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Health Crisis Leads to New Career

Dance injury causes ballet teacher to turn to yoga.

Aspiring dancers are often told that a dancer's career is usually a short one because of the toll dancing takes on one's body and its potential for injury. One local woman who injured herself during her dance career healed her body with yoga, which inspired her to teach it in her own studio here in Bayport.

"I was a dancer in a local company when I injured my back and I had to have surgery," said Christine Corsa, owner of Drishti Yoga Studio. "Once I was allowed to start exercising after the surgery, I tried five different kinds of yoga before a friend recommended [Iyengar] yoga. I was blown away by how much it helped. I realized this is what I needed for my body to heal. I started going every day I could go and eventually became certified to teach it."

According to Corsa, Iyengar yoga was started by world famous yogi B.K.S. Iyengar and focuses on meticulous attention to body alignment. It makes yoga available to anyone at any age in any physical condition.

Corsa, who lives in East Patchogue with her husband and daughter, continued teaching ballet for another five years after her back surgery. "I would teach four hours of dance and leave the studio feeling like a cripple. Then I would go do my yoga and feel fine again. Yoga offset the damage done by dance. And my yoga teachers felt I had something to offer as a yoga instructor, so I decided to study it."

Once Corsa received her advanced certification in yoga in 2005, she began teaching it in her own studio in East Patchogue. She moved to the current location in Bayport in November 2009. Whether teaching a beginners class or a regular class Corsa said she follows the same format. "I teach three things: meditation, yoga philosophy and asana, which are the poses. The reason why anyone can do it at any level is because they can use props to help them with a pose. If they can't sit on the floor, they can sit in a chair. I also have blocks, belts, bolsters and other things that help people get to their variation of a pose," she said.

Some of Corsa's students enjoy more than just her yoga instruction. "She takes such patience with each student and focuses on their individual needs, said Christine Latella-Valente of Brookhaven. "One of the things I have so loved about Christine is the gentleness she exudes and the sense of comfort she conveys while you are learning new poses."

"The environment that Christine has created at Drishti is so serene and welcoming – as you'd hope from a yoga studio," added Gina-Gail Lind of Sayville. "I went to Drishti looking to regain flexibility and to add variety to my workout regimen. It's increased my physical strength and assisted in muscle toning in ways boring hours at a gym never did."

Corsa has two other yoga instructors working at the studio, and one will be offering pre-natal yoga beginning October 23. The beginners classes have been so popular Corso added a third night of them to the schedule. Her attention to detail is even evident in the name of the studio. "Drishti means 'point of focus'. During meditation you need something to focus on to clear your mind," she said.

Drishti Yoga Studio is located at 573 Middle Road in Bayport. For more information please visit www.drishtiyogastudio.com.

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