What is SKY TING? With Krissy Jones

Launching Skyward: An Introduction to SKY TING with Krissy Jones

SKY TING began with a New Year’s resolution. On New Year’s Eve in 2014, Krissy Jones scribbled an ambitious goal for the coming year on a napkin: to start a yoga studio. Not just any studio, but one that felt creative, welcoming, invigorating and fun. It would not just be for people who thought of themselves as yogis, but for anyone who happened to have a body and wanted it to feel good. A month later, she signed a lease and SKY TING was born on 55 Chrystie Street. 

Eight years later, after opening 3 more studios, closing a few, launching an online platform, and leading training and retreats around the world, SKY TING blossomed into an energetic and global community. Students have flipped their wrists in SKY TING’s New York City locations, soaked up sun on its retreats to Portugal and Pantelleria, and logged on from all over the world to join one of the hundreds of classes in the online SKY TING TV library.

SKY TING is not a factory that churns out by-the-book yoga classes, Jones said. “It is a place to gather and to connect. It’s a place where people who maybe aren’t into yoga can come in and try out different modalities.” And at its core is the idea that anyone can enjoy and benefit from yoga.

“There’s something for everyone at SKY TING,” Jones said. Here is how SKY TING grew from an idea on a napkin to what it is today.

What inspired you to start SKY TING?

At the time in the yoga industry, there was nothing that looked and felt like SKY TING. You’d go to a yoga studio and it was mostly a highly spiritual vibe, or a highly corporate vibe. There was nothing in between that felt like a homey place where you’d want to stay. I was one of the main teachers at a different Vinyasa studio, but I had this vision for a community yoga studio and made it my New Year’s resolution to build one. I took a risk and signed a lease of this beautiful, bright space on Chrystie Street that I found on Craigslist. I asked my friend Chloe Kernaghan to join me, and the two of us ran SKY TING with another partner (as of 2023, I’m the sole owner of SKY TING). We sold out classes pretty much right off of the bat, and then we expanded into bigger spaces to host more things like teacher training programs and workshops. 

What is the philosophy of SKY TING?

The whole philosophy of SKY TING is accessibility, practicality, wellbeing, and just having fun. Yoga gives you the tools to handle life. The point of yoga is not to get good at yoga, it’s to have a better life outside of yoga. Life is hard, our bodies get tired, and we need ways to support ourselves. That’s why our approach is all about practicality, longevity, and joy!  If it’s not fun or at least somewhat enjoyable, no one will want to commit to doing it consistently. 

How has SKY TING evolved over time?

The biggest evolution has been trying to bring SKY TING to everyone through Sky Ting TV. We made the price point smaller than a single class in person but you get hundreds of videos to do every day. When Covid hit, we had to close all of our studios down. SKY TING TV became our sole focus, and it really took off and allowed us to stay in business. Now we have been able to reopen our Chinatown space, but we are still investing a lot of energy in SKY TING TV because we want to reach more people. It’s really cool to see how the actual practice is now embodied by the whole community.

What is Katonah yoga, and how is it a part of SKY TING?

Katonah is a yoga methodology that was invented by Nevine Michaan and named after the town in New York where she lived. She studied comparative religion and did a lot with numerology and sacred geometry. She pulled from all those influences to create the Katonah system of yoga, which is woven throughout a lot of classes at SKY TING. Compared to other kinds of yoga, in Katonah we talk a lot about geometry, seasonal dialogue and the organs and glands. Metaphor is a big part of it, for example, if I say “let’s be origami in this pose and fold our legs.” You’re actively playing with imagination. It’s about getting that third piece of yoga engaged, which is the mind staying embodied in the breath and body. That’s all yoga is: body, breath and imagination woven together. 

Are there different kinds of classes at SKY TING?

Yes, and that starts with our instructors. We have an amazing group of instructors who all share the SKY TING approach, but have different backgrounds and different takes on the material. I studied dance and have a Vinyasa background, but then I got really into Katonah. We also have Kundalini breathwork classes, sound baths and restorative yoga. It’s not regurgitated, it’s not a script, it’s all really personal based on the instructor.

How do I start yoga?

You can always start with a SKY TING TV class. Sky Ting 101, a three-part video series in our beginners collection, gives you a rundown of what the basic postures are that we repeat over and over again in SKY TING classes. It’s kind of like the greatest hits. And if you are more of an in-person type, come in for a class. All of our teachers are very skilled at having different levels in the room, so every class is available and accessible to newcomers.

How do I get deeper into my practice?

Yoga is a language, and it’s something you become fluent in over time. When you hear a cue over and over, it becomes part of your neurology. It becomes more fun after a while because you can have more contact and conversation with yourself. One of the things I love most about yoga is that it’s an infinite well you can dive into that gets deeper and deeper as you go along.

What are you working on now?

We’re expanding our SKY TING TV offerings. We’re adding challenges, like a 30 day challenge. We’re building the library to make it easier to find the class you want. And then we’re going to open up a new space – so stay tuned.

What part of the SKY TING journey are you proudest of?

The best compliment I ever get is “I never liked yoga until I went to SKY TING.”