Read Christina’s journey into yoga and how this helped her to significantly reduce her levels of stress and anxiety. She’s now trained in children’s yoga, chair yoga and Yin yoga to help others to experience the benefits for better health and happiness.
Why did you start doing yoga?
I started my yoga journey just over six years ago when I was experiencing anxiety. At that time, I noticed a difference in my posture as a result of not breathing correctly. This contributed to the hunching of my shoulders forward and my breathing became very shallow due to the anxiety I was experiencing. It was a vicious cycle until I decided to motivate myself and attend my first ever yoga class.
What benefits did you notice?
I started mainly doing yoga as a form of exercise but noticed how the classes incorporated lots of mental focus and the postures were done whilst concentrating on the breath. After about three months I found my anxiety was lessening and I noticed how by practicing the correct breathing techniques, I was straightening up my shoulders and I even managed to halve the dosage of my asthma inhaler. My asthma was late onset and came on mainly due to the stress I was experiencing. By practicing yoga, I found that I could manage my stress more efficiently.
How did you start teaching yoga?
Two and a half years ago I wanted to teach again. I wanted to work with children and incorporate yoga into schools, and so I decided to do my study with Calm for Kids in London. This way I could put my yoga and teaching training into what I love to do most. I work with small groups of children under eleven years old. My classes incorporate stories which include simple yoga postures. As well as the physical benefits, my teaching involves mindfulness and breath work. This helps children to have better focus, and to be aware of their breath so that they can deal with their emotions more efficiently. Parents have told me that their children are less stressed afterwards. Most importantly the classes are fun too!
What type(s) of yoga do you teach?
I started to teach Yin yoga after I became interested in how it works with the Chinese meridian lines within the body. In Yin, movements are slow and are held between 3 and 5 minutes and we use props to help us into and stay in poses. Yin yoga not only incorporates relaxation techniques; it also enables the body to go into the posture more and works deep into the facia (this is the connective tissue that wraps around every organ and muscle of the body). In Yin we work deeper, working together with the five elements. A Yin practice can also be tailor made for you to deal with any health issues you may be having.
I have also recently started to teach chair yoga, and I wanted to do this so that yoga could be assessable for all. Chair yoga is suitable for all abilities and I can design a lesson plan tailored to your needs, taking into consideration of any health issues or limitations you may have. It can be done staying seated or you can sit as well as stand and use the chair for support whilst practicing your postures. Chair yoga is a very important class for the elderly, people convalescing from illness or injury and is also beneficial for people who want a less strenuous practice.
Christina’s yoga classes are available in the Surrey & Berkshire areas, and also online via Zoom.