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Posted by on Sep 15, 2017 in LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga

Working Through Injury

Working Through Injury

Whether you’re a runner, triathlete, yogi, cyclist, or any other type of recreationist (or person), if you’ve ever had an injury that has “sidelined” you, it sucks. There’s no sugar-coating it. It actually doesn’t even have to be an injury, it could be anything you’ve experienced that has interrupted your “flow”, an interruption to something your heart is set on. You’re off of your normal routine. For me, feelings of inadequacy and not being “enough” (i.e. good enough, strong enough, prepared enough, etc.) are first to arise. Some say it’s a blessing in disguise, I am still trying to find the silver lining.

I sit here and write this at 5:30AM, my usual time to be out on my morning runs with the birds. My morning runs that I refer to as my moving meditation. If you follow me on social media or know my personally, it’s obvious I find therapy in that ritual. Just me and nature, actually nothing to do and nowhere to be, but soaking in my natural surroundings. A little over a week ago, I was out on my normal short-ish morning run and very suddenly, my sacroiliac joint (sacrum/low back) was thrown out, and putting any pressure on my left foot since then is generally painful.

I am in the midst of training for the Marine Corps marathon in Washington D.C., one that has been on my list for years. It’s the weekend of my birthday, so I have been waiting in anticipation. On top of that, all the reviews I’ve read of how inspirational the race is, has me buzzing. I struggle right now to use past or present tense to express my feelings of excitement, because I’m over a full week in of no running, and am not sure if I will be able to run my marathon this year. I am still hopeful, but sat out of a 12 mile run last weekend and will very very likely have to forego my 20 mile training run this weekend. There is no higher high for me than crossing the finish line of a race – I can bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it. It is this overwhelming surge of accomplishment and relief and support – all at once. I am a relatively injury prone runner, but I have never had this bad of an injury this close to a big race.

Admittedly I have tried to continue to keep up my exercise and movement still through the last week. My focus of “what can I do?” has morphed slightly into “you can do this!” – i.e. aggressive yoga asana practices, strength training/weight lifting, and spinning. I have never had an injury that wouldn’t allow my body to do the listed practices, ones I usually do anyways to balance my running. Each of these I have tried and felt okay during the movement, but after my body is screaming with pain.


The last few days feelings of defeat have washed over me. If I can’t even practice yoga, can I even stay sane? I am in a yoga teacher training with Rodney Yee this week and what came up first, with full force, as we started our yoga asana practice, was inadequacy, in not bring able to physically practice with the rest of the teachers.  My type A personality, the one that keeps me going through long races, is requesting me to persevere, keep pushing, you can do it, it’s just a little pain! The yoga teacher part of me, the one I have worked hard to refine, to balance out the constant push, is requesting me to emphasize my yoga practice “off the mat” – the other 7 limbs of the yoga practice that aren’t asana. Ahimsa (the practice of non-violence to all beings, including ourselves), Satya (truthfulness), Brahmacharya (conservation of energy, my interpretation), Dharana (honing our concentration on one thing, the first step to meditation). etc.


I have been trying to focus on other things that bring me joy – giving to others, taking walks, getting a cold-pressed juice, getting my nails and hair done, taking baths, cooking, but still, every time a runner goes by me, it hurts. I am working through this, sitting with it, trying to slow down enough to observe and listen to my reactions and self-talk. I have been meditating more and been even more introspective, allowing all the emotions to come up, allowing myself to feel bad for me a little bit and let the tears of self-pity and physical pain flow, and allowing a little anger and frustration to bubble up. I have these feelings that “no one understands it”, but when I’m realistic with myself, a lot of people get it – it may not be the exact situation, a running injury preventing regular scheduled training, but something that is halted and not going as planned that our full hearts are in for.

We are all on a journey.  We are all worth our own experiences. Unconditional self-love is my ultimate intention. The world will not end if I have to defer my race entry to next year. I am human – I am enough. I am strong. I am not defined by one thing, I am multidimensional. I am love. I am light. I continue to repeat positive mantras to myself until, hopefully :), they begin to soak in. When difficult times arise, you can repeat such positive mantras to yourself too. Actually, please do. 🙂


Until next time,




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Posted by on Sep 3, 2017 in LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Kathy Yannucci

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Kathy Yannucci

Kathy was originally introduced to me through my lovely sister. We met when she was a teacher at Yoga on High, and was a mentor during my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. In 2016, she opened her own studio in Worthington, that offers a variety of classes integrated with Ayurveda (the “sister science” to yoga). I can say first hand her Yin classes are AMAZING, so relaxing and therapeutic. Kathy is one of the most genuine, kind, people I have ever met. Her true kindness shines forth when you meet her. She is like a ray of sunshine when she enters the room. I am so honored to have met her!


