[00:00:00] Crystal: And you hear often. You're not your body, but your body tells the story of your entire life. , there is so much being communicated from each cell into our hearts and brains, and we need to listen. Yoga is to me it's like a deep listening, right? It's a deep listening and again, It's not just the asana.
[00:01:40] Jeanette: Ah, welcome. I am so, so excited today to welcome Crystal Friberg to the podcast.
She is a dear friend and community leader in our local community. And Crystal is a yoga teacher, a massage therapist, [00:02:00] and owner of Honey Bloom Baker. She's led wellness classes, trainings, and retreats worldwide over the last decade. Crystal believes that yoga is the practice of love and can be experienced through the beauty of nature and in everyday sweetness.
In her classes. She invites you to come home to your own innate beauty, her offerings, whether it's a class or a delicious cake, welcome all to reignite the joy in your heart, flow into harmony and build a sanctuary in your. So sweet to have you here today, Crystal. Thank you for having me, ladies. I'm honored.
And you and Kate have known each other for such a long time now. Such a long time. Yeah. A little. Yeah, for sure. So Kate and I grew up along the same beach in the same sand and waters over near Normandy Beach New Jersey. And as, as babies, as children, we didn't necessarily know each other, but we were living these like [00:03:00] parallel lives right along the shore.
[00:03:01] Crystal: And I guess in our later teens, early twenties, we were working together at a restaurant. And we kind of connected then, and then maybe not until I would say 10 years later did we really become super close. Started teaching yoga around the same time. I worked at some of Kate's different spaces that she's had, and then we started doing some workshops and retreats together and I'm just so grateful.
Kate also, Has helped me on my healing journey with all of the different uh, women's wellness work that she does as well. So super grateful. Yes. We were destined to be Sisters of Healing in this lifetime for sure. And Jeanette, I've known you for almost maybe about the same time, at least since I've been teaching over the last decade.
We've always crossed path and we're of the same community and. All three of us have that same mission in our hearts to really help and heal the world the best way that we can. Yeah. So we're [00:04:00] lucky to know and have each other in that way. Yeah. It's been special to watch your journey Crystal as a friend.
[00:04:10] Kate: Over the years, getting to know you on deeper levels and then your journey and how you've opened up and shared yourself with the world in different ways and have evolved due to so many life occurrences and circumstances and openings and closings and really living your work and just embodying what you're teaching is what you're living, and what you're living is what you're.
There's no way that we can't Right. ? Over the years I've realized that what I have been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows have made me the teacher and the person that I am with the students over the years, with clients and with my family and friends. So, yes, writing those crazy waves, crazy, beautiful [00:05:00] waves.
[00:05:06] Jeanette: So yoga as a practice in, in terms of how long you've been practicing and now teaching, how has that shifted throughout those kind of waves of life?
[00:05:19] Crystal: Yeah, so it's funny because I recently rejoined the gym that I. Ever took a yoga class in and it's very sweet to be in that space. They actually asked me to start teaching there, which is just so funny And complete 20 years later was Tom for fitness, right?
Number 37. And it's like a family owned business, so that's even sweeter. So, yeah. When I was 19, my dad tragically passed away and I was looking for something right. And I grew up very religious and Christian and with Jesus in my heart. But at that time I was, I just kind of, all my beliefs just went out the window with the grief that I had and the trauma of losing him.
So I walked [00:06:00] into the towns river fitness where I used to go, lift weights and run on the treadmill. And I heard this beautiful music and I saw some like candles up the stairs and I just kind of followed the lavender scent and like maybe it was singing bowls or something of that nature. And I took my first yoga class about 20 years ago and it changed my life.
I felt something in my nervous system that I didn't know that I could. And with that I continued to practice at the gym and eventually, about 10 years later, after a few traveling experiences around the world, I decided to become a yoga teacher cuz I knew what it was doing for me. And the grief that I had in my heart.
