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Many people want to live a healthy and active lifestyle, but few really understand what is needed to maintain it. Yoga Master, Christina McGrath, is a very active person and she realized early on that she needed to integrate something in her life to live the life she loves for a very long time. She soon found out that yoga was the solution that she had been looking for.

Christina has been practicing and teaching yoga for over 10 years. She is the owner of Swell Fit Living, which allows her to help people integrate yoga and clean eating into their lifestyle to reduce stress and increase energy. She also does sports massage and works with a lot of athletes in the U.S.A and New Zealand.

In today’s episode, Christina explains the benefits of yoga and how it can help increase mobility, which is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy and happy life. She shares practical and simple tips on how people can start their yoga journey.

“Prioritize increasing your mobility instead of flexibility. If you have really good mobility, you’re feeling good with all those movements and you’re not restricted in any way – then, you can live happily without pain.”

On Today’s Episode of the Low Carb Leader:

  • Christina shares her yoga journey and what urged her to integrate yoga into her active lifestyle.
  • She explains how yoga increases a person’s mobility and provides insights on the distinction between mobility and flexibility.
  • She discusses the importance of simple mobility exercises for office workers who are stuck at their desks for long periods of time.
  • She shares the benefits of yoga for athletes, office workers, and people of all ages.
  • Christina provides tips for beginners such as the type of yoga to start with, as well as the ideal time of the day when to do yoga exercises.

Christina’s Tips for Yoga Newbies:

  • Maintain a Daily Habit. Small things every day can really add up.
  • Find a Level 1 Yoga Class or Yoga Class for Beginners. This will help you prepare your body and develop the confidence to join an advanced yoga practice.

Christina’s Mobility Tips for Office Workers:

  • Roll your shoulders, wrists and neck every once in a while (every 50 minutes is recommended)
  • Keep hydrated

 

Connect with Christina

 

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Read Podcast Transcript

026 – Stretching, Mobility and Yoga with Christina McGrath

DAN:
Hello, and welcome to The Low Carb Leader podcast. I’m your host, Dan Perryman, and you have joined me for Episode 26. In today’s episode we are interviewing Christina McGrath. Christina hails from Breckenridge, Colorado, and is best described as a yogi athlete wellness advocate. I interviewed Christina a while back, and I’m posting the interview today. What she does is she’s a yoga expert, and she lives half the year in New Zealand and then half the year in Breckenridge, Colorado, where she teaches yoga in New Zealand, and she teaches snowboard instructors in Breckenridge. So she’s an all-around athlete. At the University of Iowa she was on the rowing team and just an athlete her entire life. I know you’re going to enjoy the interview.

But before we get into the interview I do want to remind everybody that in a few days the Tabata challenge is going to start. We have had over 1000 people sign up for the Tabata challenge. I’m not sure how many are actually going to do it, but I am hoping that all of them will because it’s going to be a lot of fun. And one of our followers, Monique, she actually recorded a 13-minute video showing an extremely hard Tabata work out, which I really appreciate, Monique. So thank you so much for that. I plan to record a couple options on video just so the Tabata participants can see. One will be low-impact. One will be medium-impact. And then Monique’s is high-impact. We will have a schedule around the 14 days, but depending on everyone’s ability, they can kind of choose whether they want to do low, medium or high. Some people are just starting, and some people are in really good shape. So they may want to do a lot more. But I’m excited about that. So this is the first challenge that we have, and then we’ll have more challenges as we go.

Just as a reminder, check me out on Facebook, The Low Carb Leader. I have about 40,000+ followers right now. I post a lot on that Facebook site. I’m also on Instagram @thelowcarbleader and Twitter @DanielLPerryman. So I really like the social media. I like reading what people post, and I like posting every day. And I try to not always post about nutrition. I think it’s always good to have some fun.

Dan’s Upcoming Interview

And exciting news. So if you are a follower of this podcast, a subscriber who listens to every episode, you will know that a few weeks ago we had Brian Williamson and Danny Vega on, and Brian actually has several podcasts. One of his podcasts is called The Ketovangelist, and it’s actually ranked extremely high on iTunes. I suggest that you check out that podcast. But he has invited me to speak, and he’s going to record the interview this coming Friday. I’m not sure when it will air. It may be a couple months down the road. I’m not sure. He asked me to speak because I am a keto hospital CEO. So what I’m going to be talking about is the current state of the healthcare system, why you don’t really want to be hospitalized, why you want to be focusing on prevention and what you can do about it through a low-carb lifestyle. So I’m really excited about it. This is actually my first podcast interview away from my show. So I’m really excited about it, and I thank Brian for inviting me on the show. I will post the link so you can check it out and critique me.

