Kathryn Budig is an inspiring yoga teacher, published author and wellness advocate who lives her yoga on and off the mat. Parvati Magazine’s yoga editor Ella Isakov spoke with her about what it means to step up.
Parvati Magazine: You have been practicing yoga for over 20 years. You started with a teacher I studied with as well, Maty Ezraty. How has your yoga practice shifted or reinvented itself to meet you where you are in in your life?
Kathryn Budig: I was such a young yogi when I practiced with Maty (the most gifted teacher I have ever learned from), and my asana was fiery and dynamic. My world has changed in so many ways that I now use the asana practice to balance and soothe a worn out body and busy mind.
PMAG: Your motto is “Aim True” and you have been open and transparent with your life to be a role model for living life in one’s truth, facing fear head on. How has your practice helped you to show up and be seen, even when it feels scary?
KB: Truth is the only way to transform, both on and off the mat. If I lie to my body, I end up overextending myself or injuring myself. It’s a lovely lesson on how to behave off the edges of my mat.
PMAG: How has your journey inspired you to step up and speak out on the important topic of shifting how women view their bodies? What advice do you have for women that are strong and healthy, but do not feel they meet the mold of what is considered “acceptable” in today’s society?
KB: I’ve found that every woman (and man) struggles with some aspect of loving their bodies as they are. I speak up about shifting views in the hopes of encouraging others to realize we all struggle, and true happiness lies beyond the edges of our pant size. Media will always present unrealistic norms, so it’s up to us to create the new norm.
PMAG: You have recently gone through some big transitions in your life. How has your practice been there for you so you could step up to face it all with grace?
KB: I injured my shoulder amidst all of this change, so traditional vinyasa was no longer an option. I learned how to be completely stripped of all my comforts and my sense of stability, and how to exist powerfully even when I’m left feeling raw. Plenty of meditation, therapy (both physically and mentally), and trust that this process will take as long as it needs to in order to heal and transform me.
PMAG: What advice do you have for people that feel held back by fear in their life, either with relationships or following their dreams? How would yoga help in this process?
KB: The mat is a safe island for people to explore what’s really going on in their lives. You can fail, cry, scream (at home, at least) and get out all the pent up emotions, which hopefully leaves you with a clear vision of what (or who) you want. Anything worth pursuing is always prefaced with fear — it means you care and that it actually matters.
Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, “aim true.” With over a decade of experience in her field, Budig served as the yoga editor to Women’s Health magazine, and regularly contributes to Yoga Journal. She’s an athlete in Under Armour’s “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign, the co-host of espnW’s podcast, Free Cookies, and teaches classes on Yogaglo.com. She is the author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga and Aim True. Kathrynbudig.com