For our latest installment of Creative Corner we spoke with local yoga instructor extraordinaire Crystal Dawn Froberg. Crystal developed a love for yoga during her first class at the age of 19, and following a 200-hour training course in San Francisco, she returned home to share this passion with others. When she’s not on the mat helping her students find their inner peace through yoga, you can find Crystal cooking up some sweet vegan treats at her latest labor of love, Passion Flour Bakery. We chatted with Crystal about her yoga experience, how Passion Flour came to be, and the abundant joy she hopes to spread through her work.
When did you first decide to become a yoga instructor?
I fell in love with the practice of yoga from the very first class I stumbled upon at the local gym when I was 19 years old. The teacher’s soothing voice, the beautiful flowing class, the candles and the sweet music had me melting into my heart instantly.
After years of practicing and traveling I landed in San Francisco at sweet studio called the Laughing Lotus. Walking into this temple of a studio adorned with bright flowers, mandalas painted on the walls, earthy incense burning and ethereal sounds coming from the speakers, I knew that this was the first step into the new doorway of my heart and my journey to becoming a yoga teacher.
What is your personal favorite yoga pose?
My personal favorite pose?! Oh my gosh it’s hard to choose…I find the most comfort and ease and opening in a simple downward facing dog. I mean you literally see dogs and cats do this nearly every single morning. It’s such a beautiful, natural shape that creates so much lengthening, awakening and softening. I like to take the traditional version and lift my heels a little, bend my knees just enough and reach my pelvic floor high to the sky to make it even more full and to get a nice deep breath in all corners of my body. Full, fresh and awake!
Much of yoga has to do with finding your inner peace – where do you feel the most peaceful?
I find the space of my heart so wide open when I practice, and especially when I teach yoga. The peace that can be cultivated through the practices of yoga is truly a blessing. I find the most peace in nature. Just simply sitting and being and becoming nature itself brings out the deepest sense of peace known. This is what the natives and the ancestors have always taught us, go to nature to find the most healing salves, medicines and peace. Peace is just a few breaths away, you can discover it right underneath your chest. It resides in your heart of hearts. Sit, breathe, love.
What advice would you give to someone looking to try yoga for the first time?
Advice for someone looking to practice yoga for the first time would be to come as you are. Drop all your own fears, worries, or expectations you have about yoga and yourself and enjoy. Just come and be you! I would suggest starting with a beginners or gentle yoga class to get the feel and to start slow. Also taking a private lesson or two is a fabulous idea, that way you can get all the foundations and alignments of the poses and breath work, some lessons in the philosophy of yoga, and so you can get familiar with it all as a whole.
On top of being a yoga instructor you also own Passion Flour Bakery – how did Passion Flour come to be?
I have been baking since I was a babe, alongside and inspired by my sweet gram. She was always baking, I think everyday of her life – for real! She taught me well. She taught me that sweets make you sweet, and that it’s the best way to your friend’s and family’s hearts. Baking was and still is a huge form of mediation for me. I am present, paying attention and connected while I bake. There are surely moments I’m up until 3am piping icing on cupcakes, yawning, sleepy and blasting sweet music to keep me awake. But I always give it my all.
I started baking for friends and family, and before I knew it I was baking for weddings and parties and big events. And then there was Passion Flour, blossomed from love, really, a love of the art of baking and love and support from friends, family and community. So blessed.
What made you decide to make your recipes vegan?
I became vegan in my early 20s and decided to take all the recipes and turn them vegan! I was so passionate about the vegan lifestyle and baking so I put them together as one sweet union.
What are some of the most out-of-the-box ingredients you’ve experimented with (and did they end up tasting good?)?
Some of the most outrageous ingredients I have used would have to be when I started baking Gluten Free. What a venture that was. I had to do a ton of research and experimenting, for sure. I spent many a day blending all kinds of strange flours from interesting plants together. From creating random gummy, weird textured, creature-like baked goods, to finding just the right mix of goodness to create the best fluffy, yummy, decadent Gluten Free treat yet!
Would you ever consider franchising Passion Flour Bakery, or would you prefer keeping your business small?
I think keeping this sweet small business quaint is where I am at right now. Pouring my light, love and heart into my yoga business, traveling and teaching yoga, and my yoga teacher training is where the flow is going right now and for the next few years. I’ll have a magical, sweet little vegan bake shop one day soon, I feel that in my bones.
If you were to write your own cookbook, what would the title be?
Hmmm…I think I’ll keep the name secret for now, but there is a book or two in the making as we speak!
What’s coming up next for you?
What’s next for me is first The Makers Fest, which is where my amazing friends and their art and heart get to be shared with the community in such a special way! Then, an abundant and beautiful Autumn and Winter. The fall is my favorite; I get to see the people I love more since the summer rush is over, and I just adore this time of year and all the pumpkin everything, apple cider and crunchy leaves under our feet. Next, a winter creating, studying, and traveling and teaching, a few wonderfully epic yoga retreats I’ll be leading with some dear friends, and so much unknown magic to be made and joy to be had!
To learn more about Crystal, her yoga classes, and Passion Flour, visit crystaldawnyoga.com. Be sure to join Crystal for some Dreamlit Yoga at The Makers Fest this Saturday, September 17 – and don’t forget to pick up some Passion Flour goodies on the way!