Interview with Yoga Teacher Chris Yonker

I had the great honor of meeting Chris at the Kung Fu Training Camp. Chris is 70 years old, she moves as a 20 year old and she laughs as the timeless soul she is. Meeting Chris brought me greater depth into Yin Yoga, an area I’ve been exploring in the last year, but whose encounter with Chris – who is a specialist in this art – allowed me to go deeper with my own body and personal daily training. I’ve also felt quite inspired by her presence and when I grow up I want to be like Chris, with the same sense of fun and the flow body movement she possesses.

Chris is an experienced and skilled Yoga Teacher who has helped hundreds of people connect to their body and stretch properly through the consistent practice of Yin Yoga. I was quite eager to know more and it is a great pleasure to share this interview with you:


1 – How did your journey with Yin Yoga begun? 

I was fortunate to discover yin yoga in May 2000 when I met Sarah Powers at Kripalu Center.  Recently back home from studying Ashtanga in India i was questioning how to integrate the intensity of that practise into my life which at that time included caring for my 87 year old father while being part owner of a yoga center, teaching 9 classes a week and maintaining a part time massage practice.  I was immediately drawn to the ability of the practice to rest my mind and restore my physical vitality!  It gave me permission as well as direction to be quiet and still and provided me with a practice which encouraged contemplation and meditation.


2 – What are the health and wellness benefits of Yin Yoga? 

From a health and wellness standpoint a yin yoga practice done consistently can on a purely physical level be expected to increase range of motion by appropriately exercising fascia tendons and ligaments.  Also the muscles will become more fluidly strong and joints can be protected from becoming fixated.   Much of the benefit of this style is experienced in the energy body as the nervous system is cooled, the immune system stimulated and the mind becomes quiet and focused.  The benefits may be felt immediately but will accrue exponentially with dedicated practice 2 or more times a week.


3 – What do you recommend for someone who is starting with Yin Yoga? How to implement a consistent practice of it? 

Resources for beginners include the websites of Paul Grilley, Bernie Clark and Sarah Powers.  In addition You Tube has many yin practices available for beginners.


4 – What other physical activities would you recommend to complement Yin Yoga? Or can Yin Yoga be done solely on its own?

The practice of yin is meant to complement yang (active) practices of hatha yoga, running and other sports and is not meant to be done in isolation.


5 – Over the years you have seen and experienced consistency when it comes to practices that promote wellbeing. What other habits promote health and wellness?

Any practice or combination of practices to quiet the mind and relax the body so yin and yang energies are in balance can be used for health and wellness.  Remember to make choices that appeal to you so you will do them!


6 – What final words would you like to share on the topic of health and wellness in today’s world?

Due to the business of our world most people need to slow down and add more yin for balance.  THINK ABOUT BECOMING A RECOVERING YANGSTER!


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Published by Natalia Costa

I love laughing out loud, sharing wellness (raising energy) is one of my greatest joys and communicating from integrity is key to me. I believe that being playful in an emotionally charged planet is the key to enjoy the ever present synchronicity. The journey is the destination!

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