CORC YOGA FOUNDER CHRISTINE MOGHADAM
“My love for travel led me to Portugal.”
BUT LITTLE DID I KNOW this trip would transform my entire life – in more ways than I could have imagined. Part of a grieving process after tremendous family loss, visiting Portugal was an opportunity to discover something new and find myself among the pain and heartache.
As an adventurous spirit, I have always been attracted to the authenticity, hospitality, and the warmth Portugal is known for. So upon arriving I immediately fell in love with the culture, charming villages, and most importantly, the kind people who called this place home.
Just being in Portugal was the rediscovery of that adventurous girl that had been buried for so many years. In essence, this magical location enabled me to feel alive again. It was my renewal.
With so many memorable sights and experiences, it’s hard to say at what point this place healed me. But one thing is for certain, my discovery of cork forests was truly life-altering. Best explained by ‘love at first sight,’ the cork trees I laid eyes on spoke to me in all of their wonder and beauty. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was at this point that the Corc Yoga brand reached infancy in my mind. The locals then informed me that cork trees were endemic to Portugal, and one of the only trees on earth capable of regenerating its own bark. Furthermore, they explained that once a cork tree reaches maturity around 30 years old, it can be harvested once every nine years until the tree is about 200 years old. I was sold.
As I learned more about this treasured resource, I was amazed at how these trees give back to Portugal’s economy and provide a sustainable livelihood for many people across the region. As a true nature lover, there was something about cork trees that resonated within me; I knew I needed to share the beauty of cork with others. With both an entrepreneurial spirit and strong desire to create something beneficial while also embracing sustainability, I was confident my future would involve my love for cork. when the time came to return home, I carried this newfound fascination with me, accompanied with wild ideas on how I could share this passion with others. The brainstorming began.
Having experienced many personal challenges in life: (stress, body image, self-esteem, eating disorders, and chronic pain), my teenage years -- into early adulthood -- put a strain on my physical health. I learned the hard way, the importance of finding methods for coping with the stress and wish I had discovered an outlet sooner in life. However, it was through these experiences that I became an advocate for both physical and mental health.
“The way I now see it, caring for the mind is just as important as caring for the body, as the two are intertwined.”
In fact, I learned that we all need to find reliable ways to deal with the stress that comes with being human. For me, yoga was the answer. And in support of my perspective on bridging mental and physical health, yoga has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety beyond the mat, influencing how I deal with day-to-day challenges. It’s because of this discovery I am now committed to yoga and championing the message that it can be a tool to help manage stress and ultimately combat mental health issues.
So, connecting the dots between battling mental health – which eventually lead me to Portugal where I discovered cork and all the benefits attached to the material, it was only natural to combine all of this inspiration into a product idea that could further help others. Since launching Corc Yoga, I have grown to love the yoga community. Mostly because I continuously see the positivity this activity brings to everyone involved, including those struggling with mental health. Now, making Corc Yoga a success is as important as practicing yoga. As the brand has evolved since inception, I am motivated by the opportunity to offer an eco-friendly product to the yoga and wellness community because I know it holds real value and serves as a conduit to deal with the inherent stress of life.
Because giving back is so important to my reason for starting this company, a percentage of every Corc Yoga purchase is donated to youth mental health programs in Portugal. At the end of the day, what brings me joy is knowing that I am providing the community with a safe and sustainable product while giving back to youth mental health and supporting the people of Portugal. Please join me on this journey of sustainable living for the mind, body and soul.
BY KATIE SALCIUS