All right, so let’s get to the interview. I know you will enjoy Christina. She talks a lot about how people can use yoga to increase their mobility, their flexibility and how just a few minutes a day can make a big impact in your life. She also talks about what office workers can do just in a few minutes to correct some of the problems they encounter by sitting at a desk all day and staring at a computer. So without further ado, let’s get to the interview with Christina.

Well, Christina, welcome to the show.

CHRISTINA:
Glad to be here. Thanks so much.

DAN:
Yeah, all the way from New Zealand, which is – yeah, I’ve been interviewing several people overseas. This is pretty cool. So I am in the middle of the United States, in Illinois, very close to where you grew up. Tell everybody what it’s like in New Zealand right now.

CHRISTINA:
So interestingly enough obviously we’re on the opposite season, so it’s summer, and I live at the beach in New Zealand. However, it’s a little bit rainy here right now. But I hear you guys have been getting a lot colder temperatures, and it’s been snowing as well. So a little bit different.

DAN:
What’s the average seasons like in New Zealand?

CHRISTINA:
Like the average seasons?

DAN:
Just kind of – are the temperatures similar to –

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, they actually are. It’s pretty similar. I mean it’s funny because people think New Zealand is pretty warm. However, we’re pretty close to Antarctica, so if we get kind of a southerly wind or a southerly storm it gets pretty cold during the summertime. So it’s just, yeah.

DAN:
Yeah, that’s pretty interesting. So kind of walk us through – you’ve got a very interesting journey of how did you go from growing up in Illinois to ending up in New Zealand?

Christina’s Background

CHRISTINA:
Oh, that’s an interesting one. So I guess I – yeah, I grew up in Illinois, and then I also went to school at the University of Iowa, and I started traveling when I was about 21. I went to Australia for my junior year of university.

DAN:
All right, well I’ve got to stop you right there. You know I’m an Iowa grad, right?

CHRISTINA:
Are you really?

DAN:
Yeah.

CHRISTINA:
Oh, no way.

DAN:
So what year were you at Iowa?

CHRISTINA:
I graduated in ‘95.

DAN:
And you got your bachelor’s there?

CHRISTINA:
Yeah.

DAN:
Okay, so you started in ‘91.

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, ’90-‘91 – yeah.

DAN:
Yeah, so that’s actually – I was there at the same exact time.

CHRISTINA:
Oh God, that’s so funny.
DAN:
That’s crazy. I thought I saw you. No I’m just kidding. There’s like 30,000 students there.

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, exactly.

DAN:
And what did you study?

CHRISTINA:
I studied psychology and environmental studies.

DAN:
Okay, so I was political science and healthcare administration, so you are were in the same antiquated buildings up on the hill then, I’m guessing, right?

CHRISTINA:
Oh my God, that’s hilarious.

DAN:
That’s pretty wild, although I didn’t end up in New Zealand.

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, exactly.

DAN:
So back to your story.

CHRISTINA:
Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. So yeah, so I went to – I started traveling my junior year, and I really liked Australia and traveling. And so I guess after that I moved to Colorado, Breckenridge, Colorado, and that’s where I stayed for most of my adult life. And I did a lot of different things from doing corporate teambuilding programs to – I was Executive Director of an environmental group. I worked with wetlands restoration, and then I also did – for a long time I worked for the ski resort, and I trained snowboard instructors. And so I taught a lot of different things. I also have a degree in outdoor leadership, which I actually got in New Zealand, as well. So I like to teach a lot of different sports, like from rock climbing and mountain biking to snowboarding. And when I started doing all of those things – and I’m a pretty active person – I decided that in order to do all those things for a long time I was going to have to integrate something else into my life. And so I integrated yoga about, I guess probably like 15 or 20 years ago. But I started teaching about 10 years ago.

DAN:
That is so cool. I’m actually going to Breckenridge next weekend. They’re having Breckenridge, a low-carb conference there.

CHRISTINA:
Are they really?

DAN:
Yeah, so they have like 40 kind of national speakers there. And I think it’s pretty small, like maybe 300 or 400 people are attending, but that is so funny because I’m really excited about Breckenridge right now, and we have a lot of stuff in common.

