Get to know Katherine, Zuna Yoga co-founder and instructor
Describe yourself in one word.
What is your spirit animal?
The hummingbird. It embodies lightness of being, the joy of life, speed and resilience. It can also travel great distances and even fly backward.
What is your astrological sign?
Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I like to play sad songs on the ukulele
What do you love about Bali?
The sensory experience: warm, humid air; the scents of incense, frangipani and rain; the vibrant colors; the cacophony of nature and people. I also love how nosy the locals are. You can't go anywhere without someone asking you where you're going, if you ate breakfast, and where you live. I've learned to answer honestly—nothing bad will come of it.
What's your favorite place to eat in Ubud?
What are your top three travel tips?
- Book a window seat so you can lean against the plane with your travel pillow and get some sleep. Don't worry about waking the people in the middle and aisle seat if you need to get up—as a flexible yogi with great proprioception, you can silently step by as they snooze without bumping them. I've got this move down.
- Bring a mini-wellness kit: herbal tea sachets, saline nasal spray, eye drops, Annee de Mamiel Altitude Oil, sanitizing wipes for your armrests and tray table, Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes, an SK-II moisturizing sheet mask, Emergen-C, Jurlique's rosewater facial mist and a blarf (a combo blanket and scarf). Create your own little bubble of hydration and good-smelling well-being. And keep sipping that tea, it's hydrating and comforting.
- When you're not napping, stand up frequently. Keep your lymphatic system active by doing calf raises and do some spinal twists and other stretches to prevent stiffness.
What book are you reading right now?
Samkhya Darshan by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati. I alternate "study" books with "fun" non-yoga books to keep it balanced. My last book was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, a beautifully written and very Dickensian book that takes place in 1975 in India.
Three songs on your iPod right now?
Adele's "Hello" (Sad Money & James Carter remix)
Sia's "Fire Meet Gasoline"
Phillip Glass's "In the Upper Room"
One thing you're really good at:
Remembering names and faces. Not as good as the Balinese in this arena, but pretty darn good.
One thing you're epically bad at:
Trilling my R (which leaves the Spanish and Italian languages out of reach—as an avid linguist, this is frustrating).
What do you do for fun?
For indoor fun: scrabble
For outdoor fun: tennis, snowboarding, biking, hiking–there's no sport I'll turn my nose up at.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
Bad manners, especially at the dinner table
How did you make your first dollar?
Babysitting. I was 10 years old and taking care of 5-year-olds while their parents (usually friends of my parents) were out for dinner. Hard to imagine today!
What are the three qualities that got you where you are today?
Brains, brawn, and charm.
What's your favorite thing about being a yoga teacher?
Supporting students' discovery of their own strength and capabilities.
What's your biggest challenge as a yoga teacher?
Imparting to students the importance of regular practice when they return home after leaving the yoga bubble with us. While we will all have occasional "aha" moments during yoga that feel like instant gratification (and there are many of those moments at our Bali trainings), those breakthroughs are the result of consistent, dedicated practice. There's no such thing as a free lunch. We have to keep working—chop wood carry water—even though it can get boring.
What are you working on in your own practice?
Kindness. The older I get, the more important this becomes.
What advice would you give to your younger self?