Go Slow. Love the People.

I was hurriedly driving down to teach a class at Flow a few weeks back, full-tilt feeling the transition into teaching from whatever else the day had brought me (I can't remember now exactly what that was, but best bets are that it entailed a whole lot of toddler wrangling!). 

Transitions can be tricky. Even if we're feeling 100% present & connected to what's right in front of us, as soon as we have to move onto the next thing, the change can be totally disarming.

Luckily, in this particularly tricky transition between mama-ing and teaching, I was on the phone with my husband (a sturdy reference point for me in all things, especially moments where I lose my way) and his voice came through loud & clear: "Go slow. Love the people."

One of the greatest gifts of a yoga practice is that it gives us the chance to actually *embody* the change we seek to effect, the feelings we want to nurture, the way we hope to show up in the world. 

Immediately, I started driving slower. I took my time walking from the car to the studio. I took extra time to connect with the yogis at the desk, settling into class, and I led us all through a spacious centering (myself included!) in order to fully arrive together from the rest of our days. The yoga poses were simple and the pace of class was -- you guessed it -- slow. I offered up a silent blessing for each person in class during savasana.

I let each moment, each move be guided by this simple mantra: "Go slow. Love the people." This mantra continues to be my daily guide. 

If you're in need of a counterpoint to the hustle & bustle of the upcoming holiday season, if you're feeling the pace around you quicken as we close out this year & transition to the next, if you want to change the way you feel, start by changing the way you move: "Go slow. Love the people."

We're so grateful to each of you. 

big love, 
xo Cath (& Sam & Lou!)

p.s. We're off the rest of this week (but you can still catch Sam tonight at Flow), but we'd love to invite you to all our upcoming classes & workshops - click here for all the details. For Teaching from the Heart, which starts in January — click here!

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It's About Time.

Ahhh, time.

There’s never enough.

It goes by too fast (or too slow, depending on what you’re doing or waiting for - “are we there yet?”).

It’s sped up by deadlines. It’s weighed down by regrets about time past.

It’s divided up into schedules and calendars and timetables and action items.

It’s marked by milestones or somehow lost completely to the everyday-ness of life.

When I was practicing law, we had to bill our time down to every 6-minute increment. We had to account for at least 7.5 hours of everyday. There were time codes for each client & each matter associated with that client & each task that made up each matter. Each entry had at least three-points of drilling down to account for each moment. We even had billing codes for time off, vacation (a mere formality, I assure you), and administrative time — for things like all the time you actually spent keeping track of & accounting for your time. Oy.

I recently recalled that the program we used for entering all our time for billing purposes was called “Kronos.” And during all those years spent entering my time in Kronos, I never actually spent a second of it considering the meaning of the word.

The ancient Greeks had two different words for time: kronos (or chronos) and kairos. Kronos is the chronological, sequential time. It’s how we know where to be when. It’s what our google map tells us about our commute. It’s quantitative. It’s how we organize the “doing” portion of our life — the appointments, the meetings, the agendas, the billable hour.

Kairos, on the other hand, is the sacred time. Ironic, perhaps, because it’s the time spent when we don’t even feel time passing at all. This is the time for “being” — completely absorbed in a creative project, totally present on our yoga mat or in meditation, captivated in conversation or lovemaking or rocking a baby in the middle of the night. It’s qualitative. This is the time for which there is no billing code.

Unsurprisingly, our modern, cultural conversation has conflated the two into just one word: time. Efficient, perhaps. Satisfying, not even close … especially because we only have to review our last 24 hours to realize how much of it is organized & understood solely by the kronos framework.

We wake up most often to the possibility of kairos in the extremes… the times of tragedy, illness, death or falling in love, pregnancy, giving birth.

But what about the everyday kairos?

As the days grow darker & colder and the calendar tells us that the year is winding down, our little family is making a point to weave opportunities to experience kairos into the fabric of our days. With our little one now in daycare during the week, we parents are simply drinking in all the deep time we have with our kid when we’re together. (And we’re also committed to our own moments of kairos together, rediscovering the time spent together being simply a couple, and not just co-parents).

