Kristine Marie Rost is one of Denmark's leading specialists in yin yoga, with over 2500 training hours and 10 years of teaching experience. However, the path to becoming self-employed with her own yoga practice has not always been the obvious path for Kristine.
What did you do in your daily life before you started your business?
I actually had a brief dream of opening my own shoe shop - the kind with an armchair for the husband to read the day's paper while the wife bought shoes for herself and the kids. But I quickly abandoned the dream with the thought of crazy opening hours and got an apprenticeship in the Ministry of Defence instead. From there, I joined the Home Guard Command, where I learned to teach - though in a slightly different way than I do today.
Subsequently, I shifted between different consultancy positions, all of which required me to work in the same way as they always had - something I don't really thrive on. That's probably why the 18 years as an employee in the same position, in reality, didn't last more than 20 months.
All this resulted in me packing my things in a backpack and traveling around Central America. Here I got an unfamiliar desire to be outside, and the high humidity and lots of rain brought back something from my childhood - where playing outside was almost as popular as playing with legos for me. So I became a kayak-guide in Hvide Sande (a small danish town by the ocean) when I got home. Here I got my first raincoat, which I still have today - 15 years later - and I'm getting a bit tired of the rain. Life in Hvide Sande included long runs on the beach and a project management role in the tourism industry.
Still, the cobblestones, the wine bars, the offer of a company car and a pay raise enticed me back to Copenhagen. But the office environment and cobbled floors didn't last long, so I ended up relocating to the Philippines, getting a diving certificate and spending all the money from a sold condo on a yoga teacher education.
How did a yoga teacher education in the Philippines lead to where you are today?
It was the two years that I spent in the Philippines where the yoga dream really took off. In fact, in the Philippines I had the opportunity to teach yin yoga as a yoga therapist in a hospital and in a yoga studio, which I started posting on Facebook.
When I returned to Denmark in 2013, I was the first Dane to have Yinyoga anchored as a therapy. I quickly became the one who yoga studios, DGI and magazines called. This led to a nice article in a Danish magazine with makeup, professional photographer and my story told.
The logo I had in the summer of 2013, when I got my CVR number, got tattooed and the unemployment insurance was canceled - now it was all-in. I filled up studios here and there, and many were interested in signing contracts with me. When the pandemic came and the country shut down, we went online with huge success. I got a lot of praise for being able to get off the screen and into people's homes, I was even asked if I had been a presenter on TV.
How is your daily life as a self-employed person?
Being self-employed gives me the freedom to organize my time as I see fit. In the years leading up to the pandemic, I traveled 150-180 days a year on retreats, courses and diving trips. In Nov 2019 I was on my 180th day of travel that year and had a negative travel bug about going from the course venue to Gatwick airport. I was exhausted, travel weary and I quickly decided I wouldn’t travel for more than 4 weeks in 2020.
I kept that promise and during lockdown I found that life on a bike in an apartment in Copenhagen didn't bring me the joy I thought it would after all. So I moved to Hvide Sande, where wool and windproof thrive the best. It sparked new opportunities and made other things more difficult - I'm constantly in transformation with my business.
What does yoga do for you and how can it help others?
Yinpower is for the active one, the strong one, the one who wants to increase their explosiveness while preventing injuries, the one who wants to heal injuries faster and make headaches go away for good. It's not gentle, it builds resilience and works with your body's natural healing ability.
I draw on modern pain science, the body as a living organism and extend the life of the individual with a focus on breathing. It is harmony between yin and yang and not either or, as it is often misunderstood as by many out there.
It is probably also the reason why I am approached regarding collaboration by osteopaths, doctors and other professionals in the Western world - because I am precisely not mediating singing bowls, cushion-environment and cocoa-ceremony, but purely our own body on our own mat. After all, we can't do difficult exercises for each other. We are responsible for healing ourselves. With a practice like this, you can gain some resilience to make choices that may hurt now, but are good for you later. All the old habits we hold on to. Through Yin we can change our habits.
The body will tell us what we need - when we allow ourselves to. Take a look at the story you want to tell. Spend time in the poses looking at how we can turn yesterday into a history that doesn't hold us back.