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About Krista: "Krista Block is 300-hour certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher in the DC area. She has been practicing over a decade and teaching since 2010. Her classes are challenging, playful, and insightful with the intent of leaving you feeling uplifted and connected to your highest self. She teaches at Flow Yoga Center, Buddha B Yoga Center, and Thrive Yoga Center. Learn more about her by visiting her website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook."
Krista was kind enough to answer questions as part of our Featured Yogi series.
How did you begin practicing yoga?
My yoga practice began in middle school to ease anxiety over an upcoming math exam. My mom and I did a Yoga Zone VHS one day after school, and I instantly connected with the practice. I failed the math exam miserably, but found my life's calling so I'd say it all worked out.
Why is yoga important to you?
Yoga is important to me because it is training ground to be the best version of myself, while also holding a space in my life that's sacred. There is so much challenge built into the practice that I've had to meet that challenge with joy, otherwise I pretty much self-destruct. By reinforcing a playful attitude in the face of something really hard, I've formed positive habits that, to my surprise, are showing up in all areas of my life. I've started to play all the time, even when what I'm doing could be described as work. Since the practice does demand so much, I have to make sure I'm in good shape when I come to the mat. This means cleaning up other areas of my life that pull me away from feeling my best so I can give the practice and lineage behind it the reverence it deserves.
What made you want to teach yoga?
My fascination with the antiquity of yoga inspired me to begin teaching. I can't think of a better way to spend this lifetime than being a vehicle for this age-old practice and doing my part to keep it alive in the 21st century. There are so many careers that emphasize looking forward and advancing, but few that ask us to look back and preserve what those who came before us did. Additionally, the example set by my teachers, Andrea Boyd and Jeffrey Cohen, and the impact they had on my life compels me to teach and share their message. I also feel people need to play more and I love providing an experience that offers that.
Do you have a preferred style to practice or teach?
My favorite style to practice is Ashtanga. There is an intrinsic intelligence in how the practice is sequenced and how it addresses the body that is alluring to say the least. Since the practice stays consistent, any fluctuations in your experience must originate within, so you get to know yourself very well. When it comes to teaching, I love the soulful energy of Jivamukti Yoga. Its focus on non-violence, a vegan diet, and scripture are essential to every yogi, but often get glazed over in the modern yoga-scene. I also love teaching vinyasa flow since it allows me to draw upon my different backgrounds to build a creative class and get very playful.
Describe a class with you. What makes it unique?
A class with me is soulful and grounded in tradition with plenty of creativity. I ask a lot from my students and am not afraid to present them with challenges, but the challenge is always balanced with a huge dose of playfulness and fun. My hope is that students leave trusting in their strength and with a fresh-perspective on their life and abilities. (I pretty much want my class to be a life-affirming recess for adults.)
Who is your favorite DC area teacher?
Oh man! I haven't come across a teacher in DC who I didn't love, but I'd have to go with the Ashtanga Dispatch duo Peg Mulqueen and Jen René. They work so hard in their own practice, so their teaching comes straight from dedication and experience, which they deliver with a ton of heart. Not only are they teaching great yoga, but are building such a beautiful community through their Mysore program and Ashtanga Dispatch workshops/training. Mimi Rieger and Brittanie DeChino at Flow Yoga Center and Susan Bowen who owns Thrive Yoga in Rockville, MD are three others I absolutely adore.
In addition to her weekly classes at Flow Yoga Center, Buddha B Yoga Center, and Thrive Yoga Center, Krista will be teaching a special workshop titled Bakasana and Beyond at extendYoga on March 9th. Visit the extendYoga website to read more and register.