Owner Kristin Allen of Tribe Yoga and Wellness Studio. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
When Kristin Allen arrived in Los Alamos 10 months ago with her family, she looked for a niche for herself. A place in the community where she felt she belonged and maybe a space others would be comfortable in, too.
As a result, Allen opened Tribe Yoga and Wellness Studio at 1247 Central Ave., Suite F226. The studio is on the second floor of the building across from the Los Alamos County Municipal Building.
In lieu of a grand opening, Allen is offering a free class to new students in the month of June.
Allen decided to open her business because “I needed a yoga space and there wasn’t one here,” she said. “I needed to make something for myself so I thought I would give it a try.”
Initially, Allen started a yoga business out of her home for five months called Fly Dog Yoga before finding her new space.
Allen brings a lot of experience to her business. She has practiced yoga for 20 years and has been certified for eight years in yin restorative yoga. Last year, while living in California, Allen was certified for teaching vinyasa yoga.
She offers vinyasa yoga classes but plans to begin offering yin restorative yoga sessions Friday nights. Additionally, Emily Brown, an alumni from New Mexico Dance Theatre, is partnering with Allen to offer several classes this summer at the studio.
“While Emily has trained with New Mexico Dance Theatre, performed extensively and is currently enrolled as a dance major at the University of Utah, her approach to teaching is non-competitive and playful. As a studio working with kids, our intention will always be one of play and non-competitiveness,” Allen said. “The current landscape of social and academic anxieties in school age kids very much informs our approach in working with them. Whether we are teaching yoga or dance, kids will be allowed to be kids first and foremost. Emily has been wonderful and her classes are filling up with happy dancers. I’m so thankful to have Emily kick off our kids’ program because she’s talented yes, but more so, she has a kind heart. Without even trying, she emulates self-acceptance, which is such a great role model for kids.”
While attending a yoga studio in California, Allen described it as a community and also a place to relax and release tension.
“To me, a yoga studio is integral to a sense of community,” she said. “My job is to create the space and prompt the ritual but the commune aspect is not something I can control. This is where the town contributes to create a community. In the past few weeks, I’ve met some really wonderful people coming through the doors, as well as kept up with students from my home studio, Fly Dog Yoga. It makes me very happy to welcome these friends in and practice together.
“We share our latest news with each other, we breath and sweat together. Sometimes someone may cry on the mat as their body releases grief and tension. This is all good. Release, release, release and walk out the door lighter. The depth of experience is the difference between a yoga community and an exercise class. Looking forward, I would like this space to be a place where art, movement and spirit convene to allow for healing, playfulness and connection.”
Allen continued, “When we come to a yoga class, we are not just coming for physical exercise. Yes, exercise is important, but using a campfire as a metaphor; if there were no friends, no stories, no music or playful rituals, then the campfire would be a solitary, contemplative experience. That’s great, but you can do that on your own.”
“In my classes, I share quotes and stories to bring a sense of connection and open heartedness. I spend time carefully picking music to motivate, inspire and bring students closer to their hearts. Finally, the asanas, or poses, are thoughtfully constructed to create a repetitive flow of grace and strength. When you leave, you will hopefully feel stronger in your body, clearer in your mind and more open in your heart space. This is how yoga heals us – by yoking the mind, body and spirit with positive intentions. It is so much more than an exercise class,” she said.
Allen described vinyasa yoga as very vigorous and energetic.
“You’re going to get a good workout when you come to my class,” she said.
On the flip side, Allen said yin restorative yoga is slower paced. Allen said poses are held for 3 to 5 minutes.Yin yoga improves joint mobility and releases fascia. Even more than physical fitness, Allen said yoga can provide emotional benefits.
“It’s a really important time for people to practice mindfulness because there is a great deal of tension and anxiety in our daily lives,” she said.
Allen said the political environment alone can cause stress and anxiety; yoga can help release some of this tension.
“It should benefit everyone,” she said.
Allen and her husband Mark and their children moved from California to New Mexico. She said they choose Los Alamos because “we wanted the small mountain town and great schools for our kids.”
She said her husband is a bike enthusiast – he rides with Tuff Riders and bikes to work. Allen added that her husband is incredibly supportive of her new business and friends also have contributed to the business by helping to install the wood floor.
Allen looks hopefully to the future for her business.
“When I decided to open Tribe Yoga and Wellness, I gave myself six months to see if I can make this baby fly,” she said. “Talking to teachers around town, many of them said they wanted to open a studio but didn’t, mostly because of financial reasons. There’s yoga all over town for free – no one will pay for yoga. So here I am playing the fool, opening a studio anyways because I know the value of a yoga community and if I’m going to live in this town for a while, this is something I need. With all that said, if I can’t pay my bills in six months I’ll close down and be incredibly proud of myself for braving the unbeaten path. On the other hand, if in six months I’m paying my bills and able to employ a few more teachers, I’ll be proud of myself, but, more so I will be proud of this town for helping to support this space. We’ll see. In my mind, either way it’s a win-win. But I’d sure like to see the latter scenario.”
Tribe Yoga and Wellness Studio at 1247 Central Ave., Suite F226. The studio is on the second floor of the building across from the County Municipal Building. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
Another view of Tribe Yoga and Wellness Studio. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com