Cristi Christensen is a former elite gymnast and platform diver who found yoga after an injury cut her Olympic dreams short. As the director of Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in Venice, CA, she is a passionately teaches yoga and Core Fusion.
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Wanderlust: What did your child self want to be when you grew up?
Cristi Christensen: I wanted to run off and join the circus! Or be a hip hop, ballet, or broadway dancer…and an MTV VJ.
WL: What do you want to be when you grow up ?
CC: I still want to join the circus — Cirque de soleil that is. I’d also like to be a back up dancer for Beyonce and to continue share my passion for yoga, movement, dance with the world.
WL: Do you have a favorite inspirational video?
WL: What is your personal theme song?
WL: What is your favorite yoga pose?
CC: I have two! First, handstands: I love being upside down! They are fun, playful, and strong, all at the sametime. They also provide a new perspective on any situation instantly. Secondly: standing visvamitrasana. It’s my go to power pose as it embodies grace, strength, flexibility and balance. When practicing it, I feel strong, open, and grounded.
WL: What is your least favorite yoga pose?
CC: As a yoga teacher, I might be getting myself into trouble with admitting this one! But it is downward facing dog. It is just so hard for me to do correctly!
WL: What do you love about what you do?
CC: Teaching feeds my spirit with out a doubt. I don’t know if there is a time I am more present or more connected to the moment than when I am teaching. I get to inspire others to move and breath more, and watch them awaken into the strength and beauty of who they are. It is, by far, the best part of my day.
WL: What challenges you about what you do?
CC: Teaching yoga has ripped my heart wide open! At times I feel exposed, vulnerable and raw, which can trigger all my fears and self doubt. So ultimately, my challenge is to get out of my way, rise above the fear and share from my authentic heart.
photo by Amir Magal