I had the opportunity to talk to Kathryn and interview her. We talked about yoga, animal rights, and advice for new-yogis. See what she has to say.
Chic Vegan – How did you discover yoga?
Kathryn Budig – I was doing musical theatre in college with a dance girlfriend introduced me. I had casually taken classes at the gym and whatnot before, but it wasn’t until she took me to a proper studio that I really fell in love. I started practicing once a week and then eventually twice ( I was on a college student budget) and decided by graduation that I wanted to learn how to teach it.
CV – How long have you been practicing it? Has your practice changed over time?
KB – I’ve been practicing for about 13 years now and my practice has changed plenty. I used to have time to practice 2 hours everyday in the ashtanga style—firey and strong. As my career and life has changed and become more active, I’ve had to adjust my practice to fit what’s happening in my life. That’s the beauty of yoga though, it adjusts according to where you are in life.
CV – Who are some of your yoga inspirations?
KB – Seane Corn is a huge inspiration as well as a big sister figure to me. Maty Ezraty is my original mentor and I will adore her forever. Heath House brought the joy of inversions and balances into my life and Noah Maze taught me how to backbend. I adore Gina Caputo and Giselle Mari for their willingness to bring such fun and sassy energy into the practice.
CV – What are some of your favorite yoga poses?
KB – I love to be upside down because of the freedom that comes with it. Crow pose has always been near and dear to me. Double Pigeon and Wide-Legged Forward Fold are places you can find me staying for a long and happy time. Upward Facing Bow Pose is amazing when I’m looking for space and release.
CV – You post videos online and teach in various locations. What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a yogi or as a person throughout this process?
KB – The travel element of my job is amazing and daunting at the same time. I get to see places people have only dreamed about and I am beyond grateful for that. On the flip side, the travel is taxing on my body and I miss my family when I’m away. It’s really taught me to love each moment as it arrives and stop placing our energy into the future and when we will get there. Yoga has taught me the key to happiness is living each moment as it arrives without needing to peep around the corner.
CV – Has you yoga affected your life? How so?
KB – Um, yes:) It’s impossible to practice yoga and not be affected by it. It directly connects to how you react to people, situations, how you can think before you open your mouth and how to see both sides of the coin in a situation. As silly as it sounds, yoga really does make you a better person
CV – You often talk about “aiming true.” In fact, you have a DVD called just that. How does that tie into yoga?
KB – Yoga is a ‘practice’ that we have to show up for on regular basis to make progress on and off the mat. In the same way, ‘aiming true’ is a constant determination to follow what makes your heartbeat regardless of the surroundings and distractions. Aiming true and doing yoga are both commitments that will allow you to always hit your mark when you do your best and set your intention.
CV – What is the importance of playfulness in yoga? You often talk about that on your DVD and in your videos as well.
KB – People learn faster and accomplish more when they don’t feel threatened. If you’re laughing and trying to balance a pose, the fear melts away and you’re simply left with possibilty. Joy makes us stronger and more willing to advance and evolve.
CV – How did you come up with the concept for Poses for Paws? Can you talk about this project and its function?
KB – This was a project that Jesse Schein and myself originally came up with because of our love for animals. It is so easy to give back in the role as a yoga teacher, so Poses for Paws was a vehicle to create events and products and inspire others to help raise money for animals in need. We pick a group that we admire every year who is making a difference and all of our profits benefit that group. We’re also encouraging people to hold their own events around the world which benefits both Poses for Paws and our group as well as their choice of shelter.
CV – What would you say to someone who is curious about yoga but hesitant about it? What are some stereotypes that you want to dispel in the media about yoga and yoga practice?
KB – Everyone comes with their own stereotypes to anything. There is a style and type of yoga for everyone. Just because you took one class somewhere that you didn’t like doesn’t mean yoga isn’t for you. Keep trying different teachers/styles until you find one that you love, because trust me, it’s out there. People can also practice in the privacy of their own home on websites like Yogaglo.com if they’re nervous about being in public or are lacking the funds.
For more on Kathryn Budig, give her website a visit at: www.kathrynbudig.com
All images courtesy of Jasper Johal.