YOGI OF THE MONTH
October 2015 - Christine Whitaker Wiggins
What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?
I got hooked on a series of stretches I saw in a magazine 20 years ago and didn’t even know it was derived from yoga. It was basically like mini sun salutations with some side body stretches included. I did take a class or two in Sag Harbor, NY back in 1998 before my husband Mick and I took off sailing across the Pacific on our boat. I continued doing my stretches on deck when I could; but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first child that I REALLY got into yoga and took a wonderful prenatal class in Australia (where we were living aboard the boat). After that, I was really tuned in to the massive mind/body (and baby!) connection provided by a committed practice.
What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?
Connection, life balance, health, clarity, openness, calmness, strength, peace, focus
What is your favorite pose and why?
Trikonasana (Triangle)…There is a symmetry, strength and balance element of the pose that I find pleasing and calming. It was also part of my regular ‘on deck’ series of stretches and, it always feels good.
What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?
When I first started with Susan, I was coming from a very low key class taught by a local instructor; and I was looking to be more physically challenged. I loved Power Flow and that was really the only class I attended; sometimes twice a week (when it was on Monday and Wednesday). Someone in the class suggested I try Steady Flow, and I found it to be a fun class with lots of fun people in attendance! Slowly, as my practice has evolved and Susan’s business has done the same, I enjoy Steady Flow as my ‘main’ class with the occasional Power Flow class as needed. My absolute favorite is Steady Flow taught outside on the stage at Camp Kekoka. There is nothing like a sun salutation performed gazing out over the water with the breezes caressing your skin, the sun creeping up the sky, and the fresh smells of the creek energizing your senses.
How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?
Wow. Where do I begin?! The births of both of my children were so incredibly positive because of yoga. It would have been a very different experience without both the mental and physical benefits of yoga. I am a musician/singer songwriter and I feel that before a performance, the ‘effort and ease’ balance encouraged by yoga helps me calm nerves and find that ‘sweet spot’ where I am trying but letting go at the same time.
What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?
Be easy on yourself; enjoy the experience, be open minded and accept and appreciate your body-it is an amazing piece of equipment! There are so many benefits; you just have to be open to finding them.
What is your occupation?
I designed clothing and hawked my music for 8 years before leaving NYC to go cruising. Last year, I started a small business called ‘The Green Paisley’. I offer antiques and design services. I also play the occasional gig and record my music. I hope to release a more recent album one of these days!
What activities do you enjoy?
I love swimming, cycling, hiking, snowboarding, traveling, photography,being on the water in any way, playing music, listening to music, hanging with my family, walking with our dogs and drinking good beer.
What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?
My favorite thing would have to be the relaxed pace, the scenery, the history, and looking out over the water every day.
Is there anything you want to add?
This is where I get to rave about Susan. I love having Susan Johnson in my life. Her commitment to her business and personal practice is very inspiring. She is so smart and resourceful, and she is constantly growing and seeking new ways to energize InsideOut Yoga. It has been fun to watch it evolve and I feel very fortunate to have her wonderful yoga studio on the Northern Neck. I think almost daily about one of her quotes: “Enjoy the infinite possibilities that surround us in every moment.”