And so I moved out to San Francisco. I was actually traveling there the year before that and just came across again. I feel like yoga was always just calling me in, right. Just the sounds, the sight, the colors of the practice. And I stumbled upon a beautiful studio called a Laughing [00:07:00] Lotus, and my teacher, Keith Borden at the time was Playing Amazing Grace on the Harmonium, and that was my dad's favorite song.
And so I said, Okay, dad, I hear you. I'll move out here like a on a whim. And study to teach yoga. So that's it was probably one of the most life changing experiences that I've ever had to move to a big city, not really know anyone. And I found myself in that yoga studio at least three times a day, taking classes and learning from my teachers.
And along along the journey of the last 10 years as I've been teaching, I even learned so much more about the practice that I just, I never knew. And that is the beauty of a really good yoga teacher training. And I'm very blessed that I got to study with people that really. Were well versed in the real practices yoga and that were really living it as well.
So I'm so, so grateful for that. And each training that I took over the years led me to the next [00:08:00] one, right? Studied with a beautiful man. His name is Sean Johnson. And he's out of New Orleans. And right after Hurricane Sandy, he actually came up to do a benefit concert for us in Long Branch for the state of New Jersey and the Jersey Shore, cuz he had been through the Hurricane Katrina.
So he wanted to raise some money for us cuz he's such an empathetic man. So, anyhow, yes, I've studied in Colorado, New York City with some of the greatest teachers I feel like that are out there today and I'm just really thankful. Through my own practice, I was able to just become a teacher that was real and not Gosh, I don't even know what to say about other things I'm thinking at the moment, , but just in my heart, and there were times where I had lost a friend to suicide a couple years ago, and the whole community knew her and I'm in the class and we're all crying, [00:09:00] right?
And so there was nothing to hide. Right. And I don't think that we should take the emotion out of yoga, even though we're trying to quiet our minds and find our hearts and connect with spirit. I think it's so important to bring everything you're going through right to your mat, and there are some teachers that say, Just leave it at the door. I say, Bring it , right? Yeah.
[00:09:25] Kate: And that's something that I've just respected you. From the outsider perspective, even knowing you as deeply as I do that you, you remind each of us to do that in our own ways and that yoga really is the essence of living and how much your emotions, your energetics flow through in a way.
All the different populations that you've served with guiding practices and even all that you've been doing this summer, which [00:10:00] love for you to share on the farm. It's really you're holding up the level of integrity of showing up and not putting on the stoic front or suppressing anything because we know what happens when we suppress, how it then catches up and it stays in our tissues, in our cells.
And you're such an advocate for living your. Just been such a graceful way of watching you on the journey.
[00:10:28] Crystal: Thank you. That means a lot. I think that with the modern yoga world, there's a lot of spiritual bypassing that can happen and in a way, I feel as though maybe there was a moment I was in that too, right.
But most of the time, yoga would bring me back to a place in my heart if I had gone too far. And I also feel like it can be such a, Like a nervous system soother if it's being taught in the right way. [00:11:00] Right. I feel like there's also times and certain teachers that don't necessarily respect the practices in a way, and especially these days and learning from you lately, Jeanette yoga that is trauma informed.
Right. And maybe. Some of us missed that for a little while and didn't know that's what we should be teaching or what we needed. Right. And I think mine in a way, even though I wasn't officially trained in trauma yoga, when I look into it, I'm like, Wow, I think I'm doing that in a way. That I'm grateful that my body knew just to do, to consider everyone in the class, to consider all ranges of emotions, to consider that, that everyone's just gonna close their eyes and think of a pretty place and feel joy.
That's not realistic sometimes, right? Maybe don't, Maybe people don't even wanna close their eyes, cuz that's scary. Right? So I think being authentic in that way and. Holding true to my own [00:12:00] traumas and teaching from that place of realness and grief and joy is something that it almost happened accidentally , if that makes sense.
[00:12:11] Jeanette: I love that crystal. I think that true yoga, authentic yoga is inherently trauma informed as it is a practice grounded in a heza in non harming and a practice. That brings us into greater states of awakening and awareness where all of you is welcome, nothing is pushed away, or suppressed or pushed down.
