The gift of the yoga teacher

Cristina Holtz is one of my favorite yoga teachers in the whole world. I’ve been practicing yoga under her guidance for the last 3 or 4 years and I can say, without a doubt, that her unique way of helping students relax and be present on the yoga mat is second to none. Her special human touch reflects on her calm voice and kind demeanor every time she enters the classroom. Taking her class is like finding a welcoming sanctuary for the body and soul, where both novice and experienced yogis alike, are encouraged to explore their body’s potential in a caring and non-judgmental environment.

Today I had the joy of meeting Christina for lunch at a new local restaurant, I wanted her to try the most delicious healthy food in town and I also needed some advice about my upcoming 200hr teacher training.

What I thought would be a quick thirty minute chit-chat turned out to be an almost two-hour long teacher-student exchange of knowledge and ideas. Not only that, but Cristina arrived loaded with clippings, notes, and literature that she’s been collecting for years and that she uses regularly to enrich her knowledge and assist her students better. She showed me how to be meticulously organized and told me that a teacher never stops learning.

“It doesn’t mean they are bad teachers, it just means they are not the right teacher for you.”

Something else she said, that really stood out to me, was the avoidance of judgement. We got to this after I turned into Ms. Complainie Pants saying how I couldn’t stand some teachers’ style of teaching. You know what I mean: when the connection and the chemistry is simply not there. “It doesn’t mean they are bad teachers” Cristina said, “it just means they’re not the right teacher for you. But, for someone else, that same teacher can be the only style of teacher they will follow, and as long as someone is getting motivated to leave the couch in favor of physical activity, it’s all that matters”. And just like that I was humbled.

Cristina has a true gift for sharing her energy and wisdom inside and outside the yoga studio. I could clearly see that yoga is so much more than just a job for her. It’s her lifestyle. She asked me to peruse some of her study sheets, notes, printouts and clippings to see what resonated most with me at that moment. Curiously enough, I landed on some pages of funny yoga comics, which reminded me that yes, I need to take my teacher training seriously, yet at the same time I need to relax, enjoy the process and make it fun. It’s really about the journey, not so much the destination.

You can read more about my meeting with Cristina from her perspective. I promise she’ll delight you with her nuggets of wisdom.

Before the end of our meeting, Cristina sent me off with a copy of Anatomy of Hatha Yoga as a reading companion for my teacher training. Can’t wait to get started!

Thanks for the book Cristina!
Two hours that went by in a flash.
Cristina’s meticulously organized binders.
Cristina’s copy of Yoga Body. She says it’s a must read for every yoga teacher.
the most delicious açaí bowl in town

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