Christine Burke, owner and yoga instructor at Liberation Yoga in Los Angeles, was drawn to yoga by a desire to find a place where body, mind and spirituality could merge.
But her first foray into the practice wasn’t necessarily serene in nature. “It’s funny because in my first class I was injured by an adjustment from the teacher,” recalled Burke. “Still, as I lay in savasana I thought to myself, ‘If I can wear sweats and roll around on the floor and end up feeling like this — I’m in heaven.’”
Burke eventually found her way to being an instructor and owner of Liberation Yoga. Since, she has taught yoga between 12 and 20 classes per week for 15 years (12 full time), in addition to managing the studio.
According to Burke, the most fulfilling part of her job is seeing her students excel. “It’s literally watching them light up,” she said. “It’s being present for transformation. When a student is ignited or released or feels peace or self love — when their passion for life resumes or their load lightens — it’s magic.”
On the flip side, a challenge Burke has overcome has been making time to maintain her own practice. With a demanding teaching schedule, along with being a mother and business owner, it can be a lot to juggle. “It is both the challenge and the adventure,” she said.
As Burke watches other instructors within her studio grow, she’s noticed a common theme. “I see the new budding teachers struggling with the transformation that comes when you dive in deep [with yoga],” she said. “I see them be delighted and struggle with how it can affect your world in every way.”
Burke advises them to trust that they’ll grow as instructors. “There is a lot of information and they tend to want to assimilate it fast,” she said. “I want them to slow down.”
At the end of the day, Burke is grateful she found her way to being an instructor and owner of a yoga studio, stating that the experience takes the cake. “It’s like having a child that never grows up that you love and cherish — at the same time, you want a night out alone without worrying about it,” she laughed. “Seriously, it is a gift to have this space that people consider their second home or their church.”