I had been attending yoga classes for almost 10 years before I came across my first Iyengar class. Right away I appreciated the thorough and precise instructions offered by the teacher. As I continued to go to class I noticed how the intentional sequences helped prepare my body for the poses. My posture began to improve more and more, and I even grew taller from all the work we had been doing on lengthening and strengthening the spine. Having suffered for many years with headaches and pain as the result of living with scoliosis, I began to notice my symptoms diminish, and it became clear to me that Iyengar yoga was the way for me to go. That was the physical improvement. On a deeper level I became more curious on the vast subject of yoga as a path for inner awareness. I found I could turn to yoga to overcome the effects of living with abuse. I found myself going to my mat at a time when I had lost my sense of self. I would stand in vrksasana (tree pose) to gain back my inner stability and strength. Raising my arms up, as a tree extends its branches, I found that it made me feel both empowered and at peace. Over the years I have discovered the beauty and depth of the practice of yoga, how it penetrates through the many layers of the person, helping to maintain equanimity even in the midst of adversity.
More on Yoga and Cristina
Cristina is a dedicated practitioner of Iyengar yoga which aims to make yoga accessible to everybody regardless of age, abilities, experience or physical limitations. She provides a focused yet lighthearted class which allows students to feel comfortable and find purpose working on their own practice. Through compassion and care, Cristina's teaching focuses on form which in turn directs awareness to the body. She maintains a core value of teaching from the heart and not from the brain alone and works to inspire students to be curious and interested in all aspects of yoga by expressing and sharing her love for the subject. Alignment and proper form are the hallmarks of Iyengar yoga. Cristina believes that in working towards alignment in the body we develop equanimity in the mind and in life. It is her hope that her students will carry yoga beyond the mat with deeper purpose and mindfulness as they experience life.
Certified Iyengar teachers undergo rigorous training that involves a minimum of three years of study with another senior certified teacher as well as testing. This ensures that teachers are knowledgeable on the subject in order to minimize the risk of injury to the students. Cristina is a graduate of the BKS Iyengar Yogamala Teacher Training Program where she trained with senior teacher Patricia Walden in Boston, MA and is trained in Yoga for Backcare and Scoliosis with Alison West of Yoga Union in NYC.
Iyengar yoga teaches students how to perform the poses (asana) with optimal alignment and offers systematic sequences helping students to advance through the asana. Results include increased strength and flexibility along with improved breathing, circulation, organ and endocrine functions. The nervous system is brought into balance and an overall sense of inner balance and well being is obtained.
Cristina has been a volunteer at Open Door Community Health Center bringing yoga to low-income, under-served residents. She also volunteers for Victims Assistance Services as Rape Crisis Hotline Advocate. She has a passion for bringing yoga to help survivors of trauma and abuse re-build their self-esteem, feel accomplished, and with time, become aware that they alone are in control of their capable bodies.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. ~BKS Iyengar