Featured Teacher: Christie Pitko (A conversation)

What’s your favorite pose and why? Trikonasana (triangle) and ardha chandrasana (half moon). I love how open, yet grounded, my body can feel during these poses.

Where did you do your training? My very first 200 hour training was at White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara in vinyasa. Later, I finished an advanced 300 hours at Barefoot Movement in Oakland. Most recently, I took Judith Hanson Lasater's restorative teacher training. I continue to take classes with Leah Gillman, Kristyn Marshman, and Abby Tucker.

When did you start practicing yoga and why? I started practicing yoga at a fitness center in 2001 when I lived in Columbus, Ohio. It was mainly to relieve the stress I was feeling working in a corporate office. Like most, it was a physical practice in the beginning for me. But then, in 2006 when I moved to Vegas, I found an incredible ashtanga studio called It's Yoga that shifted everything I thought about yoga. I still really miss that place!

Who was your great mentor/teacher? I'm inspired by a lot of different teachers, so I don't have just one mentor. Maggie Verderame was the owner of It's Yoga in Vegas, and though she doesn't teach that style any longer, it was because of her that I found a true love and consistent practice in yoga on and off the mat. Leah Gillman, the director of Barefoot Movement in Oakland, taught me more about anatomy and asana than I ever thought possible. Carrie Jeroslow, was/is my reiki master. She brought the mystical into my life, and introduced me to meditation and manifestation and so much more. I'm forever grateful to these ladies!

Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method? I love vinyasa flow. I also love to feel the subtle body. The parts that you cannot see with your eyes. The part of yoga that you can only feel. It's a very personal thing that you may discover after a dedicated practice. 

Your favorite quote? I have way too many! I think certain quotes find their way to us at just the right times. This one recently caught my eye : "I will love the light, for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars." -Og Mandino

Favorite food? Avocados

Favorite place to travel to? Prague, Madrid, Edinburgh. If I could travel every month, I would.

Visit http://www.shiftingandinspired.com/ to learn more about Christie