Denby Sheather

"breathe deeply, tread lightly..."

Christina Pateras

christinapaterasChristina is a certified Hatha Yoga teacher who started her training in 1999 at Yoga Arts in Byron Bay, Australia. Already a school teacher and yoga practitioner since 1988, she introduced yoga to primary school children in London in 1996 and was intrigued at the impact it had on the children both physically and emotionally.

In 2000, she returned to London and started teaching Hatha Yoga at London’s Triyoga studio where she also introduced teens and kids’ yoga. Over the next 5 years, she taught a variety of classes and courses as well as co-ran a local yoga studio where she discovered the benefits of 1-1 tuition.

Between 2000 and 2004, she studied with Christian Pisano, senior Iyengar teacher and head of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Nice, France. Greatly inspired by him, she deepened her knowledge of ‘internal vinyasa’ – the underlying pattern connecting all postures, and the poetry that makes yoga both science and art form.

In 2002, pregnant with her first child, Christina trained as a prenatal yoga teacher with Francoise Freedman, founder of Birthlight in the UK. She later completed post natal yoga training with her too.

In 2004, she completed Yin Yoga teacher training with Sarah Powers, wherein she furthered her understanding of Eastern philosophy, learning about Buddhist mindfulness teachings and the importance of stillness in asana. Later, she formalised her training as a kids’ yoga teacher with Shakta Kaur Khalsa who founded Sunlight Yoga.

In 2005, Christina moved from London to Sydney and met Rick Birrell, then Avalon’s senior Hatha yoga teacher. As well as a master of form and sequencing, Rick taught her the gifts of humility, creativity, daily practice and dedication.

Finally, it was her three beautiful children – Zak, Mia and Ellie – who, for a while, took her away from the yoga mat into the yogic journey of motherhood and showed her how much more she needed to learn. From them, she is constantly learning the arts of listening, presence, truthfulness, love and simplicity.

Christina has been teaching in Avalon since 2008. The students around her have been an incredible source of inspiration, connection and purpose. Together they have explored a diversity of yin and yang practices looking at the different effects that they create in our body-mind experience. Her classes are both experimental and personal. Within this approach, there is a focus on building awareness, alignment and right action. She sees yoga as an invaluable tool in reversing the effects of physical inactivity and mental dis-ease, bringing peace and connection to self and other. She has also been teaching the primary school children of Barrenjoey Montessori School in Avalon, NSW since 2011.

It is to all these teachers, her children, students and dawn practice that Christina gives thanks.