Catherine Tingey

Catherine Tingey

Tell us about yourself, where you are from, your training, etc. 

I'm from upstate NY and did my training with James Brown in Santa Monica, CA. I've been practicing for almost 30 years now - wow!

How and why did you start yoga? 

I started yoga at age 18 as an 'easy' gym credit because I was such a skinny, weak kid.

Who was your great mentor/teacher?

My greatest teacher is someone I've never met - Louise Hay.

Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?

My practice has evolved greatly over the last 30 years. As a young yogi, I loved intensity and spent hours in Bikram studios in New York City.  The pursuit of intense sensation above all else leads to injury, and I've had mild injuries (not all caused by yoga) that have loosened my definition of what constitutes a personal practice. Academically, I've studied Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Restorative, Iyengar, as well as Transcendental Meditation and Zen Meditation. My personal practice today reflects that diversity. I also incorporate myofascial release, pilates, affirmations and meditation into my personal practice.

What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?

Yoga has helped me most balance out extremes in my personality. It has also helped me create space for all the feelings, not just the positive ones!

What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?

This is so dependent on day! It could be extreme reverence and gratitude if I've been injured or away due to work. Or it could be a blank slate like, 'let's see what my yoga practice has to reveal to me today.'

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

When I taught my first private I knew I loved the intimacy of the teaching format.

What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?

Seeing my clients have breakthroughs on the mat. These are rarely about a physical achievement!!! Usually they're epiphanies like, 'I can finally see how it's possible to exist beyond my thoughts'. A client just told me last week that in our guided meditation she suddenly realized that time is an artificial construct. This might sound high falutin or pretentious but I promise you it's not.  Another client told me that the feeling he had after yoga was better than drinking. I feel privileged to simply be a witness to my yogis.

Why is yoga so important for the times we’re living in?

Yoga ultimately creates balance in the body, balance in the mind. That's the entire point of the practice - yogas chitta vritti nirodha. Anything that allows us to live amongst one another with less reactivity is a good thing.

Your favorite quote?

'Practice and all is coming.' Such a metaphor for everything in life.

Anything else you want to share?

My hope is that yoga teachers everywhere spread a message of inclusivity.  There is something in the yoga tradition for everyone.

Where we can we find you? Instagram, website, etc