CHRISTINA:
We do. That’s so cool. That’s amazing. Breckenridge is amazing. I love Breckenridge. So I go back there actually a lot. I go back there almost every summer, and I do – last summer I went back there for an endurance coaching conference, and I worked with endurance coaches to develop different programs, like with my yoga videos.

DAN:
Tell us what you do in New Zealand.

CHRISTINA:
So I guess I have a pretty interesting life at this point, but I live in New Zealand with my boyfriend, and here I live probably about six months out of the year, and I teach yoga classes. I do yoga workshops, and I also do health coaching. I help – basically I help people integrate yoga and clean eating into their lifestyle to reduce stress and increase energy. And I also do sports massage, and I work on a lot of – in Breckenridge I actually work on a lot of athletes, and here I work on just about everybody.

DAN:
What are the benefits that you have seen from yoga since you started it because you’ve been in a long time?

The Benefits of Yoga for Athletes

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, I have. Yeah, and I just love it. And I think what started for me is that I wanted to maintain the fitness and the activity level that I had because I was doing marathons and teaching snowboarding and doing a ton of things. And so I knew I was going to get burnt out or injured because a lot of people do. So I found that by doing yoga I maintain a balance in my body and my mind to not get burnt out or stressed. And then I also felt like I increased mobility in my joints and just an overall sense of wellness that I think I didn’t have. I felt like I was probably moving a little bit at too fast of a pace. So it ended up maybe not slowing me down athletically, but it actually helped me balance a lot better. Definitely reduced the risk of my injury.

DAN:
So you’ve always been fit then, and you’ve always been involved in sports your whole life?

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, well I was a rower at Iowa.

DAN:
Is that right?

CHRISTINA:
Yeah.

DAN:
Oh, gotcha.

CHRISTINA:
I rowed at Iowa, and then after that I pretty much started snowboarding and mountain biking in Breckenridge, as we all do. And then from there I just started running trails and rock climbing a lot. Yeah, so I kind of do different sports. And now I surf and stand up paddle board and do triathlons.

DAN:
Oh, that’s crazy. That’s great. Most of our listeners are not professional rowers and ski instructors, and I’m looking at your pictures. You’re very fit, and not everybody is like that. So for somebody that’s interested in yoga but they’re afraid to get into it, what advice would you give them?

Advice for Yoga Beginners

CHRISTINA:
See, and this is what’s funny is I think the people who I attract – because I do yoga outside in New Zealand, too, I attract all – like I think I had three generations at my classes most times. So it’s all levels. I teach all levels, and I feel like at any age and at any level just starting where you can. My yoga is really pretty playful, and I offer challenges. And I think that if you’re just starting out with yoga it’s good to just – I always have people kind of sit down and take an assessment of their body. And once you actually start to tune into your body you can listen to it a lot more and then just do the poses and do any of the kind of the movements that you can actually do and then just go from there because you don’t have to start out crazy or even think that you’re not flexible because I think I was listening to your podcast with one of the gentlemen you had the other day, and you know I think we’re on the same wavelength that this – it’s like the more inflexible you are the more you should do yoga.

DAN:
Then I should be getting back into it, definitely. Yeah, the bad part is I was – I’m sorry; I was in karate when I was younger. I was very stretched. I could do the splits. I could do everything. I was like –

CHRISTINA:
That’s awesome.

DAN:
Yeah, and now I can’t even touch my toes.

Mobility vs. Flexibility

CHRISTINA:
Oh, I think – see, but that’s how we all are. It’s interesting like even after a few weeks like how much you can increase your mobility in your joints. I’m a big fan of increasing mobility rather than increasing flexibility. I feel like that’s kind of a more positive approach to yoga so you’re not – you know, even if you can’t touch your toes, if you have really good mobility in your joints and your knees and you’re feeling good with all of those movements and you’re not restricted in any way, then you can live more happily without pain. And that’s the whole point really.

DAN:
Kind of clarify the difference between mobility and flexibility.

CHRISTINA:
That’s an interesting one. I think I kind of started on that path with – because I do it for kind of joint mobility and for – sometimes for athletes, but for everybody. The difference between mobility and flexibility is that there’s a range of motion that we have in our joints, and the range of motion we want to keep. And sometimes that can decrease with age, with sport, with sitting. And I think we need – in order to keep healthy we need to keep that mobility in our joints. So a lot of joint rotations and a lot of fluid movements will keep our joints lubricated and mobile, and we won’t have any restriction of movement.