Kairos is even leading the way as I reframe my own work agenda. So schedule it if you must — time for self-care, time for daydreaming, time for taking walks for the sake of walking, time to meditate, time to kiss, time to play, time to rest. And yes, time to work.

And that’s ultimately what we’re up to here at The Daily Vinyasa — the commitment to making space, everyday, for the sacred. Even in the little, daily moments. In fact, especially in those moments. How to integrate this commitment in your yoga classes is a big focus of our 100-hour immersion that starts this January, Teaching from the Heart. If you’re interested in learning more about how to organize your time & yoga practice to include the sacred kairos, we’d love to have you join us.

xo Catherine

a moment of kairos at Flow Yoga Center.

a moment of kairos at Flow Yoga Center.



What makes for a transformative yoga class?

I’ve spent thousands of hours on my yoga mat — alone at home, taking class, teaching class. And while all of those practices have left an imprint on my life, not every one has been super remarkable.

But many have.

After nearly 20 years of practicing yoga, I still carry with me the feeling of some of the most transformative yoga classes I’ve ever taken & taught.

Have you ever experienced an unforgettable feeling on your yoga mat?

Maybe it’s a heart-opening, tear-inducing backbend, when you’re least expecting it.

Maybe it’s the realization that you’ve been completely swept up in the flow and, for at a least few moments, you’ve left behind the stresses & busy-ness of your daily life.

Maybe it’s that moment in savasana when you feel completely at home in yourself.

Or it’s emerging from a yoga class, having finally figured out the answer to a problem that has been nagging you for awhile — without having actually spent any time worrying about it or thinking about it during class.

What makes for a yoga experience like this?

What stands out for me when I look back on my own transformative yoga classes isn’t so much… the pose we were doing, the song that was playing, or anything else that happened on that day.

It’s the quiet aspects I remember most: the surge of an emotion, the subtle shift of a feeling state, the way the sunlight danced across my mat, the gentle, yet sturdy touch of a hand offered in a simple child’s pose assist, the feeling of being seen & noticed, yet given space to have the experience I needed to have, to learn the lesson on my own.

At the helm of every transformative experience was a yoga teacher who could all at once offer her deep knowledge (from the anatomy to the energetics to the alignment to the history of yoga) with her own embodied experience of the practice & offer it to the class as shared wisdom of an ancient, universal practice brought to life in that particular moment & place.

These are the teachers who can create safe space, an authentic offering, and still leave room for their students to learn at their own pace and have the exact experience they need to have — all without ego, dogma, or attachment to a specific outcome.

If that sounds like the kind of teacher you want to be, Teaching from the Heart was designed with you in mind.

A 100-hour Yoga Training & Mentorship program we created to help you transform the yoga you love to practice into yoga you can lovingly share with others.

Whether you are already teaching yoga or simply want to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues, this program will give you the tools you need & the support for your own transformation into a yogi who can practice & teach from the heart.

Teaching from the Heart will help you create transformative yoga experiences for yourself & others.

To learn more about Teaching from the Heart & apply today - read on here.

We’d love for you to join us & our early bird pricing ends November 1.

xo Cath & Sam

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The Point is Joy.

Last week, I started writing this blog post by creating a metaphor in which I compared meditation to scrubbing the bathtub.

Stay with me, here.

What I was trying to evoke (aside from the image, I suppose, of me cleaning my bathroom. Oy!) was the idea that, like cleaning your house or any of the tasks in our daily round, meditation is not something you can do once & you’re “done.” As soon as you “check it off your to do list” for the day, it magically reappears on tomorrow’s — you’re never “finished,” “achieved,” “accomplished,” or “arrived.”

This analogy — like my blog post — never made it off the ground, though, because it was driven solely by a sense of duty, discipline, obligation. I “had to” write this post. Like some days I feel like I “have to” meditate.

And even though you “should” meditate everyday. That’s not the point.

The point is joy.

I was feeling so stuck, I realize now, because my sense of joy was missing. Luckily, I came across this reminder today from Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way: “In the short run, discipline may work, but it will work only for a while. By its very nature, discipline is rooted in self-admiration. … We admire ourselves for being so wonderful. The discipline itself … becomes the point.”

