"Garden Bar Blog | Nutrition, health and our community "

Living Well With Kristi of YoYoYogi

We’re celebrating the PHENOMENAL WOMEN of Portland who share Garden Bar’s commitment to health and wellness, real food and community. Every week, we interview one of Portland’s amazing individuals who, in her own special way, inspires us to lead healthier lives and strengthens our community. Then we share our conversation on social media. In carrots—and empowering women—we trust!

meet rock star KRISTI COLE

Living Well With Kristi Cole.jpg

1| Studio + role

Co-owner, yoga instructor, boot(y)camp instructor at YoYoYogi

2| Tell us a bit about yourself: how you got into fitness/health, what you do at work, what you enjoy doing when you’re not working, etc.

I can't remember my initial attraction to fitness. I think I was born with a healthy affection for anything athletics (although some may call me obsessed). I remember growing up; I'd dropkick the soccer ball against the garage door for hours, run up and down hills with my mom, and shoot hoops until I finally couldn't see the basketball in the black night sky. I had posters of NFL players on my wall rather than the backstreet boys and watched Pistol Pete on repeat. By age 6, I was a three sport a year athlete and played basketball on top of that year round. Once I graduated college and didn't have that identity anymore, I felt lost. And then I found Yoga.

I took one class and was hooked. I practiced every day for a year, first falling in love with hard, physical, sweaty Yoga. I called it my gateway drug as it got me to my mat and opened up an entirely new world for me. Now Yoga is queen of my life. It's my job, yes, but it also infiltrates everything I do, showing me how to live with myself and all beings in this incredible, interwoven world. And, I still love that hard, sweaty practice too!

I feel beyond fortunate that my passions and my job intersect. YoYoYogi is a Yoga studio, but it is so much more. It is a community of people who desire connection and find joy in being together. I find this to be an essential offering in this fast-paced and often lonely world we live in. When I am not teaching, I am planning events, working with our generous neighborhood partners, managing my rockstar team, and playing around as an amateur graphic designer. 

And when I am not doing those things, you can find me walking all over PDX with my famous pup and sidekick, Momo. We basically go everywhere together. I like to lift heavy things and set them back down, run stairs, ski mountains and climb them too. I'm still an avid sports fan, cheering exclusively for the Timbers, Seahawks, and Blazers (PNW PRIDE!). I like floating on rivers, sipping wine at vineyards, sitting on rooftops and strolling the waterfront. I like doing all these things with David, my main man, and the rest of my family, given and chosen. On any given day you can find me jamming at the gym (or parks around P-Town), stretching my mind on the mat, and taking in deep breaths of fresh air. As long as its outside or active, I'm all in.

3| What brought you to PDX?

I came to the Pacific Northwest on a college tour which ended at Linfield College. I took one look at the Willamette Valley and hadn't left Oregon since.

4| Who inspires you? Why?

People who have every excuse in the world but don't use them. The Leslie Amadio's and Noah Schultz's of this world. I was dealt a lucky hand and try each day to never take that for granted.

5| What one or two things do you do every day or week to stay healthy?

For me, it all boils down to gratitude. I pledge to move my able body everyday, fuel it with healthy things (food + love) and soak up every last drop of this life because not everyone can.

6| Outside of your studio, how are you involved in the PDX community?

That's hard. The studio and the PDX community are one in the same to me. It's through YoYoYogi that I met the most incredible cross section of society and exposed to organizations and people's personal lives that I otherwise would never know. I always have felt a calling as a connector of people. Because of YoYo, I have seen two strangers meet, fall in love and begin a family. I have seen new business owners gain clients and connections that launch their company and small neighborhood businesses have a partner to expand their reach.

I have seen students discover who they are at their core and go forth to make big waves. Perhaps the best part of the studio is our ability to give people a voice whether it's through helping individuals find their inner truth during our Teacher Training program or working with Living Yoga to expand Portland's understanding of how Yoga can transform lives to those who are otherwise left behind. We call it the ripple effect and strive each day to give back to this vibrant city who has given us so much.

7| What’s your favorite GB salad?

Banh Mi, especially on a hot Summer day!

8| What’s your favorite GB ingredient?

Pickled Daikon, but really I also just have an affection for the SIZE of the salads. No wimpy salads. My kind of people.