Belonging & Connection
This is a part of our newsletter where we interview volunteers from around the church about why they love St. John's and finding belonging. Today, we're chatting with Christy Miele. She's from Orange County, CA, and has been in the Valley for more than 4 years. Christy serves once monthly as a reader and is inspired by the work and the people of St. John's.
How long have you been a member?
Since January 2018 when we moved here. We were so pleased to have St. John’s welcome us. Our daughter and Jimmy’s daughter already knew each other pretty well.
What company or organization do you work at right now?
YogaMinded Studio is a community I created at the start of the pandemic for dynamic virtual classes.
How has your career benefited from being a member?
Being a member of St. John’s church has introduced me to some really cool people. A few take my classes and I get to enjoy them from another aspect, too. Also, I was able to offer yoga for teenagers at St. John’s and I always love sharing yoga.
Any tips or advice for new members?
New members should consider the church their own from the very start. The church is a reflection of all who attend and contribute, so the more others share of themselves, the better off we will all be.
What do you like most about being a member?
I like having a warm and welcoming place for my family to come where community gathers in the name of God.
Who/what inspires you?
The human body in all its miraculous function and adaptability inspires me.
What has been your biggest professional achievement?
That’s a loaded question for me. I came from the world of investment banking and venture capital and now I am simply a yoga instructor. The way I define professional achievement has certainly changed from my twenties until today in my fifties. The fact that my mom has been doing yoga with me for as long as I’ve been teaching brings me joy, She’s 80 years old and rocking her life.
What career advice do you live by? Who gave it to you?
There’s a saying that I fist came across in India: No Yoga No Peace, Know Yoga Know Peace. I’ve since seen the same saying worded: No Jesus No Peace, Know Jesus Know Peace.
For me, they are equally meaningful.
Future goals and aspirations for your career?
I seek to share the opportunity each of us have to use the body as an instrument for self acceptance and self discovery. I’m always wanting to invite another person to experience it for themselves.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why?
The most meaningful collaboration I’ve ever had was with a high school art teacher in Tennessee. We co-authored a book Yoga 4 Teens, An Instructor’s Guide for Teaching Yoga to Teenagers. If I could ever collaborate again, it would be with someone whose complementary skills bring about an exponential result to uplift human spirits.
What do you love the most about your job?
I love watching people experience a new-found grace in how they move.
I also love that it keeps me on target to take care of myself.
What experiences and past roles have led you to where you are today?
My early career had a whole lot of stress which made me seek and appreciate relief. I was especially attuned to how important self care through yoga was and felt compelled to share. After lots of yoga training in my thirties, I pursued adventurous sports like running, surfing and snowboarding. I love to be active and now teach in a way that supports the ability to participate more fully in life at any age.
What's a project you're working on right now? Why is it meaningful to you?
I am working on editing some of my past classes in order that they might benefit others. The way I’m teaching now is a unique approach different than the traditional styles of yoga that are out there. It's engaging and beneficial for folks at any time in their life.
How do you define success?
The greatest success in life is to have a healthy relationship with yourself and to welcome God’s presence at every turn.
What is the biggest career challenge you've had to overcome?
It was quite a change in orientation to go from corporate America to home yoga instructor. Believing in myself and what I have to offer has been and perhaps continues to be the biggest challenge.