Meet Christopheray




Christopheray has been practicing yoga for over 40 years. At the ripe age of 71, he is more vital, forward thinking and present than ever. He attributes this enviable balance to his yoga practice— which is strongly weighted in Pranayama. Informed by the Iyengar Yoga tradition and blended with the teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda (founder of the Integral Yoga Institute), Christopheray has a solid mantle from which to share his personal philosophy, lifestyle and unique teaching style. For many years, he has been a trainer and mentor to many successful teachers— generous in sharing wisdom and supporting yoga education. One of his students best describes him:


“Stepping onto the mat in C-Ray’s class is a little like going down the rabbit hole; a mini-adventure that is equally invigorating, scary and joyful. He teaches with rare, unpretentious skill that combines deep respect with refreshing irreverence and just a hint of streetwise swagger. By challenging his students to question the habitual and risk the unexpected, he guides his class towards a practice that is authentic, surprising and inspired." — H.C.  


I had the pleasure of meeting with him for a chat:

Q: What is your daily routine like and how do you fit yoga into it?

C-Ray: The first thing I do when I wake up is take the time to stretch while in bed. When I walk the dog, I do a walking meditation, followed by a sitting meditation—at least 20 minutes of Pranayama*. Meditation sets the tone of my day. My practice continues with a review of the asana sequence I will be teaching that day. In the afternoon, when I am out, I find time to do an asana wherever I am such as a forward or back bend with the support of a mailbox, tree, or fence! And in the evening, I choose to practice calming poses such as Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and Halasana (plow pose.)

*Note: Prāṇāyāma (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम prāṇāyāma) is a Sanskrit word meaning "extension of the prāṇa or breath" or, "extension of the life force". The word is composed of two Sanskrit words, Prana, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, and "ayāma", to extend or draw out. 


Q: What is the primary benefit of your practice:
C-Ray:  I am happy that my practice has evolved from self-involved flamboyance to acceptance. As I grow older, my body tends to be stiffer. Accepting the needs and challenges of my body as I age makes my practice consistent and pure. I don't consciously notice exactly how I feel when I practice, but I certainly feel more stiff and guarded mentally, physically and emotionally when I don't practice.  
Q: In your own words, what is your teaching style? 

C-Ray: My main focus is on shape and direction. And my thrust is to teach simple poses that are done intensely.


Q: What is the benefit of Pranayama?

C-Ray: By observing the breath, it calms the mind and keeps one in the present moment.


Q: Which PRITI products do you enjoy?

C-Ray: I use the Zafu Meditation Cushion during my pranayama morning practice and for hanumasana (monkey pose, see image below). I love it because it is structured yet soft…and it doesn't need to be hidden away. I also love my two woven blankets because they support my body and the cotton breathes...firmer yet softer than the acrylic Mexican styles. Actually, I always bring one of my PRITI blankets with me when I teach. I know the subject of germs at gyms and yoga studios has been in the media. So I remain loyal to bringing my own germ-free cotton blanket wherever I practice.


Q: What are the changes in your practice as you grow older?

Aging contributes to stiffness, injury and inflammation. If I don't practice, my body is going to stiffen up. It is essential that I ease into a pose and hold the pose longer. With the use of PRITI props I can hold a pose longer. The firmness of the blanket gives me feedback and rebound effect yet the softness allows me to surrender and stay in a pose longer. It's like complementary opposites. The use of the PRITI props assist me in staying in the pose longer so I can get deeper clarity; and the longer you stay in the pose, the more beneficial it is.  

I also must practice every day to keep my sense of clarity. 


Q: What are you teaching these days?

C-Ray: One of my interests is what I call "Yoga for 50 or Better." It is essential that this age group practice to maintain healthy joints, strong muscles and a clear mind. Certain conditions that happen to the body when they get older—injury, arthritis, inflammation, sense of weakness—can benefit tremendously from yoga.

Also, I am currently teaching yoga workshops using the chair. This is not your grandmother's yoga! The chair does not lie and allows you to correct and break away from your habitual ways of practice.

Stay tuned for Christopheray's next yoga with a chair workshop called "Moving Beyond" : April 13th from 130 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. at Jaipure Yoga in Montclair, NJ. For further information for Christopheray's private, public and corporate classes, please write to


Sri Swami Satchidananda speaks about how to find permanent happiness :


Hanumasana using Priti zafu meditation cushion and cotton woven blankets


Hopping into Sirsasana (headstand)



Sirsasana (headstand) on a chair.

  • Carol Hudson says...

    Met you when you taught at Brahma in Sea Bright (teacher certification). Would love to take one of you classes again. Please let me know where you are currently teaching. Hope all is well.

    On Jan 14, 2015

  • Stacey says...

    C-Ray inspires his students to push beyond their mental limitations. It may be " Daddy’s house" in his class but his heart is HUGE. I have had the honor to be his student and to teach beside him. I am grateful for both!!

    On Mar 05, 2014

  • Cameron says...

    Christopher Ray….. the Joe Pesce of Yoga! Nice profile! He always says, “Set yourself up for success”…..meaning don’t be too proud to use all the props you need to get your alignment right. I look forward to trying Priti products to achieve that further measure of success. Namaste

    On Mar 04, 2014

  • Debra Lauren says...

    So true. C-Ray has inspired, encouraged and educated more Yogis from practitioner to Yoga teacher. He is truly the embodiment of Yoga. Props come from BKS Iyengar and I cannot think of anyone better than C-Ray to demonstrate the use of these beautiful wonderful blankets from the PRITI collection. Yes, love and appreciate the beauty and quality of the PRITI blankets.

    On Mar 02, 2014

  • Christine says...

    Following one of his classes, about 20 years ago, Christopheray turned to me and said, “Chris, one day you’ll teach.” I said, who me? My practice evolved and yes, I now teach. He planted the seed for me and I thank him for that.

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Cory says...

    One of my most favorite and inspirational teachers… I love his no BS approach to the practice… And now that my schedule has changed, I look forward to taking his classes!

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • julie says...

    C-ray is the most motivational teacher I know. From his sage one-liners to his unique approach to the poses, C-ray challenges and inspires me both on the mat and off. He is truly one-of-a-kind!!!

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Deb says...

    I look forward to seeing C-Ray every Friday morning at AYM and am amazed in every class with his fabulous teachings. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with him. Plus I’m in awe when he does upward dog ON the wall! Does anyone know how hard this is!!!

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Deb says...

    I look forward to seeing C-Ray every Friday morning at AYM and am amazed in every class with his fabulous teachings. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with him. Plus I’m in awe when he does upward dog ON the wall! Does anyone know how hard this is!!!

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Sumaya says...

    C – Ray is one of a kind. An amazing and inspiring teacher and human being.

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Gandharva says...

    One of my first yoga teachers – he inspired and gently guided me. I still aspire to be like him when I grow up ;-)

    On Mar 01, 2014

  • Melody says...

    I love your products and they shine with Crays smile next to them. Thank you.

    On Feb 28, 2014

  • Jennifer Three Names says...

    Thank you for writing about C-ray. He is one of those teachers who is always “in my head” when I practice and teach yoga. A true yogi who lives the teachings! :-)

    On Feb 28, 2014

  • Jessica Feldheim says...

    I love this, beautiful testimonial. Congrats,

    On Feb 28, 2014

Leave a comment


Real Time Web Analytics