With this issue of the Alumni Newsletter, we introduce “Innovators and Creators,” a new monthly feature in which we will celebrate the wonderful creative spirit of our alumni. For our first installment, Alumni Association Chair Evangeline Delgado ’11 chatted with Christine Luciano about the recent launch of her new business.
Almost a year ago, Christine Luciano decided it was time to embark on a brave new endeavor. In January of 2018, Christine stepped away from a desk job to start her own company, Align at Work, a program designed to bring wellness, movement, and awareness into office spaces through exercise and meditation.
Having danced and taught yoga for most of her life, Christine knows the value of movement and of being attuned with how our bodies respond to habits. Coming from a desk job that kept her stationary for long periods of time, she needed to find ways to bring physical awareness into her workday. She began leading her office mates in short breaks throughout the day to move and stretch, a practice that planted the idea to take this work and make it living. And she did.
Christine designed her program with the awareness that sometimes all we can afford is a short break in the day that is convenient and easy to practice regularly. In the Align at Work model, Christine travels to offices throughout the city and guides her clients through a circuit that takes about 25 minutes. The program allows people to stay in their work clothes and exercise right there in the office.
Says Christine of her new program, “I asked myself, how can I make something that is doable and easy, using materials that are already in the office, and utilizing the space available? It’s a lot of promoting postural work, and with that comes stretching and strengthening. We do a lot of stretching for the upper body, working out the kinks that come throughout the day. And we do some light exercises that promote strengthening to train your brain how to use your muscles intricately to help you sit tall. . . . When I see the same companies every single week, it’s amazing to see how people start carrying themselves differently.”
It has been a year of hands-on learning as Christine builds her business, developing her negotiating skills, so much of it a trial-and-error process. She explains, “I don’t have a business degree, I’m figuring it out as I go, which is exciting and also nerve-wracking. It’s like working on new choreography, figuring out how it all fits together and how you’re supposed to make it into something. As artists we’re constantly seeking education. It’s nice to feel that I’m not doing the same thing every day.”
As Christine continues to develop her company, she brings with her adaptability, a love of learning about one’s body, and the ability to educate others regarding how to adjust and shape their bodies to better serve their life—and she is just at the beginning of this adventure. She notes, “I’d love to get into more companies here in New York. Right now it’s just me, but I’d love to build a community of teachers and make this program into a whole wellness curriculum.”
We can’t wait to see where Christine’s new career will take her! You can find out more about her work here.