And that is the authentic practice. So we. In the West need to teach trauma informed yoga because so many of us are brought to yoga through a means that include a lack of authenticity in the practice. So gaslighting, spiritual bypassing, somatic dominance, all of these themes are very prevalent.
And so if we've then gifted and blessed to [00:13:00] have good teachers who really transmitted the practice with clarity and intention and devo. Then we show up like that as well for ourselves and our students. And it sounds like that's where you're coming from.
[00:13:13] Crystal: Yes. And I really, I'm grateful for the teachers today too that are holding on to that, Excuse me.
True yoga, that heartfelt yoga and ones that are recognizing, Wow, I can do better. Right? Or, Oh shit, let's look at this in this way now, and are humbled by it. Right? I think we've all had moments like that as Wellness leaders to say. Right. For sure. Yeah. And I really think being a class with people that are in such different spaces, I think it's so important to just allow people to be themselves if someone needs to get up and leave I always tell people like, if you just wanna layer and take a nap, listen to what your body needs.
Right? And you hear often. You're not your [00:14:00] body, but your body tells the story of your entire life. , there is so much being communicated from each cell into our hearts and brains, and we need to listen. Yoga is to me it's like a deep listening, right? It's a deep listening and again, It's not just the asana.
And I think here in the western world, we miss the boat like 10 years ago. And a lot of people got really obsessed with the movement because especially in our country, just wanna go. And really the most important aspects of yoga are the breathwork. The proma are the meditation, are the self inquiry practices.
Right? The yamas and the yamas. I To me are some of the most Juicy at work to get into, right. Learning about our self-reflection and then really creating a body that is okay when you say a sanctuary that is a place where you want to be, a place that you can find calm, a place that you can [00:15:00] experience the full range of your emotions, from joy to deep sorrow and everywhere in between, right?
It's so important to honor each one and not skip over them. Not skip over those emotions cuz then they just get stored and maybe you'll never be able to live your, or lift your arm over your head until you deal with a trauma or an emotion. Right. That's stuck. So there's such a beauty, I think to yoga that is deeper than I think the practice is doing.
The work from the insight out that maybe we won't even recognize for years that come is just happening. Yeah.
[00:15:40] Kate: That in itself is just, it feels so comforting when you say that it's just dropping back within and it isn't this forceful, aggressive way of moving the body. Jeanette. This is something that I've admired and respected your work for years because you are an advocate for that as well. [00:16:00] That, and even in a recent conversation this summer, you had said, Although we live in.
A very hot, humid climate during the summer. Our body is really meant to practice more of a restorative yin approach because we don't need to build more of that fire. And for both of you, how you've honored your own physical bodies and worked with that in the way of honoring your practice. And crystal, even just knowing a bit about what you've experienced in the past few years, physically having to adapt and adjust.
And holding study in that and not forcing your body to move at a pace that it wasn't ready for. Yeah, absolutely. And I think too your body needs different things at different times. And in a yoga class we don't always get that option. Right. And if we look back to. Where yoga began, a lot of Theo was designed for teenage teenage [00:17:00] boys, with a certain type of very thin Long body, and especially when you look at the bowl of the pelvis and the pelvic floor a lot of what we've learned to keep our feet together and be very narrow and taught and strong and linear.
Is is beautiful, but that's not what works for a woman's body, for a female and her organs and her bones and her muscles and all of this. And so over the years learning not only to deal with a major car accident injury that I had, but to look at. What I was doing before that and understanding that I needed to change it dramatically because what I was doing before the accident wasn't actually good for my body.
Throwing my feet together and being on this little off angle. As women, we need our feet under our hips aligned with the bowl of our pelvis so we can have the real foundation and support that we need. To not rec havoc on all of the different [00:18:00] muscles of the pelvic floor or the inner thighs or the groin area.
Right. So what I'm trying to get at is it's so important to. Understand where your feet need to be in a yoga practice, in alignment with the type of body that you have. And from there when you come upon a situation where if you're in any sort of traumatic accident or have some sort of injury to slow down and reassess what it is that you need to do.
