This month, Black Dog has a free coupon for a 7:30am class on Saturday mornings with Katie.
You have a new class 7:30-8:45 Saturday mornings. What a great time for yoga!
Right?! Nothing like Yoga and Breath to start your day, and beat the heat. It’s always way harder for me to actually DO my yoga once the day goes on because my energy gets zapped by so many different factors—stress, work, thinking—so yeah, I think it is a great time. If you get centered and attend to yourself first thing, the tone of your whole day shifts.
And you teach 6:00am Tuesdays & Thursdays. Ouch!
Ha. It’s funny people have SUCH a reaction to the 6am time. I’ve found that it was not difficult after the first few times. Your body adjusts. In Ayurveda, my understanding is that they suggest rising between 4 and 6am, as that is the body’s natural time-frame to rise. My opinion is that many of our health issues stem from being out of touch with our nature and Mother Nature, and understanding we are not separate from her. In Western society especially, we have lost touch with our natural circadian rhythms. So the body is confused and stressed and the adrenal glands depleted and we are wired at 1am and can’t sleep. This has become “normal” and in fact is not. The challenge is whether a person who is not an early-bird wants to make the necessary changes—such as going to bed at a decent hour, etc. It’s not for everyone and that’s okay.
How are people’s levels of energy so early?
It’s a mix—I’ve had people bright-eyed saying they’ve been up since four or five and others who are obviously dragging themselves in, just barely making it. By the end of class, though, the energy changes. It’s a palpable shift. It is so cool to watch it and feel it. But that’s the Yoga. That’s what Yoga does—it’s incredible, really—to have this thing that can shift energy; can make a whole room wake up; can get people to connect with themselves on such a deep level that it can be felt by them and by others. Ah-mazing.
Are you naturally an early morning person?
Generally, yes, mornings speak to me—another chance to fulfill some part of your own limitless potential. There’s a great Russian proverb that says: The morning is wiser than the evening. I love this. It’s so simple and so true. As a person in recovery, I find evenings to be my greatest challenge. Do you ever notice how things “call” to you, or worsen, at night? The chocolate, the drink, the mind-chatter? But. If you can make it through to the morning, life will once again be renewed. The wisdom that you sometimes forget at night returns, always, come morning.
Do you have an early morning home practice?
Well, obviously I am a huge hypocrite. No, I don’t! I like taking classes from others… and they start later. Though I used to take Peter’s 6:30 a.m. class way back in the day. Oh man, that was a kick-ass class. I remember very clearly not wanting to get up that early, but the feeling I got after class made me keep returning week after week.
What time do you go to bed??!
I’m smiling because I can totally hear you asking me this question in a shocked, scared-for-me voice—like I’m one of those newscaster people who have to get up at two and go to bed at seven. Usually between 10 and 11.
What can people expect from the Saturday morning class?
I tend to blend in something spiritual with the practice, maybe at the end. I’ll bring in quotes by Rumi or Mark Nepo, or some poetry once in a while. I use music. Mostly, though my goal is to offer a space where people can learn how to get in touch with their own energy and form a better relationship to their bodies through the breath and the asanas. That said, I love strength-building poses, feel-good stretchy poses and sharing little tips that have helped me improve my own practice.
What teachers are your main inspirations?
Peter Barnett, Ella Cojocaru, Dice lida-Klein, Diane Huddock, Clay Kyle—and my students, who inspire me every. single. class. I am so flippin’ lucky to be able to do this. What a gift.
Katie’s web site is ariaphoenix.com.