Meet Katie! She's one of your wonderful Runa Yoga teachers spicing up her classes with excellent playlists. She also brings a unique perspective to the impacts of virtual yoga through the pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about Katie's music and perspectives.
Q: How did you discover Runa Yoga?
A: I moved to Duluth in 2018. Runa Yoga had just opened, and, conveniently for my pregnant body, had weekly prenatal yoga! After my daughter was born, Runa remained my go-to studio, and in 2020 I joined their first Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) cohort. It’s been a three-year journey, and I am so grateful to be part of this wonderful community as a student, and now as a teacher.
Q: What are some highlights of your three-year journey?
A: Aside from the massive life-change that is becoming a parent(!), YTT was transformational for me. It was such a privilege to take the time to go deep into the practice and connect with other yogis’ in the Duluth community. And while it’s not necessarily a highlight, I feel like it would be weird not to add that the COVID-19 pandemic was incredibly impactful. My personal practice kept me grounded, but also changed as I explored new asana and meditation practices virtually.
Q: Have you faced any challenges in your journey?
A: Definitely. The pandemic meant a loss of physical connection with friends and family, and I have felt especially cut off from my family back in the United Kingdom. Yoga teaches us that we are all connected through prana, but it can be hard to appreciate that when all you crave is a hug!
Q: What’s your favorite yoga pose?
A: I love them all, even the ones that remain a work in progress for my body. There are so many things to explore and get curious about. But, after a vigorous vinyasa class I love love love Savasana. I didn’t always feel this way - it’s really challenging to quiet the mind and rest. There’s a lot to learn by being within yourself.
Q: What teachings or messages do you hope yogis’ take away from your classes?
A: I really love teaching higher energy classes (R2/R3) because that’s how I like to practice. I need the intense focus and physical challenge to quiet my mind, and I hope my students can also find that sense of release. As a musician, I also love making playlists that help keep students present in class.
Q: What’s an interesting fact about Yoga you don’t think many others know about?
A: I’m a scientist by training, and so I am naturally drawn to researching the physiological benefits of the practice. For example, in reading “The Science of Yoga” by William J. Broad, I learned that a headstand practice can really help with shoulder injuries, which I thought was fascinating! (I’m not a doctor, though, so please if you have a shoulder injury talk to your physician about this before inverting.)
Q: What do you want others to know about yoga?
A: That it’s not just for the uber-flexible and skinny! There’s an image of yoga on social media that can be off-putting or alienating. But, there is something here for everybody. That’s the message I try to share as much as I can.
Q: What would you say to someone aspiring to start doing yoga?
A: Do it! You can do anything you put your mind to. But remember, it’s a practice, not a perfect, and it takes time and commitment to see change manifest in your body, mind, and spirit.