Interview: Kate Duyn Cariati

Master of the yoga sequence

alignyo Los Angeles yoga news: Interview with LA yoga teacher Kate Duyn Cariati
Kate Duyn Cariati

Kate Duyn Cariati’s modern dance background breathes innovation into the sequencing of her yoga classes. After leaving her mark on the yoga communities of NYC and SF, we're delighted that she now calls LA home. This teacher’s teacher keeps busy leading workshops, retreats, and a ton of classes on the Westside. To boot, Kate puts the “om” in being a mom. How does she do it? Read our Q&A with her.

What makes your style of teaching unique?

When I sequence a class, I think of it as its own individual creation emerging from a theme, quality, or story – with mantras, mudras, music, movement, asana and meditation to support the idea or inspiration. I try to keep my teaching as fresh as I can, which forces me to maintain my creative process/practice at home and keeps me and my students present while we share space together. I also have to laugh, at myself, and in general. I feel like people don’t need any encouragement to be harder on themselves, or to take themselves any more seriously than they already do. For me, the practice is a beautiful way to enjoy being alive, work through your stuff, to learn to love the skin you’re in, and to fall back in love with your life. 

What's the most frequently asked question you get being a yoga teacher?

What was that mudra? Mantra? Quote? Name of that pose? Can you suggest a book to read about Hindu Mythology? What was that last song before savasana?

What's the strangest thing a student of yours did, said or wore in your class? 

Once while teaching Midnight Yoga with live music in San Francisco, a couple showed up for the event very obviously high on ecstasy (not the natural yoga high). They proceeded to roll around in the back of the studio and make-out intermittently during class. Due to the rainbow-colored, ambient lighting it wasn’t so obvious to everyone (except for me and their direct neighbors), but it was most certainly an awkward moment for me as a teacher, and sort of hilarious at the same time!

What's the most yogically incorrect, or stereotypical thing you do as a yoga teacher?

I eat before class…sometimes I really don’t have a choice. I know how spacey I can get with low blood sugar, so I have been guilty of teaching on a full stomach. I figure I’m not really practicing while I teach, I’m moving about the room, so it’s hopefully not too big of a faux pas!

Which profession would your alter ego choose and why? 

An archeologist, in the likeness of Indiana Jones. My past self has taken care of a lot of would-be alter ego fantasies! 

Who or what inspires your practice and your teaching?

My students inspire me daily and deeply. The way their energy shifts during the practice, the very visible transformations over time, the community building, the bhav, the laughter and sometimes the tears. It is a blessing to be able to share and connect with our greater human family in a positive light, while honoring the lineage of gurus that have come before us. 

Check out Kate's website for her full teaching schedule.

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