The Business of the “Is”ness. An interview with Yoga Momma, Kristin Campbell

Kristin doing the wild thing. Sort of a metaphor for her life. Photo cred: lululemon LULU

Kristin doing the wild thing. Sort of a metaphor for her life. Photo cred: lululemon

Kristin Campbell is a woman of contradictions. I don’t think I have ever met someone so compassionate and warm, but completely fierce at the same time. Hard and soft. Warm and cold. Closed, but open.

I had the pleasure of doing my 200 hour Teacher Training with Kristin last month. When I told her I enjoyed it immensely she asked me why. I told her it was hard to make it tangible, But these are the reasons I like her as a teacher:

•   Her sequencing makes the class flow like water

•   Her alignment cues speak to me

•   She sees the side of someone that is not so obvious.

•   Her approach to yoga and her approach to everything are connected.

Everything is connected with Kristin.

If you spend time with Kristin you will hear her mention the “Business of the Is-ness”. I love this phrase, but wanted to know more. So that is basis of this interview, I hope you find her story as fascinating and inspirational as I do.


Jumpsuit Jane: What is the Business of the Is-ness?

Kristin Campbell: It means that something’s just are, let go and let be. Practicing non-attachment, to be in the flow, to ride the wave.

Some things don’t need to be explained and to try and do so, may reign in the magic. Open to the mystery is one of my favourite sound bites.

The “Is-ness” is the co-creative experience between you the creator with a small “c” and the Creator with a capital “C”. In the spirit world time does not exist there is just Is-ness. It is your intention that is the beacon of light that guides you.The Business of the Is-ness is about holding a clear vision for what you want to create and letting go of needing to control when and how your vision will be realized. It IS already happening.

JJ:  Now, taking the phrase a bit more literally. How have you made a Business of the Is-ness?

KC: In 2000, I left my career as a costume designer in the film industry where I was making $3000 a week to become a yoga teacher. Yoga was just starting to take off in Vancouver at this time. I planned to open a Bikram yoga studio and make a business out my career change to maintain a certain level of financial freedom that I was used to. At the time there was only one Bikram studio in Vancouver.

I had the opportunity to teach and then partner in Neoalpine Yoga studio with my friend Patrick in 2002. I moved, Patrick was the Shiva to my Shakti, we have a beautiful dynamic and were an amazing team. A couple months after we partnered, he had the opportunity to moved to Hong Kong and program direct Pure Yoga. I was left to hold the torch, and I was super overwhelmed as a new teacher.

I mean, what did I know about being a yogi? I was only 30 and was supposed to be head guru at the first yoga studio in Whistler.

I was confronted big time and totally humbled.

Neoalpine took awhile to flow. Whistler has so much to offer in terms of physical activities. The shoulder seasons were super busy and then business would slow down immensely when the skiing & biking seasons were on.

There was a point where we owed 3 months in rent to our landlord Colin, who by the way has since become a yoga teacher and has regular classes at Neoalpine.

We were on the brink of going bankrupt and we desperately tried to sell the studio. The people who wanted to buy it couldn’t get across the border so we were stuck with the studio. What a blessing.

My boyfriend and I moved into his 82 volvo wagon for 11 months in whistler. I took waters bottles people left behind back for their deposit money, taught 17 classes a week, and turned the studio into drop-ins only in case we had to close the doors.

I did all the cleaning, trucked sweaty towels through the snow to the Laundromat and called it Karma Yoga. We cut our operating costs in half andstarted doing 30-day challenges. The month of May used to kill us. I was having total anxiety as May 2006 was approaching, my boyfriend said, we just need to sell 30, 30-day challenge passes and we’ll make it. We did just that, 30 itwas. From that moment on, we started to float through the shoulder seasons as people realized how a daily practice transforms every element of your life. Patrick, bless him, gifted me his shares in the fall of 2006.

Through this wild ride, I had a deep knowing that all would work out. I knew I had to go into the darkness and that I would survive it and know that know matter what, I could survive anything. I also knew I had to serve. Just when I wanted to give up, I would hear from someone in the community that yoga changed their life, healed relationships, past wounds… or that something that I said in class made a profound difference. I knew that I had to dig deep and make it work, that I was in service of the greater good. I found my dharma. Prayer, trust and faith in my vision was all I had and this is what got me through. I partnered with YYoga in 2008. When my daughter was born in 2010, I sold my remaining shares to YYoga.

It has been a huge sigh of relief.  My passion lies in the teaching and sharing knowledge. Especially teaching teacher training.

JJ: Wow an amazing story. The Business of Is-ness.

KC: Yes.

Letting go. Photo cred: lululemon

Letting go. Photo cred: lululemon

JJ: Where do you see the future of Yoga?

KC: Organizations like Yyoga have made yoga more accessible to mainstream, which is amazing. But I think there will be a kick back to smaller Ma and Pop shop home grown yoga sudio’s as well to reach people in rural areas and people with less flexible schedules like new moms.

JJ: What’s next for Kristin Campbell on her yoga journey?

KC: I am in love with Teacher Training. I see a need for more online learning options. I am currently in the midst of creating an online teacher-mentoring program.

JJ: Sign me up!

Kristin Campbell is teaching at Wanderlust at the following places and times:

Free the Strong, Strengthen the Free

Friday August 2, 2013 8:00am – 9:30am

Location: The Nook

Being with Intensity for the Sake of Transformation

Sunday August 4, 2013 1:20pm – 2:50pm

Location:  The Lookout

See her schedule here:

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