What happens with sport and with age and different things like that, we tend to develop strength or kind of a decrease in mobility with the joints because we’re not using them as much. So either you develop strength or a decrease in mobility, and so with yoga, by doing different fluid movements in kind of a flow you can keep that mobility. And with flexibility, flexibility is when you are lengthening obviously the muscles. Sometimes that’s harder with age, and sometimes that’s harder with, also with sports because you’re trying to actually shorten your muscles in order so you can be snappy and strong. So I think that holding poses for longer periods of time sometimes isn’t the best thing to be doing in order to increase flexibility for certain people. So I tend to err on the side of increasing mobility with shorter holds and more fluid movements in order to maintain the strength and mobility in the joints in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Does that make sense?
DAN:
That’s a really good distinction between the two. I work in an office setting, and so people complaining all the time. They sit in front of the computer. They’re rubbing their necks because it’s killing them, and their back hurts, or they’re trying to get a new chair. What – you know, instead of like getting up and walking around and maybe exercising a little bit, what are tips you would give like the office worker? I know quite a few people that have developed some pretty serious problems from sitting in front of the computer all day.

Advice for Office Workers

CHRISTINA:
Oh my gosh, it’s huge. And because I also do massage I’ve noticed – you know what the most interesting thing I’ve noticed recently with office workers? The standing desks. I just want to say this because it was baffling, the difference between people who use standing desks and people who don’t. The shoulders – because what happens – and I think it’s also because – and here are some tips. So standing desks, amazing. I think because your shoulders tend to sit a little bit lower, and people tend to move when they’re standing, so a couple things you can do while you’re sitting or standing is rolling your shoulders every once in a while. So that’s just a simple mobility exercise. And I do that a lot in my videos and my classes, too. It’s just simple shoulder rolls because what happens is when you’re static there is no blood flow. So any kind of shoulder rolls, I say to do that every couple hours. Just roll your shoulders a couple times backwards and forwards. That totally helps your neck. Any kind of wrist – any kind of rolling your wrists is also amazing to do. So rolling of the joints in any direction, and that will keep blood flow and also flexibil—or mobility in your joints, and it also really helps your neck. So neck rolls will help, rolling your shoulders will help, rolling your wrists. So if you can do that almost every 50 minutes and then also keep hydrated, that helps so much, just those little tips.

DAN:
Yeah, that’s really good. There’s a few people at work that have the standing desks, and we make fun of them, but I know it helps them.

CHRISTINA:
It’s so interesting. I mean I think between – I didn’t realize how much it helped after I started working on people, and I starting to become more interested in it. But I think it’s kind of the balance between the two. I think if you have a sitting desk, though, doing these little rolls or rolling your shoulders and rolling your wrists and then also getting up can also produce the same result.

Styles of Yoga

DAN:
Those are very helpful tips. So when you start your yoga journey, if somebody wants to start it, what are the stages? Because I see there are so many classes, and like I go to a gym where everybody does hot yoga. I want to ask you about the safety of that. I’ve always wondered, you know, yoga – I’ve done yoga in the past, and it’s hard. And then you go into a room that’s 110°. What’s your thoughts about hot yoga?

CHRISTINA:
So it’s interesting because I also have taught like a hot vinyasa class, and I think it depends. I think the body is meant to warm up naturally, so I don’t think necessarily a cold – going into a pretty cold environment is that beneficial. However, I think heating your body up from the outside first can give you a false sense of flexibility. So you can tend to possibly have the perception that you are stretching well. However you might be stretching beyond your means because you’re so warm, and your muscles are so flexible.

DAN:
That’s a good point.

CHRISTINA:
It’s an interesting one because I think we’re supposed to warm up obviously internally to be able to stretch the muscles of the body.

DAN:
That does make sense. So when you start what would be – say somebody wanted to start yoga and they’re going to commit one year. What would be the progression through – would they take different styles, or would they pick a style? Kind of talk about that a little bit.

