Christine Chiu Instructor Spotlight
Rozanne: Christine, can you update us on your continuing study with Annie Carpenter and Tiffany Russo and why their yoga teachings resonate with you?
Christine: My teachers, Annie and Tiffany, have taught me to slow down my practice and pay attention. We work hard in level one poses, but slowly and mindfully. This method has helped me feel grounded and supported, yet the nuanced instructions help me keep my focus steady. I truly believe slowing down the practice is beneficial for both newer students and those who have been practicing a while. For the new students, a slow practice allows him/her to learn how to set up the pose; for the seasoned student, the slow practice helps the student be with the pose, paying attention to how the nuanced alignment affects his/her breath and body. Most of all, When we work hard in the ‘easy’ poses, we can focus and peg our attention to the present moment, freeing us from our overactive minds.
Rozanne: We know that you were born in Taiwan and have lived in both Asia and America. How has that influenced your teachings?
Christine: When I grew up in Taiwan, I saw my grandmother and many others offer daily prayers by moving her body in a prayer sequence that appeared similar to sun salutations. Even though her prayers were not technically a ‘yoga practice’, I feel essence of the devotion in her movement watching the daily offering of her intention. I felt inspired by that sense of devotion when I studied my first teacher training in Bali. That sense of ritual and offering is reflected through our sun salutations, a ritual that sustains us practice after practice, day after day.
Rozanne: You work a desk job by day, and still manage to practice and teach yoga. How has yoga impacted your daily life?
Christine: Yoga has taught me to use my breath if the workday gets stressful or overwhelming. Just pausing to notice the pace of breathing or the tension in the body will remind me to take a few rounds of long breathes to regroup. Actually, taking a lions roar (long inhale) and a big loud exhale has really helped me during frustrating situations. During the week, the practice can shift to self care and releasing tension with softer movements to make space in the breath and body. I especially enjoy reclined poses like chest openers, leg stretches, and any movement that allows me to lengthen the spine after a long day at the office.
Rozanne: You have been teaching yoga for quite some time. What has been your favorite part of being a yoga instructor?
Christine: I feel incredibly fortunate to do something I love! It is deeply empowering watching students getting to know themselves through practicing breath and movement, and watch the shift in the physical posture. It is deeply profound to watch students hold their attention and softening from self-judging tendencies. It is deeply inspiring to watch students to continue to show up to practice. The privilege of witnessing the students grow inspire me to keep learning and stay interested in the practice, watching the practice evolve.
Thank you so much for all these wonderful answers, Christine. We are so honored to have you as an instructor at Yoga Sol Studio! Christine teaches Hatha Flow on Sunday mornings at 9am.
Click here to sign up for her class!