Meet Kristin Johnson!

IMG_2179This is the eighth blogpost in this continued series on our Yoga Teachers at Clayton Yoga.

Today we proudly present Kristin Johnson,  an empowered lover of life, a fabulous yoga teacher with a penchant for true inner health and transformation.  Kristin’s yoga classes are restorative, dynamic and a great overall work out.  Kristin teaches yoga on Mondays 5:30-6:30p, and on Fridays, 12:00-1:00pm!  Enjoy.

What made you consider taking yoga?

It was always something I knew that I would do but for a long time I just wasn’t ready. The time came about 3 years ago. I was making a lot of healthy changes in my life and so naturally, yoga unfolded itself to me. It showed up at my door and I welcomed it in.

How did you fall in love with yoga?

I fell in love with yoga, not all at once, but gradually, and I continue to discover more each day. Like I was saying, I was living a very unhealthy lifestyle, from the food I was eating to substances I was putting in my body to the way I treated and thought about myself. Yoga taught me to accept and be kind to myself. It taught me to let go of all the negative self talk, ideas, and judgements I had about myself and to just be, just be me. I don’t want to say yoga was the sole factor that transformed me but it helped me find my way to the strength and the power within and and since I did that, marvelous things have happened in my life.

How does yoga benefit your life?

Yoga helps me find equanimity. It gives me a release from the stresses of everyday life. Even if I started the day out on the wrong foot and the universe seems to be cursing me, after savasana, I am ok with it all. It takes me to that calm place and once Im there I can see clearly. Without all the chatter and racing thoughts, I can see the bigger picture and the bigger picture looks pretty good. Its when we focus on the little things that our minds become clouded.

There are ups and downs of a yoga practice just like in life. You do a really hard pose and its miserable and then you counteract it and it feels really good. I’ve learned to breathe and stay in the moment and not focus on “this pose is really hard” or I hate this pose”. I’ve learned to stay present and breathe through the discomfort; it then becomes easier to do that in my personal life. Staying in the present moment and breathing through and uncomfortable situations that comes my way, one breath at a time.

Yoga also helps me relax and access the creative part of my brain. I am working on a fashion collection so I need this. The chatter and stress blocks the creativity pathways. When I am at my calmest is when I get the best ideas.

What change do you experience in your life as a result of yoga practice?

I’ve learned courage and authenticity, in my personal life as well as on the mat. Ive learned to go from  thinking “oh, I cant do that asana” or “no I don’t want to do that so I won’t” to finding the will and courage to just DO IT. The less I want to or think I can, the greater the reward after its done. I also learned to accept if I cant do a pose and keep trying anyway.

And so these skills I’ve learned on the mat transfer to my personal life and in my relationships also. I have become more accepting of my family and more compassionate to my friends. I’ve learned to face and embrace difficulty and challenge. For so long I had run away or covered up from anything uncomfortable or painful but that only hurt me more. Whatever I was running from didn’t go away. So learning to face challenges has become profound in my life because I have showed myself what I am capable of.

Would you share your favorite yoga tip?

Close your eyes. Any chance you get, take a moment and close your eyes. It helps to bring your awareness inward. Like the idea of drishti, focusing your gaze on a single point, when the eyes are still the mind is still. Its easy to get distracted while doing yoga, looking around and comparing yourself, your body, and your pose to others. Self-discovery doesn’t happen by looking around and comparing, it happens by looking inward.


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