We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Dennis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, what’s your definition for success?
As a young adult, much of my mental and physical energy was focused on achievement. This was gauged by attaining a certain grade, beating opponents in sports, ensuring I got the first-place awards… Success!
I applied this same perspective and goal to yoga. It only made sense. I knew I was getting better through working myself hard. Always sore, always gritting my teeth with intense focus, enduring longer yoga sequences in heated sessions. I knew what I was doing, I was succeeding!
It took some hard life lessons and bad decisions for me to start to changing my understanding of success. My weight ballooned as my health tanked. I was tired, depressed and most certainly not able to touch my toes. I couldn’t continue my yoga practice when I already envisioned how I would fail. I was so far from where I used to be that there was just no point. Not just for yoga, on my darker days, weeks, even months, I felt no value in anything.
Then I was given a rather simple, yet impactful chunk of wisdom. Probably from some random Instagram post with the usual beach scene and glowing sunrise. ““Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.” – Jigar Gor. This brought back a flicker of life for me, I felt comfort in knowing to succeed, it didn’t mean touching my toes.
This opened up an entirely new journey for me as I returned to yoga and felt the pull to become a Yoga Instructor. While getting glowing student reviews, bigger paychecks, and teaching more classes are all certainly what helps build a valid career financially; if I am not growing and learning, I’m empty and not reaching real success.
My new perspective has broadened my creativity, extending types of yoga I have learned and am able to teach, artistic abilities with woodwork and pyrography (wood burning), even learning about Vibroacoustic Therapy and the ability to offer Sound Baths (meditation with background sound and vibrations from various ancient style instruments).
I’ll always be reaching for success, and to be honest, it hasn’t been an easy ride so far. However, knowing there is more value in the journey and not just “touching my toes”, I am able to enjoy small accomplishments and feel I am fostering something valuable. Instead of focusing entirely on what else I need to do to make my artistic and yoga career full time, I try to take in the moment, and hopefully share the same feelings with my students. Success in the traditional sense then becomes a byproduct. With open arms I welcome anyone, no matter size, fitness ability, race, or orientation; wanting to take on this adventure with me in finding success. Then maybe one day, together, we may all be able to “touch our toes.”
What should our readers know about your business?
Yoga is something anyone can do, and with some dedicated time, teach. I offer multiple approaches from very traditional Hatha styles, Restorative, Strength, Pre-natal, even Aerial and Stand Up Paddle Board yoga. I sincerely enjoy helping students see their potential and tangible benefits of physical and mental fitness, This is especially rewarding with those that feel they are not in the right shape, at a certain fitness level, or are just entirely new to yoga. The same goes for much of the artwork I do. I particularly enjoy custom work. This allows me to tailor towards the heart and desires of the customer for a truly unique art piece. Doing the Vibroacoustic Therapy allows me to share ancient sound experiences and meditation/relaxation techniques. If something feels easy, I’m likely doing it wrong. Learning new styles, practicing different techniques, obtaining certifications, planning classes, designing artwork, cultivating experiences, are time consuming and often exhausting. However the rewards of knowing I was part of a student lighting up when they flip upside down, created an individualized and prized art piece, even hearing someone snore softly through a Sound Bath because they have reached a deep level of relaxation, are exhilarating and recharging.
To be able to continue to do these things, and more, is worth the effort and struggle. It brings joy to my life and I hope it does the same for those I have the fortune of sharing these moments with.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
While I would not say Greeley is exactly a bucket list destination, it is the place I have lived the longest and I have had the good fortune of seeing it grow from “It smells like cows” to a larger, vibrant community. The farming community is still alive, and farmers markets around northern Colorado are wonderful places for fresh produce and handcrafted products.
The best meal would have to be at the hands of my husband, who is an amazing chef hobbyist. From vegan sushi, to beef wellington, he pours his heart into every dish.
Going for a walk or bike ride along the Poudre trail is a frequent stop, along with of the lakes and reservoirs nearby for paddle boarding, fishing, water sports, or simple sunbathing.
There are multiple hotspots for family friendly geocaching, photography and rockhounding.
Downtown Greeley offers gift shops, antique stores, local places to eat and grab a drink, even axe throwing.
Greeley is not a faced paced city with events of almost any kind like Denver or even Fort Collins, but it has the smaller town charm and many things to do if you are willing to give it a shot.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many people who deserve credit for getting me to this point in my life. While giving credit first to God may seem a bit cliche’, my faith is a big reason I made it out of those dark days to begin with. My husband’s continued support, despite all the challenges financially, physically and mentally, has been my anchor. Family support, encouragement from my Yoga Instructors and even my students all have a huge role too. I’ve learned valuable success, in my journey, can’t be selfish, or obtained by being a lone wolf.
Facebook: kristindennisyoga, timberelements
Other: Text or call 970-673-7250