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Samara Speller

WHAT DREW YOU TO KATONAH YOGA?

What originally piqued my interest was the idea that the body tells the story of your life and could be read. Before finding this practice, it hadn't really occurred to me what the connection between one's body and one's life was or how working on one would inform the other. As I began to attend classes regularly, I found the material to be intelligent, therapeutic and truly transformational. But what really kept me coming back day after day, year after year, besides wanting to learn more, was the community of bright students and compassionate teachers, all eager to share this communal practice and grow together.

HOW HAS KATONAH YOGA CHANGED YOUR PRACTICE & TEACHING?

Katonah yoga has completely changed the way that I see and interact with my students. It has given me maps to organize myself and others that brought me out of pain. Before practicing Katonah Yoga I had a series of minor injuries that I chalked up to the cost of doing any psychical activity or sport for a long period of time. This practice changed my mind and made me realize that it wasn't the things I was doing that injured me, it was the way I was doing them and that if I referenced the archetype rather than continuing to do everything my way I wouldn't be in pain again. I teach my students the same.

HOW HAVE YOU SEEN KATONAH YOGA CHANGE STUDENTS?

The change begins when I see students start to measure their poses without me prompting them to. That's when I know they're starting to use the archetype to reference the universal and to practice in a more effective and intelligent way rather than just going by habit. For students who have been practicing for a long time, the difference can be seen in the way that they inhabit their body, rather than just use it. They know where their blindspots are, they know where they get caught, or go too deep, or overwork and they've developed techniques to reconcile these habits or foibles. They've developed techniques to live in their bodies and move through life well.

We do this practice to check in, not to check out. It’s about becoming more conscious of our patterns, physically and otherwise, so that we can make empowering choices rather than being a victim to life’s circumstances.
— Samara