Kelly Armstrong has developed her practice and teaching style with some of best instructors in the industry from Brian Kest to Kellie Adkins, and she brings that depth of experience to Flow every week. Read on for a closer look at this Flowgi’s unique background.
FB: You were a few votes shy of being named the best yoga teacher in Loudoun County by a Leesburg Today poll, to what do you attribute the popularity of your classes?
Kels: I try to provide individual attention to the students in my class and empower them to get the most from their practice. I encourage students to listen to their internal wisdom (or internal teacher) and to “feel” their breath and their bodies within the postures. Hopefully providing an opportunity to experience their practice in different ways so that they get the maximum benefit from the time they invest in attending class. And, of course, I always try to make it fun.
FB: What have been the biggest influences on your teaching style?
Kels: My Mentor (Suze Curtis) trained with Bryan Kest and Dave Swenson so there is a strong Power Yoga and Ashtanga foundation in my training. I also had the honor of training in the alignment-based style of Anusara yoga and Krama Vinyasa Yoga. More recently, I have been studying yoga and movement therapy with Kellie Adkins of Wisdom Method School of Yoga. My specialty focus in yoga therapeutics are working with Athletes (amateur and pro) and working with folks who suffer from Autoimmune disorders.
FB: We love Bryan Kest. Any stories related to studying with him?
Kels: It was during a Master class with Bryan that I had the “ah-ha” moment that led me to pursue my initial teacher training with Suze Curtis in Dallas, Texas. I was immediately drawn to Bryan’s calm, assertive teaching style that included a hefty dose of fun. He seems to always say what students are thinking at just the right moment…his humor make will make you laugh, maybe groan a little and then provide the space so you can just “let it all go”. I try to bring that into my classes as well.
FB: We also know you have twin daughters, how do they like yoga and what do they think of your class?
Kels: My daughter Ashley has practiced yoga with me on and off since she was 12 years old. She has recently become more interested in Meditation and yogic texts. I have not been able to entice my other daughter, Madison, to try yoga…yet. Both of my girls will be seniors in High School this year. Lots of exciting things happening in their lives and I am so very proud of them both!
FB: In your bio, it talks about suffering from JRA at age 16 and finding yoga to be helpful for this condition. Can you talk to us a little more about what that was like, and how yoga worked as a solution?
Kels: “JRA” stands for Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and is an Autoimmune Disorder that I have carried with me into adulthood. In addition to polyarticular joint pain, stiffness and swelling; JRA disintegrated a portion of both jaw joints and at 18 I had bi-lateral TMJ implant surgery. Through my mid-twenties, I tried many different arthritis medicines, but I was unable to find a regiment that supported my active lifestyle. When I was 26, I found yoga. Like Flow Yoga, the studio I attended (and taught at for many years) offered classes in a studio heated to 95 degrees for 75-90 minutes. The physical practice provided a way for me to workout some of the pain and stiffness while increasing strength and flexibility. Meditation provided a way for me to mentally (and emotionally) deal with the constant pain. I continue a daily practice of Meditation…and love to share that with others! (so come explore Meditation on the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month in Ashburn)
FB: You sometimes go by “Kels”. What do you prefer students to call you?
Kels: The nickname “Kels” was actually given to me by my mentor, Suze Curtis, so it has been with me as long as I have been teaching Yoga. I respond to either “Kelly” or “Kels” so I suggest students call me whatever they are comfortable with.
FB: What are your dogs’ names?
Kels: We currently have 2 dogs: Roxy, a 4 year old American Bulldog, and Riggs, a 9 year old Pitbull.
Thanks for catching up with us.