Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wellness Diva #4: Katie (The HOT Yogini)

Oh Katie - what a cutie :)

I am excited to introduce my fourth Wellness Diva: Miss Katie McDonnell.

I met Katie during a volleyball camp in 8th grade and then bumped into her during high school volleyball try-outs! We played together for several years and had an absolute BLAST (note: Katie named me "Bubble Butt" and I named her "Chicken Legs," which we still call each other to this day).

I am so glad that Katie and I have remained close friends since high school. I have always loved being around Katie because she always has a calming presence and makes me laugh - it's truly a gift to a friend!

Katie and her fiance, Andy - who are getting married in October!!

Recently, Katie and I got together for happy hour while she was in town, and she shared with me about her love of Hot Yoga. She went on to say how much Hot Yoga has influenced her mind, body, and life in general, and how it's helped her navigate through her academic studies and in the workplace. I was SO impressed with these findings that I knew Katie would be a perfect fit as a Diva. I also think some people (myself included) have a bit of a "question mark" when it comes to the idea of submerging themselves in a 100+ degree room for an hour, so I am always fascinated by the practice of hot yoga in general.

Katie and her beautiful gal pals

THIS JUST IN - From Katie :)

1. When did you first start practicing hot yoga? How did you learn/hear about it?

I started practicing hot yoga a few years back through a friend’s recommendation. That friend and I just finished a sprint triathlon training program and thought this would complement our exercise regimen. Plus, we found a really cheap deal so why not try it, right?

2. How long have you been practicing hot yoga? Where do you go, and how often do you practice?

Since I’ve been back in Seattle, I practice 5-6 days per week at Lakeview Yoga and Wellness Center in Kenmore.

3. How do you feel hot yoga contributes to your overall wellness?

At the moment, patience is the most salient idea influencing my overall wellness. I try to remind myself that I have the ability to find calmness is any situation. I’ve learned how to bring down my heart rate to better manage test anxiety and nervousness during public speaking (I won’t say I had stage freight prior to yoga but who doesn’t get a bit nervous in front of a crowd?) The combination of the heat, the 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in Bikram yoga have helped me practice patience. Also, the encouragement of attending class on a daily basis has helped me practice self-discipline, something of which I need A LOT of practice. Of course, my body feels wonderful and my core strength has significantly increased.

4. How would you respond to people who are hesitant about the hot yoga concept, or thinking about trying it out but not sure how/where to start?

For those who are interested: just show up. Don’t over think it. People over think so many things—myself included. Yoga is simple. Just show up.

If you’re worried about the heat but are curious as to why people would voluntarily put themselves into a 100+ degree room, just go and try it. If that sounds like the worst thing in the world, hot yoga probably isn’t the type of yoga for you. There are many different kinds of yoga and there is likely a better fit out there.

5. Anything else you'd like to add?

Let it be known that I am not a hard-core master “yogini”. I’m continually learning about myself, my body—trying to ‘show up for myself.’ ;)

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THANK YOU, KATIE! I've been to hot yoga once and did survive it, so I just might be inspired to try it out in the near future - without over-thinking it!

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