Spotlight: Gina Kieval

Photo of Gina
Gina Kieval, yoga instructor and neighbor

There are many yoga studios and yoga instructors in the city of Portland, but we want to focus on an instructor from The People’s Yoga who is from our northeast quadrant of the city with an expansive resume and who has trained instructors in an unexpected venue.

With over 20 years’ experience studying and teaching various forms of movement disciplines, Gina Kieval is known for her soulful and empowering teaching style. She infuses her lifelong study of dance, Gyrotonic, and qigong into a unique synthesis of yoga asana, meditation, and creative process. A former professional dancer, Kieval initially started teaching Yoga through the volunteer organization, Living Yoga, a local nonprofit focused on bringing yoga to youth and adults in correctional facilities and drug treatment centers. She completed her 200 hour certification in 2012. Kieval brings to her classes her love of music as a ritual backdrop, kinesthetic awareness and structural integrity to cultivate both strength and a sense of freedom within each individual student’s capacity.

In addition to her current classes at The People’s Yoga, she continues to teach yoga in prisons. Starting in 2009 she started teaching classes at a few of our correctional institutes.  Seeing its benefits to the inmates she wanted to take the yoga instruction further. In 2015 she worked with the Daya Foundation to co-facilitate a 200 hour teacher training at Oregon State Correctional Institute for inmates who are now Yoga Alliance certified yoga teachers and are conducting weekly classes on the inside.

Kieval also teaches Gyrotonic, a unique movement method that’s designed to stimulate and open new neural pathways, increase range of motion, and improve strength and movement efficiency.

Kieval’s yoga classes at The People’s Yoga focus on fluidity in asana, precision and subtlety of alignment, and a reverence for the body’s innate intelligence. She invokes a sense of artistry of movement and believes teaching is very much an experience of reciprocity. “We come together to share a sacred space for a brief moment in time and there’s an exchange that happens…bodies moving in unison, yet in different individual rhythms, souls speaking their own private languages yet still connecting to something common.”

Even though she has been practicing yoga for over two decades she says that she still feels like there is so much to learn so we should never think that this is a class with a definite end point but a journey.  Try out a class with Gina at the Mississippi Street location of The People’s Yoga and maybe you will find that yoga is just the thing that you were missing in your life or a welcome continuation of your own yoga practice.

Kieval’s classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00-1:30 pm and Saturdays from 10:30-11:45 at The People’s Yoga at 855 N Failing Street (at Mississippi Avenue).

For questions or more information you can reach her at: Ginakieval@gmail.com.

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