by Catherine Madsen
Bliss Crafter, Austin Yoga Tree
Well hello there! You might recognize my name because I am the chief blog writer and publisher! This week, I will be answering the Mindful Monday questions so you can get to know more about your intern, yoga instructor, and blog publisher…. so here it goes!
Tell us about your yoga journey!
I stumbled into my first yoga class when I was 17. It was sweaty, overwhelming, and completely and utterly life changing. I kept going back and before I knew it, a year had passed and it was time to go to college! My practice evolved from heated hatha classes to warm vinyasa ones. I loved the change and decided to start teaching at the recreation center on campus. One year later, after saving all my pennies, I was off to the beautiful Paradise Island in the Bahamas for my yoga teacher training. And now my yoga journey has led me here, to Austin Yoga Tree!
Why do you practice yoga?
I practice yoga because it feels good! It makes my body, soul, mind and heart feel at ease. Yoga has opened my eyes to a peace that I didn’t believe existed and now can’t imagine living without.
What is your pose of the moment and why?
Lately I have been loving navasana (boat pose) and my personal fave has always been dolphin pose. I love the core strengthening component of boat pose as well as the ability to flow from other poses to boat and back. Dolphin has always appealed to me because of the shoulder and core focuses as well as the way it can make you sweat! My favorite dolphin pose is the one that is held in-between sequences to get your heart pumping.
You just got out of a soulful, sweaty yoga class, what do you do next?
Smile! And then make a giant smoothie or juice. I love green juices and colorful smoothies filled with berries and almond butter. Then shower, smile some more and eat! My recent post-yoga food obsessions have been avocado toast, ginormous spinach salads, and hummus…you can NEVER have too much hummus.
What is one thing on your bucket list?
There are quite a few things but one that I am always thinking of is traveling to Morocco. The culture fascinates me and I love the idea of teaching yoga there while learning how to surf, absorbing the culture, and drinking lots of mint tea!
What is one goal that you are currently working towards?
A constant goal that I am always working on is reading more. I personally love non-fiction and philosophy books. I am currently reading “The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are” by Alan Watts. I do have the bad habit of starting books and never finishing them so I am trying to be more committed to reading more often and actually finishing books!
What is your spirit animal?
100% a dolphin. Ever since I did a project on them in the third grade I have felt a strong connection to them. Sometimes, and I realize this may seem crazy, when I watch documentaries on dolphins I get this feeling like I know them, like I WAS them. I joke sometimes that I was a dolphin in a past life but I’m not really joking…. I am in awe of their playful and protective nature and am envious of their ocean abode. If I wasn’t a dolphin in a past life I hope I get the chance to be one in my next life. 🐬
What does the word “mindful” mean to you?
Mindful means being in the moment. Too often we look back on the past and see it as greater than it was, or look to the future and see it as more unresolved than it is. The best way to be mindful is to focus on the here and now. Be mindful of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions you are experiencing today and revel in them. Bask in whatever you are feeling, good or bad, so that at the end of the day, you can reflect and rest easy knowing you lived in the moment today and left nothing un-thought, unfelt, or unsaid.
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” – Kurt Vonnegut