Interview by Yasir El Mahdi
Meet Kate! 30, 60 and 108 Day Challenger. We caught up with one of our amazing students and interviewed her for our second issue. Kate joined us in September of last year and is currently part of the 108 Day lovely group. Get to know our start for this month…
Hi Kate! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Kate?
Hello MLPC community - I'm a 45 year old, marketing technology leader, wife and mom of one, almost seven-year-old girl named Juniper. I moved from New York, NY to Austin, TX 15 years ago while following some career goals, and after living here for about a year, I met my soulmate, Jason - the only Texan I've ever met who was a tried and true Boston, Red Sox fan - and his hat caught my eye! We married in 2011 and we've lived here in the Austin area ever since.
How did you meet Alex?
I came across the MLPC and Sober Girls Yoga through another provider I was working with focusing on drinking less. I had began thinking about taking a yoga retreat and told this person how I was frustrated in not finding the type of retreat I was looking for. She said another client of hers had shared that they had found the MLPC and they loved it! Together we pulled it up online. It was truly, exactly what I was looking for - and I signed up for the 30 Day Sober Girl Yoga Challenge with Alex the very next day.
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
I had always loved yoga from a very young age. When I moved to Austin and didn't know anyone and needed to build a community - I took an Ashtanga beginners series and fell in love! Sadly, the studio I was connected to has since closed down. There have been many peaks and valleys in my practice over the years, and yoga is always there when I need it the most. During one period of intense grief, I channeled my grief by taking my 200 hr YTT - I graduated with that in 2017. Then, I hit another low of not practicing as much as I'd like and of course, the pandemic had its own series of challenges - I so wish I had known about this community then - but, at least I'm here now!
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
Yes, although I'm coming back after a pretty low, low in terms of practicing and feeling good about myself and my practice. I know it will come back, and that is why I'm even more motivated and excited for the upcoming retreat at the end of January.
What’s your connection to the MLPC?
It's all new to me since September, 2022 when I started with the 30 Day Sober Girls Yoga challenge. Once I was near the end of that, I extended to the 60 day and now I'm currently in the 108 day challenge. I will also be attending the Sober Girls Yoga Bali Retreat this coming Jan/Feb!
How did you end up being so committed to yoga?
I think based on the ebbs and flows of my practice, a better question for me to answer, is "why do you keep coming back to yoga?" - and for me, I didn't know the words to put to it specifically - it has always been more of a feeling. I feel safe and happy. However, I recently read a passage from Kino MacGregor on her facebook page, and said out-loud, "that's it!" - that is why I always go back to yoga. From Kino, "There are places within each of us that remain eternally private. It's almost like a blanket of quietude that can never be pierced. Entering that inner sanctuary, where really truly only you as your true self can be, is the work of yoga...yoga is a personal practice. So take the time to dive deeply down into the layers of yourself that only you can penetrate."
Did you face any challenges?
I have been saving this email for months, so I'll update the question to include challenges from the month of December - and the answer is yes! I'm working through many challenges - between prepping for the holidays, managing people's expectations about gifts and visits for the holidays, as well as everyday challenges of managing my career, motherhood and everything that comes with those things. My biggest area of opportunity to is to better manage my time, and use that time on the things I really want to accomplish. I have not made as much time for yoga or connecting with the MLPC community this month, but I hope to do better in the coming months. Specifically, I hope to do more yoga! My biggest goal is to wake up earlier and use that time in the mornings more productively. I know I can do it, I just need to get started!
"I started with the 30 Day Sober Girls Yoga challenge. Once I was near the end of that, I extended to the 60 day and now I'm currently in the 108 day challenge. I will also be attending the Sober Girls Yoga Bali Retreat this coming Jan/Feb!"
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
I think this has evolved over time as well - there has always been the physical benefit of better flexibility and fitness, but currently, the biggest benefit has been reconnecting to something that I love and helping me work through my desire to stop drinking. I think reconnecting with yoga and this community has helped me reach a goal that I was previously not able to commit to. I think the breath work, meditation and nervous system regulation have helped calm my anxiety and reduce my desire to want to drink - then there is the accountability and connection with the group that helps maintain the ability to not drink! Right now, while still working myself back into a more consistent practice, my current favorite posture is Svasana :) When I'm more consistent with my practice I really love seated twists, (mariachyasan c) and supine twists (supta matsyendrasana).
What’s your most difficult posture?
I'm always trying to perfect my downward dog - and I haven't ever done headstands!
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
While my most intense work with yoga was Ashtanga, there is a time and a place for that type of intensity, and that is not where I'm at right now. These days I prefer a general hatha yoga with some vinyasa flow. I particularly love our evening yoga with MPLC that is much more yin focused and totally relaxing!
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Be gentle with yourself. Do what you can and keep practicing! Yoga isn't a competition - it is a practice, and the more you do it, the more your confidence will grow! Connecting breath and movement is yoga, you don't have to be flexible or master a posture to be a yogi!