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, so it’s interesting. I think there is a ton – oh gosh, that’s interesting because there is a ton of styles out there. One of the most kind of common styles we have now – and this is the style that I teach, that kind of goes with almost about everybody, it’s called a vinyasa, which is pretty much breath combined with movement. That’s a nice start. A hatha class is a little bit slower. So vinyasa is breath combined with movement so you can get a handle on your breathing with your movements, and then you can make accurate decisions on where your body should be placed based on your breath patterns, which you know, then you become a little bit more intuitive on how you should move your body. So I find that those classes tend to cater towards a large variety of people. So you’d want to do kind of a level I class. There are awesome classes that are sometimes they’re yoga for beginners. You can do little courses to start with, and that will give you a great idea about alignment and about posture and where your body should be in the poses so when you start going to kind of group classes that are a little bit bigger then you won’t be as intimidated, and you’ll also feel like you know what you’re doing. So I’d look out for beginner classes, level I classes and either hatha or vinyasa depending on what benefit you’d like to get out of them. But I think that would be a really good general start.

And then from there you can develop just a very short daily practice where you do a series of four or five poses, maybe just simply arching your back a couple times and then possibly doing a few – they’re called sun salutations. You might know what those are, as well, including the downward dog. And so just doing about 5 to 10 minutes of yoga a day, they say I think it’s about 12 minutes a day you can produce substantial results. So not necessarily going to a ton of longer classes. I think a couple short classes, a couple classes a week in addition to 10 minutes a day would be an amazing idea to finish – you know, to get into yoga. Yoga practices can be extremely beneficial for your body.

DAN:
That’s great. Is there a preferred time of the day that people get more benefits? Is it best to do it in the morning or at night, or just is it just based on the person?

Morning vs. Evening Yoga

CHRISTINA:
That’s a great question. Meditatively in the morning I feel like produces great results. However, we are less flex – this is an interesting fact. We’re 17% less flexible in the morning, but we’re stronger in the mornings. So in the mornings you are probably going to be a little bit more stiff. However, you are going to be setting yourself up for your daily activity. The other thing I do want to say about a morning practice is it does set you up usually – I hear with my health coaching clients and my yoga clients – that it sets them up for positive decisions all day, which is an interesting thing. So they’ll make healthier choices throughout the day having a morning practice.

DAN:
That’s interesting. I think it’s kind of like if people get up and do Tabata or just work out or whatever in the morning it somehow just sets your mind that I’ve already worked out so I want to be more healthy today, and I have more energy. What you’re saying definitely makes sense. I would say I’m like 300% less flexible in the morning, but I don’t know if my bones cracking, does that count as yoga? I’m not sure. I like that because 12 minutes a day is very doable for people.

CHRISTINA:
It totally is. It’s huge. I’m always a fan of little, less, more often, and I feel like that’s what we’ve gotten to for exercise and with all of our short HIIT workouts and different things like that, we’re like now we know we don’t have to do hours and hours a day to keep fit. We can do short sessions more often.

DAN:
That’s a really good tip for people. I’m actually, after the last interview and this interview I’m thinking about getting back in. I’m just like so – my mobility – because I lift weights and walk a little bit, but my mobility is so bad, my flexibility. And I know that I will feel better if I actually do something about it. You guys are motivating me. We don’t have too much time left, but I definitely want to talk about your videos because I’ve been looking at your website, and you offer some pretty cool programs for people. You have several of them. So let’s kind of walk through each one if you want to.

Christina’s Programs

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, so I started out – because I’ve been teaching all over the world, literally, I have clients from everywhere, and there are a lot of programs online. However, I’ve designed my yoga videos. They’re specific to – I have them specific to different sports, but I also have something my clients have been calling for. It’s called the PERFECT5, and it’s probably one of my best sellers. And that’s basically five videos, and they’re all about 25 minutes long, and they’re your perfect weekly videos. There’s one on shoulders. There’s one core. There’s one on hips. So they kind of cover all – if you’re going to do a workout it kind of covers all areas of the body that you’re going to want to lengthen and also keep mobility in. And so I feel really that those are kind of the perfect – I call them the PERFECT5, the perfect practices. And people love them because they’re short enough that you can fit them in under a half an hour. You seem to be able to validate to it at any point. You don’t really have any excuses to not do just a short yoga practice during the day. So people tend to keep on that track. And I’ve had people do them for the last couple – yeah, since I’ve started them, and they’ve had amazing results.

DAN:
I’m looking right here, and you have one that is specifically for everyday use, and then you have one for runners, and one for mountain bikers and one for cyclists and then one for runners. I’m getting distracted here. I’m looking at a picture of a sign in Breckenridge, and it’s the highest point in North America. If I get up there and do that pose I’m going to put – Christina is doing this pose that I would – it would be the last pose I ever, you know, attempted, but that is an awesome picture.

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, I think it’s a handstand on Imperial Peak in Breckenridge.

