Kate’s yoga journey started through the door marked “physical.” In 2009, she was training for her first half marathon, and she ended up seeing a sports medicine doctor for severe IT band issues. After several appointments, her doctor gave her a cortisone shot in her hip just so she could overcome the pain and finish her first half marathon. However, her doctor explicitly told her that she had to make a choice: She could continue to mask her pain with cortisone shots, or she could take up yoga, which would strengthen her stability muscles and essentially “fix” her IT band issues. Shortly after, she went to her first class –power vinyasa – even though the class was recommended for intermediate yogis. Her ego definitely got the best of her. She told herself, “I am an athlete, so how hard can stretching be?” Well, let’s just say that she quickly learned that yoga did not equate to “stretching.” Her ego had been crushed, but somehow, it was such a humbling and incredible experience. How is it that she can run 13 miles, but she cannot touch her toes or balance standing on one leg? This was the start of her love affair with yoga. To date, she has completed 13 half marathons and one marathon – all without the need of cortisone shots.
Yoga also came into her life when she needed it most. She was finishing her preliminary exams and beginning her dissertation at Purdue; to sum it up, she was under a lot of stress. Yoga not only strengthened her body, but there was something else going on – she was sleeping better, less irritable, and to put it simply, she was happy. She was finally able to quiet the mind, halt her anxieties, and just simply be – even if it was just for a fleeting moment in time.
Yoga is truly a beautiful practice that nurtures both the mind and body. Now as a teacher, it is her hope for students to cultivate the same emotional and physical strength that she did along with this sense of self-awareness and rejuvenated love of life. Namaste.