Kristina PruccoliHow did yoga find you?It was my gym teacher in high school that exposed me to yoga. Like most others, the beginning of my practice was heavily asana based. It wasn’t until I started on the path as a teacher did I grow deeper into the other facets of the practice.Who / what inspired you to become a teacher?Even since childhood I have assumed the role of leader, guide, and teacher in many fields. There is deep drive in me that loves to educate and share my knowledge/experience.What positive benefits have you witnessed in your students?I have seen students develop a heighten self-awareness, gain in confidence, and become receptive to experiencing the sheer bliss that the practice offers on and off the mat.What positive benefits have you experienced yourself?I could write a novel on that question. To simply put it, it is the journey of leaning to embody self-acceptance and self-fulfillment.Tell us something fun about you!Fun, that is my aka. Seriously, you won’t catch a frown on this face.
How did yoga find you?
Yoga snuck up on me. I went to a weekly donation class for a few months, during
which time I was in a stressful job that made me feel like I was wasting my life.
Every day at that job, I found myself deep breathing several times a day in order
to calm myself. One day, a few months after starting yoga, it dawned on me that
my deep breaths at work were the same deep breaths I was learning in yoga.
That’s when I knew yoga was working for me, and I have been cultivating my
practice ever since.
Someone very special to me once told me that if you find yoga in this life, it
means you practiced yoga in a past life, and you are now working on realizing
and manifesting the full benefits of yoga in this life. I truly believe that we are
drawn to yoga for a reason. We don’t have to believe in past lives, necessarily, to know that yoga works for some of us on deeper levels. Yoga found me when I needed it most, and that is why I deepened my practice by becoming a yoga teacher. I truly want to help myself, and others, with yoga.
What are some positive benefits of yoga you've witnessed In students?
One of the most amazing moments in my teaching so far was when a student came up to me and said that something I had said the previous week about
letting go had helped her deal with the painful divorce she was going through. I was not expecting that at all, but it warmed my heart so much and made me
realize even more that the wisdom we get from our yoga teachers is so important in terms of dealing with life’s ups and downs and learning to let go. This is exactly why I practice and teach yoga! I want to always learn and share what I know because we can all benefit from yoga in physical, emotional, and spiritual ways even if we don’t realize it yet.
What are some positive benefits you’ve witnessed in yourself?
I am much more aware of my own actions and reactions as a result of my yoga practice. I take self-study very seriously, and I try to look for ways in which the traditional yogic texts, the teachers I surround myself with, and my own practice all come together to help me better deal with life. I have also adopted a mostly vegan lifestyle as a result of the mindful awareness I’ve cultivated over the last few years. Yoga helps streamline your mind and your body, and changing my eating habits is just one of the many ways the two have come together in my life as a result of yoga.
Who/what inspires you right now?
I am inspired by the people in my life who do good for humanity by spreading love and compassion in many different ways. They could be people who make
small gestures like giving you a warm, genuine hug every time they see you or people who make big gestures like working to combat malnutrition. I am inspired by the goodness of others, and I hope to inspire by what I put out into the world also.
Tell us something silly or fun about yourself?
Even though we live in a serious world, I try to make light of as many things as I can because laughter makes life better and way more enjoyable! If you
stick around me long enough, you will find me making an ironic joke or a funny observation, coming up with a silly song or game on the spur of the moment
(especially for children), or designing a funny picture just to get laughs. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see what’s in store at any given moment! I like to
freestyle my funnies!
How did yoga find you?
Yoga found me in Corporate America 13+ years ago. An amazing woman, Linda Marshall ran the company. Yoga transformed her life and she wanted to share it with her company. Linda had a yoga room built in our HQ office. Jason Hulshof from Center For Yoga came twice a week and I have been hooked ever since.
What are some of the life changing benefits you've witnessed in your students?
I have witnessed students who had severe asthma become completely healed after practicing yoga. I have witnessed a student who was told her unborn child would be born needing immediate heart surgery, the baby was born perfectly healthy. I have witnessed numerous miracles and blessings from this ancient healing practice of yoga.
What is yoga greatest gift been to you?
Yoga’s greatest gift to me is living a life with awareness and acceptance of our ability to be healed, to heal and radiate love in every aspect of this EarthSchool Adventure.
How\ what currently influences your teaching style?
Life/Love/Spirit/Prana/Chi influences my teaching style.
Tell us something fun / silly about you?
I will bust out a song and crazy dance moves at any time ~ Life is our dance floor to play and be silly.
Who/what inspired you to start teaching yoga?
In 2005, I was introduced to yoga at the Boll Family YMCA in Detroit. It wasn't until I moved to Yeosu, South Korea in 2007 that I began to take yoga seriously. It helped me overcome the anxiety I was experiencing from culture shock, homesickness and LSAT preparation. When I returned to the United States I joined Lifetime Fitness where I took yoga classes daily. My life started to change. I noticed my habits, skin, energy levels, diet and attitude improving. I became more focused, happy and calm. I wanted to share this feeling, this energy and this practice with my family, friends and community so they could also experience the rewards of yoga.
How do you define yoga?
I’m learning that there are many paths of “yoga.” Each yogic path seems to lead to a deeper realization of the Self. I describe it as a transformational skill in action that can positively impact any student’s life.
How do you see yoga as a tool to help your community?
Detroit is my home as well as one of the most violent cities in the country. I see yoga as a proactive approach to inner-city violence. Eddie Stern, a yoga teacher at Life Camp considered “Violence is quick in nature, what if we slow down all tendencies to react quickly.” Providing yoga instruction in the city creates the possibility for individuals to become less reactive and more self-aware. Therefore, building a community that is more compassionate, connected, empathetic and peaceful.
Tell us something fun about yourself.
I love travelling and couchsurfing. Surfing couches domestically and abroad has shown me that we are all much more alike than different. Spontaneously exploring this big beautiful world with an open-heart and mind has taught me a lot of valuable lessons and has been a ton of FUN!