I can have it all…but only with Yoga.
I grew up craving to be in the spotlight. Dance was my passion. An outlet. Moving to music truly makes me feel alive. Dance not only was a hobby for me, it defined who I was. Dancing with some of the top schools in the state through high school, and college, earned me a spot on the Timberwolves Performance Team. Dancing for the Wolves was a dream come true. All that hard work paid off. That goal of being in the spotlight had been achieved.
Not only was I good at dance, I am good at numbers. Yes. Numbers. Math, Excel, Budgets, Spreadsheets, Forecasting, and Problem Solving. I’m a true balance between right brain and left brain. My last year in college I decided to let go of my passion, dance, and focus on a more stable career and future. I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and landed an incredible job.
I struggled as one of only a few women in my field. I felt like I had to work harder than my male coworkers and never felt like I was seen as an equal. I made good money but hated sitting at a desk all day. To fill the void of movement, I picked up a second job teaching group fitness. I was pursuing a career change when my husband, Eric, and I learned we were expecting. In 2002, we had our son, Xander, and my entire life changed. I knew right away that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and Eric supported me the only way he knew how and picked up a second full-time job.
When I returned to teaching group fitness the only available classes were yoga. It was much different than the cycle, kickboxing, and high impact classes I was used to, but as it turned out it was EXACTLY what I needed. My mat gave me clarity on days I was experiencing chaos. It allowed me to breathe when I wanted to cry. It gave me the physical strength to push through long sleepless nights. Fast forward 2 ½ years, we had our daughter Jadyn, then 3 years later, Gracie. With more to do at home, my personal practice slipped.
Eric worked 60+ hours a week which meant I spent most of my days feeling like a single parent. I was exhausted, angry, and jealous of my husband. I felt like my only purpose was to be a mom. Eric and I stopped communicating. We didn’t spend time together and for one reason or another rarely slept in the same bed. Our paths were going in very different directions. After nearly 9 years of denial and convincing myself this was just par for the course, I had to admit my life was extremely out of balance. I needed my husband, I needed my friends and I needed time for myself.
Eric cut back to one job and took more of the responsibilities at home. We saw therapists and read books. We tried going on regular dates and shutting off our phones. The real turning point for me, however, was when I committed to getting back on my mat. I experienced the clarity and breath and physical strength all over again. I became a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend.
I often talk in my classes about letting go, about balance and about yoga as a journey. I had to let go of what didn’t make me happy and surround myself with the things that did. Now, I spend my time teaching yoga classes, walking my dogs, and volunteering at my kids’ schools. I fell in love with my husband all over again and I get on my mat more days than I don’t.
Yoga has been my rock. My dance. My journey. Yoga has empowered me to have tough conversations and to speak the truth. It has helped me learn to live in the moment and not get tied up on the destination. That girl who craved the spotlight found it again on her yoga mat. It may not be the bright lights of Target Center, but I’ve now created a light within me that is so much more valuable.
Most importantly, it has reminded me that balance is not found, but created from within. I can have it all, as long as I have Yoga.
Growing up a dancer, Chris has always valued health & fitness. Her need for movement didn’t stop when the years of dancing became stressful on her body. In search of something to fill that void, she found her yoga mat. Yoga allowed her to feel the physical movement she loved, while also embracing a more peaceful state of mind.
With 16 years of teaching experience, Chris has taught everything from Zumba to kickboxing, but her love and passion are for yoga. She completed her Yoga Sculpt Certification with CorePower Yoga in 2010. This love for yoga inspired her to complete the 200 hour Power Yoga certification in 2012 and 200 hour Hot Yoga Certification in 2016.
Chris is a strong believer in strength and balance, both on and off the mat. “Work hard and play hard” are words she truly lives by. When she is not here in the studio, she spends her time chasing after her own not-so-little yogis, Xander, Jadyn, Gracie and her four-legged babies, Charlie and Elsa.
Chris’ life motto is, “Wherever you are is exactly where you are meant to be.”
*Individual photos by Nik Linde*
*Family photos by Deb Schroeder*