What is your current practice like?
Currently I practice the ashtanga intermediate series at home 3-4 days a week and hop into a led vinyasa class the other couple of days. I follow closely to the ashtanga lineage as I'm drawn to the discipline, rigor and structure that the practice offers. However, I also enjoy being led through fun and creative sequences from my favorite teachers. Its all about balance right?
What was your first yoga experience like?
My first yoga class was entirely life changing! I first came to yoga as a freshman in college and decided to go to a class through a referral of one of my friends. The class was hard and challenged me in ways I never even knew were possible. I remember the torrential rain of sweat as it fell down my face and the way my legs shook in warrior two like i'd been electrocuted. The teacher demo-ed Bakasana(crow) and I was fascinated with such gravity defying feats as the arm balance suggested. The next day I woke up really sore but also felt incredibly strong. However compared to the type of localized strength one builds in a gym by lifting weights to target certain muscle groups, this felt different. I felt radiant, renewed and ready to go back the next day. I haven't stopped since :)
What are some of your current favorite asanas and why?
A few of my favorite asanas as of right now include Marichyasana D and Uthitta Hasta Pada Gustasana. Marichy D simply because I feel the most sensation from the posture. I love a good twist :). Utthita hasta has always been one of my favorites as it continues to challenge me. I'm enamored by the amount of strength and flexibility required to access the posture.
Do you like to listen to music when practicing? If so, what are some of your favorite songs to hear in class?
I listen to music on occasion when I practice at home. Some songs I love to play are anything by Fleetwood Mac or Sia. More specifically two songs I like include "Live like a Warrior" by Matisyahu and "Great Spirit" by Nahko and medicine for the People.
Who are some of your most influential teachers?
The teachers who have been the most influential to my practice are Mimi Rieger and Day Christensen. Day has been practicing ashtanga for 15 plus years and travels around the world teaching Mysore, and assists under Sharath Jois in Mysore India. What I love about Day is that she is not only unbelievably strong but her teaching is very blunt and to the point. She tells you like it is. No frills or fluff. Mimi is the first teacher to show me the importance of intention behind my movements. Prior to her classes I would carelessly step and stomp around my mat, unaware of how wasteful I was with my energy. She taught me that the opportunity to build strength is not only found in the postures themselves but all the transitions between. I draw inspiration from both of these amazing teachers in my daily practice.
Check out Chris' class on Sundays from 12:15-1:15PM to see what everyone has been raving about! And say hi and give him a congratulations when you see him around the studio if you can!