The Saints of Todos Santos: Yoga Instructor Janice Kinne

In 1996 Janice Kinne moved to Todos Santos with her most precious possession in the world, her baby daughter. And not much else. Mexicans call Baja the Last Frontier, and Janice was the embodiment of pioneering spirit. She had been working 60-70 hours a week as Director of Information Systems for a large ad agency in the Twin Cities area, and – while she liked the work – decided that there had to be a better lifestyle for her somewhere. Maybe somewhere with less snow and more sun, maybe somewhere with less people and more palms, maybe somewhere with less mania and more magic, maybe, in short, somewhere like Todos Santos.

Yoga Instructor Janice Kinne

So she quit her job, sold her house, grabbed her daughter and came down to Todos Santos, where she moved into her house even though they were still constructing it around her, and bought a horse even though she hadn’t ridden much before. She looked around and found herself in a great community of artists who were giving gallery tours and organizing talks, and decided that a regular calendar of events was exactly what the community needed. Janice now lives in a beautiful house, is an expert horsewoman and her magazine – El Calendario de Todos Santos – is in its 13th year of production, has doubled in format size, and attracts advertisers from across Baja California Sur. Amazing what a little dreaming can do.

Janice (right) and Buddy Celia at La Paz Half Marathon

Back in her college days in Minnesota Janice worked as a health instructor and weight lifter in one of the local spas. Health spas being in short supply in Todos Santos, Janice turned to other channels for inspiration, namely the Yoga Zone TV channel.  Each morning she would get her daughter up, then do her yoga class with the Yoga Zone. She got hooked. She sought out yoga masters and studios and practiced. She bought tapes and books and practiced. She trained for marathons and saw what yoga could do to help her. She hung out with surfers in Todos Santos and saw what yoga could do to help them. She took instructor classes and started teaching. She worked out a yoga program for equestrians and started offering it to Kaia  – another Todos Santos Saint  – and her students. Janice has applied yoga across several sports disciplines and is now the yoga instructor for Todos Santos Eco Adventures’ Baja Surf Camp for Women.

“My style of yoga is Hatha flow. I appreciate yoga in a cross training program as I am an equestrian and runner. I’ve seen that yoga can aid all sports by increasing body awareness, proper breathing, flexibility and balance. Surfers of all levels of experience benefit from these attributes of yoga. Also, every discipline strengthens some areas more than others and causes an over-development of some muscles that needs to be countered. Specifically, surfers tend to really work their backs and arms, but this repetitive motion shortens the back and shoulder muscles. They need more work on forward bends, arm stretches and core muscles to counter this. In the morning yoga classes at the Baja Surf Camp for Women, we focus on loosening up/stretching out all the muscles for the surfing lesson ahead, then getting the mind and body focused on the balance and flexibility it will need for surfing. I like to send my students off to their surfing lesson feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and ready to master the waves! Of course, the place where we hold the yoga classes helps on the inspiration front – we look out over a palm oasis and 70 miles of undeveloped beach. Definitely beats most yoga studios!”

Janice couldn’t have chosen a better location for the lifestyle she was seeking. “I love the beautiful outdoors in Baja, and am very focused on the balanced lifestyle that I was able to create in Todos Santos – work, recreation, relaxation and nutrition. All come together so naturally for me here.”

Janice’s 1996 check list reviewed in 2011:

  • More sun? Check!
  • More palms? Check!
  • More magic? Triple check!

And that baby daughter? Thriving in high school, completely bilingual, and looking forward to college.  Check!

© Copyright Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Casa Payaso S de RL de CV, 2011