Yoga has allowed me to be OK with who I am and my authentic self.
Isn’t that what everyone wants? It took 15 years of working as an aerobics instructor for Katherine Austin to venture into a yoga studio and start exploring the inner terrain of her quest for health and wellness. And that exploration led Austin to develop Karma Yoga, a thriving Bloomfield Hills studio that opened September 6, 2003 and has been growing and evolving ever since.
With yoga, Austin says she “could stop living a double life and step into my big self and say, ‘This is who I am and this is who I want to be,’ learn to find my voice again, learn to speak my truth. I could start to have boundaries and stop being a people-pleaser, which so many women do.”
The kind of yoga that Austin perpetuates in her studio and among her students is one that empowers people to journey to their authentic self and start dwelling there.
Six months after Austin first stepped into a yoga studio and realized it was “a much deeper experience than stretching my hamstring,” she hung up her aerobics shoes and started learning Sanskrit. She was 35.
This new path came so easily to her that Austin believes it was part of a past life. “It was like I spoke it before somewhere,” she says.
“Yoga is the process of waking up, and cleaning the filters that we see through,” she says. “And it’s just been, layer by layer, removing the veil. You clean your body from all the yoga poses, the body starts opening up and becomes more flexible.”
“All the systems in the body get a reprogramming. You start to think differently and you make different choices about everything from food to people you hang out with,” Austin says. “You become so much more in touch with yourself.”
Austin, a mother of three sons (ages 25, 21 and 15), employs 12 teachers at Karma. Austin encourages everyone to explore “healthy” practices like yoga and meditation “because they start to remove the ego-voice that’s really loud and tries to talk us into things that aren’t real. It’ll teach you how to follow your heart and that will guide you down the path of opening up and becoming your authentic self.”
“So many people deny their feelings, deny what their heart says! Turn on your intuition and start trusting it. Don’t be pulled in by what CNN says or your neighbor says or your mother says or your DNA says or your ancestral crap. Free yourself to be yourself.”
At Karma, yoga teachers “live their yoga,” says Austin. She insists that her cadre of teachers continue their education on an ongoing basis.
“The main reason I opened this studio was I wanted to teach our students how to take their yoga off the mat and into their lives,” Austin says. “We teach how to live your yoga, aside from putting yourself in a pose, what are the qualities you’re cultivating?”
Austin was recently named an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. She is leading a retreat to India in February and offers Yoga Teacher Training. For more information, visit www.karma-yoga.net.
Â© 2011 Copyright Â Allison Stuart Kaplan Â www.Askinyourface.com LLC