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kristen brunello

Kristen, the owner of The Yoga Ground, has been a yoga instructor (RYT500) since 2009 and an eating disorder recovery coach since 2014. Her journey with yoga began in 2005 and has been intertwined with her recovery from an eating disorder ever since.

The first time Kristen stepped on a yoga mat was in a Bikram class. She was drawn to the intensity of this style of yoga and practiced it daily for two years. However in 2007 she ended up needing to leave college to go to eating disorder rehab and her yoga practice was put on hold.

Life after rehab was challenging. Having lost her hobbies, values, interests, job, happiness, and friends, Kristen felt like she was starting her life over. She felt empty but not lost. She started a search to find something that she could grab onto instead of her eating disorder. It was at this time that she came back to yoga.

Kristen’s eating disorder slowly started to get replaced with yoga. Yoga allowed her to appreciate what her body could do, rather than what it looked like. She began to realize that yoga and her eating disorder could not exist together. In order to practice yoga the way that she wanted to, she needed to be feeding and treating her body well. It was also at this point that she found Garden State Yoga, a yoga studio that felt like home. It was here that she learned about the power of a community to heal and support each other. People from this community are still her best friends today.

Kristen now considers herself fully recovered from her eating disorder and, as is true for many instructors, her teaching is informed by her story. She asks that you drop what you think you know about yoga in order to actually experience the effect the practice can have on your body, heart, and mind and she will teach you how to let the wisdom of your body guide your practice. Kristen’s classes are true to her motto, “slow and steady”. They build in intensity allowing you to meet your edge and then decide if you can push further or need to back off. Kristen is constantly learning to love and accept her body’s strengths and limitations both on and off the mat and she encourages her students to do the same. She is forever grateful to her mentor Coby Kozlowski for infusing in her all of the lessons Kristen brings to her students today.