Kate Moats is the co-owner of Balanced Planet Yoga. She teaches a variety of classes at the studio and has brought all aspects of the practice of yoga into her teaching. We took some time and asked Kate to her answers to the following 5 questions:
1. What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your yoga practice and how did you work through them?
My challenges evolve the same way my physical yoga practice evolves. When I first started practicing my challenge was to not let my ego run how my practice looked or felt. It then progressed to knowing and understanding what my body and mind needed from the practice on any given day – was it a “work to your edge” day or a “slow and rhythmic” kind of day. My current challenge has been turning my “work brain” off whenever I step onto the mat. When you run the studio you practice in, it’s tough to not be in Warrior 2 and think to yourself, “I need to clean those mirrors” or “I wonder if we need to order more paper towels” – am I right, Cheryl!?!?
2. What is your favorite posture and why?
Mountain Pose – seriously. My brain and body are CONSTANTLY going at what feels like a light speed pace. Each time I find myself in Tadasana i am given the opportunity to realign and reconnect. I feel that root to rise effect and instantly become aware of my entire body. It also provides a moment to catch my own reflection and drishti in the mirror and honor everything that I am in that moment – awake and aware.
3. Do you have a favorite book on yoga? What’s it about?
Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele. I’ve read it 5 times now form start to finish. The best part is each time I read it, I find a new sentence that speaks to me and supports my journey wherever I’m at, in whatever struggle I am in. I like to highlight the phrases that stand out in all of my spiritual reads – and I think its safe to say that 99% of this book is now highlighted. HAHA!
4. Do you remember your first yoga class? What drew you to try yoga?
Oh my goodness – yes I do. I burst out laughing every time I recall back to that transformational, sweaty day. I was gym obsessed at the time, and someone suggested that I try “hot yoga”. I found a groupon for a yoga studio near my house and decided to give it a shot. When I walked in the room I was SHOCKED at how hot it was and immediately questioned my sanity, but felt too committed at that point to walk out.
[it was a NINETY MINUTE CLASS by the way]
I was the youngest person in the room by about 15 years and specifically remember saying myself, “this class is going to be a joke…I’m definitely more flexible than all of these older women.” JOKES ON ME.
I shook and sweat like never before. I was so focused on the poses I’m pretty sure I wasn’t breathing for the half of the class. At one point I remember look around at these “older women” who were KILLING IT. They were calm, graceful, and sparkling. I was in the corner shaking, falling all over the place and sweating profusely.
After class I immediately called my Mom and told her about my experience and she responded saying, “well I guess you’ll never do that again.” My exact response was, “oh no, I’m going to go back tomorrow – there was something really amazing about it all.”
5. What’s your favorite quote and why?
Interestingly enough, I stumbled across a quote just yesterday that gave me chills – so I’ll share that one.
“Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience.” – Deepak Chopra
As a recovering Catholic, this spoke VOLUMES. Whatever spiritual discipline you have, I honor it, as long as it emphasizes and celebrates your own personal experience. If its yoga, cooking, meditation, running, Christianity, hinduism – WHATEVER. I support it if IT supports YOU