Kirsten is a Bondi based Holistic Health Coach, Certified Yoga and Meditation Instructor and Functional Movement Trainer with a passion for all things wellness. When she isn’t caught up working with clients you can find Kirsten on the yoga mat, swimming down at Bondi Beach, sipping on green smoothies and laughing way too hard at her own jokes.
When did you start practicing yoga and why?
When I first started Yoga it was all about the physical practice, but I came to learn the physical element was just a vehicle for what I really experienced deep down… an inner peace that was simply indescribable. True peace. Calm. Mind, body, spirit awareness. An awareness of a universe so far outside of myself and beyond myself. Beyond everything I go through, to just coming into my own as a human and trying to figure it all out.
It’s about what happens internally that keeps me sane, keeps me coming back for more, and makes me so incredibly grateful that I found this practice. Yoga and meditation help me maintain power and control over my mind. Because when we have that power and control, we can greatly reduce our own suffering and find inner peace. It has taught me a ton about myself and opened my eyes to an entirely different side of who I am. The side of me that loves to teach, connects with deeply rooted spirituality, thinks less and trusts my gut, allows my intuition to lead the way, and so much more.
If you had to choose your favourite 3 yoga poses what would they be?
3 Yoga Poses that Make My World Go Round:
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, a.k.a Upward Facing Dog
I love this pose for so many reasons. First, it’s a nice, restorative backbend that strengthens your arm, vertebrae and wrists. It’s a great stretch for your shoulders, abdomen, upper back and even your lungs. Hold for about 10 deep breaths or as long as it feels good.
Utthita Trikonasana, a.k.a Triangle Pose
THIS is my #1 favorite pose. Triangle is an incredible release along the chest, upper back and shoulder blades. It is also a great stretch for your thighs and hips. I love Triangle the most for the hip benefits because every time I get into the pose I feel my hips opening up (and I hear them… I’m a crack-er), and it feels AMAZING. Breathe, and enjoy the stretch! I also like the stretch/roll out my neck in this pose because it allows me to get super deep.
Urdhva Dhanurasana, a.k.a Wheel Pose
Ahhh, wheel pose. If you’re a gymnast, you’re probably used to calling this Bridge Pose. But in yoga, Bridge is different from Wheel in that the shoulders, neck and head stay on the floor. You can practice Bridge until you are comfortable trying Wheel. Wheel feels freaking awesome. It is the ultimate heart opener. It’s an intense pose, so allow yourself to feel that. I usually like to stay up for 5-10 breaths, and come up about 3-5 times in a row. Heart OPENER, baby.
What is your go-to nourishing snack/meal/drink post-yoga?
I like to keep my post yoga snack simple, uncomplicated and light. After a full-on yoga class all I want is a smoothie. My go to smoothie is full of decadence yet deceivingly totally healthy. 1 scoop Nuzest chocolate protein powder, 1 cup coconut water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 tbsp coconut butter (the nectar of the Gods) 1tsp cinnamon.
What is your no1. tip for someone wanting to establish a yoga practice?
The only one watching you is yourself – so just relax and enjoy the journey! As a beginner, often we equate yoga with some tough, limb-twisting poses. And maybe your concerned that: “I can’t even touch my toes, how can I do yoga?” Yoga is not about touching your toes, or stretching 98 degrees to your northeast. It’s a simple process of uniting with yourself – using your breath, body and mind. And it’s easy and effortless. So, never mind if you’re not Ms. Flexible or Mr. Stretchable, or are venturing into yoga at the age of 40, or you have secret love handles that are stressing you out – just remove all those myths before beginning your yoga practice!
What advice would you give a well-practiced yogi to take their practice to the next level?
Practice new poses.The thing that I love about yoga is that no matter where you are in your practice, you can always learn more. When you are ready to practice new poses, prepare yourself by starting with gentle and strengthening preparation poses. I always recommend that you take the time to prepare your body and mind, both physically and mentally, so that when the time is right you can effortlessly glide into your new poses. Some of my favourite poses to practice are variations on Crow (Bakasana), Headstand (Sirsasana), Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana), Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana).Another lovely way to go deeper with your yoga is to experiment with gentle backbends. These will enable you to build spinal flexibility and find more space through your back and spine (and in your life!)
What is your favourite CLP Functionals Flavour?
Easy – it has to be The Chai, Turmeric + Maca