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Spending Time with Kathryn Kohlenberg

Yoga Santosha Blog Spending Time with Kathryn Kohlenberg

Spending Time with Kathryn Kohlenberg

JANUARY 5, 2019

Spending Time with Kathryn Kohlenberg

She’s driven and passionate on and off her mat. She brings an incredible amount of knowledge to the studio space and is continuously creating and honing her vast skills. We are so excited that she will be teaching two new class offerings beginning this month. You will find both Fearless Flow and Yoga Conditioning now on the schedule.

Learn more about these classes as well as Kathryn’s own yoga journey below and meet her on your mat at Yoga Santosha Kensington Monday’s @12:00 pm, Wednesday’s @7:15 pm, Friday’s @12:00 pm and Saturday’s @6:00 pm. She’s at Yoga Santosha Mission Tuesday’s @7:15 pm and Wednesday’s @4:45 pm.

When did you understand you wanted to become a yoga teacher?

It wasn’t until my 200-hour training with Curran Watts and Lisa Whitford that I knew I wanted to teach. I hadn’t met either of them before or even done much yoga, but their passion, talent, and knowledge really inspired me. I consider them my first teachers, and not just chronologically: their mentorship really helped shape who I am as a student and teacher of yoga. I will always be grateful to them for introducing me to the Calgary yoga community.

Why do you teach yoga?

Yoga began as very physical for me, and although I still do love the physicality of asana, my practice has definitely evolved. I now view yoga as a union of the physical, philosophical and esoteric. For the first time, all these different parts of myself could find expression in one place, one practice. This was powerful, and something I wanted to share with others and cultivate within a community.

What obstacles has yoga helped you to overcome?

More than anything, yoga has helped me to relax my desire for control. I’m a very disciplined person and a perfectionist, so for a long time the idea of failure was anathema to me. As often as this has been motivating or useful, it’s also been paralyzing. There’s a quote from Thomas Merton that I love:

“Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.”

What advice would you give to your younger self? What words of wisdom would you impart?

I would tell myself to get out of my head, that there’s freedom in not knowing what will come next.

Share something we might not know about you.

My degree is in Philosophy, and I specialized in the Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology. Prior to finding yoga, I considered a career in academia.

Share with us your favourite poem.

So Every Day by Mary Oliver

So every day
I was surrounded by the beautiful crying forth
of the ideas of God,

one of which was you.

What is your favourite yoga pose and why?

Handstand! I love this pose for so many reasons. It exists at the crossroads between discipline and playfulness. The challenge that it offers builds confidence and strength, but mastering the pose requires that you approach it with a spirit of lighthearted play. Falling is part of the game when it comes to handstands, but that’s half the fun. We can’t take these poses too seriously. The playful aspect of yoga is just as valuable as its disciplined aspect, and I try to balance the two in my teaching and home practice.

This month there are two new classes coming to the studios. Tell us more!

These two new classes are Fearless Flow (Kensington) and Yoga Conditioning (Mission).

Fearless Flow is an intermediate level vinyasa class that puts inversions and arm balances at the very centre. Part flow, part inversion clinic, this class will lay the vital groundwork for your most successful handstand and arm balance practice.

Yoga Conditioning is a six-week open-level program that will fuse vinyasa-based flows with HIIT, cardio and mobility training. Through creative programming and purposeful sequencing, you will deepen your physical practice while building endurance, strength, and stamina. Expect to sweat in this one!

I like to mix things up in all of my classes because I believe there’s great value in continuing to challenge ourselves physically and mentally. Both of these classes are designed to do just that: to offer a unique challenge for students who are eager to bring more balance, grace, and inversions to their practice. I’m thrilled to be offering these two new classes at the Santosha studios, and I hope to see you on your mat 🙂