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Teacher Spotlight:
Kristan Marden

 


My first yoga experience was a Vinyasa class at a local gym in 2005. The teacher had a strong Ashtanga background and I was amazed how physically challenging the class was.  I had three young kids and felt overwhelmed as a mom.  The first time I stepped onto a yoga mat I knew I had found something life changing, and profound.  I had uncovered a path towards being more compassionate, accepting, joyful, brave, and authentic.   I love the physicality of the practice but truly benefit from the emotional balance and release.  After 14 years, I still can’t get enough of it.  Yoga helped me stay fit and find “bliss,” and my yoga mat became my sanctuary. For 60-90 minutes each day, I knew that no matter how crazy life was, I could find balance.  Eventually my practice expanded into a lifestyle, a mindful and balanced way of living, one breath at a time.

What was your first yoga experience?


What made you become a yoga teacher?

I had studied and worked in the fitness and wellness industry for many years, and I have always been fascinated by the mind-body connection. Yoga enriched my understanding of the power of being present and the role mindfulness plays in our daily lives.

 My passion for yoga became my calling, my dharma: “that thing that you do, after your day job, in your free time, too early in the morning, too late at night. That thing you read about, write about, think about all the time. That thing you do when you’re all alone and there’s no one to impress, nothing to prove, no money to be made, simply a passion to pursue. That’s it! That’s your thing. That’s your heart, your guide. That’s the thing you must, must do.” ~ upliftedvibrations.com.

 Yoga is my “thing,” and I want nothing more than to pass that passion on to the community at The Yoga Loft and beyond. I hope to teach skills on the mat that make a measurable difference off the mat. I believe we are all sharing in this life together, and the tradition of yoga offers us tools to stress less, smile more, untangle physical and emotional knots, and witness ourselves and each other without judgment.


What is your favorite pose and why?

I don’t have a favorite pose but love the balance series; Vrksasana  (tree pose), Nataranjasana (dancers pose) and Ardha Chandrasana (half-moon pose) are few of the ones I make sure to practice daily. 

The balance poses demand our full attention. Even relatively simple balances like Vrksasana and Ardha Chandrasana demand our full, wakeful attention in a way that other standing poses do not. There's no faking it: the instant we lose focus, we fall over.

In addition to promoting concentration and calm, these poses strengthen our muscles and build our coordination and balance, improving our ways of standing and walking as well as how we perform many other everyday activities.  Balance poses offer us a glimpse of Sthira and Sukha, steadiness and ease.  To find balance we must give our full attention and be strong, but without ease we become rigid, inflexible, and tense.  


Where do you draw inspiration from for your classes?

As a teacher, I favor a vigorous yet peaceful practice, integrating the best elements of Vinyasa yoga, teaching stability to foster mobility, and allowing space to explore anatomical precision and philosophical inspiration. My classes consist of a dynamic and powerful flow that emphasize creativity, strength, flexibility, and balance. I have been inspired by so many teachers and styles over the years, but I still find my greatest inspiration from the students that step onto their mats each day and commit to themselves.


What is something you enjoy outside of Yoga?

My greatest joy off the mat is my family, three amazing kids that keep my heart full.  I also enjoy long walks and working out at the gym. I am passionate about clean eating and living. I also love the study of Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science. Considered to be the oldest healing science, “The Science of Life”.   I’m adventurous in the kitchen and obsessed with gluten free, vegan baking- cookies, muffins, bars and breads. Satisfying my sweet tooth with healthy, whole foods. 


Practice with Kristan

Kristan teaches two weekly Vinyasa Classes, Tuesdays at 6pm and Thursdays a6 9:30am.  Read Kristan’s full bio here.