Offering my 6 week Transform Your Life with Yoga course focusing on 5 points of wellness - diet, exercise, rest, livelihood, and relationships as an immersive experience to improve overall well being and personal understanding.

- Offering retreat opportunities both near and far to help yogis deepen their practice, relax, and rejuvenate.

- Beginning a charitable effort dear to my heart - creating a volunteer run community garden to teach kids about growing and eating healthy, organic food and providing harvest to those in need.

All this because I have crossed paths with angels who have accepted my gifts, shown me theirs, and continue to show up to my little business where I’m simply trying to make the world a little better and people a little more well.

I’m taking a bit of a risk this fall in adding new teachers and new classes and I hope you will embrace them as I have. Your presence and feedback has been very valuable and your continued support in my business helps it grow and grow. Again, please take the time to offer your input - it will just take a few minutes:

We don’t always feel the love we have around us - and we don’t always feel we deserve the love we are shown. In this community, I both feel the love and believe it is genuine and well deserved. What a glorious place to be…

See you on and off the mat….


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