How you define yoga?
I have learned many lessons from practicing the art of flexibility, which to me is the heart of asana practice. It requires a strength, patience and self-control in order to act with discipline and grace.
How would you describe your yoga ministry?
After 9 years of practice, I am still benefiting from yoga and mediation and still learning all the time. I have developed a passion for sharing healthy lifestyles with my community. Most recently, I brought this passion to my public service. While living in North Nashville, I worked on wellness programming for underserved communities by focusing on mindfulness practices, active lifestyle habits and eating whole foods. I especially enjoyed serving as “Seed Librarian” for the Nashville Public Library Seed Exchange and working with Small World Yoga to offer free classes. I encouraged patrons in my community to grow their own food from free seeds donated by local farms and growers. Currently, I use my CYT-230 certification to share free yoga and meditation classes in library settings. My goal is to encourage holistic contemplation practices and integrate physical literacy for scholars.
How did you become a yoga teacher?
Half way through my bachelor’s degree, I seriously considered giving up my opportunity to earn an Ivy League degree. But, I struggled with feelings of shame and regret. So out of the ashes of my solitude and depression, God gave me the beauty of yoga and meditation. Both the practices of yoga and meditation helped me successfully achieve my goal and have been helping me achieve my goals ever since.
After practicing for a little more than 5 years, I was encouraged by my teachers to consider becoming certified to teach yoga. But it wasn’t until I assisted a co-worker at in her free yoga classes in the library, the first time piloted their Be Well program. Unfortunately she was only able to offer the classes for one season but they made a huge impact on the patrons who identified many wellness programs as cost-prohibitive. The demand demonstrated a need for yoga for all and was the catalyst for my decision to begin my teaching journey.
Why should I try yoga?
As it was for me, yoga for some may be a new way of healing. For others, it may be the first time we are introduced to the concept of mind-body trauma. (See The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk M.D. ISBN: 9780143127741) But, through a healthy yoga practice, we empower ourselves to experiment, fail and overcome, and ultimately cultivate a liberating sense of joy and peace. A Christ-centered yoga class is led by the Holy Spirit and anointed to break yokes of spiritual traps by inviting the presence of the Lord. My ministry comes from 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV), “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you who, who you have received from God?”
What can I expect in a Krishana Yoga class?
When working with our physical flexibility, it is important to take care of our joints, which like our identities, are the areas where we are the most delicate, but also the anchor points where express our unique experiences walking, dancing, and being everyday.
They are the hinge points for every single one of our movements. The yoga I share is joint sensitive and alignment based. I use intelligent sequencing and encourage the use of props, props, props!
Why Asheville Yoga Center?
First time I heard of the Asheville Yoga Center (http://Youryoga.com) was in December of 2016, I was recommended to me by an Uber driver coming home from the airport. He only spoke praises about the program and the instructors. It was so memorable that I kept an eye on it and visited the studio a year before on a North Carolina road trip. When the dates for the May immersion lined up with my 27th birthday, I believed God was giving me a sign. I prayed about it and asked the Lord to provide the finances if it was His Will.
Still, I was hard-headed and hesitant to the leading of the Holy Spirit. So when I hit it off with Jessamyn Stanley, at a book signing for her debut Every Body Yoga, I learned during her talk that she was a graduate of AYC’s program. Afterward, we talked for some time about the impact the center and its instructors, Kimberly Puryear and Stephanie Keach, made on her inner journey. Her experience gave her the confidence to share her yogic practice with the world via her popular Instagram, @mynameisjessamyn and shift the conversation to yoga for all. So, I quit my job, decided not to renew my lease and dove fully into my deepening my yoga practice and myself. Of course, the Lord provided the finances and put all the right connections in my path, including my wonderful friends at (https://www.newbeginningsfarms.com/) New Beginnings Historic Farm. Until this day, I blessed to see how God has anointed my practice and provided opportunities to share His Word, His Truth and His healing power through yoga.