April 2021 marks my 10 year anniversary of teaching yoga! It has been an incredible journey and I never expected to be doing what I am today. From the Mysore room to the military hospital, I am so grateful for what I have learned on this path, the people I have met along the way and the amazing experiences I have had.
The past 10 years have had many different chapters, but my regular personal practice started over 15 years ago in college🤓. Nothing resonated more with me than yoga; I even did my senior thesis about the somatic and psychological effects that yoga can have in treatment for disordered eating.
I had no clue what I wanted to do with my career, so I moved to North Carolina after college to help my sister with her rock climbing gym 🧗and I immediately broke my leg!😣 As soon as I was able, I starting going to the local yoga studio, Embrace (which is now sadly closed). I think I was still even in a boot when I took the first class (much to the teacher's apprehension). Not long after, the wonderful studio owner, Katherine, asked if I would be interested in teaching. I am crowd shy, cannot handle public speaking and I had not taken a teacher training yet, but I loved yoga and agreed to try. Shortly after I started teaching, I took a 200 hr training and then a 500 hour, on top of countless other intensives. 🧘
I loved to teach arm balances and inversions back then 🤸. I had a few classes a week, assisted in several teacher trainings and even taught in a hot yoga studio for a bit 🥵. I reignited my college love for Ashtanga, and on weekends would wake up before 6 am to drive to the coast to work with Larry, an authorized teacher in Wilmington. I also started teaching the Air Force Combat Controllers the Ashtanga Primary Series as part of their fitness program. Eventually, I applied to Womack Army Medical Center and was hired to work with active duty soldiers in the traumatic brain injury and pain management clinics. That was my first full time teaching position and I learned so much. After a few years at Womack, I moved to D.C. where I helped run an Ashtanga Mysore program for roughly a year. Since my move to D.C., I continue to teach full time, my love for anatomy and experience in the pain clinic inspired me to go to massage school 💆♀️ and I learned to get over my fear of teaching online during the pandemic 👩💻. I started Well Being LLC last year and am learning the ins and outs of being a small business owner!
Yoga is so many different things to so many different people, with a common goal of feeling good and connected in your body and learning how to calm your mind. Teaching can be fun, rewarding, emotionally and physically exhausting, serious, playful, and even a little stressful at times. It can be easy to let yourself burn the candle at both ends. Today, I still work 6 days a week with classes ranging from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm. But at the end of the day, I remind myself how lucky I am to get to share what I have learned and loved for the past 15 years.
I had promised myself that at the 10 year mark I would offer my own teacher training. I have something started, but this is proving to be a ton of work, so at this time I have tentative plans to offer one sometime within these next 10 years of teaching 😅 Be safe and healthy! - Kate