Christine Lamanna took her first yoga class in 2000 while attending Haverford College. In 2010 she discovered AcroYoga and hasn’t been right-side-up ever since. She has trained extensively with Jason and Chelsey Magness of the Yogaslackers, Lux Sternstein of SeattleAcro and Flight School Acro in Tucson, AZ. She regularly travels all over the country to attend AcroYoga events and workshops. Off the mat, Christine works as an ecologist with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the University of Maine.
Get to Know Your Yogi:
What is your favorite yoga pose? Why? Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon! It was my “nemesis” pose for a long time, with its challenging combination of balance, heart opening and extension. Unlocking the pose required me to learn how to really send energy out through my fingers and toes, and roll my heart open to the sky. Now I can’t do my favorite variation, Ardha Chandrasana Chapasana without grinning.
Tell us about your first experience with yoga? As a student? As an instructor? My first yoga experience was in 2000, when I took a yoga class as a freshman in college. I joined about 50 other students in the college gymnasium and we giggled our way awkwardly through downdog, triangle, frog and a savasana to flute music. The feeling of strength and relaxation I got from the class kept me coming back, and I haven’t left the mat since then! My first experience as an instructor was very informal, teaching Acroyoga to interested people in Tucson, AZ. My love for both Acroyoga and teaching naturally morphed into the Flying Yoga class here in Orono!
Something your students don’t know about you: I used to live at and operate an infrared telescope on top of a remote mountain in Wyoming!
Most embarrassing yoga moment that you are willing to share: Falling is such a natural part of yoga, and especially Acroyoga, that I can’t really say that any of those moments (there are a lot)! were embarrassing, even if I felt that way at the time. Most recently, though, I was working on Bhujapindasana in Kitty Wilkin’s Ashtanga class, and I got completely stuck in the pose! Feet crossed, head on the ground, bum to the sky and I couldn’t move a muscle! Kitty had to help me out!
What animal would you like to be for a day? Why? A swift or a raven. They live on cliffs and up in the mountains, and their flights are so acrobatic! They don’t just fly to capture food or get places, they fly for the fun of it!
What is your proudest accomplishment? Climbing my first high altitude summit, solo, just 18 months after lung surgery. I was afraid and in pain, but I finished the climb, and ran down the mountain in joy. Every climb is still both a mental and physical challenge, and I love it!
What makes a good teacher? Remembering what it’s like to be a student, approachability and enthusiasm.
What or where is you’re ideal way to enjoy your downtime? Outside, anywhere and anyway. Camping resets me, even if its just for one night. Hiking, climbing, paddling, running, skiing, biking, or just sitting in solitude are food for my soul!
What is your favorite dessert? Chocolate! Is there any other dessert?
Wildcard question – come up with your own question and answer it, please…
“What the heck is Acroyoga?!” Acroyoga is a practice that combines the dynamic power of partner acrobatics, with the consciousness and alignment of yoga, and the sensitivity and kindness of thai massage. We basically do yoga poses on other people, and develop the core strength and communication necessary to transition from pose to pose! Acroyoga is for Every Body, all ages, sizes and abilities. It makes you laugh like a little kid flying “airplane” on your dad’s feet for the first time!