Yogi योगी Insight (part 4 in a series)

If you are coming here for the first time, you have entered part 4 in a series about aspiring and experienced yogis’ journeys. I hope that you enjoy it and follow along. Namaste!

I met Katie through Power Yoga Teacher Training. We became friends and shortly after she said: “I’m going to call you Kimbo, do you mind?” I liked the playful spirit of Katie’s intention and was like, alright! Now, whenever I hear “hey Kimbo” I know instantly that it’s her and it makes me smile. Take note of Katie’s name because she has a natural gift for teaching yoga and I’m confident that as she continues to hone her skills, she will make her mark in the yoga world!

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Yogi: Katie O’Donnell
Future Studio: CorePower Yoga

Q: Who or what influenced you to take up yoga?
A: I started practicing yoga in college in North Carolina when my friend Laure Bongiorno recommended it to me. I played collegiate soccer and I was dealing with an injury at the time that left me with fairly limited workout options. Laure recommended hot power vinyasa as a way for me to stretch and to get a good sweat. I attended a few classes with her, sweated a lot, loved it and decided to sign up for a membership!

Q: How long have you been practicing yoga?
A: I have been practicing yoga on and off for about five years, but I became serious about it and more committed to the practice two years ago.

Q: What aspect of practicing yoga are you most passionate about?
A: When I first started practicing yoga I was most aware and passionate about the physical benefits. I liked the way it made my body feel and I could see tangible changes in my physicality. As my practice grew over the years, my passion shifted more toward the mental benefits of yoga. I feel more at ease, open-minded and confident when I practice regularly. I find that just an hour on my mat helps me to let go of any negative feelings I may be having and it helps me to process other feelings in a more rational and sensible manner. I have more patience, for myself and for others, and a deeper understanding of my daily thoughts and feelings.

Q: What is most challenging for you as a yogi?
A: Meditation. It is something that I have wanted to incorporate into my daily routine and practice for a while, but I haven’t quite been able to. I think I need a jumping off point, some guided meditation resources to start the process nice and slow, and of course actively setting aside time daily to meditate.

Q: What is most fulfilling for you as a yogi?
A: So far it has been sharing with others how accessible yoga can be to everyone! Yoga looks and feels different for every individual. For some it may be studio time, for others, it may be yoga at a gym, or privately practicing at home. Every pose can be modified in some way to make it achievable and often times themes resonate with many individuals. It’s fun to dedicate an hour or so to your well-being — mentally and physically; we all need that! The sense of accessibility is something I aim to bring into my own classes to help make every student feel that they are comfortable, confident and safe on their mat.

Q: Why did you take Power Yoga Teacher Training?
A: I decided to take PYTT because I wanted to deepen my yoga practice. I wanted to uncover something within myself; find a passion, learn something new, and connect with wonderful like-minded individuals. I also wanted to bring more consistency into my practice. I tend to fluctuate in how much I take a class. One week I’ll go five times, then not attend for three weeks, come back for two days after that, etc. I needed a commitment from myself that I was willing to put myself and my practice first for eight weeks consistently.

Q: You just graduated from 200-hour PYTT, what is your short-term plan? What is your long-term plan?
A: Ideally, my short-term plan is to audition to become an instructor for CorePower Yoga this fall. Long-term I’m not entirely sure. It’s exciting that opportunities for yoga instructors continue to increase as awareness of the benefits of the practice grow. It would be fun to experiment with options in terms of private practice offerings. I think one thing I can say with certainty is that I am interested in starting some sort of free community class or getting involved with locations that offer that. Yoga is for everyone and I want to help bring it to as many individuals as possible!