Catherine took her first few Bikram classes in the summer of 2005, but shied away from the practice because of her unhealthy smoking habit. “I felt like Pigpen from the peanuts cartoon whenever I walked in the room.” After about a year, Catherine finally quit smoking for good and began a somewhat regular practice of Bikram Yoga in July of 2006.
As she grew to know and love the yoga and began to discover its wide array of benefits on so many levels of being, her practice became more consistent, and she went on to complete teacher training in June, 2007. She taught her first class on June 19 – the one year anniversary of the day she quit smoking and continues to teach in St. Louis.
In keeping with her passion for teaching and practicing Bikram Yoga, Catherine has attended Rajashree and Emmy’s women’s retreat in Coco Beach and Bikram’s advanced seminar where she received her re-certification. She has also attended workshops with Craig Villiani, Ren Soriano, Mary Jarvis, Esak Garcia, and has attended teacher training and posture clinics when it is possible for her to do so. Because of her job as a flight attendant, Catherine has had the opportunity to practice at many wonderful studios within the Bikram Yoga community all over the country and feels blessed to be able to practice with so many inspiring people, both students and teachers, from so many different walks of life. She makes every effort to keep her teaching fresh by conferring with her fellow teachers and continually referencing teaching, anatomy, spiritual, etc. classes and resources.
Catherine has competed regionally in the Midwest Bishnu Gosh Asana Competition since 2007, and has also had the honor and joy of demonstrating & competing nationally 2010-2014.
“Throughout both good days and especially during those more challenging days, a consistent practice offers many, many quiet transformations.
For me, competitions and challenges are wonderful tools that give me an extra push to maintain this consistency, especially when I have lost track or have become less disciplined. It helps to improve my focus and concentration in my practice, and stay more connected in my life. When I am in the zone – that wonderfully quiet, still place – all the pettiness of everyday occurrences are replaced with a better sense of gratitude and fulfillment.
Without getting too caught up in it, scoring can be a great tool to monitor an individual’s progress. But really, just feeling the amazing places your body can go when worked and nurtured on a regular basis is ‘the win’. Anyone who practices regularly (at least 2-3 times a week), who participates in 30+day challenges, or competes, will gain so many healing benefits from the focus, determination, concentration, hope and faith that the hot yoga practice allows-including inner freedom, peace and confidence.
Regular practice, competitions, the challenges- these are all wonderful ways to create a community where we can encourage each other and be inspired by each others’ as well as our own paths and practices- where ever we happen to be along each our varied maps in life. So much is possible and there is nothing like this healing process, “from bones to skin, fingertips to toes.”
Catherine currently lives in St. Louis with her husband, Michael, their cat, Toonces – [not quite driving yet! (SNL)], and their dog, Truman.