Christine Stump

Christine Stump, RYT, has practiced yoga for 14 years, meditation for 25 and taught for 6, and now specializes in creating and supporting home practice for dedicated yogis. Home practice is by far the most effective way to engage the transformation of yoga, and joining the depth of daily, self-directed practice with regular consultation from Christine as a seasoned teacher helps her students sustain and integrate the revelations of home practice throughout their lives.

Having studied multiple styles of yoga, Christine now teaches Hatha yoga with a meditative focus. Individualization of the practice is the key to rapid and systemic results, more than adherence to any system, and the study of multiple traditions of both yoga and meditation informs all of her teaching.  Private sessions are conducted in person at the student’s practice space to fully access sense memory and can be skillfully conducted by video conferencing.

Christine designed and taught a ground breaking experimental yoga class which demonstrated health benefits beyond what had been predicted for a 12 week series of twice weekly, 90 minute basic yoga classes. Her upcoming ebook on home practice draws from these classes and teaches you how to build your practice from the ground up.

Christine shares information about the transformative practices of yoga and meditation with wild abandon. Learn more about yoga practice at alignmentyoganm.com, and about integrating an array of transformative practices into your life at transformationjunkie.wordpress.com.

Content Posted by Christine Stump

Eight Limbs of Yoga

Yoga is so much more than just yoga poses; even when this seems obvious it can be difficult to articulate what that “more” is. The Eight Limbs outlined by Patanjali in The Yoga Sutras over a millennium ago describes a progression from foundational behaviors, through the physical postures to the breath, the senses and finally focus and concentration of the mind. This path defines yoga and is common to all styels and systems of yoga.

Basics of Body Alignment

You take your car in to have its chassis aligned because if the alignment is askew the tires wear poorly and unevenly, your mileage will be compromised and the car will be difficult to steer.  Not only does yoga class have a beneficial effect on your physical functioning, but if you know some simple principles of aligning your body you’ll be able to avoid common strains and injuries, protecting your ligaments and joints and finding your yoga poses from the inside out with more ease and grace. 

Minimum and Maximum Edge of a Stretch

Sometimes, in pursuit of that initial feeling of bliss and stretch, we can go too far, too soon for our intricately connected bodies. Whether in pursuit of a “magazine perfect” pose or just a feeling we remember from our early yoga days when stretching was new and shiny, we can all go too far at times. When your yoga teacher encourages you to “push your edge,” what exactly are you going for? Where is your edge and how will you know when you reach it, how to push it, and how far is too far?

Methods of Breath Practice

Your breath can provide a wealth of information about your well-being. Shallow breathing can be a sign of muscle tension, disturbed feelings or overtaxed systems. Irregular breathing can be a signal of metabolic dysfunction or physical exertion. Your breath is also an amazing biofeedback system that not only allows you to monitor your well-being, but allows you to adjust the conditions in your body simply through awareness. By cultivating awareness of the breath, you can learn to pay attention and adjust the phases, regions and qualities of your breath for optimal functioning.

Two Breathing Practices You’ll Use All The Time

Pranayam, or breathing practice, is a powerful part of yoga and allows you to adjust your mood, energy and awakeness almost instantaneously. In fact, the thing that makes yoga yoga is awareness of the breath, so when you add breath awareness to anything you do you transform that activity into a kind of yoga, or union with awareness.

What is breath practice?

You’ve probably noticed that most yoga classes begin with some instructions about your breath. The teacher will either ask you to breathe deeply or lengthen your exhalation, expand your belly or your chest, breathe through your nose or exhale through your mouth. Why is the breath so important? And why would you practice something you do naturally all the time anyway?

A Comfortable Seat: Sitting Cross Legged

If you’re considering seated meditation, you’ll want to know how to create the most comfortable seated posture you possibly can. Westerners are not adapted to sitting on the floor, and yoga is excellent at making the joints and muscles strong and pliable enough to accommodate sitting on the floor, but there are several tips that will make you comfortable and steady for the long haul.

A Comfortable Seat: Sitting On Your Feet

If you’re considering seated meditation, you’ll want to know how to create the most comfortable seated posture you possibly can. Westerners are not adapted to sitting on the floor, and yoga is excellent at making the joints and muscles strong and pliable enough to accommodate sitting on the floor, but there are several tips that will make you comfortable and steady for the long haul.

Learning How to Meditate

You may have heard during a yoga class that the practice of the postures - the Warriors and Eagles, Triangles and Cranes - is all to prepare the body to sit most comfortably.  In the beginning, many yoga students don’t understand why they would go through such heat-producing, rigorous classes only to sit still. However, as kinks get worked out of the body, the attention begins to even out as well, and reveal the Fourth State, the consciousness encompassing both objects and the experience of the objects, the monkey mind of worries and plans, and underlying and unifying all the divisions we create to understand and control our everyday world.

My Family and Yoga

Whether you’re new to yoga or a veteran of the mat, sharing some yoga moves or a whole practice with your family can open new vistas. You’ll rediscover the fun and novelty of poses that may have become familiar at the same time that you’ll encourage and model healthy activity and family togetherness.