Christine Dormaier is a local yoga teacher and the owner of Sound Yoga. She has recently authored a new book: Why Yoga Works – which offers insights on the rich history and underlying philosophy of Yoga. It also provides simple guidelines for the practice of this powerful healing art. The first part of the book discusses Yoga’s roots in the ancient wisdom teachings of India and explains the core principles and strategies for reducing human suffering, creating optimal health and cultivating satisfying relationships. Part Two offers simple practices that demonstrate the entire range of Yoga’s transformational tools. This book offers step by step instructions for creating individualized practices combining postures and conscious breathing with meditation. Why Yoga Works is appropriate for beginners, Yoga teachers, or anyone interested in becoming a teacher themselves.
We got the change to catch up with her for an interview about her new book, here is what she has to say:
Seattle Yoga News: When and how did you discover yoga?
Christine Dormaier: From the time I was a small child I suffered from asthma. It limited my physical activities. I was on daily meds and used a rescue inhaler frequently. The meds made me very hyper and I could not relax. I somehow heard that Yoga might help me to relax and help me with my breathing. I found one of the few Yoga books out at the time and tried all the postures. Since it wasn’t aerobic I didn’t have an asthma attack. While on vacation in Hawaii I decided to try my first Yoga class. It was an amazing experience. Even though I had my inhaler at the ready I never once had to use it. After class, I asked the teacher for help remembering what we did in class. To my surprise, she suggested I come back the next day for a private session with her. She designed a personal practice for me which she said would help with my asthma. I practiced every day and found that it calmed me down. It also transformed my relationship with my breathing from one of constant fear of an asthma attack to being more in control and at peace with my breath. When I asked her what style she was teaching she explained rather than a particular style she studied and taught in the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya. She recommended the only teacher in Seattle who taught in her lineage. I studied with her for several years and as a result experienced improved health, greater self-awareness and a sense of freedom I had never felt before.
Seattle Yoga News: What led you to become a yoga teacher?
Christine Dormaier: I had been studying Yoga with my teacher for several years. One day, at a retreat in Hawaii, I was shocked when my teacher asked me to teach a woman in Seattle who wanted to learn Yoga. Although I am an introvert and never didn’t plan on being a teacher, I felt I could do it since it was just one person. Molly was my first student and only student for two years. When I saw just how much the teachings benefited her, I was on the path to becoming a teacher.
Seattle Yoga News: What prompted you to write this book about yoga?
Christine Dormaier: For many years I have been training teachers. I have known Fran and Robert my co-authors about 20 years and we have always shared our teacher training notes. One day when we were yet again exchanging notes I stopped and said, “Why don’t we just put everything we have learned together once and for all.” I thought it would be quick and easy. Boy, was I wrong. It took a couple of years to compile all our notes and put them in order. Somehow this morphed into the idea of writing a book so others could benefit from our efforts. 10 years later it became Why Yoga Works & How It Can Work For You.
Seattle Yoga News: Which audience are you targeting?
Christine Dormaier: A student of mine told me she was surprised to find her husband was reading the book. She said, “Even though he doesn’t practice, he is enjoying learning something I’m passionate about, Yoga.” That is not the audience I think we all thought would read our book. But it does say to me that even someone without Yoga experience can follow it. Ultimately, I think our book is perfect for beginners who want a better understanding of Yoga to teacher trainers who want to use our book as a foundation text in their program. The reason it works for such a wide range of people is that it’s written in everyday language, the chapters are short, and we cover an incredibly broad scope of Yoga practice and theory.
Seattle Yoga News: Take us through your experiences as a self-published author. Why did you go down this route?
Christine Dormaier: We decided to self-publish for many reasons. We knew that even if we could get a publisher to pick us up they might shelve the book for a year or two. We wanted it out sooner. We talked to experts in publishing that gave us great advice and helped us formulate a plan. Every step of the way was a huge learning curve. We were so lucky to find Andres Adamson, a yogi who understood our language, formatted our layout, all the graphics in the book and the beautiful cover shot. Andres lives in Estonia. The person who indexed the book is in Jamaica. Our Sanskrit expert, Aja lives in Oregon as well as our editor Wayne who helped us structure our book and find our voice in the early years. We decided to go with Amazon print on demand because if there were any errors, they could be corrected and the book could be revised and back out quickly.
Seattle Yoga News: How much research and work went into writing this book?
Christine Dormaier: It took us 10 years to write Why Yoga Works & How It Can Work For You. The research is the culmination of 75 years plus of study, practice and teaching between the three of us. The classical texts taught to us by our teachers form the foundation of our knowledge that we have passed on in our book.
Seattle Yoga News: You co-authored this book with Fran Ubertini & Robert Birnberg. What was the experience like working with them on this book?
Christine Dormaier: Crazy! You know how hard it is to schedule one person to have coffee with you, well, add in another person and three outermost corners of the United States, Florida, California and Washington. Factor in the unexpected and multiply it by three. You get the picture. If there was ever a disagreement majority always ruled. Thankfully there was an odd number of us or we would still be writing. The cover is a perfect example. Originally we didn’t know what we wanted, although we were clear about what we didn’t want. I found the cover photo one day when I was going thru Andres’s photography portfolio and loved it. I have always had a special connection with trees. Because each tree is unique they speak to the individuality in all of us. It took a couple of months to convince one of my co-authors, but when we saw the first proof copy, we knew it was the right choice.
Seattle Yoga News: Anything else you would like to add?
Christine Dormaier: I wouldn’t have been able to write this book without 20 plus years of teaching at my sweet little studio, SoundYoga, in West Seattle. My students continue to help me refine my own understanding of Yoga. I am so grateful that this is the dharma that I have chosen or that has chosen me.
Find out more about what led her to coauthor Why Yoga Works in the below video:
Chris Dormaier, M.S., CYT, ERYT 500 is Director of SoundYoga and a Certified Teacher Trainer in the tradition of Krishnamacharya. She also holds a diploma from the American Viniyoga Institute as a yoga therapist. Chris is also the author of the DVD Strong Bones Yoga and the co-author of Why Yoga Works & How It Can Work For You with Fran Ubertini And Robert Birnberg. Chris continues her studies with Sonia Nelson in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As a yoga therapist Chris applies yoga principles in developing yoga practices that support and meet the needs of individuals who strive for better health and a happier, well-balanced lifestyle. Chris has helped many people with arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, heart conditions, MS, and other health concerns find yoga practices to maintain and improve their health.Published on Sep 30, 2018