Meet avid marathon runner, gym rat and certified VIDA group fitness instructor, Christine Kontra! Christine teaches both yoga and cycle at our Metropole and City Vista locations, and you’ll be able to see her sporting a VIDA Personal Trainer tshirt in the very near future!
Christine pretty much grew up in the gym and began running marathons while in college at Ohio State University. She’s done five marathons total, including the Boston Marathon in 2008 and the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010. Despite having a great passion and respect for running, she knew that it was hard on her body and took up yoga to give her muscles a little TLC.
“My muscles were always super tight – I knew I needed to slow down and stretch and take care of my body. Once I started doing yoga it actually improved my running ability,” says Christine.
In the midst of her yoga practice she took up another hobby while in college: teaching cycle classes! It was then that her group fitness career was born and she’s been teaching ever since.
Christine moved to DC in 2008 for a job on Capitol Hill (she studied political science at Ohio State) and has been teaching yoga and cycle in the city for the past three years. She joined the VIDA team a little over a year ago as a yoga instructor and added cycle to her schedule back in January.
“I had some friends that taught here and they finally convinced me to do the same. I immediately found it a great place to work out – the energy here is extremely motivating and the students are awesome!” she says.
Aside from teaching classes, Christine has also been training clients privately for years. She just got certified to train here at VIDA and will be coming on board as a Personal Trainer very soon! She explains that her own personal love for working out is what motivated her to start helping others reach their fitness goals.
“I really enjoy getting to work with people one-on-one and helping them grow. I’ve been in the gym my whole life and I love getting to share that passion with others. Helping people see results in both their body and mind is very rewarding,” she says.
Christine works out regularly at VIDA and uses a combination of strength training, cardio, yoga and meditation to keep her mind and body in shape. Her current favorite exercises include power moves (such as jump squats) and anything with a medicine ball!
“I like to have as much variety as possible in my workouts. I’m always trying new things not only for myself but so I’ll have new material for my clients too,” she says.
Not only does Christine share her passion through health and fitness by teaching and training clients, she’s also a holistic health counselor too! She became certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a health coach several years ago and has been building her own coaching business ever since (visit www.christinekontrahealth.com to check her out!)
As a health counselor Christine works with people to reach their health and wellness goals in all aspects of their life (career, relationships, home environment and spirituality, in addition to fitness and nutrition.)
“When you’re able to find balance in all of these areas it really improves your overall health and fitness level. I help people look at which areas of their lives might need more or less attention in order to find that balance,” says Christine.
It’s pretty easy for Christine’s two occupations to blend together as many of her yoga students become her health clients and vice versa. She explains that being able to motivate and inspire people has always been the most rewarding part of her career, and that being part of the VIDA community continues to do both.
Some of Christine’s other hobbies include attending live music shows, watching her Buckeyes during college football season, and playing softball and flag football in OSU alumni leagues! Oh, and she sells homemade bath products on Etsy in her free time (?) – you can find her shop under the name Gaia Collective.
Come out and try a class with Christine if you haven’t yet!