10 Things You Didn’t Know About: Kristin Bilella

Introducing our latest monthly blog post! Each month, we’ll feature one of our fabulous mang’Oh teachers, giving a peak into their lives and what it’s like to be a yoga teacher in New York City.

What did you do before becoming a yoga teacher?
I worked in music publishing after going to school for music business, then into advertising for ten years! Within that time period I also became a kickboxing and group fitness instructor! The kickboxing really helped me work out my frustrations before I found a more peaceful way through yoga 🙂

How did you come to be a yoga teacher?
Unhappy in my previous career in advertising, I was introduced to yoga by a co-worker and fell in love.  A couple years later after practicing a lot and wanting to deepen my practice, I found a studio I was drawn to and went to teacher training on weekends (I would do my homework at work!). I immediately started teaching at gyms when I graduated but it took me two more years (and two more advertising jobs!) to finally leave the ad world all together and dive into teaching full time. Like hanuman I took a leap of faith– and it was the best leap I’ve ever taken.

What are your hobbies outside of the yoga studio?
Hobbies that are not yoga?! Between taking and teaching my life is filled with yoga both restorative and vinyasa and I’ve recently gotten into sound healing. I meditate every day for 5-10 minutes. I love going to the movies and broadway musicals (I went through a major Hamilton phase!) I also enjoy running when it’s warmer out, reading both fiction and spiritual books, and sleeping 🙂 I enjoy traveling – especially to cali to visit my beautiful one-year old niece! I’m also headed to Jamaica this march leading a yoga retreat! (Let me know if you want to come!)

What is your secret talent?
I grew up singing from like 5 until college so I can secretly sing 🙂

Where were you born, where did you grow up?
I was born in New Jersey and grew up in a town called Clark. I’m still close with my bffs from high school!

Where is the strangest/most interesting place you’ve traveled to?
Recently I went on a yoga retreat to Morroco which was quite the adventure! I guess the strangest part of that trip was when we stayed at a retreat center at the base of the mountains outside of Marrakech and they had 8 peacocks living there.

Strangest fear?
I’m afraid (or was afraid!) of peacocks! When I was young and at the zoo one chased me and I’ve been afraid ever since (thus avoiding zoos!). So you can imagine my surprise when I arrived in morocco to find 8 peacocks greeting me! It was clearly an opportunity to face my fears and while I wouldn’t my say I love them, I don’t run away and shudder from them when I see them anymore!

What are your pet peeves?
I can stand when people chew loud which is funny because I’m not exactly quiet when I eat!

How long have you lived in New York?
Basically New York was the only place I wanted to go when looking at colleges so I came, I stayed and I never left! I wasn’t totally into going to college and I remember when looking at schools the only one that didn’t give me a headache was NYU (one of the louder cities I was looking into!). Now I hardly get headaches:)

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve every done?
Skydiving and running the NYC marathon!

Follow Kristin on Intsagram or check out her website!