Editor’s Note – this blog post is the first in a series of Artemis Yoga teacher profiles. We hope that you will find them to be a nice way to learn a bit more about your teachers, their passion for yoga and other “off-the-mat” pursuits.
What brought you to yoga?
I actually tried yoga many times before it really stuck. I tell this to my students because if you try yoga and you don’t like it at first, that’s okay! It took until my late 30’s before everything really aligned. I suppose it takes the right time in your life, the right teacher, the right style of yoga.
What made you continue to practice?
Yoga allowed me to be comfortable in my body in a way I had never experienced before. I love the scary challenge of having to confront yourself on the mat, to be put in an immediate relationship with your body and mind and work with whatever you find there. And the yoga philosophy is meant to guide you through that; yogis have been getting on the mat for centuries and confronting themselves, examining whatever baggage they are carrying and learning from the process of self-study.
I actually went to teacher training to deepen my own practice and didn’t intend to teach afterwards. Also, I’m an introvert by nature, so standing up in front of a room of people was a foreign concept. But something shifted and I found that I wanted to share the sense of peace and strength and calm I was finding through the yoga practice with others. So when I teach, it’s always something I have explored in my own practice that I’m excited about. And if it gets my students get excited, even better!
How do you bring yoga into your everyday life?
I practice it all the time. When I am standing at the grocery store, I practice tadasana (mountain pose) because we all have the tendency to stand on one leg more than the other. When I am driving I remember to breathe. I also try my best to be friendly. The yoga philosophy encourages you to meet others with a sense of friendliness, regardless of who you are interacting with. If you are friendly, your mind will be calmer.
What is/was your toughest yoga-related challenge?
My toughest challenge is also my greatest gift and teacher. I love working with ego on the mat; it is so easy to be influenced by what others are doing as well as that voice in my head that tends to say “should” a lot. Having a conversation with ego and asking it to chill out during the asana practice has a profound effect “off the mat” as well.
What are you most proud of (yoga or otherwise)?
I try to separate pride from practice, but I am grateful for a lot. I am grateful for having absorbed the idea that getting on the mat makes a difference. I’ve never finished practicing and said, “Man, that was a mistake!” I’ve found there’s always something that will shift through the practice of breath and movement and stillness. There is this wonderful quote that goes something like, “Knowledge is a rumor until it lives in the body.” I can live in my head a lot and am so grateful for this practice that can move me from out of my analytical, problem-solving mind and into a more intuitive, body-heart space.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
In my day job, I am a documentary filmmaker.
What’s your favorite spot in the area (besides Artemis 🙂 ?)
I love the pastries at Sofra, I love going on walks in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, I love shopping at the Middle Eastern grocery stores like Sevan and Arax among others, I love biking on the Charles River…yeah Watertown/Cambridge!
Come meet Cathleen this summer! She currently teaches two intermediate-level classes and a beginner’s class on Mondays, a slow-flow intermediate class on Tuesday nights, and an occasional “Expand Your Asana” Sunday Special.