I’ve known Kathryn Budig for years. She’s a powerhouse in a tiny package, with a huge heart and spirit that comes pouring out of her. There are a lot of people in the spiritual community who have wonderful things to say, but then you see behind the curtain and there’s a real disconnect between their words and their actions. I gravitate toward the people who are really attempting to live what they say, even if they don’t get it right in every moment, or it’s messy or raw. Those are the people I want to hang out with, because those are people you can trust. Anyone who purports to be floating above the surface of the earth can just keep floating! I am delighted to share this interview I did with Kathryn, and to encourage you to buy her amazing book, which is now available for preorder!
Much love to all, and congratulations to Kathryn!
AH: When did you walk into your first class, and what drew you in?
KB: My first memorable class happened because a musical theatre friend convinced me to go. We went downtown to a proper Ashtanga studio and I was mesmerized by the beauty of the teacher and how fantastic (and challenged) I felt.
AH: At what point did you think you might teach?
KB: I was nearing graduation at the University of Virginia, and still wanted to pursue acting (I had been doing it since I was little). At that point, I had been practicing for 3 years, and felt learning to teach would be a good income in-between acting gigs. Little did I know it would completely become my life!
AH: What are the three biggest ways your yoga practice has impacted your life?
KB: 1 – Patience. I used to throw elbows if I thought I should do something. I’ve now learned that if I show up and deliver my best, and I STILL don’t get what I want, then it was never mine to start with (and that there is often something much better or well-suited for me around the corner).
2 – Acceptance. I had the typical Hollywood manager tell me how I could only be the funny best friend at my weight (I was 105lbs at the time), and yoga constantly whispered into my ear that I was perfect just as I was. It has taught me to embrace my body, all the changes is goes through, and to be unattached to my meat suit. It’s my spirit that matters.
3 – Potential. The actual asana practice constantly reminds me that hard work and time pays off, even if something seems impossible. In fact, now the more impossible it seems, the more alluring it is to me. I know I can get there with patience paired with my ability to aim and stay true.
AH: How does your practice help you navigate the challenges of the close relationships in your life?
KB: I’ve learned to step back and observe what someone close to me really needs, versus getting pissed and jumping down their throats. Any disagreement normally comes from your partner or close friend triggering some deep insecurity or dark place. It’s rarely about you. Understanding that has made me way more compassionate.
AH: What do you think about the responsibility of women teachers setting an example of strength? What does that look like to you?
KB: I think it’s imperative. Women are warriors with the power to inspire and elevate, or to tear each other apart. Jealousy and competition are such nasty emotions that many women fall prey to with each other. If more powerhouse women in the spotlight could set the example that women working together only adds to their strength and reach (and that there is enough to go around for everyone), then we’d see a gorgeous trickle-down effect. I do my best to set that example daily.
AH: How do you think yoga practice can help with body image issues, relationship with food and disordered eating?
KB: It comes back to the concept of acceptance. When yoga is taught well, it shows the student that we’re exactly where we need to be, and that we can’t judge who we are by how we look. That’s a fault that has gone back in history forever, and has done nothing but create pain and segregation. A good connection to a personal practice can make someone more intuitive, empathic, and ideally connected to what makes them FEEL good versus being concerned with how they look or appear to others.
AH: When did cooking and enjoying food become a big part of your life? What is your favorite thing to prepare and eat?
KB: My high school boyfriend’s parents are fantastic cooks, and I spent hours in the kitchen with them learning how to duplicate the delicious food they’d prepare. By the time I got to college, I was the only one in my circle who knew how to cook, so I ended up feeding everyone. I continued to educate myself from there along with the blessing of traveling the world and getting to learn about different culture’s foods and flavors.
I’m currently obsessed with spaghetti squash. I’ve been cutting way back on grains (my digestive system does MUCH better without them), and it’s the perfect grain replacement. I made it with a coconut vodka sauce with spinach and shrimp a few nights ago, and I’m already craving it again!
AH: Tell us about Ashi.
KB: The love of my life? 🙂 She’s my tiny guardian angel that has pulled me through the hardest of times. She’s a needy-independent (don’t try to snuggle her unless it’s on her terms), and she is more in-tune with my energy than any being on this planet. She’s taught me about ferociously committed love, how to shake off the small stuff, that stress is useless, and that food is meant to be enjoyed with gusto!
She also inspired Poses for Paws, a project that I have that raises money and awareness for animal shelters and organizations.
AH: Tell us about your book.
KB: We’re on major countdown! Aim True actually feels like a child to me. I’ve been traveling for years lecturing and teaching on this subject, which is my personal mantra for living. The book breaks down the aim true philosophy and how it applies to all different aspects of life: loving your body, eating without fear, nourishing your spirit, and finding true balance. It includes ways to apply the philosophy, a 5-day purification process, healthy and delicious recipes (made for all types of eaters), yoga sequences, different meditations and DIY organic beauty recipes. It releases March 29th and is available for pre-order now!