YogaSole's Students Of the Month Cathy Brown speaks to us about Yoga, what inspires her and being kind. Read on Yogis :)
How and when and why did you first discover yoga?
I discovered yoga in high school and have practiced on and off throughout my life. But I never felt as comfortable with yoga as I do now, practicing at Yoga Sole. There is such a warm, family vibe here. Evalena has built an amazing community and her beautiful inner light infuses it. There are so many different types of practices offered and they’re all wonderful. I especially enjoy the Therapeutic Yoga and Gentle Flow. There’s actually another yoga studio on my corner but I happily walk the 3 blocks to Yoga Sole because it feels right.
What do you take off the mat and into the world from your yoga practice?
I try to take that wonderful sense of calm yoga brings, that sense of being present in the world and of breathing deeply and fully. Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Why can’t you breathe right without Evalena directing you?’ Although all of the instructors are wonderful, I must confess that Evalena is my favorite. Even her voice is soothing. Her positive, nurturing energy is contagious and I try to carry it around with me. I also love the sense of community that Yoga Sole instills. The clothing swaps, spoken word readings, it shows that yoga can be an integral part of our day-to-day lives and make a positive impact on the community. I was honored to be invited to take part in the first Yoga Sole Literary Salon back in April when I got to read excerpts from my ebook THE EL.
What's your favorite pose? What does it mean to you?
Besides shavasana, I love goddess pose. It feels so fierce and solid like you’re taking strength from the earth and from everything that comes from the earth.
Who is your hero and why?
My friend Danielle Watson. Two years ago, she had an accident that almost ended her life when she fell 300 feet while rock climbing. At age 27, Danielle became paralyzed from the chest down but she never lost her amazing smile or her zeal. She’s learned how to mono-ski (and even skied with the medical team that saved her life), kayak, drive and hopes to get back into physical therapy school. Even when faced with challenges, Danielle reminds me to never give up.
What's your favorite book?
It’s hard to choose because I’m a writer and I’ve loved books all my life. I guess it would have to be Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. It’s beautiful, simple and never gets old.
What's your favorite food?
Chicken molé. It’s dinner and dessert rolled into one.
What's a quote that inspires you?
They change all the time, depending on what I’m going through. Today, it’s Nietzsche’s ‘He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.’ But I also like Sir Edmund Hillary’s ‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’
What's your favorite hobby besides yoga?
Hiking. I love discovering new, beautiful places with my husband and son and taking long walks through them. I feel like I can really experience the landscape, feel it underfoot—or under your hands if it’s a scramble. One of my friends used to say, ‘The best part of a hike is when it’s over.’ You can sit back and reflect and enjoy it again—and again.
What's a change you wish to see in the world (small or large scale)?
It sounds simplistic but I’d just like to see people be kinder to each other. The world would be a much better place if everyone just kept to the Golden Rule: treat people as you’d like to be treated.