Warrior of peace
Christine Sukhbir Kaur Collins
Sacramento, CA 95818
Sacramento’s very own “peace warrior” Christine Sukhbir Kaur Collins serves up kundalini yoga as owner of Deep Art Yoga (2101 H Street), and also locally grown food at her newly acquired Dad’s Kitchen (2968 Freeport Boulevard). Join her and co-owner Julio Peix for the restaurant’s grand opening at 2 p.m. on June 5, with live music, free appetizers and an opportunity to check out the reincarnation of this sweet neighborhood joint. Don’t worry, Pabst Blue Ribbon is still on tap.
What would you recommend to others who want to grow spiritually?
Discipline. Finding something that they love doing and becoming disciplined in doing that every day. And if people are really struggling in finding that, learning how to meditate so that they can sit quietly and find the answers within themselves.
Do you prefer people call you Sukhbir when they first meet you?
Depends on what day it is. By nature of habit, a lot of times I will introduce myself as Christine. But I would encourage people to call me Sukhbir if they feel like it.
So how do you feel about that name, and what exactly does it mean?
Well, I got it about three years ago, when I applied for a spiritual name after taking and teaching kundalini yoga for a long period of time. And when I first received it, it was a little jarring for me. For one, because it’s of a different language, so it felt different and it resonated differently; and for two, it was really powerful. The more I spoke it and the more I took it on, the more it began to fully resonate with me, and now I love it! I actually many times prefer going by Sukhbir over Christine. Sukh means “peace” and bir means “warrior.”
Can you live up to the name?
Most of the time, yes, and some of the time, no. But that’s what is great about having the yoga practice. It’s when I recognize I am coming from a smaller place of existence that my practice really encourages me to be my “bigger self”—my more infinite, fearless, boundless self—rather than being ruled by my emotions constantly. I try to come from my spirit. When I come from more of my place of spirit, I realize I suffer a lot less.
Yeah, that’s true. How does it feel to be a new owner of Dad’s?
It feels exciting. It’s an incredible new venture. Very different from running a yoga studio, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to connect to community that I wouldn’t normally connect with. And I truly believe in the importance of food and energy, and food and sustenance, and food and connection is such a huge part of everyone’s life. It’s a very social thing, and I am a very social person. The business aspect of learning how to run a restaurant has been intense, but very interesting.
How does it feel to own two businesses?
I feel like they really balance each other. Especially, I have been serving at the restaurant lately and you have to stay calm and centered and have a balanced nervous system—or you don’t have to, but it really serves you better and it serves your clientele better if you do. And when it really gets busy, being able to stay stable and not get overwhelmed is huge, and my yoga practice really provides me with that. They’re polar opposites, but the yoga helps to break the duality in a lot of ways and just allow myself to see it as life, rather than opposite spectrums.
What will people love about Dad’s?
It’s got a lot of character and it’s got a lot of characters. Our staff is incredible. From the cooks to the dishwasher to the service all the way to Julio and I, everyone really cares about this place. And I think it’s got a real family vibe from the foundation of it that just carries out onto the floor and lounging patio. We also really care about the food that we are putting on the table. We are working with local organic farms, quality meats, Taylor’s Market, Freeport Bakery, so all within that neighborhood, some just in that one-block radius.
What makes Deep yoga studio unique?
Kundalini yoga. Kundalini is just a very amazing style of yoga; all yoga styles are amazing, but kundalini is amazing in the way that it’s transformative on such a quick and elevated pace. Deep is really about yoga for every person, no matter socioeconomic [status], size, look—the doors are truly open to all walks of life and making yoga accessible for everybody. We also pride ourselves on having donation-based classes.
Do you think that the consciousness is shifting in Sacramento?
Definitely. I mean, we are seeing more yoga studios now than we’ve ever seen, and more conscious food.
How do you feel about Sacramento?
There’s not a real strong sense of pretentiousness, and there’s an opportunity for everybody to succeed and to be who they want to be. It’s been available for me, at least. Yeah, I really love Sacramento.