What type of yoga do you teach?

I teach Yin Yoga, Yin Yang Yoga and Vinyasa.


Where do you currently teach? 

I currently teach at Kasa Yoga and Wellness in Worthington, OH.
Tell me about your Studio, Kasa Yoga and Wellness. 

I opened Kasa Yoga and Wellness in July of 2016 in Historic Old Worthington.  I had the dream to open a yoga and wellness center in Worthington since I moved into the area in 2005.  After teaching from my home studio, I realized it was time to get a bigger space that also had more visibility to attract more students to practice and incorporate the lifestyle of yoga into their daily lives.  We offer a combination of Vinyasa, Aroma Flow, Yin Yang Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Beginner Yoga, and Yin Yoga classes.  Along with offering the opportunity to learn the physical aspects of yoga, we are also incorporating the sister science of yoga-Ayurveda.  My vision for the studio is to be a holistic wellness center where students can feel at home and be their true authentic selves with all the tools and support to guide them on this journey.  We also offer Reiki sessions and will soon be offering Ayurveda sessions for overall well-being.  Our teachers are well trained and the “talk” around the town is that Kasa has an amazing group of yoga instructors all under one roof.  Students feel safe here and in good hands with our experienced teachers.


Where did you do your teacher training? 

The answer is long as I have done many teacher trainings.  I will always be a student as well as a teacher.

I have also trained with many wonderful teachers such as Cyndi Lee, Paul Grilley, Tias Little and more.


At what point did you decide you wanted to teach? 

I decided I wanted to be a yoga teacher shortly after I quit my corporate job as a Fashion Designer and Buyer.  I took a few months off from the corporate world, back in 2003, took a few months off to travel and freelance and decided, “I want to be a yoga teacher.  It is what I love and I want to teach what I love.”  It was the best decision I could have made!  It has changed my life!


Yoga with or without music? If with, what kind? 

I like both options.  I find benefit in bringing people into the ambiance with music but also crave silence during some practices such as Yin Yoga.  When I do use music, I like to use music with Sanskrit chants the most.  When I teach yoga, I connect with the roots of yoga in India and playing Sanskrit chants is a way to honor the traditions of yoga.


How has yoga impacted your life? 

Yoga has impacted my life on so many levels.  First, it has influenced my spirituality, making it a priority for me to practice daily rituals to connect with the divine in everyone and everything, including myself.  It has taught me to see beauty in everything even when times are difficult.  The biggest impact it has had is on my diet.  I became vegetarian and after many years, vegan, to practice Ahimsa (non-violence).  My first teacher taught us the importance of an Ahimsa diet to live our Yoga lifestyle in harmony and peace.  Yoga has helped me to have flexibility of the mind in so many situations.  It has influenced how I raise my children with more mindfulness.  Yoga is constant practice.


What advice would you give to someone who says “I can’t do yoga”? 

I would say, “Everyone can do yoga.  There are many styles to choose from and finding the style and teacher that resonates is important.  I have also learned that yoga comes to you when you are ready for it.  It is a practice of transformation and it arrives in one’s life, when you are ready to open to other possibilities.”


Who or what inspires you right now? 

My mom inspires me right now, actually always has.  She is so strong.  My dad has been sick for a long time and she has been the prime caretaker.  Her strength and resilience is amazing.  Sometimes, I do not know how she does it all!  She has always taught me to be STRONG and TRUTHFUL.



What is your favorite pose or poses? 

My favorite poses are Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle pose) and Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana (Pigeon pose)


What is your least favorite pose or poses? 

I can’t think of one right now.  I think, right now, I like all of them because when they challenge me, I know it is challenging me on a deeper level that I need to explore.


Anything else you want to share?  

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  – Gandhi.  This is my favorite quote and one that I try to live by.  Be your TRUE AUTHENTIC SELF no matter what.  You are all gifts to this world!  Come practice with us at Kasa Yoga and Wellness in Worthington.  Would love to meet you!!!





