Katie's Yoga Story
Katie’s Yoga Story
Katie is a married, mother of 3 children who had been running an organic farm. She shares how her life felt before yoga and the changes that they have made since.
When I was trying to build an organic farm business, I was working until 11:00 at night. I would start my day at 7 am collecting the rst eggs of the day, feeding/watering our 150 laying hens then head out into the eld to tend to our hundreds of strawberry and raspberry plants, sweet corn and popcorn.
We were providing food to people through a CSA with another local farm so I needed to commit to doing that each week. We also had planted 200 apple trees so I was trying to learn how to build an organic orchard from scratch. I could never relax, not even on the weekends, because I was worried about harvesting, etc. on Mondays to get produce and eggs to the CSA. I started to hurt physically and was getting injured from all the physical labor and the fact that I wasn't taking good care of myself. One day I was so exhausted, I fell asleep going through the car wash! I wasn't able to do the simple things that I wanted to do: clean my house, take time to make family meals every night, spend time with my husband and our 3 kids. I started to dread summertime because it meant so much more work on the farm. I was pretty isolated doing this work - I delivered our food to the farm we partnered with so I didn't get to connect with my customers. I wanted to feed our community but I wasn't "feeding" myself. It was at this point I started practicing yoga, which helped me physically with farming. Then I began to notice the mental calm I gained from it and how it helped me with being a wife and mother.
We began to scale back the farm business when it had become clear that we need to create "space." My husband had health issues brought on by stress and we were dealing with illness and deaths in our extended families. We simply needed to do things that required us to be off the farm...take care of ourselves and our families. So little by little we cut back - stopped growing annual crops, sold all our laying hens, brought the berry selling business to a halt. In the midst of this I was starting to use yoga to take care of my body and at the same time it was actually feeding me inside and out.
I wanted to learn more about this yogic way of living so I decided to take the Advanced Yoga Study/Teacher Training program at HeartWork, not knowing if I would want to teach or not at the end of it. How I look at life and how I live my life changed dramatically because of the program. I have learned to react regularly on if I am living my life's purpose, all because of yoga.
During my teacher training I ran across a quote: "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Wow. This really resonated with me. I began to pay attention to what made me come alive.
I opened up my own yoga studio in Owatonna but kept it open for just 6 months. I realized that in order to grow that business I would have to teach on evenings and weekends and I wasn't willing to give up that time with my family. During this same time, I had the opportunity to teach at HeartWork Studio and I took it. Teaching 1 class turned into 2 and so on until I was coming here a few times each week. I was then the manager at HeartWork for 2 years until I decided that I wanted to teach yoga even more than manage. So now I teach 5 or 6 yoga classes each week and love it.
Perhaps the best part of all of this is that we ended up selling our farm last year and moved our family to Northfield! We found the most perfect house within walking and biking distance of the schools and to downtown. We have made so many great changes in our life and living my yoga was a big help in guiding the way towards that.
My husband and I have discovered that Northfield is a town that is in our interests and the way in which we want to live. Including the people we want to surround ourselves with. Our house is in town so we can walk or ride bike all over. Our home is one that embraces us instead of drains us.
The last 5 years for me have been about living with an intention to how I want to live each day....so all of these changes have been about aligning with this intention.
In the past few years, we have learned to create more space to do the things that we feel are important. My husband and I have the same day off of work so we spend time together every week, just the 2 of us which has been huge for us. We have discovered that without the farm commitments we can travel and have those experiences as a family. I have the time to connect with my 3 kids every day. I make time to clean my house every week (and I enjoy it!) and make family meals (almost) every day. I am taking care of myself with yoga, skiing, running, knitting, reading, and taking daily walks with my two dogs. Every morning, before I do anything else, I sit alone in my favorite chair with my cup of coffee for at least 15 minutes of quiet.
Applying yogic concepts to my life has changed it for the better.