Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Nicole Gascon.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Seven years ago, I began practicing yoga due to anxiety. I was in school full time at SDSU and working which did not help the situation. However, I had heard that yoga was great for anxiety. I have always been active my entire life but at this point, I was much more into gym fitness and running than anything else.
I decided to get a Groupon for a yoga and pilates studio to try it out. First, I never expected yoga to be as difficult as it was. My flexibility and balance was awful because I very seldom was actually stretching. Pretty quickly, I began to notice the benefits. The workout I got from it was great but the mental clarity was beyond anything I could imagine. It was the focus of breathing that really taught me how to better control my anxiety. I was hooked yet never did I have any desire to teach here in San Diego because the market was just too saturated. Instead, I enjoyed being a student for about four years before I even thought about teacher training.
In 2016, I had been traveling through South America. As my trip was winding down, the opportunity to move to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico was presented to me. My boyfriend at the time was offered a sales position at one of the resorts and he wanted me to go with him. My first question was, “Well, what am I going to do down there?” He responded, “teach yoga.” While traveling through South America, I was hoping to enroll in a 200hr out there but didn’t find anything that felt just right so, I decided to take the leap to Mexico and complete my training down there.
As soon as I moved to Cabo, I found a studio now; Baja Soul Yoga, to practice at. I was there daily and quickly bonded with the Studio owner who now is one of my best friends. Before I even left for my training which I chose to do down in Sayulita Mexico, I already had multiple teaching jobs lined up. I was building a yoga program for a boutique spa and would be teaching there as well as at Baja Soul Yoga. This is really where it all began. While at my 200hr yoga teacher training, I fell even more in love with the practice and pretty instantly realized this was my calling; my passion. After a month of intensive training, I returned to Cabo and was teaching sometimes 6-7 classes a week. I was running the yoga program at the spa, teaching and managing at Baja Soul Yoga as well as teaching privates. It was such a beautiful journey and there was such an abundance of opportunity for teaching down there.
In 2017, I decided to return back to San Diego. Since being home, I have completed another 120hr training in Meditation and Hatha and continue to study. I feel like I am really just getting started in all of this. This past summer, I developed a yoga and wellness program as well as taught yoga and meditation to kids affected by cancer through The Seany Foundation. I have been connected with The Seany Foundation and their summer camps since I was eight years old being that I myself am a cancer survivor and spent my summers at their oncology camp from 8-17 years old. This has been by far the most rewarding part of my journey thus far. I currently teach public classes at PB Fitness, host breathwork and meditation circles at remedes + richewels coastal wellness nook, will be hosting a 7-week Chakra series beginning in January and will continue to build. The opportunities have been quite abundant lately which, feels so amazing.
Yoga, health and wellness is one thousand percent my passion and I just want to share. My goal as a teacher is to connect with people on a deeper level. I want to share the knowledge I have gained especially on the power of breath and how it is beneficial in reducing stress and anxiety. I love teaching creative sequenced vinyasa flow classes but Yin is by far my favorite style to teach. The greatest thing I hope to give back is inspiration and sharing tools that can help us manage this busy, fast-paced world we live in. I am continuing to study and want to dive deeper into trauma-based scenarios that cause mood management issues i.e., anxiety, PTSD, anger, depression, and how the combination of breath, meditation, asana, mantra, purification practices and shifting our thoughts can help us gain optimal health and quality of life.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has it been a smooth road!? Absolutely not! My path has had many hurdles, bumps in the road and struggles that have thrown me completely upside down. But, it’s the struggles that have pushed me to grow, and want to dive deeper into all that this healing/yoga world has to offer.
