As a part of our AW19 collection preview in the USA, we partnered with
EL: Tell us a little bit of background about yourself.
CK: I was born and raised on the island of Guam and came to New York to attend NYU. Since then, I’ve never left! I practiced yoga for years through college, and right after, I did my first teacher training and started teaching right away. And as they say… the rest is history. Krissy and I met, started leading retreats together, SKY TING started and here we are today!
KJ: I grew up in Indiana. I was a competitive dancer up until I moved to NYC after college where I studied dance and kinesiology. I started teaching yoga in 2011 and opened SKY TING YOGA in the summer 2015. I had a clear vision to build a community inside a beautiful studio with natural light with amazing teachers.
EL: What inspired you to start SKY TING?
KJ: We wanted to start SKY TING because there wasn’t a space in NYC to do yoga that we wanted to practice in. Everything was too corporate feeling, or overly spiritual, or too fitness-y. I’m obsessed with art and design and good yoga, and wanted to combine these loves. I also was inspired by my mentor Nevine Michaan to continue teaching her method of yoga called Katonah Yoga.
EL: Where does the name SKY TING come from?
CK: The name SKY TING came from a local bodega in our Chinatown neighborhood. We were considering names and wanted to find something that didn’t feel to “yoga-y” as well as something that would connect to our first location in Chinatown. Krissy texted one day, “what about SKY TING YOGA?” and it stuck! We liked the different interpretations of the phrase SKY TING -- from Chinese it can be “sky place,” with Jamaican patois it can be “sky thing.”
EL: What’s different about the SKY TING experience?
KJ: Our signature blend of yoga is different. We mix Katonah yoga, vinyasa, Iyengar, Kundalini, and other methods of yoga together in a fluid way, set to fun music. Our community is amazing. Our students are open to try anything and we have a diverse student body. And the space itself is different from what you’ll find in a yoga studio. We have a light, bright, plant filled studio with a lounge, sauna, food and beverage area. We lead retreats all over the world, and there are unique workshops and events happening all the time in our spaces.
EL: Tell us what a typical day looks like for you.
CK: A typical day for me starts with an easy morning routine: 20 minutes of movement and meditation, tea, and light breakfast. Then I’m out the door to teach or head to meetings or hang at one of the studios. I usually try and have a few fun activities throughout my week -- whether that’s going to a dance class, getting acupuncture, maybe a facial if I’m lucky! And then a nice meal with friends either around my neighborhood or at my house!
KJ: I usually wake up, make coffee and breakfast, meditate, and then head out the door to SKY TING to either take a class or teach a class. Then I’ll have meetings and work on emails and administrative things for the business. At night I’ll see my friends, go to a dance class, or do some sort of self care. I always start my day with a full tank of gas and I like to end my day feeling exhausted! I have a lot of energy that I need to spend each day. I’m very busy and I make sure that I fill my days with things that I love.
EL: What are you most proud of in your business? What were the big milestones?
KJ: I’m most proud of our community. We have 60 amazing teachers and a diverse student body. And everyone I meet through SKY TING is smart and kind, I’m really proud of that. A big milestone was opening our third location in under 3 years, starting a teacher training program, and now we’re working on launching a new website and video platform.
EL: What are some milestones you’re hoping to achieve at SKY TING in the coming years?
CK: While we don’t necessarily ever work off a set plan of where we need to get to, our bigger hopes for SKY TING generally include expanding the reach and the accessibility of our practice. How that might come into fruition will unfold in its own time, but we’re always considering more locations, ways to create a more inclusive space, and also how to continue to push this practice forward!
KJ: We’re launching videos in a few weeks which has been a project that’s taken over a year! We’re super excited about that. You can expect more merchandise from us, and perhaps another studio or two in NYC or beyond.
EL: For those getting started with yoga, what are your top three tips you can give to ensure you have an effective practice?
CK: 1. Know that there are lots of yoga styles out there, so if the first one you try doesn’t jive well, you might want to try another studio!
2. In group classes when you’re new, its best to put yourself in the center of the room so you can see what others are doing in front, behind and to the sides of you. It's not bad to look around to understand what you’re supposed to be doing!
3. Have fun! Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, ask the teacher a question… some of the techniques of this practice are funky, but there is reason to them! Go in with an open mind and you’re bound to leave with some new info!
KJ: 1. Be nice to yourself. Yoga is hard at first!
2. Don’t worry about doing all the poses. Modify to your level! Yoga is not about being overly pushy or competitive.
3. Stick with it. Yoga is a practice and it gets easier over time. Consistency is key.
EL: What is your idea of a perfect day in New York City?
KJ: I would go to Central Park, see a show at the MET, get a massage, take a dance class or yoga class, then see a dance show at Lincoln Center.
CK: My perfect day would consist of a chill, lazy morning at home, going to a beautiful yoga class, taking a bike ride to a favorite restaurant, and hanging with some of my incredible friends.
EL: What is your favorite thing about living and working in NYC?
KJ: We have everything at our fingertips. The smartest people, the best restaurants, art, music, dance… culture in general. We’re a diverse group with great work ethic. I love the energy of the city.
CK: I love being able to access pretty much anything I need and want. We have some of the best yoga teachers, best art, best performances, best food... It’s such a lively city with so much going on, but also can feel very small town-y when you settle into your neighborhood and know people on the streets.
EL: Do you have a travel tip for someone visiting NYC? An unusual or off-the-radar place to go?
CK: Avoid staying in midtown! The energy is crazy and even if its central, the atmosphere is much nicer in other neighborhoods. If you want a lavish night out, head uptown to the Carlyle Hotel’s Bemelman’s Bar for some jazz and a great cocktail… a very NY night!
KJ: Go to SKY TING of course, go for a bike ride along the west side highway, and get lunch at Via Carota in the West Village.
EL: What is your favorite Ernest Leoty piece to wear?
KJ: I love the bicolor bodysuits like the Ilona so much. I wear them all the time to yoga and dance class.
CK: I love the Ilona Bodysuit and the Corset Shortie… both are so cute and so fun to wear to classes.
EL: We’re a Parisian brand -- how would you style your favorite Ernest Leoty pieces to fit New York's workout/fashion style?
CK: I love wearing my Ernest Leoty pieces with a casual white button down. It’s what I like to call my “business casual” look at the studio.
KJ: I put a cozy sweater like the Charlotte Hoodie over the top, and wear Nikes!
To learn more about Chloe, Krissy, and SKY TING YOGA, visit their website here.