About a Girl : Lindsey Kraten the Yogodess
From her long golden locks to her sun-kissed skin, her warm sincere smile, and her beautiful inviting energy- Lindsey Kraten emanates a truly devine presence. When she steps into a room suddenly all you can hear are the waves of the ocean silently crashing upon the shore. Her calm, nurturing demeanor brings peace and tranquility wherever she wanders. Her devotion to yoga, organic plant-based cooking, and organizing local community events truly inspires us here at Cosa Buena. Today we had the honor of talking with our good friend Lindsey, the Yogoddess.
Tell us a little bit about where you are from
I'm from Santa Cruz, CA. It's a small beach town just south of San Francisco. Santa Cruz is such a uniquely vibrant place with many different characters ranging from your typical surf/beach bum, to international students from the UC campus, to funky hippies that have been there for years, plus everything in between. Santa Cruz is such a special gem, mostly because of its diversity in nature. Redwood tree groves, rivers, beaches, and mountains all come together so beautifully in this laid-back costal town.
You have been living in San Francisco for a while now, can you share some of your favorite places in SF?
I have! It's been 10 years now. Amazing how fast time flies! I think over the years my opinions of my favorite places in SF have changed slightly. I'd say the places that have never ceased to amaze me are Ocean Beach, The Conservatory of Flowers, Sutro Heights, the view from Twin Peaks, and Golden Gate Park. I'd also like to include the many yoga communities in SF too. These communities are the ones that have consistently supported me and my state of well-being.
When did yoga first come into your life?
I discovered yoga about eight years ago, when I was going through a challenging time in my life. My good friend Hannah invited me to take a donation-based class with her at Yoga to the People in the Mission, about 4 months after it had opened. After my first class I was hooked and I have never turned my back on yoga since.
Where has your practice taken you?
My yoga practice has taken me to very far places, including India, but mostly on an internal journey. It has given me a deeper sense of what it means to be alive, both materially and spiritually. Yoga has brought me to presence, a place in which no where else makes me feel as liberated as I do when I'm there. "Understanding without practice is better than practice without understanding. Understanding with practice is better than understanding without practice. Residing in your true nature is better than understanding or practice." -Upanishads
Can you tell us about your love for organic, plant-based cooking?
My love for organic, sustainable, plant-based cooking has evolved tremendously over the years, especially after training at the San Francisco Le Cordon Bleu (French) culinary school, where more salt and dairy were always encouraged. I've always been passionate about cooking, even at a really young age with my "Easy-Bake oven". It's been a slow process of unlearning unhealthy habits from a young age, to growing more awareness around the food I choose to put in my body and how I go about doing so. After working at Gracias Madre, a farm-to-table organic, vegan, Mexican restaurant in the Mission for three and a half years, I was able to realize that Hippocrates wasn't lying when he said: "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." My passion for delicious and nutritious food continues to grow. To share my passion and love with my community, I've recently started a new business cooking for yoga, health and wellness retreats here in the Bay Area.
What is your favorite ingredient?
Hmm, good question. To be honest, I don't have a favorite ingredient. It really depends on what type of food I'm cooking and if it calls for a specific medicinal quality or flavor. If I had to pick a favorite ingredient, it'd be LOVE! Food tastes and feels so much better when it is prepared with love.
What advice do you have for the on-the-go city dweller who is trying to incorporate yoga, a wholesome and healthy diet, and a balanced lifestyle into their busy lives?
Here's the best advice I can give to someone who is "on-the-go" and is trying to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle: The only way to truly maintain the balance you're in search of is to actually MAKE the time for yourself. Living in a city can be extremely distracting, both positively and negatively, and can subconsciously make some feel a little crazy because we are surrounded by such an intense energy. It's important to remember that we all need down time- time to be present, even down to the smallest things like, sitting with a bowl of soup you just made for yourself and being grateful to have been given such a nourishing treat. Take time to cook for yourself, practice compassion and generosity, exercise the body and mind, be in nature, connect with like-minded people, and trust that you're never alone in anything you do or anywhere on your path.
What is a day in the life of Lindsey?
A day in the life of ME?! Well, that's a fun one! It all depends on the current circumstances in each moment. Typically though, I practice asana (moving meditation) and pranayama (breathing exercises) daily. I also try to go to the beach for an hour or two. I may be teaching a yoga class, cooking, playing music or singing, practicing and refining my sound healing techniques, or spending time with my amazingly beautiful and inspiring communities.
Can you tell us about the Mermaid Market?
Mermaid Market was a fun project my friend Margo Imbert and I were doing together. She had started it a few months before I joined in on the fun. It's a pop-up restaurant in the outer Sunset district of SF. We are no longer doing it, but when we were, we'd find funky places near the beach to set up and sell our yummy, organic food to the community. We were both so inspired by the power of food and how it can brings communities together. That's why we chose to do it in our own neighborhood: so we could get to know our own community out here better, and invite others to share the same experience. We may start back up again after winter passes. Here's a quirky article written about us: Mermaid Market
What inspires you most?
What inspires me mostly are people who are 100% authentically themselves. It takes a lot of courage to be true to yourself and show up in this world without fear of hurting someone or being hurt by others, especially living in a world now that seems to lean more towards the illusive and materialistic end of the spectrum. People who realize the wisdom and beauty inside themselves and others, no matter how much trauma, heartache, or powerlessness they've experienced, are the ones who I'm inspired by. Traveling is also something I'm greatly inspired by. Our planet is a melting pot of so many unique cultures, rich with music, food, dance, religion, and customs. I love exploring new cultures and different lifestyles. It's humbling and always brings me back to the simple fact that we are all connected. I'm grateful for all the teachers who've come into my life, passing on little slices of Heaven, which I continue to slowly, yet infinitely, put together to form the whole pie.
A very special thanks to our dear friend Lindsey for taking the time to share these moments with us. If you are local and looking for a little Lindsey in your life you can check out The Yogoddess page by clicking on this link : The Yogodess