I went from teaching very. I wouldn't say intense, but very fluid and a little bit quick vinyasa flow, which I actually had such a love for having a growing up, being a dancer my whole life. I loved that really sweet swift flowing movement, which is still What I love, but I've had to change into something so much slower, more articulate, more particular and careful.
Right? I think it's so important to be careful and be caring [00:19:00] with our bodies and not beat them up. We in the western world, we're running and going to the gym and doing all these things that are very energy, right? And in the yoga practice, What I have felt inside of my being on a spiritual level is very soft and peaceful and fluid.
And so bringing that feeling from the inside out, especially after a lower back injury, was so important to go slow and be nurturing and care about what I'm doing right and for a while. I felt so depressed and in the dark because I couldn't do this posture, that posture anymore. And I couldn't even do a forward fold for four to five months.
And with that, the blessing is that I got into the breathwork even more, the Proma practice and I. I just would do one or two postures with a deep breath, and that was enough. Right? I didn't need this whole big, fancy thing to feel what I needed to [00:20:00] feel like the gifts of yoga. For sure. And at that time, I had so much trauma.
I couldn't sit down, meditate, I couldn't close my eyes, couldn't do those things. There's no way I would hear the sound of the car crunching. I would feel the pain in my lower back and I just had to let. I actually had to stop trying to do yoga , and I had to let the yoga like do me. I had to let the ancient beautiful spirited practices like the soul of yoga just hold me by taking slow walks, listening to the trees and the birds, and feeling the wind because all of that is yoga, right?
All of life is yoga. So yeah, having to change, it was a blessing. .
[00:20:45] Jeanette: \Yeah, I love that so much. I have a similar experience through injury and accident, and it led me down a whole new path. It's it's a totally different story when your body is not your sanctuary [00:21:00] and. The welcoming back home that you can receive when you tune into the things that are timeless, like our connection with nature, our connection with our breath reading sacred scriptures whatever it is that brings you home to that sense of innate peace, even.
In the midst of suffering. I think yoga gifts us with the fact that is possible. So thank you so much for sharing about your journey with it. It's so beautiful. Yeah. No, thank you. And I think through the last few years the global and personal traumas of this crazy pandemic. I think we're all here to find, and Kate used this word all the time.
I think we haven't called one of our retreats simple beauty. We're coming back to the most simple ways of. Nurturing our bodies, our lives, and each other. There is so much to be found in the sacredness of [00:22:00] the mundane everyday life. The magic is really in that mundane way of being and living it mundane is like this funny twinge to it.
And some people think it's boring, but it's so, so, so pot. I love it, The sacred and the mundane. Would you give us an example of something mundane that and how to weave in the sacred? Yeah I think it's about presence, right? And that's what yoga, everything that yoga is designed to do at the, at that eighth limb, maybe step between seven and eight.
It's just the. Being present. It's it seems so complicated to get there, but it's just, and I have the chills, just, okay. So just an example, I got to see Stevie Nicks and I know that's music, so maybe not so mundane, but I got to see her on Saturday night. And I was standing by the ocean the evening was so beautiful.
My feet in the sand, the stars above, and she's singing landslide and I'm [00:23:00] just hands up in the sky just letting all of these beautiful things move through us. And I think when we're present with any mundane moment, no matter where you are, if you let the magic of that moment move through you, then you're in a state of bliss, which is the eighth limb of yoga.
Right. And even Stevie Nick said it, she was in these, I don't even know, she looked like the Witchiest most magical woman, and I don't even know how she's 70 something, but she's in this witchy dress and all of these ribbons are flowing from her, and the wind was just right. And she got on the stage and she said, The wind almost shut the concert down.
She goes, But it was working for me all night. And that was it. Like her and that wind. And then she just, Something singing like the goddess that she is, and so, If you're at a Stevie concert or if you're just sitting at home on the couch with your mom right when she's sick. My mom just was sick again the last week, and just looking at her and realizing like, Oh my God, she drives me crazy, but I love her so much.
