Home PeopleHoboken Girl of the Week Hoboken Girl of the Week: Krysta Johnston {of Kure Pilates}

Hoboken Girl of the Week: Krysta Johnston {of Kure Pilates}

by Jennifer Tripucka
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When Krysta Johnston suffered a concussion shortly after her Chiari diagnosis {a surgical procedure on the brain performed to remove the bone at the back of the skull and spine}, she was teaching a physical education summer camp. Within weeks, she began falling, having debilitating headaches, brain fogs, and vertigo to name just some of the symptoms. About six months after the accident, she ended up having brain surgery for the exacerbation of the Chiari Malformation.


At the time of the accident, Krysta lost all of her health benefits and the security of her job. “I could not return to my love of teaching and had to forfeit a Ph.D graduate assistantship to UNC due to cognitive decline,” she shared. Regardless of her obstacles, she worked very hard on my recovery through cognitive therapy and began using Pilates to heal. During that time, she became very passionate about the rehabilitative power of Pilates and won a teacher training scholarship at Kinected in NYC.

Slowly but surely, Krysta began teaching in NYC and the metro area, realizing her potential to help others with similar medical conditions. She created an LLC and started teaching Pilates out of her apartment {remember this HG visit?!}. Needless to say, it was a success! Later that summer, Krysta met the other half of Kure Pilates, Lory Benson — and their passion, experience, and connection ignited their cause to grow further.

“We have built this company together with the skin off of our backs and the constant support of one another. Entrepreneurship is not glamorous by any means, but when you live, breathe and eat what you believe in, life has a way of giving back,” Krysta explained. Through every session, Krysta aims to educate her clients through proper movement. “Our instructors are distinguishably different, all holding the utmost capacity in delivering exceptionally individualistic Pilates programs, which are heavily anatomically based.”


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“Regardless of my difficulties, I want people to know you can always find happiness through movement. Every time I’ve had a surgery or been diagnosed, I’ve lost a piece of myself. As a prior Division I athlete, it’s hard to think about and compare myself to what I used to be. It’s difficult to constantly come back from disappointment and pain. I’ve learned that with loss comes something new — something better, something Kure!”

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In the last 10 years,  Krysta has been diagnosed and surgically repaired in more ways then most will undergo in a few lifetimes. To quickly list — 2016: Cranio-Cervical Instability (from EDS), Lupus, Cervical Rib Abnormality/Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, 2011 Brain Decompression Surgery, 2010: Chiari Malformation, Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, 2009: Corneal Ulcers, 2008: L5-S1 Spinal Fusion, 2005: Right Meniscal tear. “I am in chronic pain everyday and will never use that as an excuse. It drives me to be more then is ever expected of me, as I’ve lived through the trials and tribulations of the diagnoses, physical pain, emotional strain, and mental fatigue. Feeling is what I bring to my studio, the instructors and to the clients on a daily basis.”

And that, Krysta says, is why Kure Pilates is an exceptionally unique place in our town. Why? “Because of the deeply experienced and understanding place it comes from — me! I’m what the medical community calls a Zebra, a very unlikely diagnostic possibility: ‘When you hear hoof beats, think of horses, not zebras,'” she says.

This inspiring Hoboken Girl of the Week has sure been through a lot, but let it be a reminder to all of us to be thankful and never lose faith/give up hope. Of course, we couldn’t let her get away with not answering our HG of the Week Qs, so without further ado:

What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken?

Cucharamama Chimichuri skirt steak is nuts, and I dream of their plantains at night. Anthony David’s has the most amazing chicken I have ever tasted — I could eat a whole chicken by myself, hands down.

What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken?

Hmm…I’m not a real shopper. I do love jewelry, and Neeta from Aaraa, and I’ve scored some awesome seasonal deals at Viva La Mode, leading to some of my favorite sandal buys.

What do you love most about Hoboken?


The view. Every time I go for a run, I’ll stop at some point and just stare even after 8 years. How can you not?

What is your favorite thing to do in Hoboken?

Sit on the pier with my little David Bowie-eyed angel, Rooney, in the sun. Finding quiet time in my life isn’t easy, this helps.

How long have you lived and/or worked in Hoboken?

I’ve lived in Hoboken since 2008 and worked here since 2012.

What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken?

Any place on the water, especially if there is glass of wine or a margherita in hand. Sitting at Pier 13 on a weekday is just perfection.

What is your favorite place to work out in Hoboken?

It would be cliché if I said Kure Pilates. I credit WiO and Devotion Yoga in helping me heal on my journey, in addition to Pilates of course 😉 You have to mix it up. I adore Nöel and Lisa from WiO, who showed me the utmost love when recovering from brain surgery; and, Kate Lombardo and Tam Terry from Devotion Yoga. Their positive energy and spirit helped me move gently again when flaring up from Lupus and EDS, my connective tissue disorder. These women inspire me.

Where do you go out with friends in Hoboken?

I don’t go out very much, sleep and rest have become some of my best friends over the years. It has also changed over the years as I moved here in my late twenties and am now in my mid-thirties. Bin 14, Pilsner Haus are my top picks, recently enjoying Sorrelinas too.

What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken (ex. Type of restaurant, business, etc)?

A place just for salads and a kick-ass Mediterranean restaurant. After living in Bay Ridge, BK for a bit, I got spoiled with the best Mediterranean food in NYC. I had a conversation recently with a client that there is nowhere in Hoboken to buy just socks and underwear?!? You need to go to the city or Newport Mall. Anyone?

Krysta found her niche and a true foundation in Hoboken. “I, along with the entire staff at Kure, genuinely care about our clients and have developed true friendships. I’ve found that being a healthy part of the growth, transition, birth and postpartum of a mother and child’s life is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The fact that a client can walk better, climb up steps by putting one foot on each step instead of two, decrease a scoliosis curve lessening pain or sleep better…make this job amazing.”

And this is why, she says, she lives by a very important mantra:

Never be too quick to judge, you never know what another person’s pain may be.

Krysta says, “A “thank you” is not enough to those who have supported me — personally and professionally, throughout this journey. All my love and appreciation.”

For more information on Krysta’s journey, see below:

Chiari Malformation (http://www.conquerchiari.org/index.html)

Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/ehlers-danlos-syndrome).

Cranio-Cervical Instability (http://www.thepainrelieffoundation.com/craniocervical-instability/)

Lupus (http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/what-is-lupus)

Cervical Rib Abnormality/ Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/cervical-rib/Pages/Introduction.aspx)

Raynaud’s Phenomenom (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/raynauds-phenomenon/Pages/Introduction.aspx)


Follow Kure Pilates on social: FB/Twitter/Instagram @KurePilates

Know someone with an inspiring story that should be featured on HobokenGirl.com? Email [email protected]!

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