Kristin Jostad, owner of and teacher at Yoga Passage in Calgary, fills us in on how she manages to run a successful yoga studio, lead powerful and inspirational classes and how yoga has influenced and impacted her life.
You own Yoga Passage, you teach, and you're a mom! That's got to keep you busy. How do you find balance & manage your time?
It does keep me very busy! People ask me all the time, "how do you do it?". My answer is that I don't do it all perfectly! I embrace the humanness and the messiness of life. I manage by letting go of things that feel heavy, by being okay with making some mistakes along the way. I have also learned it's okay to ask for help.
"Life doesn't need to be difficult to be successful"
What is the biggest lesson yoga has taught you?
The biggest lesson yoga has taught me is that my truth lies within me. Yoga has cultivated my intuition, or my sensitivity, as I will often refer to it. When we drop into our bodies, our hearts, we can hear it speak to us, guide us. It's a path to freedom, letting go of the parts that were never authentic to us. We begin to understand and accept who we are at our core. This is coming into alignment with our true self. This is what I've discovered on the mat.
And the biggest lesson owning a business has taught you?
I often like to think I can do it all. There's a reason we all have different strengths. There are some things I need to hand over to professionals in their field to get the job done. I'm done being superwoman. This goes back to being okay asking for help...or contracting some sh*t out!
What is the biggest lesson you hope to teach through yoga?
That stepping onto our mats is not our opportunity to impress or become anything. Rather it's our opportunity to UNbecome. To just show up on the mat and accept ourselves as we are. To feel that is the greatest source of self love. From that point we can begin to restore.
What drives you to stay motivated & present for your students and how do you maintain that motivation?
I feel as though I've stepped into a blessing of guiding people back to themselves. It's holding space so they have the best opportunity to feel that connection. I'm motivated because I see this as more of a creation of what we are doing in a 75-minute class. As I'm doing what I love to do, I hope it inspires someone else to live into his or her true path.
What is the most inspirational shift you've seen in someone as a result of your teaching?
I had a girl that came to me a few years ago that was in the queue for corrective surgery for her spine. She was to have a rod placed in her back to correct her scoliosis. While waiting, she committed to her yoga practice and ended up not having the surgery. It changes lives not only on a physical aspect but I’ve encountered countless stories on how yoga has helped people emotionally through difficult times. We are all going to have pain along this journey.
"I think the most inspirational thing is seeing the community that has been built at Yoga Passage."
I always hear rumblings about there being something special about the studio, the teachers, and the community. Seeing the same people making yoga a part of their day, day after day, knowing that this practice of yoga, this experience, is obviously making a difference in their lives. That commitment made by so many people is what is inspirational.
What healthy habits do you strive to stick to, even when life gets busy?
I make sure I have self-care in some way everyday. This doesn't need to take a huge amount of time. A bath at night, a 15-minute morning meditation, time to thoroughly enjoy a playlist I've created, a dance in the kitchen. I'd love a daily mat practice, but I'll be honest, it doesn't happen everyday. I do what I can to fill my tank in some way so that the people that depend on me will experience the best version of me.
What pose do you feel strongest in and what pose is the most challenging for you and why?
There isn't one pose that I feel the strongest in. More so a flow of asanas together is what really inspires me and makes me feel connected and strong. Most challenging right now would be recovering from my recent knee surgery. I've had to modify quite a bit and that is more mentally challenging for me than anything else. For the universe to force me to slow down has been quite the trip! Daily, I'm reminded to not take the ability to move for granted.
Let's talk fashion, what will we usually find you wearing in the studio and to/from the class?
I'm a pretty simple chick... I think most often I look like a hip-hop wanna be with my muscle tanks and toques. Maybe you girls can help me out with this.... ;)