Commitment to our highest aspirations — like a daily meditation practice — can only come at the invitation of enthusiasm, which Cameron describes as a “spiritual commitment, a loving surrender.” This enthusiasm, this joy is what keeps us coming back. See how it feels to practice, if you approach your daily yoga & meditation with a sense of excitement, play, and possibility, rather than obligation. See how life feels, when you approach each day with the same.

(And to see what meditation with enthusiasm looks like — you can practice along with me & a curious toddler here :))

xo Catherine

Yoga in Action: A 40-Day Practice for Healing & Transformation

When I went offline 2 weeks ago to get some space, refill my own cup, and try to get clearer on what my work here would be for you, I was taking a pretty myopic of view of that work. Since then, so much has unfolded on our national stage (& in our world — as it does everyday).

The week’s events, with their revelation — once again — of how we listen to, respond to, and feel about women’s stories & women’s pain, simply ROCKED me. It’s that familiar, punch-in-the-gut, ache-in-the-heart feeling I’ve had so many times before. Like two Novembers ago, when I carried with me the promise of being newly pregnant & also the news that my child would be born into a country led by a man who hates women.

Yoga Sutra 2.33 teaches us: “When disturbed by negative thoughts, opposite, positive ones should be be thought of.” And over these last few days, as I practiced thinking about the opposite of the hateful, hurtful things around us, I’ve begun to see by the light of a newly reignited flame of activism.

I am a mama to a 14-month-old son. I am a woman, a wife, a sister, a friend, a teacher, a writer, and — like you too — a human yearning for a better world.

This afternoon, a line from one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems slipped into my head: “I don’t know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention.”

So while I don’t know exactly how to change the world, I do know how to pay attention — how to practice paying attention through meditation and how to guide others in this practice.

Which brings me back to you. With the immediate invitation to join me NOW.

Starting tomorrow morning, October 1, I’ll be posting videos each morning for 40 days, guiding us through 40 days of meditation practice — specifically the Kundalini meditation called the Kirtan Kriya, which is thought to be the highest meditation a woman can practice.

I’ll show up every day, and I hope you will too. We can support each other as we practice radical, spiritual self-care to heal our hurting hearts & bodies.

And if I can figure out how to set this up, I’d love to truly transform this practice of yoga & meditation into “skill in action” (which is what the Bhagavad Gita tells us yoga really is) by raising money for Together Rising.

Stay tuned for link for donations once the page is live — but if even 100 of us can commit to 40-days, at a $1 a day, that’s $4000 for an organization devoted to transforming our heartache into collective action.

I’ll also deliver the videos to your inbox, if you’d like. Just be sure to add your name to our mailing list.

I am honored & uplifted to be here with you. See you bright & early tomorrow morning.

xo Catherine



Who would you be without the hustle?

Happy Sunday, loves.

I have so many “ways in” to this topic. I am no stranger to the hustle — never have been, and I’m still very intimate with it, even today.

In my 20s, I was an a Type-A+++, highly-achieving, always striving, fully-devout worshipper at the altar of “busy is better.” This attitude got me through law school and into a fast-paced, exhausting career where literally the more hours I billed, the better I was rewarded. How’s that for a set of priorities?

Over the last nearly 5 years since leaving my big-law career behind, I’ve gotten some space to reflect on this script I was given — that we should always be going, never idle, that “more” & “faster” are better, let’s achieve, let’s produce, burn the midnight oil & then wake up early to do it all over again tomorrow.

Even though my line of work is wildly different these days, I still walk these DC streets & feel the PULSE & pull of that energy. It’s palpable nearly everywhere. And it’s so seductive, isn’t it? I remember first learning in law school that the response “I’m swamped” was the only right answer to the question “how are you?” When you’re swamped, you’re busy. When you’re busy, you’re important. No matter what is actually happening beneath that shimmer of efficiency and glimmer of achievement.

I notice for students that the most “difficult” part of a yoga class — more so than any arm balance or bind or inversion — is often savasana or seated meditation. We have not inherited many worthy narratives about the power and potency of stillness and rest.

