My Body

Christine Miller on Virtual Yoga Connections and Million Dollar Baby Moments

Christine Miller is a yoga instructor and the founder of TeleYoga. We talked last week via webcam. Me at Social Workout HQ, Christine on the floor of her Park Slope apartment, next to her bright, striped yoga mat.

After I started teaching yoga, I had a client who wanted to do sessions over the phone when she went out of town. And it was actually this wonderful meditative thing. She had to listen to my voice, and I had to close my eyes and picture her. And then I thought I could go one step further, so I decided to incorporate web cam, and it just developed from there.

I should say I've never done Skype video with some random person. It's not like you can just dial me up from Sri Lanka. Most of the time I do private sessions with my clients at their homes, but lots of us get connected to a teacher or studio, and you go there all the time, but when you’re away, what? You just don't do yoga for two weeks? And then you feel like crap. TeleYoga is cool and convenient and accessible, but not convenient in a bad way. I see them, and they see me, and it’s real time. And I can tell them what to adjust. Instead of a DVD that plays the same thing over and over again, they tell me their hips are tight or they need their heart opened, and I say great, let’s do it.

Getting started with yoga was actually a serenditpitous thing. I used to be married. I got married when I was pretty young. I was an actress for a really long time, and I was living in L.A. I tried yoga out there, and I thought it was the dumbest thing anyone could do. It was a huge class. The teacher never saw me. I had someone’s sweaty ass in my face.

Ten years later I realized I needed to get out of my marriage. I moved to New York, and my roommate took me to Yoga Effects, which was right around the corner from our place. And I loved it. It was a newer studio, so the classes weren’t so full. I had a lots of one-on-one attention. It was this amazing connection. I was having weird out of body experiences with the divorce. It helped me get back into my body and my breath.

Other than yoga, I was boxing for a long time, at this gym called X-Fit with this awesome boxing trainer. His name is Jimmy. I definitely struggle with finding peace in the chaos. New York is an aggressive city. Sometimes I want to punch people on the subway who are jerks. Sometimes I need to breathe. I’m half Korean and half black, so I have a lot of feistiness. Boxing really helps. I get kind of chilled afterwards. And I get into the mind frame of "I’m Million Dollar Baby right now." I put on my hoodie, and I’m strutting down the street. Somebody tries to bug me, they don’t know what’s going down. I’ll either punch them, or I’ll down dog right in their face.

Christine (via <a href="">myteleyoga</a>)

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