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.


7 Essential Yoga Items to Bring to Every Class

Ready to head off to a yoga class? Before you do, make sure you’re prepared with all the right gear.

While virtually all professional studios provide students with necessary equipment like blocks, bolsters, and straps, there are always a few extra items you can bring yourself to make your yoga experience a lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

Here are seven recommendations.

 

1. Your yoga mat.

If you’re just getting started and don't have a mat of your own yet, you can count on your studio to have several that you can borrow. The main benefit of bringing along your own is that you know that you and only you have spent time practicing on it—meaning that you also have control over its cleanliness. No matter how clean or unclean your own mat may be, at least you know the germs on it came from you!

 

2. A yoga towel.

Studios typically provide clean hand towels to their students to use during class, but these days, you can get super absorbent, no slip yoga towels that are compact and can be easily stored in your yoga mat. These yoga-specific towels are great to lay out flat on the surface of your mat during Bikram yoga to help catch sweat and prevent any slippage.

 

3. A water bottle.

Be prepared to work during your first yoga class! Taking a sip of water between sequences can help keep you going while preventing dehydration. You’ll want to bring a reusable bottle with no finicky cap or top so you can easily pick it up instantly and drink from it.

 

4. A headband and extra hair tie.

In yoga, expect to find yourself upside down, turned sideways, lying down, and everything in between. If you have long hair, it can definitely get in the way and become a distraction as you move through each pose, so bringing along any extra hair accessories—a headband, hair ties, and even bobby pins—can save you from the frustration of always having to move your hair out of your face.

 

5. Natural hand sanitizer or wipes.

A lot of other sweaty people are touching those yoga blocks, that studio floor, and the doorknob to get into the yoga room. After class, it’s probably necessary to wash your hands to avoid spreading germs, and having a travel-sized bottle of sanitizer or antibacterial wipes to use can be super handy. You can even give your feet a quick rub or wipe if you walked barefoot across the studio floor.

 

6. A healthy, energizing snack.

Whether you’re rushing to class after work or running off to meet up with friends after your class is done, having a quick snack to munch on pre- or post-yoga can be a real lifesaver. When there’s no time to fuel up beforehand or replenish your energy afterward, brining a healthy energy bar, a banana, a handful of almonds, or another favourite snack can go a long way.

 

7. A small wallet or purse.

Last but not least, it’s worth having a smaller storage solution for all your extra items rather than lugging your big purse around and having to store it outside the yoga room, in a locker, or out in the open on the coat rack. If you're a Yogi Surprise member of our Lifestyle Box, you'll be receiving a card holder wallet from Batik Boutique in our November box—perfect for keeping your driver’s license, studio membership card, debit/credit card, cash, and keys all in one place. Best of all, it's small enough to easily fit in your yoga mat bag too!

Image (edited) via Robyn Vines Smith