Cat Acquaviva

Yoga Teacher

Photo of New York City based yoga teacher Cat Acquaviva

I’m kind of a goofball. I enjoy practicing in an atmosphere where laughter is encouraged, which is why I try to create that for my students. I also think a kickass playlist helps everyone to feel a little more heart while practicing. Yoga is all about expanding your comfort zone – physically and emotionally. Music helps. Laughter most certainly helps. If I’m lucky, I can combine the two, as the students I had in my Wilson Phillips class can attest.

Yoga can be intimidating. My goal as a teacher is to create the space in which students can feel comfortable trying things they never thought possible in their own body or even in this lifetime. I like to commend people when they fall in class while attempting a challenging pose, because that means they aren’t playing it safe. We only have the present moment to give it a shot – and quite often we surprise ourselves when we start to see what’s possible. I believe we are all infinitely stronger than we ever give our selves credit for.

Alanna Kaivalya has been one of the greatest influences in my life on and off the mat. I started to wake up, metaphorically speaking, as soon as I took her class for the first time. She has a natural gift to bring the traditional yogic teachings to life in the most accessible way. If it weren’t for Alanna, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with yoga and the life I have created around it.

When I first watched Deb Flashenberg teach, I truly understood that prenatal yoga was something much more unique than a vinyasa class modified for pregnancy. Drawing upon her experience as a birth-doula and childbirth educator, she is able to lead women through a fluid practice – which can be a challenge while in your third trimester – that’s full of education about the natural process of pregnancy as well as options women have to birth in NYC. She’s truly a wealth of knowledge.

After leaving a high-stress job, I took a long vacation to a Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Kitzbuhel, Austria, where I met Swami Vidyananda. Simply being in her kind and patient presence, she left an indelible impression on me. She inspired me to feel all of the love that existed around me in a time of chaos. Because of this truly special woman, the quiet but powerful lessons I learned while living in the ashram community helped to lay the foundations for the class I teach today.

 

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