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Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Explore, LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Julie Wojno

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Julie Wojno

Julie was a quick “Instagram friend” of mine. I found her account, which at the time was Julie Pedal and Flow, 2 things I LOVE – yoga and cycling! I also saw she had the same love for nourishing foods and cooking as I do. Then I saw her boyfriend was a runner and was running the Chicago marathon last year, which I was too, and I was like “OMG new bestie!” We got to meet in person when I went to one of her cycling classes at Cycle 614.  Julie is a fellow yoga instructor who found yoga as a way to complement her exercise and has had a past, also similar to mine, in her path to body compassion, but I’ll let her tell you more about herself. 🙂 She is an absolute joy to be around, with her bubbly and upbeat personality, which carries into her teaching as well.



Julie Wojno // Yoga Teacher at Studio 543


Tell me about yourself in a few sentences. 

Life excites me. I’m filled to the brim with energy, always have been, and hopefully always will be! I search for the good in life and believe we are capable of anything… if we work hard enough. If something scares me, I know it’s worth my time. I’m a crazy morning person, known to wake up at 4am five days a week! (AHH, I know! haha!) I’m a hard-core foodie. Get me going about the Cbus food scene, and I won’t shut up! I’m obsessed with my Bernese Mountain Dog, Maple. Fun fact? She has more than DOUBLE the Instagram followers as me. HAH! Oh, one more: Beyoncé was a center focus in my Master’s thesis. 😉


What type of yoga do you teach? 

Currently, I teach a hot vinyasa class that builds towards a peak posture. I love structuring a class around what needs to be stretched and/or strengthened to access poses we never thought were possible. Because, well, that’s just empowering as can be! As I move forward in teaching, I look to expand to all different styles, my journey is just beginning.


Where do you currently teach? 

Studio 543 Yoga Inferno

Where did you do your teacher training? 

Here in Columbus with the talented Laurel Hodory (Yoga with Laurel).


What drew you into your first yoga class? What kept you coming back? 

In college, I was a personal trainer/group fitness instructor. I initially went to the yoga classes at our rec center to compliment all the power lifting/HIIT workouts I did… but what kept me coming back was the mindfulness, the breathing, and how it entirely shifted my perspective on my body, health and… life.


What do you enjoy doing when you’re not on the yoga mat? 

I love cooking — I’ve been making my way through the Inspiralized cookbooks and the amazing Taylor Riggs’ book: Real Food, Real Simple. I also love taking Maple to local breweries. We (my bf and I) love craft beer, and when we bring Maple, we get to meet so many people because she is such an insane fluffer nugget who wants all the love from EVERYONE. I also enjoy writing, when I have time! And, of course: cycling. I teach at Cycle614, and it is one of the places, besides my yoga mat, where I feel most alive and most myself. My version of self-care would be laying by the pool listening to a podcast, The Wonder Jam Cast has been one of my faves this summer.

What do you hope your students take away from your classes? 

Time to tune in. Time to check in. Time to realize their true power within.


What is your favorite pose? Or poses? 

Forearm stand/scorpion, pigeon, wheel, lizard, half-moon… oh man I could go on and on!


What is your least favorite(s)? 

Supta kurmasana is the death of me!! One day that will change 😉


Anything else you want to share?

One of the things that drew me to yoga the most, was how it empowered me to love my body unlike ever before. Growing up, I always struggled with body image. I had a TERRIBLE relationship with food and exercise. Yoga was the turning point that helped me dig deep, get reflective and start to get curious about my beliefs… why was I at a constant war with my body?

It’s been a JOURNEY over the past, well, years, but really my entire life. And this year I’ve embarked on something I am SO excited to share… I’m launching my own health coaching business. I am thrilled to start working with women one-on-one who, too, have struggled with eating/exercise/body image and empower them to love their bodies and live their best lives. I just launched my website,, and am excited to be enrolling clients in my coaching programs!! Woo hoo! I’ll be launching some fun group “challenges.” too, it’ll be a blast. (PS: BIG shout out to Columbus’ amazing Autumn Theodore Photography, she did all the photos on my website and is a truly fantastic human — (oh yeah, I firmly believe in sharing the love — community is what’s up)!


