I was lucky enough to take a class taught by Manhattan-based yoga teacher Kristin McGee right here in San Francisco!
I was lucky enough to take a class taught by Manhattan-based yoga teacher Kristin McGee right here in San Francisco! Although one busy lady, Kristin traveled across the country to teach Vinyasa Vibes (a new offering at The Sports Club/LA), a flow-based, powerful yoga sequence enhanced by music. The most musical part of the practice? During Savasana, the class culminated in a live sax solo by Grammy-nominated musician Dave Koz. After class, Kristin and I chatted about her yoga journey, getting ready for bikini season, and what it's like working with one of her famous clients, Bethenny Frankel.
FitSugar: Some of the moves in Vinyasa Vibes are Ashtanga-influenced. Is that what your yoga teacher training background was in?
Kristin McGee: My original background was really eclectic because I started in the early '90s. I started taking [yoga] at NYU; some of my very early teachers were Jivamukti teachers who did study Ashtanga. Then I did study with Richard Freedman for a while, who is pure Ashtanga, and Cyndi Lee at OM Yoga. I wanted to get deeper into Iyengar classes and get into the alignment and the detail. Now in my practice I want to get more into Pranayama, more of the breathing, and maybe take some more Kundalini classes. I just feel like it constantly evolves.
FS: The Vinyasa Vibes class has live music during final relaxation. Can you elaborate on the experience of live music and yoga combined?
KM: In yoga practice, it’s a very intimate, immediate place. It's almost like live theater or live music where it brings you right into the moment. Music is a universal language, just like our breath is a universal breath. I think the second we're in this surrounding, in this environment with that live music and the intimacy of a live class, it brings it all together in one beautiful experience.
FS: You’ve collaborated with Bethenny Frankel on some projects. What's her favorite pose?
KM: Bethenny’s all-time favorite pose is Straddle Forward Bend because she says it feels like the weight of the world is falling off of her shoulders. Someone like Bethenny Frankel has a million things going on, and I don’t know how she does it! But I think you also noticed it in the practice tonight. Right when we finally got to that Straddle Forward Hang, it was kind of just like, "Ugh! Such a release!" You feel like you could stay there for quite a while.
Keep reading for Kristin's favorite snack before class and how to get your body ready for Summer.