And [00:24:00] just watching TV with the person that you love and cooking them a meal, that's also the most mundane yet magical gift, right? It's an offering to each. Yeah,
I love that. And it is just simplifying the busyness builds such an appreciation for all of that. And then life can become so much less complex with what we look to outsource our happiness and our gratitude. Just simple pleasures of how nature can teach us so much. How we can be, we are of nature, but be so connected and so alive.
Even when we feel really heavy or we're sick or we feel laid in with grief, it's all coming back to the center, coming back to the heart, and. Relishing [00:25:00] in all that's there. Absolutely. And I think too, just like you said, the word alive, it's about being alive even in the moments where you might feel dead
Right. And. I think too, through the honoring of your emotions and every range of them that's being alive. Being alive isn't just being joyful, right? Yes, we want to feel more of these really wonderful and nourishing things, but you know, anger and grief, they're not bad. Right. It's moving them through.
And so whether that's walking connecting, dancing, doing the yoga, and again, back to yoga, they have these eight limbs where they're, it's really, it's a beautiful, it's a beautiful practice science. There's so many things I feel like I could call yoga for what it is, and a part of that is the movement, but we can't forget about those moments of stillness and contemplation and connection, right [00:26:00] about connection within ourselves and everything around us, All the centine beings of the world and the plants, animals, all of that.
Yoni, that idea of when the mind slows down becomes still, that is the state of yoga and I think that is what like presence and weaving the sacred into the mundane allows us and gifts us is the true state of our being. . Yeah. Coming home to that, to bliss, to connection with all that is an awareness of what is our true nature.
So. Such a gift. Beautiful. Thank you for being able to say that so beautifully. I was never that good at the song. Thank you for saying it so beautifully. It's when you said that I could just, so much came [00:27:00] back through me of being in San Francisco and studying in New York and just really remembering how.
All of these beautiful yoga sutras and the different mantras I've learned over the year that, gosh, they're so beautiful. Is there just a call or a cry or or sometimes just the the simple Song of the Mantra and how that can change the frequency of our whole being and with the teaching inside of each syllable and the way that you get to move your tongue across the roof of your mouth in the Sanskrit and how that's actually changing your brain.
There's so much that we could get into, and I think too many times I'm asked is there are people in the world. Come to yoga of all different kinds of religious backgrounds. Right. And it's, yoga to me is such a a neutral ground for all in any religions to come [00:28:00] together and practice. And I don't think that it exiles any belief or faith and.
I also I pray that yoga is seen as something that adds to any type of religion or belief as well, and that it is a way to feel God in your heart because I felt it so many times. . It's a way to, it's really a beautiful way to cleanse your heart, to be open to God's love, goddess love. Yeah, I mean that divine energy is what we allow and make space for it to move through in the practice.
And there doesn't need to be a name attached to that. It's just universal love and let that shit flow through cuz we all need it, yeah.
You, you've reminded me of so much in this [00:29:00] conversation, so thank you. And I really hope that our listeners can just sink into whatever is extracted piece by piece, because I feel like when we listen back to this, there'll be so many great reminders and all of what you just shared. If someone were listening and they are not familiar with a practice of we're.
Using the guys of yoga, but yoga is life. What is one practice that you hold really close to your heart that you would invite anyone to begin to tune into maybe mindfulness or anything that resonates? Does that, Yeah, does that make sense? Absolutely. And Instead of thinking about it too much, I'm just gonna go with what came into my heart and my mind.
And it might sound so silly, but shavana just I just feel like that's what we need. And so [00:30:00] Shavana is the last posture that you do in a practice before any meditation after the asana. And it's the most restful posture that. That you can take, I would say. And if you can do it on the ground outside on the earth, that would be absolutely amazing.
Putting on some really lovely soothing music or, and just listening to the sounds of nature, but getting your body on the floor, on the ground, maybe with a pillow, something comfortable for setting a timer for 10 minutes and allowing the body. Some rest, some true art of doing nothing, right?
