Chris has been teaching yoga at Jules Pilates Studio for a while now. Our only male instructor (so far)! It is really great to have Chris around, and he has so much knowledge to share. I am very honored to introduce you all to Chris!
1) What do you like most about teaching?
Students come to yoga for lots of different reasons, and the most reward thing for me is seeing how yoga has the power to give everyone what they need. It’s a great feeling to see students find the benefits of practice–whether it comes in the form or greater health, stress relief, peace of mind, or whatever else it is that yoga gives them.
2) What things outside of yoga that you like to do?
Walking my dogs, stand-up paddle boarding, playing the saxophone.
3) Can you say a little bit about what Prana means to you?
It means breath, but it also means something more subtle than that. Prana is energy. It’s the counterpart to the Chinese concept of chi. Yoga philosophy teaches that our bodies have five layers or “sheaths,” koshas in Sanskrit. The physical sheath is the most external, and the sheath of prana is deeper than that. I find that my whole practice is lighter and more joyful when I am mindful of the flow of prana, and that continues off the mat as well.
4) Can you tell us a little about how you incorporate Pranayama into your yoga teachings?
Just like the different asanas, different types of pranayama have different purposes and different benefits. When I teach pranayama, I choose techniques that fit the theme of the class. Some are more relaxing, some are more invigorating, some really emphasize awareness of your core. Different types of pranayama can also be better suited to certain times of day and different seasons. Pranayama is in some ways a deeper level of practice than asana, and just like asana it’s something that develops gradually as you grow in your practice. It’s important not to get bogged down. Just like how a basic asana practice can give you all the health benefits you need, simple breath exercises are tremendously helpful. Above all, I just want my students to feel connection between body, breath, and spirit.