“[Yoga] brings out the beautiful and the ugly, whether we want to see it or not. It is through this process that we start to learn about ourselves and others, and begin to grow into healthy, well-rounded, compassionate human beings.” ~Kat Fowler
The Renegade Spotlight on DaveUrsillo.com is a new feature that showcases the biographies and real-life stories of everyday “Renegades” — men and women who, while brandishing a defiantly positive and determined mindset, are pursuing their dreams in spite of criticism, cynicism, and being misunderstood by those around them.
Today, I’d like you to meet my friend Kat, an incredibly talented yoga instructor and genuinely awesome person. Once you read her story about taking a big “leap of faith” to pursue her dreams, you just might feel compelled to do the same. Together on DaveUrsillo.com, we are building an inspired community of genuine dream-pursuers — the Ranks of the Renegades — who are striving to change the world. We are the Renegades. Are you among our ranks?
1.) Introduce yourself!
My name is Kat Fowler, and I am a Vinyasa flow yoga teacher living and teaching on Long Island, NY. After I took my very first vinaysa class, I knew this is what I wanted to do for a living. I was hooked. My previous dance background and new-found love of this beautiful practice led me to New York City, where I completed the Yoga To The People teacher training. I am now a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher instructing classes all over Long Island, full-time!
I was drawn to the study and teaching of yoga for it’s ability to help us move deep within, beyond the illusions and into the Heart Center so that we may discover who we really are. While guiding my students through their practice, I strive to push their physical limits so that lessons learned on the mat can translate into personal growth, confidence and fearlessness off the mat. I feel very blessed and honored for all the opportunities I have been given in my career and all the amazing teachers and students I have met. I’m trying to positively change the world… one sweaty yoga class at a time! :)
2.) What dreams are you pursuing?
Something I’ve learned about yoga is that there is so much to learn!! My short term goal is to do an another teacher training sometime soon. My next goal is moving to the lower east side of Manhattan to teach full time in the city. That area of city is filled with more yoga studios, vegan health food stores and juice bars than with Starbucks’ — it’s a yogi’s heaven. :) My long term dream that I am pursuing is to eventually become so good at what I do that I can travel with my work, and lead workshops and classes all over the world.
3.) What effects have these pursuits had on your life?
It has changed my life completely. Once I dove into teacher training, I never looked back. The day after I graduated, I took a leap of faith… I quit my job and sent out my (looking back now, seemingly-empty) resume everywhere. It took a lot of hard work, networking, auditioning and faith in myself, but now I’ve worked at over 10 different studios/locations in Nassau County alone, doing what I love to do! I have noticed a huge shift in priorities as well. Once I decided I was going to dedicate my life to this practice, I almost naturally started making healthier decisions and taking (small but important) steps each day towards being able to do what I love. It meant making a few sacrifices and lifestyle changes, but they were all worth it.
Pursuing my dreams has taught me how powerful we are as human beings, and that our thoughts make our world. I believe it is our thoughts that determine our actions, and keeping your thoughts positive and in line with your goals is a start in the right direction.
We cannot change certain circumstances around us, but we can change ourselves, and that all starts with having the right attitude. Another thing I have learned is that the first step to getting what you want is deciding EXACTLY what you want. That’s the hard part — after that point, it’s simple. You will notice things will start falling into place. Your faith and trust in God and yourself will keep you on the right path. Lastly, in the pursuit of my dreams, I have ultimately learned that I know nothing. I believe that every person we meet along our life path is our teacher, in some way or another, helping us with an important lesson needed at the time and all these teachers and lessons in our life are leading us to our greatest teacher, the teacher within. Everyday I am humbled by the brilliant people around me.
5.) Do you have any special methods or practices that help you along the way? What are your sources of inspiration?
A daily yoga practice brings up all facets of our personality and who we are. It brings out the beautiful and the ugly, whether we want to see it or not. It is through this process that we start to learn about ourselves and others, and begin to grow into healthy, well-rounded, compassionate human beings. My inspiration comes from my students and my teachers. My students have taught me more about myself than I ever thought they could, and my teachers are the reason I am able to do what I do today. I am so grateful.
6.) Do cynics, doubters and pessimists affect you and your pursuits? If so, how? If not, do you avoid them, tune them out, use them to your advantage, etc.?
No. If you do not believe in yourself, why should anybody else? Everyone has their own opinions, and there will be people in this life that resonate with you, and people who won’t, but that is the beauty of this world. I truly believe if you have faith in yourself, you will find plenty of like-minded individuals who have similar beliefs, dreams and goals who are here to help you on your path to success pursuing whatever it is you love. :)
Are you or someone you know a genuine Renegade? Your story can be here on DaveUrsillo.com in the new Renegade Spotlight feature! Send me an email through my Contact page! Tell the world your story, inspire hundreds of men and women, and get your name and face known by thousands of fellow Renegades across the world!