With Mothers Day coming up there is no better time to introduce this gorgeous mumma Christina Leon Thank you for sharing your hearty journey into yoga and life with us. What a beautiful story. Namaste xx
Tell us a little about you? What you do, likes, dislikes..funny stuff,
serious stuff, anything you like.
Hi, I am Christina Leon, just turned 41, wife to a spaniard, mum to my gorgeous daughter Sofia who is 8 years old (vegetarian) and fur baby Leo. I am a twin and have the most amazing and supportive twin sister in the world (Charlotte), she is my rock!
I run my own business Reveal Yourself where I am a monthly food columnist for Good Health Choices NZ Magazine, have my own whole food range of Bliss Ball mixtures and Granola’s. I run healthy whole food workshop, blog for numerous companies and am an ambassador for some wonderful whole food brands. I also develop my own cleanse and detox programs and write whole food recipe e-books.
My love and passion is making food, my happy place in being in my beautiful kitchen creating healthy and delicious recipes for my family and my business. I would like to clarify….can’t really cook a roast but I can whip up a mean delicious raw cheese cake in no time….my passion is creating healthy snack, desserts and breakfast recipes. Everyone thinks I am a great cook, yes to an extent but I leave the mains to my hubby .
I love to be healthy and active. I feel my best mentally, physically when I am nourishing my body with clean whole foods and being active with my yoga or exploring out in nature.
Below I share my journey of wellness and yoga……
In the past six months I have also been on a soul searching journey to really start to ignite the soul and heart again. To find my passion and purpose in my life. I feel many people (and a lot at my age -not everyone) really lose their sense of who they are, stop evolving and living authentically. Starting yoga actually has opened up my mind to exploring more of this side. Learning to step out of my comfort zone, have more fun in my life and find connection internally and externally with my body, mind and soul. I have taken on a life coach, started reading, going to workshops, meditating, creating daily healthy rituals (gratitude journal, journaling, setting intentions). Its been such an adventure which I am loving. My top tip is ‘start evolving and get living!’
What else about me…I love spending time with my family, they are truly my everything. School holidays are my favourite time of the year because I get to hang out and do fun stuff with my incredible daughter (most people look forward to their kids returning to school. Not me, I am always so sad when holidays are over). We love to travel and feel blessed we can share worldly adventures with our daughter as a family.
I am a movie buff, me and my hubby love movies and date night is always going to the movies. I also love hopping in bed at night with a cup of herbal tea and watching my favourite Netflix series.
I am quite the home body and love nothing more than pottering at home; being in my kitchen, chilling with the family, growing my garden, cleaning (yes love to clean) or entertaining a few friends.
What first brought you to yoga?
Six months ago I went through a bad patch mentally. Prior to starting yoga I was a daily gym buff. I went to a class at my local gym most days. But when I found myself in a very down place, I decided one day to go online to the OM Yoga Studio website and book a yoga class. My first class was Jen’s Vinyasa flow class and I remember coming out of her class saying “I can’t do this”. It was tough and I felt completely challenged both physically, mentally. Completely out of my comfort zone (me and Jen still giggle about it today). I was determined to give it another go, so the very next day I went to a yin yang class and by the end of my third yoga class I drove to my gym and put my gym membership on hold. I have not looked back! I have fully cancelled my gym membership and call myself a bit of a yogi now.
Sometimes life throws you a hard curve ball or challenges you, and I now believe it is the way of the universe or our bodies telling us we need to make changes in our lives. If I had not gone through what I went though 6 months ago I am not sure I would have found yoga and started all the new ventures that are igniting my soul and fueling my passion for life again.
What is it that keeps you coming back to your mat?
Yoga has become my happy place (it brings me JOY). Right now in my life it serves me mentally, physically and spiritually. Every time I enter a class and put my mat down I feel a real sense of peace, connection and joy.
Physically I have lost over 6 kgs since starting yoga 6 months ago, my body is leaner, stronger and healthier that it has ever been.
Mentally its brought me so much relief and really helped me through my tough time. It gave me space to breath, to find a real stillness in my mind (which I have not experienced in a long time). Its allowed me to find an beautiful connection between my body and mind.
