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Yoga has overtaken me with a groundswell of goodness. After a life in the military the discovery of such an intense form of self management has been wonderful. I began taking Bikram and Power Vinyasa Flow classes in 2009. By 2010 yoga was a daily practice that I knew would not abate.
I took easily to instructing honed while in the military and went to teacher training under Baron Baptiste in Austin, Texas in October of 2011. I’ve now taught hundreds of classes and still feel like I’ve nicked the surface of transformation. To present yoga to others is a real honor. To yoke the mind, body and spirit together is the goal.
What do you do after you’ve spent your entire adult life in the military? While teaching yoga might seem like the least likely answer to that question for most people, to Christian Allaire who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 24 years, the two lifestyles have more in common that one might think.
“Interestingly, yoga and military life are not all that far apart in terms of focus and discipline,” says Christian who took his first yoga class after returning from the Carribbean where he sailed for three years on his own boat. With his feet back on terra firma, Christian began building his practice. “I realized I was arranging my entire life around getting to a class at Red Dragon. Usually one conducts their life and then tries to fit in a class. I knew I had crossed a line; yoga was not some phase I was in but was going to be a lifelong practice.”
Christian’s yoga practice proved to be helpful in the transition from military to civilian life and despite the physical demands of his Coast Guard job, he noted the physical improvements too. “Physically I became stronger, leaner and more flexible than I ever have been and the desire to eat unhealthy food diminished.”
After only his second year of practice Christian took teacher training, studying under Baron Baptiste. He taught his first class that same month. Prior to and after completing teacher training Christian studied directly with the Red Dragon Yoga teaching team.
Christian cites as his greatest influences, Jennilee Toner, a Master Teacher and yoga studio owner in upstate New York. “Red Dragon owner Stephanie Schreiber was also super supportive in encouraging my hunger for yoga as were all the Red Dragon instructors I practiced with.”
Christian offers a vigorous flow while emphasizing correct foundation. “As anyone who becomes more proficient at anything knows, sometimes the root basics can be lost. I hope to remind students of that fact.”
Off the mat, Christian recently graduated from Dominican University of California in San Rafael majoring in philosophy. He also is a successful mortgage broker/banker in San Rafael, and still loves the sea and his sailboats. He lives in Sleepy Hollow section of San Anselmo, California.
This is a paper I wrote regarding how I came to yoga and its benefits to my life!