“Get Out of Your Head” – Christina LaMarca

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An Academy Award winning actress (seriously…I used to make up acceptance speeches when I was 7)

List three words that describe you:
humble, loyal, sarcastic

Tell us about your first experience with yoga:
In 2000 (or maybe 1999) while in massage school, two massage school friends and I decided to try Atlanta Yoga.  It was an Ashtanga studio in a scary warehouse in downtown Atlanta. We were understandably nervous with the location and yoga itself. They locked the doors (for our safety),  then started chanting. We knew we couldn’t back out. At the end we were sweating profusely, sore from being contorted and crazy in love with yoga. Funny side note, all 3 of us became yoga teachers later in life.

What is your favorite aspect of Yoga?
The breath is an anchor for me. Sometimes it is someone else’s breath reminding me to breathe. There is something special about an entire room full of people breathing together.

What is the most challenging aspect of yoga, for you personally?
Getting out of my head. I hear teachers say it all the time, hell I say it all the time…”get out of your head”…easier said than done.

How have you seen your practice change/impact your life?
Physically, a regular yoga practice changed my body and helped me during 2 pregnancies. Mentally, a regular yoga practice gives me a bit more patience to deal with my, at times, crazy life. Emotionally, I have been able to let go of some deep rooted sadness and anger.

Why do you love teaching at Cleveland Yoga, and what is your favorite aspect of teaching?
CY was my first yoga studio in Cleveland. From the minute I walked into the dark room at the Hamptons, I knew I would be alright. I cannot imagine teaching anywhere else. It is my 2nd home. My favorite aspect of teaching is connecting with my students. Whether it is a conversation about their life or watching their practice grow, it is amazing and humbling to think these people trust me! I like the challenge and the responsibility of facilitating the student’s growth.

Tell us about a memorable/favorite moment teaching yoga:
There are so many! I will say I have one particular student who recently lost a loved one. She comes specifically to my class on the anniversaries and birthdays because she feels safe enough to cry, laugh, just be. It is a wonderful feeling as a teacher to know someone values you and the space you allow for them.

Do you teach yoga full time?  If not, what other things do you do for fun/work?
I teach 7 classes a week but I also am a massage therapist when I can fit it in while also being a full time mom of two crazy girls.

If you had one piece of advice for a beginner yogi, what would it be?
Just have fun! You will not “get it” immediately. You will feel awkward or not flexible enough or not strong enough. Just have fun and enjoy the ride.

If you had no restrictions (money, responsibilities etc.), what would you with the next 12 months?

What is your favorite song to sing aloud to when you are alone in your car?
Blue Dahlia by The Gaslight Anthem (shocker)

Who inspires you to be your greatest self?
Frankie and Sophie (my babies) are a constant measuring stick for me. I never want to let them down.

What is your your favorite quote:
“The key to life is a healthy colon” – Dad.  Also “Stay Hungry, Stay Free and Do The Best You Can” – Brian Fallon