sample

Makers & Shakers: Meet Christina Lei

Makers and Shakers     |    April 5th, 2016

In a health industry saturated with trainers ranging from the hyper athletic to the overtly eccentric, Los Angeles based yoga instructor Christina Lei DuBois is finding her balance somewhere in the center.

Christina Lei DuBois

After more than a decade spent practicing yoga, Christina can still remember her first yoga class as a teenager. Coming from a background of competitive dance and cheerleading, she found the slow, focused pace of the poses therapeutic and healing.

“It was really different (from dance). I enjoyed the poses and how they made me feel after.”

Christina Lei Yoga Instructor

Since that initial class, she has continued to explore all that yoga has to offer. From the fast paced, athletic sequences of Vinyasa to the hot, flexibility building poses of Bikram, Christina has used yoga as a tool to strengthen her body and her mind.

“I am someone who really likes the athletic strengthening and stretching side of yoga, but I also incorporate the calming breath into the practice. I’m a blend.”

Christina Lei-Yoga Instructor

It was Christina’s personal connection with the meditative benefits of the practice, which prompted her to pursue yoga instruction professionally.

“Once I started getting more into the meditation side of yoga, it got easier. When I was focusing on my breathing and exploring that, I really started seeing the benefits in practicing. And that was when I decided to get my teaching certification.”

Christina Lei Yoga Instructor

A year after deciding to become a registered yoga teacher, Christina found herself at the Kona Lani Yoga Ashram on the island of Hawaii. There, Christina dove into the ashram’s 21-day intensive program for yoga instructors. From 5:30 in the morning until 7:00 at night, participants studied anatomy, practiced mediation and pranayama (breath control), and worked every muscle in their bodies.

KonaLani Yoga Ashram

KonaLani Yoga Ashram

“We were exhausted, but it was a great experience because it just forced you in it. I was meditating an hour a day and I got to see how that made me feel. It was kind of like a different world…24/7 living, breathing yoga.”

KonaLani Yoga Ashram-Christina Lei

Christina Lei Yoga in Hawaii

Though the intensive program was a huge commitment of time, finances, and physical strain, Christina found the immersive experience rewarding on both a personal and professional level. Yet it came with its own set of challenges once the course was completed and she returned to ‘the real world.’

“No one will hire you if you don’t have experience (teaching a class). When you do yoga teacher training through a studio you have opportunities to teach. That’s why it’s hard when you do intensives. You have to take the next steps to put yourself out there.”

Christina Lei Yoga

Once home in what was then Las Vegas, Christina threw herself into building a name for herself as an instructor.

“I started doing free yoga in the park on Saturday mornings for anyone in Las Vegas. I created a fun morning yoga experience so that I could get training, but also so I could share with my friends and family the things I had learned…I just put myself out there.”

Las Vegas Yoga in the Park

In addition to providing training and exposure, offering free yoga in the park helped build Christina’s confidence as an instructor and gave her the experience she needed to be hired at a gym.

Las Vegas Yoga In the Park

Christina Lei Yoga in the Park

Now two years after gaining her yoga teacher certification, Christina is expanding on her mission of health and wellness in Los Angeles, where she is working toward a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Yo San University.

“I’m passionate about wellness and alternative ways to be well and be happy… With a Masters in Traditional Chinese Medicine I can do acupressure, acupuncture, herbs and a Reiki type healing called Qigong.”

Christina Lei Yoga Instructor

After spending seven months establishing a clientele in Las Vegas, Christina was forced to start from over when she moved to Los Angeles for school. In the highly competitive fitness market of LA, initial rejections felt very personal.

“This has been kind of a humbling experience…You have to show someone your class to get hired. But before showcasing your class skills comes the one-on-one interview. When you don’t get hired from that, you know it’s because they just don’t want you.”

Christina Lei-Meditation

After a few months of perseverance and a refusal to quit, Christina now teaches yoga classes at a gym, offers private yoga sessions throughout the LA area and balances a full-time course load at school. Though not as straightforward as she anticipated, Christina’s path to becoming a health and wellness guru is well laid out ahead of her.

Christina Lei Yogi

“You’re never going to be happy with a job if you’re not passionate about it. I go to yoga and Pilates classes every week. That’s why it’s easy for it to be a profession. It’s a part of my life.”

 

For those with their own practice, passion or hobby, Christina has some advice for taking it to the next level:

  • Be yourself: Don’t fall into a category just because it already exists. Take it your own way. By staying true to yourself, your personality and passion will help you stand out from others who may simply be followers.
  • Combine your passions: Academics and hobbies can complement and strengthen one another. Don’t fall into the belief that they have to be mutually exclusive.
  • Practice what you teach: The more time you put into your craft for personal gain, the more you stand to gain professionally.

Christina Lei Yoga

Christina Lei DuBois is a yoga instructor located in Los Angeles, California. She teaches one-on-one and group sessions. Find Christina on Instagram @ChristinaLeiYoga and online at her blog OneGreenFigTree.com.


3 Comments on Makers & Shakers: Meet Christina Lei

  • On April 5, 2016 Roseann said:

    Fantastic feature, Jessica. I’m so inspired! I loved reading about your journey, Christina. I can totally see yoga instruction and healing being your driving force for a really long time. You are made for it. And wonderful advice! xo

  • On April 5, 2016 denice said:

    beautiful! truth. I loved every word…☯

  • On May 16, 2016 Faded Sentiments said:

    […] guest! You may recognize her from our Makers and Shakers series. If you haven’t already, pop over and get to know her a little […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join the Mailing List

Get the latest posts delivered directly to your inbox. Subscribers also receive exclusive monthly content, and we'll never spam or share your info. Now there’s something to get sentimental about.