By Kristin Zodrow, TSB Staff
It is 6 a.m. and the sun is just now rising. Despite the empty streets of downtown and the uncommon quiet on McKinney’s historic square, yoga instructor Kirsten Weissert is full of energy and leading class on the lawn of Mitchell Park.
Every day of the week, besides Sunday, Weissert (pictured in pink top, at right) teaches an affordable, studio-free yoga class with the intention of helping others, even if that means just one person, start their days off right. With six years of experience in yoga and Pilates that spans everything from private lessons to collegiate workshops, she is offering this early morning class, and a little bit of Vitamin D, for $5.
“Yoga is expensive,” Weissert said. “There have been many times, being a yoga teacher, when I wasn’t rolling in money, and I wanted to take lessons and classes, but I couldn’t afford it. It’s pretty frustrating; a $20 drop-in I don’t think is okay. I say, if people have a mat, that is really the only thing you have to have. So, I wanted to teach out here in the park so that people who may not otherwise afford or have time to go to a studio would maybe come out here and practice early with me.”
Weissert has worked with a wide range of ability levels and encourages even those potentially intimidated by a yoga class to come out and experience the benefits of the practice. “If you can breathe,” she said, “you can do yoga.”
“What I love about out here is that you’re in the elements,” she said. “So, yeah, there’s gnats and there’s a mosquito or two, but we get the sun and we get the breeze and we get movement and we get life. Yoga helps us deal with life. Here [outdoors], life is happening around us.”
Beyond the health and relaxation benefits commonly associated with yoga practice, the class fosters a sense of community with after-class teatime for participants.
“What I do hope to offer people is a place where they can come and have a little bit of community and not have to pay an arm and a leg,” Weissert said. “A lot of studios, people come to class, do the class, then they leave. There may be some ‘hi’s’ and maybe some ‘how are you’s.’ I bring the tea so people may stop and spend an extra two or three minutes just talking to each other. Any kind of relationships I can help foster, I want to.”
For more information on class scheduling and studio-free yoga, visit Weissert’s website here. And you can watch my experience in Weissert’s class below.
TSB photos by Sawyer Erikson. See all the pictures for this story by clicking on the Image Gallery below.
See scenes TSB staff writer Kristin Zodrow’s participation in Weissert’s class in the video below.