I am Kristy Young (McBurney), also known as Jewel. Yoga has been an integral part of my life for ten years. Five years ago I founded The Jewel of Yoga, UK, an independent, mobile yoga business, offering classes, one to one sessions, yoga days and retreats in North Dorset and surrounding areas.
The Jewel of Yoga (JOY) focuses on gentle, therapeutic and mindful practices to encourage overall well-being – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
My teaching style enables those with physical ailments, who are unable to cope with the stronger yoga practices, to enjoy a safe, comfortable and personalized practice within a small group setting. I also have many students at the peak of fitness who also benefit from these classes.
We live in a fast paced, demanding world, rushing from task to task, on automatic pilot, rarely remembering to breathe. This leaves us physically and mentally tired and can contribute to many medical conditions, from muscular, skeletal disorders to high blood pressure and stress related ailments.
By slowing down our movements and synchronizing them with the breath during our yoga practice, we are able to create space and become fully present in the moment. This ability to be fully present can then extend out into our daily lives, giving us a much-increased sense of well-being.
My personal practice began in 2008 after sixteen years of chronic pain and fatigue. I was finally diagnosed EDS Type 3 (joint hyper-mobility syndrome), Raynaud’s disease, PSD and sympathetic nerve dysfunction. Despite this, I still worked, and ran a busy family home with my partner, daughter, and dogs but everyday life was a struggle.
One day a very lovely lady persuaded me to try her gentle Sivananda class. I still remember that yoga class – my first experience of complete inward focus, moving my body slowly and gently in harmony with the breath. I never looked back.
The benefits of these practices are too many to list but, as a result, I am able to run three businesses from home, study three subjects, home school my daughter, walk the dogs and – oh yes – teach yoga, and I enjoy every moment of it.
Over the years, I have studied many forms of yoga that focus on the practical application of yoga to the individual need – those forms that use gentle, simple and methodical steps to ease the body into comfortable and strong positions. Viniyoga and Vinyasa Krama have influenced the style of my teaching greatly. I also qualified as a teacher in Zen Yoga in 2012. Zen Yoga gave me great insight into meditation – using the breath to help find that stillness. I found that all these practices complemented each other beautifully and I have adapted parts of each into my classes.
I am currently studying ‘Yoga Therapy, level 1’ and ‘Working with Chakras, level 1’, with the British School of Yoga, which I shall complete this year. I shall then offer one to one Yoga Therapy sessions, as well as workshops and classes aimed at specific ailments, such as arthritis, back problems, and anxiety disorders.
The Jewel of Yoga has grown steadily and confidently over the past five years and I still have students who have been with me from the beginning. I now offer five full weekly classes at various venues, weekend rural camping retreats and yoga days throughout the year. For two years, I have also been working at a residential home for young adults with learning difficulties. Both students and carers enjoy it so much, I have been asked to increase the classes from monthly to fortnightly.