For me yoga has always been a ritual of connection, experiencing wellness and understanding of myself and others.  I grew up dancing as a shy child and movement became a language of expression and understanding.  I danced my way through grade school and into university, graduating with a BA in dance and kinesiology from University of Calgary in 1999.  I had a successful career as a contemporary choreographic  artist for 10 years after university.  I did yoga and other modalities of movement therapy throughout my life, but didn’t explore the option of teaching until 2001, I can still remember the twin towers were falling to the ground on the day we were coming in to be examined. What I remember from that first training was that yoga was meant to be for anyone, no two people would practice the same way, it was like a prayer to the universe and you needed to use all of yourself to practice it. 

I practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and began teaching the primary series for many years.  I enjoyed the breath based flow of each step of the practice guiding into the next and that it wasn’t about how pretty it looked but more about the energy  and clarity it gave.  I sought out Sri. K Pattabhi Jois on several of his world tours, and shipped myself off to India to study with him in Mysore, where I had an opportunity to also learn Sanskrit and Ayurvedic massage.  I had started to teach vinyasa and restoring classes and began looking for other styles of yoga to explore and understand what made them different or similar and why.  I studied with Donna Farhi, a visceral and alignment explorer that shook me to the core.  I had always had a strong energy and Donna allowed me to see my softer side and feel and breath into parts of myself I had no idea could expand and contract with mindful awareness.  I began to see that the movement understanding, kinesthetic awareness and anatomy research I had learned as dancer was indeed yoga  and was always present in my classes and practice.  A teacher I quote often, Michael Stone, allowed me to explore the rooted principles of yoga philosophy in a way that called attention and revealed a deep questioning of all that I had learned through traditional forums.  I continued to study yoga in its multi-faceted forms and lineages including Iyengar, Sivanada, Jivamukti.  The doors continued to open into Ayurveda, restorative and yoga therapy as well as pranayama and meditation.  My beautiful daughter was born in 2009, she is what I am most grateful for, she has taught me what true patience, love and yoga is.  I  passionately continue to study and teach from an understanding of many modalities and I look back to my original inspiration.  No two people are the same, nor should their practice look or feel like another, that we are a cumulation of all our travels and experiences.  Integrated Movement is just that, an offering into the practice of you, through movement, yoga and mindfulness you have opportunity to learn about the patterns that strengthen or weaken, to hurt or to heal, to stay attached or to change.

 Much Love, Christine

Tags: meditation movement yoga

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