There has also been a real spiritual shift in me, a need to inquire more about my spirituality. To start to evolve again as a person, learn, find out what ignites my soul.
Gosh this sounds all so deep, but I am truly grateful I found yoga 6 months ago, it has changed my life. I have also had lots of fun, been to Wanderlust (a must for everyone-truly life changing), met amazing and inspiring people, made new friends, been to yoga dance parties…learn to let my hair down again and try new things.
3 things you would say to a new person wanting to try/start yoga?
GO, just go book your first class….don’t be scared.I think so many (even including myself) have so many preconceptions about yoga. You need to be flexible, you need to know how to mediate, how am I going to do those poses, I can’t be still, I need a certain body shape, I need to be doing cardio, I am not going to get strong doing yoga….You will soon realize once you start yoga these are just preconceptions and nothing more. Like anything new you start it take a wee bit of time to find comfort or even enjoyment. Like my No. 2 tip Commit and you will see everything beautiful yoga can offer you.
COMMIT, commit to at least 3 classes your first week ( buy an unlimited 1 week pass and try a few different classes, speak to the teachers they can guide you to the best classes to start with ). Then commit to at least 3-4 classes per week. Really allow yourself the chance and gift to you to fully experience what yoga can do for you. You are not going to see a change in 1 or 2 classes. The true benefits will come from a committed weekly yoga practise.
3. DON’T COMPARE, don’t compare yourself to other people in the class. Most likely you will do your first class and feel completely out of your comfort zone. You will most likely look around and compare yourself to all the flexible people in the class. Just let go of those preconceptions and comparing yourself; remember this is all about you and your practise. You soon realize no one is looking at you, everyone is present on their own mat. I am still not flexible (and not sure I will ever touch my toes) and still feel uncomfortable in certain poses but each class I feel a wee bit stronger, confident, maybe even a wee more flexible .
Whats your favourite pose. Why?
I have two at the moment. Downward dog, I find a real sense of strength here and a time for me to breath and be present. I have to be honest a few months a go this would have been my least favourite and I would actually dread the teacher saying downward dog. I would probably be the slowest person getting into this pose, just to avoid being there. But that’s why I love yoga, each class you become a bit stronger, more trusting in yourself and the things you find hard you learn to love and find a real comfort and personal relief in them.
My second favourite pose is Warrior Two. I feel strong and grounded in this pose. I just love the alignment and the feeling I get in my legs and core from Warrior Two. To me its a beautiful strong yoga pose.
Whats your least favourite pose? Why?
Any inverted poses, like handstands. I just don’t feel confident and actually get scared to even try. I know it is more mental than anything. I am not pushing myself to do these poses at the moment and know one day I will be ready and will get upside down. I love you never feel pushed to get into a pose and the amazing yoga teachers at OM yoga studio always give you so many options to feel comfortable in your body and practise. They are also there to fully support you when you are ready to step up to more advance poses or try something new.
Do you set intentions for your practice?
Yes most classes I do. I always set an intention when I rise every morning. Often I follow this intention on to my mat, other times I set an intention for my practise that day. Sometimes I think of someone who might need support or love and send out thoughts and feelings to them.
What does setting an intention mean for you?
An intention for me is about being present, on my mat, arriving to my practise and reflecting how I want to show up on my mat (or in my day). I still don’t know if I am doing it right but again that why I love yoga, as it not about being right or perfect.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about so many things, yoga of course!! But my family, my business Reveal Yourself; LIFE! As I mentioned earlier I am a whole food blogger, presenter and recipe creator. I am also a monthly food columnist for Good Health Choices Magazine and I spend my days in the kitchen creating gorgeous healthy recipes for my business and for the magazine. My philosophy is about nourishing the body from the inside out (just like yoga really).
Last year as I mentioned I developed my own whole food range, this truly has been a dream of mine! Berry berry cacao granola and two bliss ball mixtures. You can order these at www.kilo.co.nz
I am passionate about sharing what I love with people. Sharing my journey of wellness, health and healing to help everyone live happy, healthy and passionate lives.
One word that describes what yoga means to you
JOY (omg I have so many….) but yoga in my life (LIGHT) right now and brings me so much inner and outer JOY