Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen McIntyre.
Hi Kristen, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In 2005, during my sophomore year of NYC Fashion College, I developed an Eating Disorder as well as body dysmorphia and severe anxiety. I felt pressured by my peers and the stigmas of the Fashion Industry of the early 2000s to maintain unrealistic ideals of perfection. While outwardly appearing super happy, meeting performance goals in school and internships, immense pressures surmounted and my unhealthy habits worsened.
My entire lifestyle changed in 2013 when I decided to finally leave NY. I took a job at a local Yoga Studio and it was there I started to learn about deep spiritual teachings such as Gratitude, Ahimsa (the practice of Non-violence), and how to choose Peace regardless of external circumstances. I went through a dramatic Spiritual Transformation, making yoga and the studio a huge part of my life and my evolution. I eventually became a Yoga Teacher.
Essentially, the practices of Yoga and Meditation along with ancient texts and teachings of many spiritual teachers helped me to heal my eating disorder, anxiety, and other unhealthy habits.
It took many years and several bumps in the road but I finally arrived at a place of true happiness with myself, inside and out. I believe I am fully recovered due to my devotion to honoring and loving myself which includes daily practices of self-care.
Over the past few years, I have expanded into personal training as well as continuing to teach yoga regularly. My classes and private sessions help those who seek guidance to work towards their fitness goals in Mindful ways by recognizing their own worthiness and connecting to their Higher Selves as part of their growth process.
I know many suffer in silence from eating disorders and anxiety. I deeply encourage getting help from a mental health professional along with trying Yoga, Breath-Work, Meditation, and Reiki to assist with the healing process holistically and spiritually.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
When I first started teaching, I was very nervous to express myself in the sense that I was the only person speaking in a room full of students for 60+ minutes at a time. That made me uncomfortable and I had to work to build up my self-esteem to feel at ease to “speak up” with all I wanted to say. I had to find my voice.
This translated into other areas of my life whereas before I didn’t always speak from my heart or express myself fully for fear of what people would think. Once I opened my Throat Chakra and I began to teach my yoga classes with confidence and an open heart, it poured over into my everyday life.
It felt so good to express myself without holding back. It’s one of the biggest blessings I’ve been able to give myself; the ability to be loving, discerning, and open, in hopes it gives others permission to do the same in their lives.
Another challenge I have found within the arena of health and fitness is that there is a lack of “balance”. The pendulum of trends swings back and forth from promoting unhealthy relationships to a particular body type or lifestyle image as a goal for all. That sends the wrong message as we aren’t meant to all be cookie-cutter images of one another. I believe strongly in seeking balance in all areas of life.
I think when it comes to lifestyle and body images, balance is key. If we overdo something in any which way, we are creating an imbalance. And the imbalance is what leads to struggle, discomfort, and pain. I think it’s something society as a whole needs to work on.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I specialize in teaching creatively sequenced Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes as well as Kundalini Yoga. I teach at many gyms and fitness centers as well as yoga studios.
I am most proud of being able to be of service at a time when the world needs it most. Yoga teaches mind-body-spirit connection. It calms and clears the space between our ears; our brain. Connecting to our breath helps dissolve anger, frustration, anxiety, and disappointment.
These are things we as humans all need to work on so that we can collectively help heal our world. As individuals, we owe it to ourselves to find peace and it seems we often don’t realize how much we should prioritize that until we don’t feel good in body or mind. Inner peace isn’t often taught at school or at our jobs but we can seek and find that solace within ourselves when we step onto our yoga mat or sit on a meditation pillow.
I am most proud of all my students. They are all Rockstars in their own unique ways. They are proactive about their physical and mental health and it’s truly a beautiful thing!
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I have learned, and I’m still learning, that just because there are other individuals successful at something doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to showcase your own talents.
There will never ever be another “You”. If you show up genuinely people will resonate with you and it doesn’t matter if there are others who offer similar services as you.
- Private In-Person Yoga Sessions $100/hr
- Private zoom Yoga Sessions $80/hour
- Semi-Private (2-4) Yoga Class $150/hour
- Corporate Yoga/Mindfulness $160/hr
- Instagram: @kayjem