Diana Christinson is the founder and Director of Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Dana Point, CA. She is one of an honored group of students who studied with and received certification to teach the first and second series of Ashtanga yoga by its founder, Shri K Pattabhi Jois, and his grandson, Sharat Rangaswamy, at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India.
Diana lived in Asia for two years and began her yoga practice in Kyoto, Japan in 1987, which inspired her lifelong studies of Eastern Philosophy. She began teaching yoga in 1996, and in 1999, after practicing yoga for more than a decade, Diana took the first of 9 trips to India to study at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute. She founded Pacific Ashtanga Yoga Shala in 2005.
With a Master’s degree in Psychology, and an appreciation for Eastern philosophies and meditation, Diana’s approach is anchored by her passion to inspire students to use their yoga practice to keep their mind and body healthy. Teaching with an understanding and refinement informed by her anatomical knowledge and keen sense of touch, she is committed to the importance of the student-teacher connection and focuses on helping each student create a practice that is distinctive to the individual.
Diana teaches all levels of classes and workshops at Pacific Ashtanga, and was recently honored to serve as one of the assistant teachers in 2015 and 2016 at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, a world-renowned forum for Ashtanga. She leads wellness retreats at the Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, CA, as well as local and international yoga retreats focused on wellness, yoga theory and philosophy. Diana also teaches on-site corporate classes for businesses who want to reduce stress levels, increase focus and improve the physical health of their employees.
Devoted to sharing her knowledge and inspiring physical and mental health, Diana delivers lectures at Chapman University, and is a guest editor for the Orange County Register. She also posts weekly videos to the Pacific Ashtanga Yoga YouTube Channel, including inspirational teachings, yoga videos, and Pacific Ashtanga 30 day’s meditation outreach program.
Diana is President of Merit Field Foundation, Inc., a California non-profit corporation, founded in 1999. The Foundation supports the Monastic Tibetan community in Nepal and India. Its mission is to teach and encourage simple meditation techniques to reduce stress and improve internal peace and happiness.
Striving for a continually deepening personal practice, Diana practices and has taken 1st and 2nd series training classes under local teacher, Tim Miller, an original student in the lineage of Pattabhi Jois, and the founder of Ashtanga Yoga Center in Encinitas, CA.