Because most of the times we're either sleeping when we're laying down or if we're laying down during the day we're on our phone, right? So this like clear phoneless moment of deep rest, I think would be one of the best practices to, or gifts to [00:31:00] give ourselves in these times, right? So just lying down and finding.
Or even a guided meditation or something along the way, but being able to lie down and receive the gift of the sky, the earth, and relaxation. Great. Beautiful. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. I agree a thousand percent with that. And just would love to add one little note that Shavasana is a practice for death, a practice of dying, releasing our hold on our physical bodies.
So that is probably the most epic gift we can give ourselves is to do that on a regular basis. Thank you for sharing.
[00:31:46] Crystal: Yes. Beautiful. No, thanks for that reminder too. It's often not talked about. So yes, letting everything that happened the moments before or years before, just go and it's like a [00:32:00] rebirth, right?
For sure. Beautiful. I'm just so grateful to I've had this practice, find me. I always say that if if yoga has found you or you found yoga, it's usually yoga finding you that you're probably the person in your family doing most of the healing and you're gonna help everyone else get inspired to do their own healing.
So, and thank you ladies so much for having me today. I just love and respect and honor Both of your deep wisdoms and the work that you do for this world, it's really, it's just really special and so needed, and I just feel like a lucky woman to be here today. Very mutual. Thank you. Yeah, we're such a
It's such a joy to have you here and to get to know you more and to hear more about what you're doing. Would you mind sharing anything coming up? What are you working on in this moment that's inspiring you today?
Yeah. [00:33:00] So I started over the summer, two, two different things. So I was teaching at this beautiful farm sanctuary in Beville.
It's called Runaway Farm. It is a place where this beautiful couple and their children have adopted or taken in animals that didn't have a home, or animals that were being abused, or animals that just needed some love. A lot of the animals were actually runaways. They found a cow in their woods, . So they, Luna, she's super beautiful.
And over the summer we were doing yoga there to raise money for the farm and to just have the experience of Practicing outside in nature with the cicadas and the crickets and the grass and the blue sky and the moving of the cows and the running by of the horses and the cute little goats looking at us, figuring out what we were trying to do.
It's not goat yoga, but it's just us in this beautiful pasture and all the animals are just watching. And by the time we're in Jovana, they're all asleep, which is amazing, . And so we'll be doing a couple things this fall. So this Thursday we're [00:34:00] doing a And an autumn equinox almost had summer solstice, but we're in the autumn , Ottumwa Equinox gathering.
And the week after, we're doing a ladies night with a little fireside art and a little music and some movement and intention setting. So that'll be really sweet. And I've also started to teach, and I'll be taking a course this fall special needs yoga. And over the summer I taught my first class with my girlfriend and her Her kids at Central Regional and I don't know if my heart was ever more full after a class, and so I'm really excited to start that part of my yoga teaching journey.
A lot of the students are, some of them are nonverbal, some of them Have physical ailments. They might not be able to do some of the postures and things, so we really modify what we can. We make it fun. We dance in the middle. We have these fun pompoms, and we also did this beautiful feather breathing, which is so good for kids to just [00:35:00] notice their breath on a really colorful feather.
My favorite part was at the end when I asked them to put their hands on their, Each and every single one of them understood that gesture and they know where their heart is. And when I'm with those kids I feel their hearts. And so that's where I'm going with it. I'll also be baking some wedding cakes and I think the three of us should definitely do something before the winter, so, yeah.
[00:35:25] Kate: And how can people find you?
[00:35:26] Crystal: The best place to find me is on Instagram or Facebook. My Instagram is at Crystal Dawn Love and on Facebook it's Crystal Dawn Friberg, where we have all of our events and I'll eventually get a website one day, I think .
[00:35:42] Jeanette: Thank you. We'll put everything in the show notes and yeah, I just feel so honored and.
Overjoyed to have this time with you today, so thank you.
Me too. Thank you ladies so much.
[00:35:55] Kate: Thank you Crystal, for just sharing so much of your light. Thank you for having me.[00:36:00]