Many of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Kathy – she starting subbing for us for about a month and she now has her own class (and still subs) on Tuesday’s at 6:30p for beginners. She’s passionate and motivated and we’re happy to have her a part of the Yoga House instructional team!
Where are you from?
I grew up and went to college in North Carolina and have spent the last 20 years living in Wyoming and Colorado. Montrose became my home in 2015 when I was looking to start over. I had one friend here initially but settled in very quickly and have developed some great friendships. The amazing mountains and canyons that surround us, the Native American history, the hot springs, the people, the fitness opportunities—all of this makes me want to live here.
What are your favorite activities / hobbies outside of yoga?
1. Genealogical Research: My father began researching our family name when I was very young. Before he died, I promised to continue his work and publish in the future. The Brinsons (my maiden name) settled in Virginia in 1650. Since I’m from NC, everyone—all the way back on both sides of the family—fought in the Civil War, on one side or the other; some in the Revolutionary War. History fascinates me.
2. Historical Irises: I’ve been a member of the Historic IrisPreservation Society,a subsidiary of The American Iris Society for many years and grow historic irises. Currently there are over 200 historic and endangered irises in my garden, with more being added every year. The Montrose Botanic Gardens have taken an interest in these old irises and will be adding some to their garden soon. This is so exciting, as I love sharing my passion for old irises!
5. Helping others find their way
The older I get, the more hobbies I seem to find!
What is your favorite thing about Montrose?
Just one? There are so many! I would say my new life that’s unfolded since moving here. So many blessings have come my way!
How would you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
Determined, empathetic, teacher, semi-colon
What was your first introduction to yoga, and what was it, that resonated with you with a practice?
My first yoga class was in Morgantown, W.V. during graduate school many years ago. It calmed my busy mind and helped me find my center. Years later, I discovered Vinyasa Yoga in Cheyenne, WY and it changed my life. Each class I would shed another layer. The practice challenged me on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually….and my life was never the same again.
What are the challenges you face in your personal practice and how do you overcome them?
I have never been a super bendy person, especially in my back and hips. Even after years of practicing yoga, this is still true. So I start where I am, just like I encourage others to do. We start in the present moment and move with what we have right now. We do not worry over how we were in the past or how we might be in the future. We also do not compare ourselves to others, as this leads to suffering, as the Buddhists would say. I have become grateful for the things I CAN do.
It has been invaluable learning how to breathe through a situation. When something becomes uncomfortable, when I find my edge, I bring the focus back to my breath, over and over again. With each exhale, I try to soften more into a pose; all of this being a great metaphor for Life itself, of course!
What is the story of inspiration that lead you to become a yoga instructor?
As a kid I had an endocrine disorder that caused me not to grow. Physically I was very small, so I always felt “small”—on the inside as well as the outside. It took years to find my voice and mission on the planet—part of that mission is to spread inspiration to people that have been through similar trials, that think they “can’t” or aren’t “enough” of this or that. I’m very sensitive to people that feel as if they exist on the fringe of society—no matter what the reason. And part of my mission is to extend a hand, so everyone knows they are loveable, valuable and one-of-a-kind, no matter what misadventures they may have had along the way. We are all in this thing together; we are only as strong as our weakest link.
Where did you do your teacher training and what style are you trained in?
My yoga teacher training was in 2016-2017 at Yoga Shala in Ridgway, CO with Monica Mesa Davi from Crested Butte, CO, Kristen Taylor from Telluride Yoga and Katie Graves. Shiva Rea initiated this particular line of Prana Vinyasa yoga.
Senior citizens are another passion of mine and I also teach Silver Sneakers Chair Yoga.
What was your biggest take away from teacher training?
It was truly one of the most intense experiences of my life; it felt like I could do anything after that. I knew that I would be teaching people in the future that had been through similar life experiences that I had—like always attracts like.
Tell us more about the kinds of classes you teach at Yoga House:
I teach Beginner’s Yoga for an hour on Tuesday evenings, adding a little Vinyasa Flow to it. We practice basics first, then add on. Essential oils by doTerra are my personal favorite and they are almost always used during my class. The healing benefits of these oils are amazing.
What is your advice to anyone new to yoga?
Treat yourself with the same kindness that you extend to others.
Start where you are. Be gentle with yourself. There are many benefits from yoga practice, on so many levels. Never push through a pose if it feels uncomfortable to you. We can always modify poses to better suit where you are right now.
I’ve never met anyone who said to me, “Wow, my life got so much WORSE once I started doing yoga.”
Anything else you would like to add?
To me, practicing Yoga feels like a grateful prayer with my whole being—to the Higher Power of my understanding. It’s a way of saying “thank you” for these gifts of life and health. The practice of yoga evolves into a living responsibility to lead a good and virtuous life at all times–for ourselves, our community, our planet and for the young ones who will follow us.
It’s a very personalized experience for everyone.
I look forward to meeting you and sharing some soul time.
Ready to Try A Class?
Colorado Yoga House is open 6 days of the week and during some months, open 7 days a week. Yoga House encompasses instructors with various backgrounds and teaching styles so you can always continue to discover the depths of this amazing discipline. Click below to see our current schedule, and we look forward to seeing you in class!