Local native and Broadway dancer Cristy Candler opens yoga businesses
Santa Barbara native Cristy Candler starred on Broadway as a dancer, and she appeared in magazines as a fitness model.
Now she’s in a different kind of spotlight.
She recently returned to Santa Barbara, where she opened her own yoga business, Of Sound Body.
Clients can book a variety of individual and group sessions with Ms. Candler, who offers yoga classes, nature walks, sound bathing, and decluttering assistance for home and office spaces.
For more than 25 years, she has been dancing as well as practicing and teaching yoga and movement. She also has aided with injury prevention, optimal brain and body health, and the challenge of aging well.
“I was a professional performer on Broadway,” Ms. Candler told the News-Press. “I was doing eight shows a week.”
“I was looking for ways to heal and recover,” she explained. “I was involved in yoga and spiritual metaphysical healing arts.
“I had bulging discs in my spine, and they wanted to do surgery. But I was looking for other ways of healing,” she said.
Ms. Candler found her answer in sound healing, which she called the “wave of the future.”
“It balances the left and right hemispheres of the brain,” she explained. “I have become an advanced sound healing facilitator, focusing on injury prevention. I believe in health and vitality. I incorporate movement, modality and meditation.
“The biggest piece is that sound helps you relax and harmonize and feel more peaceful,” Ms. Candler told the News-Press.
Ms. Candler has a bachelor’s in fine arts in dance and theater from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her performance credits include roles in Broadway hits such as “Wicked,” “Chicago,” “Aida” and “Rock of Ages.” She also appeared on the Tonys show and at the Super Bowl, Madison Square Garden and The Kennedy Center.
On top of that, she has modeled Yoga Journal, Body & Soul, and Real Simple magazines.
She has stayed grounded physically, mentally and spiritually throughout her career by embracing yoga, sound healing and energy works. She has trained in these modalities under some of the best yoga masters in New York City and taught yoga to the Broadway community and major companies and yoga studios.
“I had the good fortune to go off to New York City and land my first Broadway show,” Ms. Candler said, noting she had the benefit of incredible dancing teachers.
“I just recently came back from New York,” she said. “From here I am moving forward. I would love to pass that on to generations about really going for their dreams, really soaking it in and really living a life full of life and vitality.”
Ms. Candler explained what makes her yoga business unique.
“I use crystal singing bowls,” she said. “Alchemy crystal singing bowls are made from the highest quality pure quartz crystal with crystal gemstones and precious metals infused (like 24K gold, silver and platinum), producing specific notes and tones.
“I studied extensively and privately with a sound healing teacher named Tryshe Dheveny and completed her advanced sound healing certification training in Tucson, Ariz.
“I have an intuitive sense of what a group might need and I teach the room,” she said. I tune in to my clients’ needs of what they are wanting and what the body wants.”
She added that her program incorporates balance and brain health.
Ms. Candler has studied the Jivamukti method of yoga under renowned teachers including Sharon Gannon and David Life. Ms. Candler has also taught yoga in a wide range of settings, including to office workers, seniors, children and even African tribes in Swaziland. She holds certifications and accreditations in Advanced Crystal SoundEnergyT, Restorative Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Laughing Lotus Yoga and Interior Alignment.
Ms. Candler also noted a connection with her experience as a dancer.
“Being on Broadway, you learn skills like anticipating what is coming next while staying present in the moment,” she said. “There is a muscle memory that I’m unflappable when it comes to what is next. There is a sense of cohesiveness and flow. It’s semantic awareness; I know where my body is in time and space.
“As a dancer, there is a kinetic connection so it feels like a cohesive experience. There is a study showing a mind and body connection so that there is an overall connection promoting overall health,” said Ms. Candler.
Through her business Of Sound Body, Ms. Candler offers private, traditional yoga classes and nature walks for individuals and groups at the location of their choice. She also teaches her signature method, Heart Beat Flow, a combination of yoga and dance that joyfully focuses on freedom and intention of movement.
“We need strength and the suppleness,” she said. “Sometimes I won’t call it yoga. I’ll just call it stretching. It’s the most comfortable thing you can do.
“Movement is good. We need to stay in motion, so we don’t get rusty and tight,” Ms. Candler said. “Do some kind of movement every single day, even if it is just 15 minutes. We need to move our bodies. Breathe and relax. Incorporate singing bowls. Sound, movement and breathing helps relax the movement system, where we can rest and relax.
“Stress is the No. 1 cause of diseases,” Ms. Candler said. “Stress talks louder and louder until we pay attention.”
She explained that her individual and group sound healing sessions provide clients with an experience of profound relaxation and meditation. These experiences can be customized to individual needs and have been used by athletes, artists, and professionals to help optimize performance, recovery, innovation and productivity.
Ms. Candler also offers interior alignment and decluttering consultations to help clients create better harmony and flow in their home or office; ritual space cleansing for new homeowners or anyone going through a major transition that requires removing stagnant energy from past events and experiences; and home staging for real estate sales.
“Just like sound and yoga, I believe we are creating harmony and peace, inner and outer. I believe in creating clarity, peace, and beauty in your home, so you can think and live better. I am certified in feng shui and interior alignment. Similar to my yoga, I don’t practice strict feng shui,” said Ms. Candler. “I firmly believe in what someone wants in their home. If it feels right, it’s good feng shui.
“I work intuitively. I help people find a corner to meditate to create a space of calm and peace.”