Good Vibrations

Kat:

Yoga and I have a love/hate relationship.


Hannah:

I love yoga so much and I miss it! Having kids is such a game changer.


Kat:

I began my love affair with yoga in the early 80’s in New York City. There were two classes. Yes - I said two classes in all of New York City. One class was at the 92nd street Y and the other was at Integral Yoga on 13th street. From my very first class, I was all in. As a type A self-proclaimed overachiever, yoga was exactly what I needed for my body, mind and spirit. Back then, yoga was so authentic to its roots that overachieving in yoga was not possible. It was only about sinking into your body and letting go.


Hannah:

I practiced yoga and hypnobirthing throughout my first pregnancy - which are all about sinking into your body and letting go literally! But following the births of my three kids, my physiotherapist suggested I should steer away from it. Given that I am hyper mobile with diastasis recti (abdominal separation), she thought stretching might not be great during recovery.


Kat:

I began going to retreats at Yogaville, a bad name for a great place. Yogaville is located in the blue ridge mountains of Virginia, far away from the busy streets of Manhattan. I loved it there. Being a fashion buyer in NY, I always had to be on top of my game. In Yogaville there was no fashion. Your only job was to just be you. I loved silent retreats. Not speaking for a week gave my mind time to unwind and wander to creative places and spaces. It was heaven. I had found my place of serenity. Yoga and I were here to stay. I was sure of it. My daughter always says, “you should have opened a yoga studio back then.”


Hannah:

For a moment following grad school, I wanted to go to the DR and get a yoga teacher certificate. It was kind of a thing then and I had just finished studying all these Great Books in Eastern philosophy that really devalue modern life. Becoming a yoga teacher seemed like a good idea. The only thing that really stopped me was the expense. I still think about it today. It would be an amazingly restorative skill to have at hand.


Kat:

When my kids were little, life was hectic. I wanted to pass along the joys I had experienced with yoga to them. I loved to add simple things to our routine that could last a long time and were easy to do. I felt that doing 3 sun salutations each morning with them was perfect. It warmed up the body and allowed the healing powers of the sunlight to come into ourselves and our home. It was simple and easy to maintain.

Hannah:

I love that you did 3 sun salutations each morning. That’s perfect. That’s what we are aiming for with Peace Place for Kids and the VIP membership - laying the foundation for kids to have all the tools they need to check in with themselves. Theo learned about yoga from Kathy's book, I'm a Little Yogi. Of course he has no idea what it is but he's been hissing like a snake and barking like a dog since he was one.


Kat:

I created an after school program at their elementary school of yoga and added it to the curriculum of their performing arts academy they both attended in middle school. I called it Magic Carpet Yoga because I felt it was like taking a magic carpet ride to peace. I was all in…


Hannah:

Kat, the latter was the FIRST yoga class I ever took! I was about sixteen. I was obsessed with this class. I think it was on a weekend morning because I remember my best friend and I loved it so much that it was a must-do no matter what we’d done the night before. The instructor would blast Moby and after, we’d eat mashed goats cheese and avocado with french bread. The whole thing was cathartic and yes, clearly magical.


Kat:

Then...I went to a retreat day at Kripalu in the Berkshires. I walked into a “power yoga” class and it went downhill from there. The class could not have been further away from what I call authentic yoga. It was competitive, fast paced and everyone was dressed in fashion yoga wear. The yoga I once knew was gone and in its place was an exercise class disguised as yoga. I could hear Swami Satchidinanada saying “yoga is about relaxing, being in the body and letting go.” The “power” in yoga is to let go, not to achieve something. That was the day yoga and I broke up for a long, long time. Periodically I would search for a hatha yoga class but was less and less able to find them.

Hannah:

I’ve never been into these intense physio-spiritual workouts like Soul Cycle. As the health and wellness industry has evolved, exercising is now like going to church. I think that letting go aspect of yoga is kind of being culturally usurped by meditation?


Kat:

Fast forward to today, 30 years later from when I stepped into my first yoga class and ten years after our swift break up. I moved back to New York. I decide there has to be at least one class in New York that is authentic to the roots of yoga. I begin my search, determined to find my yoga home in Manhattan. I need it. My search begins much like I have joined the “Match for Yoga” dating site. I go from class to class looking for the ”one” only to be disappointed over and over again.


Hannah:

There are so many yoga classes now and I get overwhelmed trying to find something simple like the ones I grew up with.


Kat:

I finally found “Humming Puppy” Yoga from Australia. I book a class, intrigued by the fact that the space hums and vibrates to help you relax into the body. I love vibrations and this seemed right up my alley. I walk into the space and instantly fall in love….again. I'm home, back into a place where it doesn't matter what clothes you wear or how perfect your poses are. The lights are dim, the chocolate brown mats are lined up and it smells wonderful. The humming sound enters my body with ease as my mind instantly turns off and I just “let go.” It's calm, peaceful and organic. I'm all in, I have found my way back and fallen in love again.


Hannah:

At almost ten months postpartum, I am just starting to do gentle stretches again and love doing them - particularly when I meditate. I am able to let go so much more and come out feeling clear and calm. Humming Puppy looks amazing. They have some virtual classes. I want those vibes at home. Doesn't every blog post about yoga end with Namaste?












WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!

Have a question for Kat or Hannah? Just want to say “Hi”?

Reach out via cell at 203.788.1993, or email at kathy@peaceplaceforkids.com or hannah@peaceplaceforkids.com

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