Cat’s Path to Becoming Anusara’s New Community Resiliency Team Leader

Sitting in the gap between what is happening and what I think “should” be happening can be challenging, if not painful.  When I feel disappointed, it’s usually that I am hoping things to be a certain way, and life isn’t panning out as expected.  But rather than trying to make anything wrong, what if I can be curious about what is arising in me?  Yoga for me is a practice of learning to become comfortable with discomfort, which over time expands my comfort zone. 

In Anusara Yoga, we teach principles of alignment.  People have alignment.  Poses do not.  Within a tantric perspective, we always are always practicing choice.  To what can I choose to align?  How do I choose?  And how can I respond to people, situations, or even other parts of myself that seem out of alignment to myself?  As we learn to navigate an ever-changing pandemic environment, we have the continual opportunity to accept what is indeed happening around us, while choosing how to respond in a way that keeps connection.

Allow me to introduce myself.  I was part of the Anusara Yoga kula from 2002-2012.  I held Affiliation status in 2004 and earned my certification in 2008.  Although based in New York City, I spent a decade of my life helping rebuild the yoga communities post-Hurricane Katrina in my hometown of New Orleans, as well as the Gulf Coast and SE region.  Originally a filmmaker, my yoga wings gradually spread to teach nationally and internationally.  Since 2013, I have been integrating Compassionate Communication (NVC) into my yoga trainings, exploring how to align ourselves both inside and out.  I am honored to guide physical, mental, and emotional asana, which requires both curiosity and humor, as we excavate deeper within. 

Compassionate Communication has been the most clear, practical, and effective way of applying my yoga off of the mat and into my life.  Not only has it changed my relationships with others, it has fostered more self-compassion.  However, not unlike doing a handstand in the middle of the room, it’s not easy and might take some time to accomplish.  When I am able to see from different angles in asana (even when scary), I can view the world from the benefit of multiple perspectives. This is abhyasa. This takes skill in action.

As the new Community Resiliency Team Leader, I am excited to be sharing with the ASHY kula all that I have learned on my path.  I am happy to be back in the fold and honored to be taking up the reigns from Tiffany Wood, collaborating with an established stellar team.  It is within a safe and attuned community that we can all learn from one another while cultivating more understanding, connection, and most of all compassion.  I look forward to sharing this practice with my fellow teachers, as we all hold the space for healing in the world.

 In gratitude,

Cat McCarthy