I went to my first yoga class when I was a Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. I was working for a woman who focused on feminism in Egypt, and it was right before the Egyptian Revolution broke out in 2011.

My boss was over in Egypt just in time for the height of the revolution, which meant an internet blackout, and with it, no communication with me. When I was living in DC I hadn’t made a lot of friends and was pretty unhappy. Needless to say, between this and the lack of project assignments from my boss, I had plenty of free time! So I decided to try a complete beginner’s yoga class.

After taking the class, I got in my car to drive home and was convinced I had grown taller and was inches away from hitting the roof of my car with my head (I was not – I’m only 5’2 – but at the time the extra height felt so real!). My body felt better and for the first time in my life my head felt clear and like I could finally relax my brain. I started going to yoga 5 times a week after that and fell in love.

A year later I moved to NYC where I started my Master’s program at NYU for Middle Eastern Studies. During this 2 year Master’s program, I found myself skipping out on events in order to take yoga classes. I would do yoga 5-7 times a week and take breaks writing my thesis to practice yoga. (Pro Tip: do not try to do a crazy balancing pose in your tiny NYC apartment with a candle lit – I didn’t burn down my apartment but I did come close to knocking that candle over once!). When I graduated, I did some freelance work for a nonprofit and decided to get my yoga teacher certification.

Yoga got me through grad school. It got me through a time living in DC where I wasn’t myself and was very much living in my head trapped by my own thoughts. Since becoming a yoga teacher I’ve sought out people who might be going through similar experiences – I work in college and offices (and a ton of banks) – places where people sit all day and their jobs require a constant thinking and disconnection from their bodies. I want to help them the way my teachers have helped me and get them to start to become embodied – not purely intellectual – individuals.

I understand the pain of sitting at a computer for hours on end. I understand what it’s like to feel like you can’t turn off your brain. And I also understand how yoga can take away your physical aches and pains and help bring you into an embodied state and out of your head in such a way that you didn’t even know was a feeling that could exist.

If this sounds like you, let me help you discover a side of yourself you’ll never want to give up – a mentally relaxed and physically stronger version. Shoot me an email and we can talk about how to work together: kateformanyoga@gmail.com