July 29, 2012

Oxygen Mask: The Self as the Guru. ~ Christine Chen

How many times have you watched the flight attendant on the plane explain how, if needed, you should reach for your oxygen mask and put it on before assisting someone else?

This is simple protocol for survival on a plane, but you could say the same is true for everyday life.

You need to help yourself before you can help others in any real and effective way.

When the self is strong (breathing, stable), you’re able to give more of yourself, to enrich encounters and deepen relationships. Often, we look for external validation or external signals to make decisions or take action. There is nothing wrong with this.

However, what would happen if we looked within more often, taking deep breaths and connecting to the wisest and highest parts of ourselves to guide our thoughts and actions?

Om Bolo Satguru Maharaji-ki Jai!

In Sanskrit this roughly translates to:

We bow to that true teacher who resides within each and every one of us.

Each time you hit the mat, or connect with yourself in a yogic way, you are practicing making a strong connection with yourself and creating awareness of what you’re experiencing and feeling. Subsequently, you take action based on this information, which leads to such things as altering poses or taking a rest.

The wisdom and knowledge that resides within you is the guru within you.

Take a deep breath and listen carefully. How you feel within yourself, about your self and in your body at the moment can empower you to help yourself, so that you can help others and contribute to the best of your capabilities.

It’ll help you not only survive, but thrive.


Christine Chen is a two-time Emmy winning, 10-time nominated broadcast journalist, turned small business owner, turned yoga teacher in New York at community-focused NY Loves Yoga and at nationally-recognized fitness provider, David Barton Gym.

12 years ago she came to yoga to manage a variety of health problems, including spinal degeneration and stress. She’s an RYT200 from Seattle’s Yogalife and RYT500 via Om Yoga Center in New York, studying under Cyndi Lee. Special training includes Yoga for Stress Management with Gary Krafstow at Kripalu and Back Care with New York’s Yoga Union under the direction of Alison West and Deborah Wolk.

Christine is also the Director of Communications for Yoga for NY, a non-profit organization that provides an organized voice on issues facing the yoga industry. With the group’s leadership team, she works with government to help champion sustainable business practices for studios and teachers, so yoga can survive in small and large studios throughout New York state.

Christine has written about wellness for The Well Daily and Crave Company. Soon, she will release a yoga guidebook for busy people, based on the personal yoga practice she developed during her own healing and transformation.

Off the mat, Christine is a wife, golden retriever mom, and Microsoft’s corporate web caster on tech topics.

Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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