My Inspirations: Kristal Blanchone, Certified DDP Yoga Instructor

I like to share the stories of people who inspire me most around the DDP Yoga community, and the one group of people that inspires me most is the female certified DDP Yoga instructors. So far there are six of us*, and we are different in almost every way possible: geography, career, age, personality, hobbies, backgrounds, you name it! The one thing -other than two X chromosomes per cell- that unites us is the love of DDP Yoga and the drive to bring its benefits to as many people as we can. Despite all our differences, we have all found success, confidence and improvements to our lives by pursuing and achieving DDP Yoga certification, and a unique sisterhood in helping each other achieve those goals. Every week this month, I’ll be featuring each of these amazing, yet very different women to share the diversity ways being a DDP Yoga instructor has worked for us!

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I have only met Kristal once at in person at a DDP Yoga workshop. I really love her energy and I definitely would enjoy getting to spend more time with her at future workshops and retreats. Despite our inability to see each other in person as often as I’d like, we have been able to interact in the amazing online DDP community, and help each other out with certification and teaching issues. Kristal really inspires me as a strong, confident and driven woman, and we are lucky to have her as part of the team!

How did you discover DDP Yoga?

I had a client that was the tightest person I have ever seen. I was always looking out for something that might be fun and different for him (besides typical stretching). I had seen Arthur’s video and checked it out. I honestly almost didn’t even try it. It has been my experience that “celebrity” workouts are just repackaged same-old-same-old. I had a “Oh what the hell. Why not?” moment and gave it a try. Once I tried it I realized almost immediately that DDP Yoga really was different and quite awesome.

I had been a gym rat for years and could really kick my own ass when I wanted too. At 52 (then), I was finding that I was often having to work around occasionally soar knees or a tweaked shoulder. As I got more into DDP Yoga I suddenly noticed that nothing hurt anymore. I knew I was at an age where backing off a little seemed prudent and DDP Yoga has allowed me to get the feeling of having kicked my ass without the possible risk of injury. Perfect.

What were your original goals with DDP Yoga?

I was already in pretty good physical shape when I started DDP Yoga but I knew my flexibility was lacking. Flexibility was my main goal. I am way more flexible than I was when I started and it continues to increase. I saw a difference in just the first 30 days.

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Are there any other ways DDP Yoga has helped your life?

One of the biggest ways that DDP Yoga has changed my life was really unexpected… I have been training clients in their homes for years and did not really realize how isolated I was. Once I got into DDP Yoga, I found myself surrounded by a huge community of like minded people. People who have inspired me with their positive attitudes and sincere desire to either change their own lives or help others make a change. The positivity is absolutely contagious. Yes, I’m more flexible and stronger than I was, but the emotional and mental wellbeing I’ve gained is just the best!

What are your current goals with DDP Yoga?

I have a little notebook where I keep my teaching log and a few notes. In the front of that little notebook is a list of poses I want to master. Things like consistently being able to hold Black Crow and pop out of it without falling on my face, doing the splits (not a goal I thought I would be setting at 53), and a Forearm Stand.

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What made you decide to pursue DDP Yoga certification?

At first I didn’t want to get certified. I was planning to just have DDP Yoga be my personal workout. I had never really enjoyed taking group fitness classes much less teaching them. I was always a one-on-one kind of girl. I went to the DDP Yoga Retreat Extravaganza last year and after talking to DDP and some of the other people working toward certification I started to consider it. I took about another month to finally pull the trigger and sign up of the certification. At that time my only goal was to get certified and make enough teaching to pay for the certification fee. Once I committed to certification I threw myself into it (that’s just what I do). I completed the process in 4 months. I would say the process is challenging but not “hard”.

What has being a certified done for you?

I’ve been teaching group classes for about 3 months now and I really like it. It made me step out of my comfort zone and I’m really glad I did. I still see private clients and some of them want me to teach them DDP Yoga now

What’s next for you and DDP Yoga?

I would like to add a couple more classes per week. I’ve written a class proposal and I’m looking for other places that want to add DDP Yoga to a class schedule. I would have to say this is the hardest part for me.

Where can people find you?

I teach group classes at a small studio in Allen, Tx called Pilates for Life (pilates-forlife.com). Classes are Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6:00 and Saturday mornings at 7:30. Information about in-home or in-office private and semi-private classes can be found at KBe Fierce Fitness and Facebook

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* Mary, Christina, Kelly, Kristal, Kristin, and me (no interview for me, you already know my story!)

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