Yoga in the park

Kristina Krump does a yoga pose at Steele Indian School Park, one of the venues for Yoga Rocks the Park.

Story and photos by Daniel Friedman

“I love that I have the privilege of making them my priority,” Kristina Krump of Phoenix says about raising her three sons — Jackson (6), Ellis (5) and Evan (2). But she has been emerging from the “bubble that is our nuclear family” for the last six years by organizing Yoga Rocks the Park, a series of six outdoor yoga classes with live music and vendors.

This year, the first class is Sunday, March 25 at Margaret T. Hance Park. The remaining classes will alternate between Hance Park and Steele Indian School Park.

Yoga Rocks the Park started in Denver, Co. then spread to Boulder, Co. and Omaha, Neb. The primary beneficiary of the event in Denver is Yoga World Reach. In Phoenix, half the proceeds of the $10 admission will go to a different Valley non-profit each session.

Kristina Krump

Krump hopes to see hundreds of yoga practitioners bring their mats to the parks and participate in classes led by two instructors. While the yoga experience typically involves quiet, secluded sessions in a studio, this will be more of a yoga festival in the sunshine.

Krump previously taught second grade for Teach for America in Phoenix and worked for the organization as a recruiter. She later worked for Sylvan Learning Centers and taught yoga at Urban Yoga in Phoenix.

By organizing Yoga Rocks the Park, Krump hopes to ease herself back into the world of business while bringing together people from many different yoga studios across the Valley to experience different teaching styles in a different venue.

Krump says the event will reconnect her with yoga as well as connecting yoga enthusiasts from a variety of studios from around the Valley.

“A big part of our yoga community here is that we want to give of ourselves, either of our time and energy, or our money to causes that we believe in, which is why it is important to me to have that tie-in with some local non-profits,” she says. “I would say a lot of people I experience in the yoga community are searching for ways they can contribute in a meaningful way.”

Krump has arranged for the musicians, cultivated interest in the event at Valley yoga studios, negotiated with vendors and worked with the City of Phoenix to make the event happen. She doesn’t know how many will be attending because some will register on the days of the events, though people can RSVP through Facebook.

Parents are welcome to bring their kids, who can either do yoga with them or play in a special area organized by Little Yogis at Play for kids 3 and older.

Krump says working on the event has been a new experience for her children, who are excited for her but at the same time are used to having her be available to them at all times. After the event is over she will take a deep breath and consider the impact it had on her family and professional life.

But yoga is definitely a part of her lifestyle, and her family’s. Her husband Nicholas does yoga and she taught her oldest son Jackson some breathing exercises and talks to him about the physical and philosophical aspects of yoga. Once when he got upset, she says, he told her, “I just need a minute. I need to om!”

Learn more about Yoga Rocks the Park-Phoenix.

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