Meet Christine Martitz, a New York City and Germany based yoga instructor and avid scuba diver. Martitz is an internationally acclaimed yoga teacher who has been practicing for over thirty years. Having taught yoga throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, she currently teaches yoga in New York City, where she resides, conducting classes for all levels and ages in English, German and Spanish. This summer, she is teaching private yoga sessions in and around Southampton.
She leads animated and challenging classes – combining proper breathing exercises (pranayama), yoga postures (asanas), relaxation (savasana), and meditation techniques. An athlete by nature, Christine has also competed in three New York City Marathons and is also a member of the New York Yoga Teachers Association. Her DVD, Dive Into Yoga, was produced by the three time Emmy Award winner David Seeger of Today Video Inc. and has an introduction by Helen Gurley Brown, Cosmopolitan International Editor-in-Chief. Follow along for 60 minutes in either English or German, with or without music.
Where and when do you prefer to practice yoga?
I practice yoga daily. When I get up I immediately do my pranayama/breathing exercises (Kapalabhati which energizes me apart from all the other great benefits it has e.g. increasing the capacity of the lungs, supplying the blood with fresh oxygen which renews the body’s tissue faster). Right afterwards, I do the alternate nostril breathing (anuloma viloma) and then go on and meditate for at least 10 minutes – ideally 30 minutes – if I do not have time to do my asanas/yoga postures. Depending on how much time I have I pick a sequence accordingly then I do them later.
I also try to meditate before going to sleep. All of this is happening in my living room right next to a big plant looking out the window. I love doing yoga outside – sometimes in New York City’s Central Park. I am actually shown on JUDGE JUDY doing yoga in Central Park.
What favorite foods are currently in your fridge? Your pantry?
Blueberries, strawberries, mangos, cherries, watermelon (I looove fruit), veggie patties, meatless meatballs and VITAM R, a German yeast spread.
Where do you love to go out to eat in the Hamptons?
I love the watermelon salad at 75 Main in Southampton, Pierre’s in Bridgehampton has great sides of vegetables and mashed potatoes. Nick & Toni’s has also great food- love their salads and truffle fries – the roasted mushrooms are also yummy as well as the crushed Yukon Gold Potatoes, the Baby Spinach, Chickpeas with Lemon, sometimes Provisions in Sag Harbor for a quick snack, and of course Yama Q in Bridgehampton.
What exercises do you enjoy that compliment your yoga practice?
I love diving when I get a chance, which is not that much of an exercise, but so much fun – being aware of the breathing through yoga helps me to make my tank last pretty long. I love swimming & running on the beach in the summer – I did three New York City Marathons and numerous 1/2 Marathons and other races.
Tell us your three favorite yoga poses and why.
Love the headstand, which is not for nothing called the ‘king of the asanas’. I actually do eye exercises while being in the headstand- hope nobody watches me while doing it since I am sure it looks pretty weird.
The head-to-knee pose with all it’s variations is very important although it is not my favorite but especially here in the western world it is so important since the back of our hamstrings shorten from all the sitting we do. Also other sports such as running- I noticed that after running several NYC Marathons that those hamstrings shorten which could even lead to back pain if it was not for those head-to-knee poses and yoga in general.
Please share three tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Proper nutrition, I recommend a vegetarian diet but admit that I sometimes eat some white fish & salmon.
Proper exercise which we get by doing yoga.
Proper diet – ideally a vegetarian one. I used to be 100 percent vegetarian but then I spent several months in South America and got used to eating some white fish.
I am trying to cut that down – also being a scuba diver makes me feel bad eating those nice fish. Another reason to cut it out would be all the plastic pollution in the Oceans – even fish ingest plastic now and then we eat that. I always pick up plastic on the beaches. Once in Florida I nearly had to pay a $300 fine for LITTERING: I had just picked up all the plastic on the beach after my morning run on New Year’s Day and was still carrying it. Finally, I was able to convince them that I was just picking it up and not littering!
It also is important to practice yoga regularly and make sure to stay hydrated – especially during the summer.
Meditation and Positive Thinking are also very important.
To note, the header photo was taken at BLUE SPA at Munich’s Bayerischer Hof where Martitz taught a few summers ago. Michael Jackson and the Beatles used to stay there!