DAN:
It’s not how I do a handstand though. That’s for sure. Back to the videos, like what – for example, the everyday use versus the runner?

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, so I was talking mostly about the everyday use one.

DAN:
What would be the difference between the specifics, like runners, cyclists, everyday use?

CHRISTINA:
Great point. So everyday use is just a general one. So it’s pretty much just for everybody. And it can be for every athlete, as well. And basically what I did in those, I covered just kind of the different areas of the body that you want to cover. And also I had added a morning flow. So I have five of those. And what I did is I started working – because I do so much biking and running and snowboarding – those are kind of my specialties – I wanted something specific for sport because what happens – and this is so interesting – is that if you do any kind of sport, even if you’re like super casual runner or biker, yoga, general yoga classes can’t honestly be the best because they could increase your flexibility when you’re trying to do strength work and you’re trying to build the muscles and you’re actually trying to shorten things. So you want specific exercises that are going to be specific to your sport and to the muscles that you’re going to build and the muscles that you need to balance. So I developed specialty yoga videos for, like you said, runners, bikers and also snowboarders and skiers. And they involve what I’ve thought about and designed with endurance coaches, the Power of 5. So basically that’s a pre-sport, so a pre-run video which is about 10 minutes, post run video which is about 10 minutes, and then I have a core because every sport needs stability in your core. So there is about a half-hour core practice in there. A recovery yoga day, which is a little bit longer, maybe a little bit longer than 30 minutes, and it’s specifically for your day off, and it will help you recover from the sport that you’ve been doing, and it will also help you balance muscles. And then there’s also a strength day. So there’s also a yoga that will actually help provide strength for the sport that you’re doing, running or biking. So they’re all sport specific. And being a sports massage therapist and also in all of those sports, I find them to be very, I guess yeah, like I said, specific and accurate with the information for the muscle groups that you’re attending to and trying to balance.

DAN:
That’s very unique. You don’t really see that. A question about your sports massage. What are the most common injuries or problems that you see with your clients?

Aging and Staying Fit with Massage and Yoga

CHRISTINA:
I think in all, whether sports or business professionals, it’s usually sciatica. It’s usually hip and glutes, which is really interesting. I find that usually – yeah, everybody has tight shoulders. However, tight shoulders don’t usually produce problems, which is interesting. Usually people get used to it, or they stretch, or they do something. But I find a lot more that people are getting more sciatic pain, which is the pain in the middle of the glutes. And I think with yoga and with hip openers and different exercises and just keeping mobility throughout the body that can definitely – sports massage and yoga – can definitely help those.

DAN:
About three, four years ago I was doing deadlifts at a gym, and just so people understand that a sciatica injury is, like, it’s terrible. I actually – I did a deadlift, and I did another exercise, and I actually like hurt it so bad I couldn’t get off the floor for like 30 minutes, and like my pulse was like 180. It was horrible. It was horrible. And –

CHRISTINA:
It’s so strong.

DAN:
Yeah, and it actually, after some steroids – the medical type of steroids, not the big muscle type of steroids – but years later it still is a problem. I still have to be very careful about what I do with deadlifts. And so I respect what you’re saying because people really need to be careful about injuring themselves because once you do, especially as you get older, it really never goes away.

CHRISTINA:
And I think that’s the other thing is because I work with a lot of people probably in their 40s and 50s who are doing like Iron Men and doing really major races and different things like that. I feel like I’ve been working on a lot of people recently who do a lot of sports, but they’re not 30 anymore. And so they’re just taking precautions like doing yoga and doing sports massage because I feel like you can do a lot of things, and you can definitely keep healthy and steer away from injury – I mean, not necessarily saying that you have to do an Iron Man, but stay in the gym, do some exercise and then yoga will definitely keep you mobile and moving. So you don’t – you can reduce the risk of injury because the thing that yoga does, which is interesting, just like you were saying, is I think when we work out and we strengthen all these muscles we still need to maintain good form and also blood flow and keeping that circulation. That will be more beneficial to creating more healthy muscles. So yoga can help us bring more blood flow in there and just to help balance the body.

DAN:
So in our final minutes what would be the top two or three tips you would give somebody to begin yoga or to begin a healthier lifestyle?

Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

CHRISTINA:
Daily habit. I think that’s the main thing is small things every day can really add up. So committing to a small 10 to 12 minutes of yoga a day, integrating five to nine vegetables and fruits into your day, just really simple practices every day, not necessarily thinking that you have to go to an hour and a half yoga class or do it all the time. A couple times a week, watching some videos, buying the packages and just going from there, maybe taking a private lesson to get into it, but just really small steps. It’s just one step and then small daily habits that will get you a long way.

DAN:
That’s a great tip, just kind of incrementally getting better each day as opposed to –

CHRISTINA:
Because everyone’s like [inaudible 0:32:50.7] you don’t have to do an hour and a half yoga every day to be fit and happy and healthy.

DAN:
Yeah. Well I mean I see that in the gym on January 1st. It will – you know, people come in, and they’re doing three-hour workouts, and they last about a week, and then you never see them again. If they would just come in and do a couple exercises and then take a day rest and then come back in – but you know I think it’s just the nature of how we are. We want to get instant results. But lifting and working out and doing yoga, it takes time to become better at it. You can’t become a yoga expert in a day.

CHRISTINA:
Exactly, and I think the other thing is that I feel like, just to let everybody know, I feel like I’ve been doing a couple exercises probably for about 15 years or something like that, 10 years, and hip openers. And I am probably not more flexible in any direction than I was when I started. However, I feel like by maintaining the mobility in my hip joints and my back has really helped me stay strong and healthy and fit.

DAN:
That’s a great point. As we age sometimes maintaining and avoiding injury is our – should be our goal.

CHRISTINA:
It is. It’s maintaining.

DAN:
That’s great.

CHRISTINA:
Just think if you would have kept up with the karate.

DAN:
I know. I know. I think about that. Don’t stop. That’s the key. If you actually have achieved a level of flexibility, don’t stop. Just keep doing it. Christina, we’re out of time, but I want to have you talk about the resources and how people get a hold of you and how do they purchase these videos if they want or connect with you one-on-one.

Connecting with Christina

CHRISTINA:
Yeah, definitely. So I do a lot of one-on-one coaching with people all over the world, and I’m more than happy to – I developed different clean eating programs for people as well, and we can do that just with a phone call. You can always shoot me an email if you’re interested in one-on-one coaching. And then I also do with my yoga videos, which would be a great start for everybody, you can buy those at swellfitliving.com, and you can basically just purchase those, and then you can download them, and you can have them. I think they’re US$70, and you can basically have them and just come into your own program. And you can always email me with any questions that you might have about the videos or anything like that. I’m always available, and you can find me on Facebook and also Instagram. Usually I’ll put on with swellfitliving.com or Swell Fit Living. I always put on little videos and little tips about healthy eating and also yoga and how you can integrate it, especially if you’re – I think, too, if you are a runner or a biker, even just recreationally, please check out the videos. And I have had really great results with the snowboarding and skiing videos. I used to teach snowboarding and skiing to Breckenridge Ski Resort and also Treble Cone New Zealand skiers, and just amazing results in their seasons, reducing the risk of injury. And I’m actually working with Aspen Ski Resort right now with the skiing and snowboarding videos. So if you are even just a recreational athlete with skiing and snowboarding or you’re going out and you want to get a little bit fitter for your seasonal vacation, those are great videos to get a hold of.

DAN:
Yeah, and we will link everything in the show notes so they can see it. But my final question is if I want to participate in the Whangamata class –

CHRISTINA:
Whangamata – but that was a good try.

DAN:
How long would it take me to get there from here?

CHRISTINA:
Oh yeah, how long? So you’d have to – yeah, so you’d fly to LA, and then it’s a short 12-hour flight from LA to Auckland, and then it’s two hours south of Auckland.

DAN:
Oh, gotcha.

CHRISTINA:
So it takes a little bit of time.

DAN:
All right. Well good. It has been a pleasure talking with you today. And again, your website is awesome. I’m looking at it as we’re talking because you have so many good programs and so many opportunities for people just to get their foot in the door and start these programs. Really appreciate you being on the show. And any final words you want to share?

CHRISTINA:
No, it’s just been a pleasure talking to you. And I can’t believe we have so much in common.

DAN:
I know. That’s crazy. Yeah, an Iowa grad down in New Zealand. That’s awesome.

CHRISTINA:
Halfway around the world.

DAN:
Well thank you again for being on the show.

CHRISTINA:
It was an absolute pleasure. Thanks so much for having me. It was great.

DAN:
Absolutely.

CHRISTINA:
I love what you’re doing.

DAN:
Yeah, thank you so much.

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