Crystal Yoga Studio is a diverse family of healers, light workers, travelers, philosophers, and teachers. Our family offers alternative and holistic wellness services to all walks of life and cultures. We value diversity and respect each individual person’s right to uniqueness and inner light. In this light, we are launching our “New Age Yogi of the Month” to honor our staff and share our collective wisdom with the public. This month’s Crystal Yogi is Kelly Gibson Westman, a veteran yogi, a public servant, and a Crystal Yoga teacher.
Kelly has been teaching at Crystal Yoga Studio since November 2017. In addition to teaching Yin Yoga, VinYin, and Flow Yoga at Crystal Yoga Studio, Kelly provides yoga and meditation services at the Kemah Palms Recovery Center for recovery and anxiety.
I had the opportunity to interview Kelly about her journey, and here is what she had to say:
Q: What got you interested in yoga and why?
Kelly: After being in recovery, the desire to drink went away; however, I was still riddled with anxiety. I took my first [yoga] class with a friend and noticed that I felt different after class. I kept coming back. Finally, I made the connection that yoga was having a positive impact on my anxiety disorder. I am now three years off medication for anxiety and depression.
Q: What obstacles did you conquer to get certified and create the practice you have today?
Kelly: The only obstacle was myself; facing the unknown; can I do this? I have trouble memorizing new things, so I was hesitant. I took the pressure off myself by accepting that I just wasn’t going to learn everything in one month.
Q: Where did you study?
Q: Describe your yogic philosophy for anxiety & recovery.
Kelly: Mindfulness is key. Mindful thoughts bring awareness to reliving past, painful experiences and projecting them into the future [and] learning how to redirect myself to the present moment. Pranayama and meditation are an important part of my practice to heal my anxiety as well. There is really so much information that goes into this that I provide when I teach the recovery yoga class. Its not a simple answer.