Christine Burke is a colorful, inimitable wellspring of life with an infectious spirit. She aims to “bring the whole universe of yoga into a class” – and that she does. Her authentic words are deeply touching, yet as you get flowing, her sequences are infused with playfulness and laughter.
What makes your style of teaching unique?
I believe each of us is as utterly unique as a snowflake or flower upon inspection. So my teaching would reflect the same commonalities of human experience that we all share as told through my personal, unique experience. I tend to try to bring the whole universe of yoga into a class: Mantra, mudra, pranayama, maybe some chanting and of course loads of asana.
What’s the most FAQ you get being a yoga teacher?
“How long until I can do that?” (After something has been demonstrated). I encourage the appreciation of each stage of a pose. We are so often too goal-oriented and it sneaks into the practice and robs us of the very thing we seek – the present moment, peace, lightness.
What’s the strangest thing a student of yours did, said or wore in your class?
Oh my! I have had some weird things that aren’t fit for an interview 🙂 It was savasana in my candlelight class many years ago. I gave a woman adjustment for her neck and suddenly in my hands was a wig and looking up at me were two very astonished eyes!
What’s the most yogically incorrect, or stereotypical thing you do as a yoga teacher?
I probably do all sorts of stereotypical things because I have seen yoga teachers poked fun at just for sitting and chanting OM, and I do that a lot! As for yogically incorrect, I do say what’s on my mind in relation to the yogic topic at hand. I don’t buy into the hype that all yoga teachers are gurus – including myself. I think yoga is taken too seriously and yet not seriously enough.
Which profession would your alter ego choose and why?
My husband, Gary McCleery, and myself have been actors our whole lives and Liberation Yoga (our studio) is sort of a theater of life for me. We had the Salvation Theater together for some years, so my alter ego is still alive. There are stories, dramas, characters and scenes being played out all the time.
Who or what inspires your practice and your teaching?
My daughter, Clementine, is my main teacher right now; my husband inspires me to stay and be real always; my whole family; my students who come to class broken or hurt, and the ones who are grateful and share their light. I mean, there is nothing in this world that is not in some direction an inspiration for me and my teaching. To me yoga is the art of living consciously and finding the connections, the web that attaches us all and to see the universal truths of life in every person, place or situation. All of this excites me, fuels me and guides me.