Matthew Krepps, Co-Founder, Program Director, C-IAYT, E-500RYT, Ayurvedic Chef, Functional Movement Expert
I have practiced Yoga for more than 20 years and have taught full time since 2001. I worked as a professional chef prior to teaching. I am a certified level 1 & 2 practitioner of the FMS movement assessment process and have a B.A. in literature and Philosophy. As an owner of Barefoot Yoga Studio in Little Rock, Arkansas from 2000-2009, I conducted teacher training at the 200 hr. level. I also developed an extensive private client base for which I adapted asana, pranayama, and meditation techniques to individuals who sought Yoga as a therapeutic modality for issues ranging from structural/biomechanical pathologies to digestive problems, depression and anxiety disorders, and spiritual development. I also utilized my professional training as a chef, designing Ayurvedic meals for those whose needs were best supported with dietary change. Since founding Circle Yoga Shala, I have developed a 300 hr. advanced program that is being taught in two satellite schools in St. Louis and Ohio. The program refines a teacher's ability to adapt practices to individuals by laying a foundation for assessment and therapeutic intervention based on Ayurveda, the screening of developmental motions and reflex responses, and psychological assessment using the Enneagram. My private work has grown to include designing programs for elite athletes many competing on the world stage: tennis players, bull fighters, beach volleyball players, and rock-climbers.
East Meets West
My work has been a crucible of convergence between eastern and western models of the human system. I have primarily studied the techniques of Viniyoga as the template for organizing strategies and approaches to working with private clients. From it, I have received the teachings of Vinyasa Krama, the Pancha Maya Model, and the five Vayus. Vinyasa Krama is the template which guides the direct application of techniques, and the Pancha Maya model determines the scope of values that must be addressed if we are to understand therapeutic intervention in terms of a primordial wholeness. An understanding of the vayus gives us an experientially testable model of the movement of life energy and whether it is excessive, deficient, or balanced. Without the theories of Prana, there is no "Yoga" in the therapy. At the same time, the influence of Western biological theories of development and function are crucial pieces of my working palette: the movements I use in rehabilitation situations are gleaned and adapted from models of pre and post - natal development and the sequence of gait acquisition that is universally observed in bi-pedal organisms. Over the years, I have also consulted with my brother, Dr. Brett Krepps, a board certified orthopedic surgeon, during the process of implementing asana and pranayama in delicate therapeutic situations like working with those who have advanced rheumatoid arthritis, those with joint replacements, frozen shoulders, fused vertebrae and so on. I also have an ongoing interest in the field of connective tissue research that centers around the work of Thomas Meyers, from which a knowledge of subjects like force transmission and elasticity during movement, tissue recovery capacity and the like are taken.
My home and business, Circle Yoga Shala is a residential training center aimed at environmental sustainability and service to others. We have a long history of providing scholarships and work/trade arrangements to those in need. On a monthly basis, we host 12-step meetings and Native American Ceremonies ("sweat lodge") during which the spiritual nature of humans is understood and taught as the foundation for not only recovery from addictions, but also whole, healthy relations. In short, my life is service.