Meet Your Kula: Krystal Prout

Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more.

Meet our Prajñā Yogi, Krystal Prout.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi, I am Krystal, mother, yoga practitioner and instructor. I currently live in Alberta, Canada teaching yoga and raising two amazing kiddos.

What started your yoga journey?

Yoga had always been a whisper and for years I had wanted to try a class. In the fall of 2015 I had two small children when a local yoga studio opened in my small town. I was looking to gain strength and flexibility and also get a little bit of “me time” in too. It only took two or three classes before I started to feel an inner shift. I fell in love with the physical practice all while unknowingly beginning an internal healing journey.

When did you decide to become a yoga instructor?

After an on again off again practice for about a year, I decided I was going to get serious about the practice. A little over six months after that, about two years into my yoga journey, is when people began to ask if I was teaching classes and suggested I should. I had never even considered the thought of being a yoga instructor. In the span of a couple weeks several people, including my mentor & teacher recommended I take my yoga teacher training. I took those nudges as a sign from the universe and enrolled my RYT200 in the fall of 2017.

What type of yoga do you teach? What drew you to this particular form of yoga?

Though I have training in Hatha, Yin and kids yoga, my heart beats for Vinyasa and Power yoga. I prefer to practice this style myself so naturally I’m drawn to guide it as well. There is something very powerful about these styles and watching students get stronger, playful and pushing themselves during their practice is very rewarding for both them and myself.

How has the practice of yoga affected your life? Spiritually? Mentally?

As I began to do “the work”, (the physical practice), it simultaneously began to start the work internally. My teacher would always say in class “we’ve opened up the front side, the backside...but the hardest part to open is the inside” and this is exactly what happens when we continue to go deep in our practice.

After taking my training and learning so much about the yogic concepts, I really wanted to begin to live true to myself. Taking responsibility, honoring myself and how I choose to speak and behave. Of course I still have a lifetime of work to do but yoga has pushed me to explore my values and lean into virtue.

What does the concept of Prajñā mean to you? How do you see this embodied in your practice?

Prajñā to me is wisdom. This concept, for myself, is about listening to my body. Knowing that my body is so wise and it will guide me if I simply listen. Embodying this in my practice means; listening inward. It means; if it feels good to push then I’ll push and if it doesn’t feel good, knowing when to let be. It also means being okay with where I am in my practice and letting that space between where I am and where I want to be inspire me.

Has this understanding changed throughout your yoga journey?

It definitely has changed throughout my journey of practicing. When I first began I was always pushing never wanting to find softness or stillness in the poses or in the mind. As a beginner, I was perhaps a bit aggressive in wanting to advance. I also had no idea of the capabilities of my body. Five years into my yoga practice and I'm continuing to surprise myself with what my body is capable of doing.

As you look back throughout your yoga journey, what advice would you give to other yogis?

Consistency is key. Don’t give up so soon on whatever you’re working on whether that be a meditation practice, the physical practice of yoga or some thing else entirely. Small changes over time become big changes. And try not to put yourself into a box of limitations. Knowing that your practice can look different each day, will feel different each day and that’s OK and to embrace that. Boxing yourself into limitations of “not being naturally flexible” or coming in with an injury or not loving your body type can mentally block you from moving forward in your practice. Each time you step on your mat enjoy the process and if you are not loving your practice, know that it’s ok to switch it up.

Are there any mindfulness practices or techniques that you use to center your practice? To open your mind?

I am a big fan of breath work. Incorporating breath work into my practice literally transformed it. I typically begin my practice with mind-body connecting. I will focus on feeling my body connecting physically with the mat (feeling heavy and grounded, then I begin to imagine my body extremely light - like I could float!) then I move into breath cleansing (retention breath and big sighs out to clear and create fresh energy), and finally calling in my ujiyi breath (this is my favourite prana) starting to create heat, sound and focus for my practice.

Where can we find and continue to support your work?

You can find me on Instagram at @krystalsyoga .This is my favourite place to share my practice and connect. I also have online classes that you can find linked to that account and in 2021 I’m looking forward to creating more virtual spaces for yogis to connect with me online!