The moon does it. The trees do it. We need fallow time in order to flourish. How’s that for a new script to work with?

Some ways to get you comfortable with this idea that you exist beneath the hustle…

  • go for a walk, leave your cell phone behind.

  • next time you’re on the train or waiting in line - look up & around, not down at your phone. turn off the podcast, resist the urge to leaf through the magazine. simply, be.

  • hang out with a young child. they are so close to their natural rhythms. nap when they nap!

  • come see me tonight at Flow Yoga Center for harmony restorative at 6:15pm :)

thank you thank you,

Catherine xo

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Why Practice Yoga?

I want to be useful to you.

Sometimes that drive, that desire makes me think my blog posts should be things like "Top 10 Tips to a Better Downward Dog" or "How to Engage Your Core in Yoga Poses" or even "Top 5 Meditations for Better Sleep." 

And there's nothing wrong with any of those. That content is out there, right? All out there! All over the place! And really serving people too.

It's not easy to free myself from the grip of that gnawing need in the back of my head: Be Useful. Give them the tips. Keep it tidy & neat. Use trackable metrics & measurable data.

And yet, when I can loosen my white-knuckle grip on the desire to be relevant or to serve you up pinterest-able content or something like that, I rediscover the seed of my truth for being here with you. 

Here's why I practice yoga. 

Not to touch my toes [I promise you, nothing magical happens when you get there]. Not to stand on my head [though that looks nice in a picture, right?].  

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Though the poses feel + look great, they are not why I practice yoga. 

I practice because yoga teaches me how to pay attention. 

To all of it - the gorgeous, glorious beauty of my son. And the spaciousness of a Sunday afternoon at home. And the sound of the rain. But also... my leaky roof. My discomfort with uncertainty. My self-doubt about how this will all work out. 

Even so, I continue to practice paying attention through my yoga + meditation. Because when I can pay attention to my life, I can fully participate in it.

And only when we get off the sidelines of our life and start participating do we have the opportunity to do good things. 

I say all the time that I love teaching yoga in Washington, DC, because the movers + shakers + change-makers come through our doors and into our yoga rooms. I've been touting that line for years now.

It was only this morning that I realized that maybe I'm using that idea as a way to avoid fully engaging with the possibility that I'm a mover + shaker + change-maker too. That we all are. If we can step up.

And how do we step up?

Every time we get on our yoga mats or our meditation cushions or close our eyes for a few moments to take some deep breaths and stop the pattern of reacting or avoiding or distracting ourselves (with food, booze, shopping, etc.), we start to pay attention. And then we wake up to deep privilege of being a change-maker too. 

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Your yoga butt was made to do more than look good in your yoga pants.

So when we practice showing up for ourselves on our yoga mats, we can practice showing up for each other. 

It's time we use that strength + flexibility we've gained from our sweaty yoga classes for being strong, yet flexible enough to really listen to someone with whom we disagree. Use that good night's sleep after a stress-reducing restorative yoga class to fuel your support for candidates you believe in in the mid-term elections. To pay attention to your own loving, patient, compassionate good work in the world. 

I'll practice doing the same.

It's on us. Our yoga butts and our presence. 

Catherine xo 

all photos here, courtesy of the gorgeous  Addy Burr .

all photos here, courtesy of the gorgeous Addy Burr.

The Daily Vinyasa: A Working-Draft Manifesto

Welcome to The Daily Vinyasa. 

Before I can get to the what of this offering, I’d like to share with you the why behind it.

You know that feeling you get when you take a great yoga class?

Whether that feeling flashes you in a certain pose (pigeon, bridge, a humble forward fold).

Or it pulses through your entire practice (breath, focus, movement are seamlessly interwoven; your presence is your gift; your attention never waivers; nothing else except the gorgeous moment you are witnessing exists).

Or at the end (a transcendent savasana, where you can dive deeper than the surface-level noise/anxiety/stressors to the place you know IS you).

You leave class feeling lighter & softer & more dropped into yourself than you have in as long as you can remember.

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After a few times like this, you begin wonder if that feeling you touch in your yoga practice might be something you have access to outside the warm walls of the studio or beyond the edges of your yoga mat.

