Yoga instructor gives classes to students with disabilities


Kyle Kratzke got out of his apartment to board a bus – a bus turned into a yoga studio. This is called the “lift station”.

“I will be learning yoga poses and relaxation techniques,” Kratzke told NY1.

He had a rare brain tumor when he was six years old.

“It was a very difficult time, I ended up doing it. It affected my learning, the handling of things. Emotionally, I was having problems too,” Kratzke said.

He says going to the lift last year did wonders for his health and well-being.

“These poses helped my balance. Being diagnosed with a brain tumor, I don’t always have the best physical use of my body,” Kratzke said.

Yoga instructor Karisa Johnston had a brick and mortar studio, but knew she wanted to help people who couldn’t always make it to her class. That day his bus was parked in Flatiron.

“I kept going to bed and waking up each morning thinking how can I help people who aren’t as mobile as everyone else,” Johnston said. “And that’s when I developed the Unum Heart Lift Station, which is the bus we’re on right now.”

Johnston said his method of teaching yoga and calming the central nervous system helps his students with and without disabilities.

“Wanting more balance in your life, wanting a quick tool to release everyday stress,” Johnston explained.

The other student in this class, Lauren Bianco, learns a technique to prevent anxiety. She says mobile classrooms have helped improve her mobility.

“It really helped me balance my emotions, helped me with my anxiety, my social anxiety, and helped me with my balance,” Bianco said.

Johnston has been on the bus for five years. His next goal is to have buses like this one in the five boroughs. “

As for Kratzke, he looks forward to many more stops in his neighborhood.

“It really helped me feel more relaxed and good about myself,” Kratzke said.