PS I am SO SO excited for Julie and her new adventure!! Cheers to following your heart’s calling! <3



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Posted by on Jul 16, 2017 in LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Caitlin Graham

Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Caitlin Graham

I haven’t gotten to meet the lovely Caitlin Graham in person yet, but we got connected through one of my best friends, and Caitlin’s mat buddy, Megan Fitzmartin. I loved Caitlin’s approachable and fun-loving personality. Even though they were written, it shined brightly through her responses. Also, her dog is adorable. 🙂 I can’t wait to make it to one of Caitlin’s classes soon! Enjoy!

Caitlin Graham // Yoga Teacher at V Power 

Tell me a little bit about yourself in a few sentences. 

oh boy! Why is it that the “tell me about yourself” questions are always the hardest to answer?

Let’s see – I am a wellness enthusiast. My husband calls me the “Kitchen Witch” due to all the random ingredients I put in smoothies, soups, snacks, etc. I love my yoga practice. Whether it’s home or in a class, I always walk away feeling so empowered. I have the sweetest husband, Mike, and the best dog in the world, Clementine.  My obsession with Clementine has reached an unhealthy level.

What type(s) of yoga do you teach? 

I teach mostly Vinyasa flow classes.


Where did you do your teacher training? 

Balanced Yoga, in Clintonville. At the time, the program was called “Balanced Yoga University”.


Where do you currently teach? 

I currently teach at V Power Yoga, downtown, and I really enjoy teaching private classes with clients.

What do you hope your students take away from your classes? 

It’s my goal for my students to walk feeling a sense of contentment and balance – like they can tackle anything in their day with a calm mind. If they feel like they have also gained some humor, that’s a big plus.  I try not to take myself too seriously when I teach, and encourage others to find humor in everything as well.


What does “yoga” mean to you? 

Yoga has become part of my identity, just as much as being blonde, or being female (or being too obsessed with my dog). I find I can be much more mindful off the mat, if I spend time on the mat.  It centers me, it grounds me, and I feel the same sense of balance I hope to bring to my students.

How/when did you start practice yoga? 

I took a yoga class in college, which, was basically an intro to a few select poses and I remember leaving the class and immediately going to run on the treadmill.  It was all about the sweat for me then and I wasn’t feeling it because of my mindset at the time, I didn’t take another class until years later, at a silent auction, I won a 5-class package to a yoga studio.  I was going through a breakup, and was looking for something to help me with the anxiety of it all. I started taking classes, and haven’t missed a week of classes since!


When/what made you decide you wanted to start teaching? 

I would visit several studios around town, and started looking up to so many teachers in Columbus.  I loved how they made me feel after class and always had the small thought in the back of my head of “I want to help people find this feeling”.  So, I went to a few various info sessions, put it off for a while out of nerves, then one day just got up the courage to pull the trigger and sign up.

What is the most challenging part about being a teacher? 

Showing up for the students when you aren’t mentally there.  I want to lie and say other things don’t affect my teaching, but I’m human.  When you have a group of people looking to you for energy and Zen, but you feel anything BUT energetic and Zen, it can be hard. On those days, I try to give more verbal queues than adjustments so I don’t transfer my negative energy – but almost always, the class lifts me up and I am right back to my balanced state afterwards.  Students come to me for class, but I get just as much out of them as they do from me!


What is your favorite pose? 

Pigeon, I could stay there all day.  I see this as a good example of your yoga practice always evolving.  When I started yoga, I loved flowing constantly. Now, the longer I can hold a pose the better.

What is your least favorite pose?

My least favorite is camel.  Man… that pose gives me a feeling of anxiety every. single. time. It’s a pose that exposes your neck, which is innately against what the OG humans would do – and the resistance to do so is ingrained in us now. Poses like these can help us to breathe through uncomfortable times, and learn to deal with stress off the mat. I totally believe when you hate a pose, it means you should practice it more.

Also, I don’t like Eagle.  My bod just is not made for that pose, and these hips don’t lie.

Who knows, maybe these will be my favorite poses in a few years.


Any last thoughts you want to share? A fun fact about you? 🙂 

I love to travel. Practicing Yoga in Bali has been a big life highlight so far! My husband and I are on 20 countries and counting – I am always taking recommendations for places to visit.  Also, this girl is my spirit animal.



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