If you’re new here, welcome! My name is Anna, and this is my blog in which I post all sorts of things. What’s been the most important thing, though, are the stories I can tell and relationships that I have fostered from this little online diary. So today I present you with another Abundantly Anna-Noel original interview, my yoga teacher and now fitness friend Catie! Catie follows a power vinyasa structure for her Wednesday evening heated class at Lifetime Fitness Upper Arlington (I’m there nearly every week! Ask my friends, I never miss Wednesday yoga). Many have asked me where to start with your mat, so here it is! Words from the instructor who helped me fall in love with practicing yoga.
When did you begin practicing yoga: I was probably a teenager. I went to my first yoga class when I was about 15, and I hated it! Clearly, I love yoga now, but then I didn’t. Years later I finally went back, and it hated again! After three or four classes I started to get it. I began to understand why people liked it. Yoga gave me clarity that I didn’t have before. I loved the idea of something so challenging, so strenuous— if I could do that on my yoga mat, I could do it with life's anxieties off of the mat.
A day-to-day glimpse: I have a tough time slowing down, so I have been working on devoting 5 minutes of my morning to meditation. I will sit, and I will have my coffee in silence and meditate. When I do it, it sets my day up. If I’m stressed out during the workday, I like to take a walk. Exercise, in general, is a form of meditation. Whether it is a spinning class or going to yoga, I try to make an hour for myself.
How do you take the mat into your everyday life: I struggle with bad anxiety and have since I was young. Yoga has been instrumental for me in learning how to deal with that. Yoga teaches me to slow down. When I’m on the mat, all that I think about is my breath and the mat. It’s important to realize when you are taking too much on and to sometimes sit in silence. Yoga parallels life.
What do you recommend for someone who wants to begin practicing, but does not know where to start: A great place to start is to go on Youtube. There are so many free videos you can try!
Do you believe that yoga is for everyone: I do, I really do. As part of my yoga training, I went to a juvenile detention center with adolescent boys. I was terrified! These boys are bigger than I am, guards watching over us.
These boys were the sweetest, most kind-hearted people who had just had a bad upbringing. We practiced yoga. It didn’t look like my yoga class does at Lifetime, but it was yoga to them.
My class may not be for everyone, but you can do a restorative style or a basic root class. If I can teach yoga to juvenile delinquents, anyone can do it.
Best place to get yoga pants: Athleta!
How do you move outside of yoga: I do everything! I love group fitness; it’s such a good motivator. I love yoga, Tabata, spinning. I run in the summer. It’s all about finding what works for you!
Something you wish you could go back and tell yourself: I would have taken the time to slow down and notice what was around me, whether that be through yoga or reading for 30 minutes. Find stillness in your day.
The most beautiful location you’ve ever practiced at: I have done yoga on the beach in South Carolina! But my favorite place to practice is a yearly retreat in Pennsylvania with my mom. It’s such an inspiring experience to be surrounded by all of those women!
What kind of person would make a good yoga teacher: Someone with an open mind!
Catie has helped me understand that yoga should be a welcoming experience. So whether you’re a practicing yogi or first timer, you can check out her Wednesday Heated Power Flow at Lifetime Fitness Upper Arlington or drop into one of her Modo Yoga classes!
All the love,