The basics of mindfulness are small things. They are things like a regular sleep rhythm, regular eating, which seem so simple, but are too often the first thing swept under the table. Katha knows about this problem and has made it her business to bring people back to their intuition. A conversation with an inspiring young woman who is not deluding herself and knows about the issues of the time in which she - and all of us - live.
I meet with Katha during my lunch break of the K&C Yoga Teacher Training. Katha was also present at the morning session as she assisted during Simon's class. Her touch during the assists, suggests that she is sensitive, yet has a clear line and knows what her intention is. As we will see, she had this straightforwardness early in life. Already as a child she had the wish to work therapeutically, which she fulfilled by an additional training as a systemic coach.
"This is what yoga can do. Which is my motivation. My motivation for yoga is actually for people to feel good in their bodies again. This is just a fucking big issue!"
We sit down in a small café, around the corner of the Isartal studios, where we spent the morning doing yoga and assists. Katha orders a cappucino with oat milk. I follow her. At a small, round Moroccan mosaic table we start the interview. Already on the way to this cosy place she told me that she did her yoga training in Tulum.
Raphaela: Okay, so then you did your yoga teacher training in Tulum. How did you come up with that?
Katha: Yeah, well, in the end it all came down to Tulum so to speak... I don't know. You probably know it. Sometimes things come together like that. And then it just comes back to this place. It was classic, too. Sinah had a story about breaking up with me.
"It's a great life there. But I knew I'd always want to come back, too."
Raphaela: When did you start with yoga?
Katha: Like 10 years ago. My parents brought me to yoga because they both practice intensively, and I did apparatus gymnastics for a very long time before that. Then one day my mom said, "Hey Katha, you're always all over the place", come to yoga with me. Yoga was the beginning for me, the asanas were no challenge for me. But mentally, it was a challenge for me.
Besides, I was with my boyfriend for a very long time. He's a film producer. And so we are together ... we were together in India and I did yoga and travelled a lot.
Raphaela:Has it become clear to you that you want to do a yoga teacher training?
Katha: Right. I've actually wanted to do this for a while. Then exactly this period was free between my studies and my semester break. I really wanted to go to Mexico and then Tulum was recommended to me.
"Then I got recommended to yoga school by someone else and that's how things sort of worked out."
Raphaela: And what did you study then? Or are you still studying?
Katha: I studied business psychology at the University of Applied Sciences in Stuttgart. I always knew that I... Well, I have always been interested in the human psyche. And it has always been clear to me that I want to support people, in interpersonal relationships and in the relationship to oneself.
Raphaela: So you knew this from childhood on?
Katha: Yes. And to be honest, even as a child I simply felt and perceived things. My dream as a child was to combine my passion for jewellery and art and the relationship to people. I actually wanted to treat traumatised children by making and painting jewellery, and by doing so I wanted to be able to work through their traumas.
"I need this freedom. But I also need structure and something to support my head."
I'd like to play back the whole interview. Katha is an incredibly inspiring person. She tells me about her life in Tulum, the magic of the moon, which unfolds its full power especially in Tulum. About her time in Mexico she came to the New Moon Meditations, which she still offers now, currently via Zoom, at every new moon. But above all her training as a systemic coach has a strong influence on her way of teaching.
Katha: I think we can't heal people just by meditating and being in the body. We live here in a world where there are concepts. If we don't put things into concepts, then we can't live everyday life. Otherwise we only get high and that doesn't help us in everyday life. And that's why I'm convinced that this combination of systemic coaching and yoga is totally helpful to manifest transformation in a sustainable way.
"What doctrines would you like to abolish and what new ones would you like to create?"
Raphaela: What does such a training as a systemic coach involve?
Katha: Well, systemic coaching assumes that everyone has their own truth. It is based on Watzlawick, who is one of the founders of constructivism. Watzlawick assumes that when a client sits in front of you, you can not only look at the individual, but also at the whole system around him. You have to think of it as a mobile. And if an individual in this system changes now, it will also change the whole system. Like waves. You have to take that into account, or at least you should at least always take it into account during healing processes, that you can not only take this individual out, but you also have to look at what happens to the whole system and in which system this individual is actually embedded.
"The demarcation line to therapy is that you just don't look that much in the past. You already look in the past, but above all you are very future-oriented and say: Ok what do you want to create something new?"
Raphaela: Well, (laughs), I would like to write about everything! It's such a pity it's so limited.
Katha: Yes! But this is already an important part of me. This systemic coaching, because I bring a lot of it into my lessons. And, what is also important, that I was at the University of Amsterdam last year and took part in a summer program about mindfulness. There we looked at what happens in the brain when you simply perform mindfulness techniques and how you can easily establish mindfulness at work.
Maybe it is this balance between creativity and straightforwardness that Katha radiates, which fascinates me in my conversation. I could talk to her forever, but my lunch break of the YTT is almost over and a second round of yoga is on the schedule. We say goodbye with the promise to continue the conversation soon, without the time pressure and a voice recorder running in the background. I am already looking forward to it. It is not often that you meet people who radiate such peace and quiet that you want to stay with them.
If you now feel like practicing with Katha, you can do so in Yoga Mindfulness Flow I.
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You can also get a little sneak preview in Katha's classes.
The photos are all by Susanne Schramke: https://susanneschramke.com
Article and interview: Raphaela Baumgartner