NYC takes our breath away – partly because it’s awesome, and partly because we literally never stop running around when we’re there (c’est la vie!).
TCM regular and recent Manhattan transplant from L.A., Katie Horwitch, found a happy middle ground between clashing costal ‘tudes at Sky Ting Yoga – a boutique studio in NYC’s Chinatown with a unique vibe that merges California chillness with a Big Apple energy buzz. Katie caught up with the Sky Ting founders, Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan, to learn more about how and why they’ve turned a yoga studio in the city that never sleeps into a calm, casual-yet-chic experience locals are loving…
Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger. Almost everything in New York City runs at a borderline-excruciatingly intense pace, especially when compared to easy, breezy, beautiful Los Angeles. If L.A. is for dreamers, NYC is for doers – and nowhere is this more apparent than in New York’s fitness scene. Squeezing in an hour of sweat is just one stop in a New Yorker’s jam-packed daily schedule, so when they go in, they go all in. That kind of dedication and laser-like focus is enviable, inspiring even the most on-again-off-again exerciser to up their fitness game.
The other side of the coin? Since fitness is just one stop of many in the day of a New Yorker, it’s rare to find a studio that makes you want to hang out and chill, L.A.-style. We get that not everyone wants to spend all day in their Lulus singing kumbaya around a rebounder, but we’re West Coasters to our core, which means working out is just as much of a destination to us as a fancy restaurant or night at the theater. We’re looking for an experience, not just another dot on our to-do list.
Yoga instructors Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan of Sky Ting Yoga are out to change that. Nestled inside an inconspicuous building in the heart of Chinatown, walking into Sky Ting’s all-white-everything space feels like a true getaway from the honking cars and fast pace just a few floors below. Sky Ting’s style is that of a haute homecoming, modern and elegant without a hint of the in-crowd exclusivity that can send newbies running for the hills.
With influences from Katonah Yoga to classical hatha style, each instructor at Sky Ting Yoga makes you truly feel taken care of, not just one mat in a sea (or floor) of many. The classes are both energizing and restorative, both inspiring and grounding. Their studio is bright and airy (with an oversized stuffed giraffe in the corner, as you do) with a downstairs that acts as both a lobby and hang space for its yogis. Even if you can manage to somehow keep your hands off the perfectly curated mix of wellness staples like Outdoor Voices activewear, Sun Potion tonics, and eats from the nearby Dimes café, their uber-friendly staff and inviting vibe makes Sky Ting a place you want to hang in all day.
No matter your level of experience or expertise, Krissy and Chloe have created a space that feels like home. Here are the two founders on what drew them to the mat, what they wished more people realized about yoga, and their refreshing perspective on honoring yourself above all else…
Krissy Jones and Chloe Kernaghan
Biggest lesson yoga has taught me:
Krissy: Being kind is powerful.
Chloe: Rise above the personal, recognize the universal.
Biggest lesson I hope to teach through yoga:
Krissy: Use life to your advantage and be grateful.
Chloe: Find your formula to be stable, able and free!
What originally drew me to yoga:
Krissy: Cross-training for dance performances.
Chloe: Same! My acting and movement teachers used yoga for warming up, which led me to classes, which got me hooked!
I wish that more people realized that yoga…
Krissy: Gives you tools to handle life!
Chloe: Comes in many forms and is ever changing, which keeps it relevant to the times. There’s so much talent out there with different methods; if one recipe doesn’t work for you, try another!
Krissy: Nevine Michaan, Beyonce, Wim Hof.
Chloe: Nevine Michaan, Pina Bausch, my family, patterns and cycles of nature.
Krissy: Rounded plough pose.
Chloe: Everything hip work – gomukhasana, pigeon, ankle to knee, lotus work.
Most rewarding yoga-related experience:
Krissy: Building the Sky Ting community and working with some of my best friends.
Chloe: Getting to share and teach material I’m enamored of and truly believe in everyday with some of the best people I know.
When I'm not on the mat, I’m:
Krissy: At the spa, bopping around Chinatown, cooking in my apartment, gallery hopping, traveling!
Chloe: Dancing, eating, laughing, reading and plotting my next swim in warm water.
5 things on my Bucket List:
Krissy: Have a garden, learn how to keep bees, learn French, live in a different country, develop and codify my own yoga material.
Chloe: Create a feature dance film, build (or renovate) a home (that I will own), take another advanced training or get a master’s degree, teach yoga around the globe, learn to play piano.
Advice I would give my 16 year-old self:
Krissy: Feelings change! Don’t get wrapped up in them.
Chloe: Fit yourself before you try and fit others.
Krissy: Be grateful, graceful, gracious.
Chloe: If not now, when?
Project or cause I am most passionate about:
Krissy: CarbonFund.org – a very practical organization for a universal problem. I’m also a big fan of picking up trash in your neighborhood – Sky Ting does community clean ups in Chinatown! I’m also passionate about TheOceanCleanup.com. Eight million tons of plastic gets put into our oceans each year. This project can potentially pull out half the amount of plastic in our oceans in the next ten years, if they have the funding.
Chloe: Urban Yogis, which brings yoga to troubled areas in Brooklyn/Queens to help pull kids out of tough and dangerous situations, giving them tools of the practice and opportunities to work!