Relationships have been a major struggle in my journey; both romantically and business-wise. The relationship that originally moved me down to Cabo completely spun my world upside down and in part is what brought me back to San Diego. That relationship turned out to be extremely toxic but at the same time brought a lot of great things; the opportunity to live in Cabo and find my passion. I made some incredible friends and was part of such a beautiful community and I learned a whole lot! I have also, however, had some falling outs when it has come to business relationships. I was building a business just last year but ended up finding out pretty far in that we just weren’t compatible nor did we see running a business the same. I also had a friend or someone who I thought was a friend for 20 plus years sabotage my opportunity with a company I so deeply desired to work for. However, all of these endings/shifts have only made me grow more. I have learned so much about myself, communication and the types of people I am willing and want to work with as well as types of people I don’t. I have learned over the years really, since a young age that sometimes your life has to be thrown completely upside down or you have to hit your bottom to have what I call a rebirth. All of these different relationships have shown me exactly the types of people and situations I want to invest my time in or am even willing to have surrounded me.
Financially I have also struggled in this industry. Making the kind of money I need to survive with yoga alone has been a challenge. I am not quite there yet and still trying to understand how teachers do it. I have had to sacrifice some of my time working jobs I don’t necessarily want to work but to help keep me afloat while I continue to build my business; my brand.
Finally, while I thought I had hit my bottom back in 2017 after my relationship fell apart, I learned what that meant all over again this year back in April. This time it was in regards to my health. I had been battling some health issues pretty persistently since 2017 but worsened and advanced in 2018 finally landing me in a nearly fatal situation. Since then, my focus has been on healing myself but in a more holistic/alternative way. Although my health scare made life even more challenging it has also blessed me with learning how to truly heal my body. I finally feel like I am on the upswing and life is falling back into place in every aspect.
What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
Honestly, my business is really just at the beginning stages. Like I mentioned, in the beginning, I feel like I am really just getting started. I am in the midst of creating a website in order to be able to post all the different offerings I have going on, but again, I see this expanding as I continue to study and add further certifications to my toolbox.
I am a yoga instructor but even more so my passion is health; mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. I have a degree in Health Communication so I am focused on weaving all of these different pieces of knowledge together. I currently specialize in teaching Vinyasa, Yin, and Hatha. I teach publicly but also offer private one on one sessions or group sessions customized to the individual or groups needs. I host a variety of workshops and breathwork and meditation circles on the first Thursday of every month.
I am proud of how far I have come and how I continue to push myself to learn more. I am always studying, reading or enrolled in a course because I believe it is so important not only for my own personal growth but because we live in a rapidly changing world. I have found personally through my own health journey and studying it, that the health and wellness world is by far the most biased and contradictive at times. So, I have really discovered that healing or what works for one person can look so vastly different for another. Therefore, I am an advocate of learning your body because the only one that can heal you is you. I do not call myself a healer nor will I ever because it is not me that is healing someone; rather I am just here to provide different tools and hold space for someone who is willing to explore and find their own healing route. It has taken a lot to get to where I am and have this understanding or rather knowing how I want to share health/yoga. I am extremely proud of myself for never giving up even when some days I really questioned if this path was right. I believe so deeply in this healing world because I have been able to witness it first hand with myself.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Well, I have surely experienced some bad luck along the way but also great luck. I don’t necessarily believe in luck though. I believe everything that happens in our life is meant to teach us something. Yes, sometimes awful, really awful things happen and it is easy to ask why me or just simply why but no matter how painful the experience, there is always a lesson attached. Life is also about contrast. You really can’t experience good without bad. You have to experience bad to understand, feel and know the good if you want to use those terms.
I feel extremely blessed to have found something in this lifetime that truly feeds my soul; that I am so deeply passionate about, I have always known I wanted to help people but I wasn’t sure how… health, healing, yoga, wellness is my how. I have met so many incredible people on this path, had some amazing opportunities and I know this is just the beginning so I really can’t wait to see what else is in store for me.
- Breathwork and Meditation Circles: $25
- Private yoga session: $80/hour (Prices vary for groups)
- Phone: (858) 265-8035
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: kristen.nicol3
- Facebook: Kristen Nicole
Chris West, Gregory Cain, Jared Wade, The Seany Foundation