You can also practice alongside Krystal with our Third Eye Opening Asana: 

I open my mind to all that I have learned and all that I do not yet know. I seek to deepen my understanding of both myself and others with non-judgment and a free heart.


types of yoga styles|yogi surprise

Which of The Most Popular Types of Yoga Is the Best Fit For You?

There are so many types of yoga, it can feel beyond overwhelming

You gotta love how many interpretations there are and all of the various ways we can enjoy and explore yoga. I was really blown away as a new student when I began to delve into just how many schools, styles, and types of yoga there were to choose from. I took the trial and error approach before landing on Vinyasa as my jam.

Luckily we don't have to choose just one style. But most of us determine a preference and pursue it with fervent ardor. Below is a list of the most popular types of yoga and the pertinent deets you need to know.

 

7 types of yoga commonly loved and practiced

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga technically falls under the umbrella of Vinyasa, but it's a set series of postures broken down into primary series, second series, and four advanced series. A set series means you'll do the sequence in the same order every single time.  Ashtanga centers around the sun salutations and it's a rigorous physical practice.

Ashtanga-lovers are often equated to the Type-A personality as lovers of discipline, hard work, and perfectionism.  The further a practitioner gets into this practice, the more wild and complicated the poses become. If that sounds like your bag, Ashtanga might be the perfect style for you.

Vinyasa Yoga

After my first Vinyasa class, I left feeling such a sense of joy because it was so much FUN. Vinyasa means one pose linked to another by breath. That provides tons of room for creative and dynamic flows that will get your heart rate up and stretch and build every muscle, ligament, and tendon in your body.

Vinyasa tends to appeal to the athletic yogi who appreciates creativity and variety. And there's always killer music playing to help the whole experience feel a bit like a dance party.

Hatha Yoga

Technically, Hatha yoga is the umbrella term for all types of yoga that involve movement. But what you can expect from a Hatha class is a slower pace and holding basic standing and seated postures for at least several breaths if not minutes.

Hatha is great for beginners and for those who are looking to stretch but not sweat. The focus isn't usually on building muscle but more on opening up and finding more space in the body.  If you're looking to keep it simple and leave class feeling refreshed and renewed, Hatha is a wonderful choice.

Bikram Yoga

The most controversial figure in the entire yoga realm is Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga. Yet his 26 set posture series with long holds in a room set at a temperature of 106 degrees has prevailed as a very popular type of yoga practiced all over the world.

If you love building muscle and have the attitude of the hotter the class, the better, Bikram might be a perfect fit for you. And you don't want to have to use your hands to balance your body weight, the classic 26 posture series includes no arm balances. So if you're recovering from an injury to your hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, this practice is an option as you heal.

Hot Power Yoga

Of all the types of yoga, hot power yoga feels the most like a workout. Music pumping, room set to between 90 and 100 degrees,  and powerful, challenging movements leaving the practitioners drenched and happy as they leave class satisfied they worked their asses off. It's becoming increasingly more challenging to find non-hot classes as more and more students crave and seek out the heat.

Try hot power yoga if you love to exercise, sweating, and are invested in pushing yourself physically.

Yin Yoga

Gooey. That's the word that always comes to mind when I think of or practice Yin yoga. Yin postures are held for anywhere from 3-7 minutes and the aim is to get into the tight connective tissue called fascia. Postures that gently twist the spine, open the hips, shoulders, and hamstrings with the use of lots of props and a restorative approach are what Yin yoga exists to achieve.

Try Yin yoga if you need to slow things down and find more ease and space in your body and mind. It's a kind practice.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a very interesting practice. And it's a little hard to describe because it's such a unique experience. There's various types of breath work, chanting, mantras, Ayurvedic practices, and moving subtle body energy to increase balance in the central nervous system and create a sense of well-being within.

Of all the popular types of yoga, this is the practice that is most likely going to stay with you well beyond the physical work. Try Kundalini if you're looking to ignite your spirit and work to empower and invigorate your mind.

The only way to really figure out the types of yoga that will work best for you is to try everything

We might be shying away from a particular practice because it's exactly what we need. Or maybe not, but the only way to know for sure is to give everything a try and not assume you won't enjoy it. The joy is in the delving into the unknown. There's so much out there to explore. Enjoy it.

 

 

 

Header image courtesy of Personal Trainer Academy