You might imagine you had a few minutes (or more) to ask the teacher after class: how might I bring this feeling out of the yoga studio and with me into the fabric of my days, into the rhythm of my life?

Or maybe you could actually turn to the person next to you after class and ask them if they wondered too… if only you didn’t have to rush out to work, to school, onto the next.

Let me tell you a story.

For many years, yoga was something I “went to” or “scheduled” around whatever else I was doing in my life (high school, college, law school, work, relationships, friendships, families, holidays, travel, you get it). I always felt better when I was there, even had some vague sense that I "should" do it more often. And then went back to the rest of my life.

Five years ago or so, I finally got clued into the truth behind this myth I was doggedly devoted to during my twenties: that one day, I’d wake up & everything would be “figured out.” That if I checked enough of the right boxes, I would eventually step triumphantly into my real, grown-up life.

Then I got clued in (thank you to those who’ve walked this path before me) to what felt like a liberating & terrifying secret: you never really arrive.

Busting this myth allowed me to shift my yoga practice from something I did into something I was.

My whole life opened up.

I realized that life is what you’re doing (or not doing) right now. That the quality of each of our days creates the rhythm for our lives. Annie Dillard says it better than I: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

[It was this exact revelation, this lightbulb moment that led me to my future husband and allowed me to do a total 180 on my “career path,” leaving the full-time practice of law for the full-time practice of yoga. But those are stories for another day!]

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The Daily Vinyasa is where I aim to explore the intersection of a yoga, meditation, spiritual practice and our everyday lives.

Because, really, we do yoga not necessarily to get better at yoga (though the poses feel good & yoga butts are nice). We do yoga to get better at our lives.

I know this to be true: your birthright is a deeper experience of this human life. The YOU you touch in savasana is accessible all the time. It just takes - you guessed it - practice. Everyday.

What I hope to offer in The Daily Vinyasa are the stories, the tools, the spiritual technologies, the practices, the inspiration, and the community to help you access that birthright of deep connection in your daily life. To have those conversations and to get the support you need to begin to allow that feeling to infuse the quality of your days & thus your life.

I chose the name The Daily Vinyasa for this project because this practice of conscious living is truly a daily one. There’s no real “end” or “goal” to this way of living because the very nature of “vinyasa” tells us that every cycle has a beginning, middle, not just an end.

“Vinyasa” is not only that plank pose/chaturanga/updog/downdog thing you do in a yoga class or a particular style of yoga.

“Vinyasa” means “to place in a special way.”

What a gorgeous, guiding principle.

Imagine - just for a moment - if your rushed routine to get out the door in the morning became your “morning vinyasa." Or you didn’t just crash into bed at the end of a hurried, harried day or zonk out in front of the TV. Your “evening vinyasa” could shepherd you through the satisfying resolution of your day.

I believe it's possible because I've learned that... 

  • With our attention + intention, routine can be elevated to ritual.
  • Our moments make up our days and our days become our lives.
  • Everyday has a beginning, middle, and end. We were designed to tap into the rhythms of the natural world unfolding around + within us.
  • Our practice can be a container for our lives - a laboratory for testing the stories we tell ourselves, a place of communion + homecoming, a reference point for our days & our "gradually growing wholeness." (thank you Rumi). 
  • All effort can be accompanied by ease.
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I share this with you not because I’ve figured it all out. Because this life thing, like yoga, is a practice. Everyday we show up. We offer our effort, tempered with ease. Our presence. Our hearts. The movements of our bodies that make our life: preparing a meal, having a conversation with a loved one, messing up + trying again.

Think of me as a river guide (thank you Shiva for that way of seeing our role as yoga teacher). I’ve navigated these waters. And though they are different everyday (and different for you than for me), I can point out the bends in the river, where the current picks up, where the rocks are high and the water shallow.

I’d love for you to join me on this journey.

Thank you, thank you,

Catherine xo

p.s. As I share more & more, I want to do so in dialogue with you. If you take a moment to let me know what it is you’d love to see here, I’ll send my thanks with a peek into my current top 3 daily practices to take my yoga off the mat and into my life.