yoloha ambassador katherine matias

Ambassador Feature: Katherine Matias

Posted by Nicole Lennox on

Katherine is a native New Yorker, currently living her dream life in Bali. She founded Puri Bali Retreats when she realized she can combine her most inspiring loves of life – yoga, travel and the human connection. Khat is an Ashtanga-based Vinyasa teacher, having completed her training with Bodhi Yoga Academy and is a certified ACROVINYASA teacher by Yoga Beyond. Her classes follow a foundation on proper alignment and basic anatomy while always reminding her students to keep it light and have fun with their practice. She claims to be half-Filipino and half-coconut. “One a day keeps the Bali belly away!”

We sat down with Katherine and talked about yoga, life and more. Here’s what she had to say:

What experience brought you to yoga?

My first yoga class was on a cold high school classroom floor with my substitute teacher. no yoga mats. I wish I could remember her name and find her and THANK her for blasting my world wide open! I could barely remember much of the poses but it was the first time I had ever heard the term “sitting bones”. What I do remember was sitting in sukhasana and drifting into mediation. She said something along the lines of “move your breath through your blood wherever your body needs it.” And I felt my intentions go there! It was the first time I felt this ZING of presence. It was like a little gift wrapped in a ribbon and it was the best present I had ever given myself. I was shocked and blissed out by the time I had opened my eyes. I was probably 17 years old at the time. And so the journey began.

How did you discover Yoloha and what do you love about it?

Ah! 3 years ago I came upon the @yolohayoga instagram and immediately fell in love with the original cork mat. I had just begun my wellness journey which asked that I question where all my goods were coming from. I loved the idea that recycled cork and rubber were being repurposed by the Willeys in such an artistic way. It feels so good to practice on cork.. it gives me an immediate feeling of grounding. I applied to become one of Yoloha’s first ambassadors and met Chris and Michael at Wanderlust Squaw Valley just a few months after! We’ve stayed connected and collaborated on a few IG yoga challenges since then. I love those brothers! Thank you for supporting me through the years!

I get REALLY sweaty during practice and become super frustrated when I start “ice skating” through my yoga class. Yoloha literally grounds me. Good thing the more I sweat, the more they grip! The heavy duty Original was my favorite but since I move around so much, I needed something a bit lighter but just as strong. Now I practice at home with the Native Luna Mat and I’m unstoppable!

What style(s) of yoga do you teach? Practice?

I am an ashtanga-based vinyasa teacher so I love to practice a mindful bit of both. I prefer to practice alignment based vinyasa. It takes me into my body as I feel into all my lengths, depths, rotations and muscles. It’s almost like waking up in all parts of myself.. like cracking a glow stick as many times as you need to light it up. I teach what makes me feel alive in hopes that my students connect to themselves in that way as well.
I also love to teach a playful partner practice called ACROVINYASA. In few words, it takes Yoga from Earth to Air. If you’ve never done it, and these words excited you, look us up all over the world. We love to share the fun!

What yoga certifications do you have?

200 HR Ashtanga-based Vinyasa with Bodhi Yoga Academy, 100 HR ACROVINYASA with Yoga Beyond and soon another 200 HR with Eoin Finn from Blissology 2019! woohoo

Do you have any events or workshops coming up?

I have an ACROVINYASA workshop at @samadibali on DEC 15th in Canggu, Bali. 2.5 hrs of playtime! more info on www.samadibali.com
BTC FITNESS RETREAT March 25-31, 2019. I’ve collaborated with my home gym @bali_training_centre to bring you a recharging week of fitness, muay thai and Bali adventures. Check out www.balitrainingcentre.com for more information!
Another retreat coming up in Bali June 2019. more details to come on my website www.KatherineLindsey.com

Other than yoga, what are your hobbies or favorite ways to spend your time?

I’ve been training Muay Thai for a few months with the guys at @bali_training_centre. It feels amazing to feel strong again. I love to spend time getting to know people over meals. Good food usually sparks great conversation. I recently got into filming some tiny tutorials for clients and yogis on IG who have specific questions or requests. It’s been so awesome to share with folks all over the world.

Other than yoga, what is your favorite way to take care of yourself?

Let food be thy medicine! If I’m feeling funky, it’s usually from something I ate. I make sure I am well hydrated. I drink at least 1 coconut a day here in Bali and eat lots of different local fruits. My favorites are mangosteen, mango, watermelon, papaya and passion fruit. They are delivered straight to my door every few days. If I eat too much sweets, I always quest for loads of greens and beans. Don’t get me wrong- I am not perfect. And I will never not eat that cookie. 😉 It’s all about balance.

What is your favorite mantra?

Be the sh*t without sh*tting on anyone. In other words, just be epic for yourself. and you never have to explain to anyone that you are. your energy introduces you before you even speak. Favorite #2: I’ll try anything once. Twice if I like it. Three times just to be sure.

What is your favorite place that you have travelled and why?

Hawaii! I took a birthday trip out there for my 20th birthday and it had been the first time I felt in awe of the earth. My big brother was stationed there and took me on a 2 week adventure with barely any down time in between sleeps. It was the first time I walked across lava fields constantly moving underneath my feet, the first time I hiked for sunrise, the first time I touched sea turtles and experienced wanderlust. It changed my outlook on life and what ‘Five year goals’ were supposed to look like. Every paycheck from then on turned into a plane ticket 🙂

Talk about an experience as a student of yoga that has changed you.

Eoin Finn once said in class: “Yoga is a feeling. Not a shape.” He is my greatest teacher.
There had been so many pulls to practice but I find whats kept me coming back was the ‘bliss’ sensation. Not the pose. Not the workout or to get flexible. Yoga is so many things for us individually. On some days Yoga is joy. Most days it’s release. It’s opening and unraveling, challenging and sometimes heart wrenching. When I first heard these words, it became a subtle but powerful shift in my practice. I began not to teach to achieve the perfect pose. I taught how to create tiny pockets of space whether its in the physical body or in between every breath.
My practice is not about goals anymore. I practice what feels delicious for me, that day, that moment. It serves me in the end, because practicing what feels good, leads you seamlessly towards other postures you may not have aspired to reach. Patience takes us there.

When do you feel like you are being your true self?

I wake up every morning, usually well before 7am, and it’s just me and the pups. It’s quiet and the earth is slowly waking up. And before anything has altered my conscious mind, i’m my truest existence. It’s the most beautiful thing. Sometimes I sip tea. No words, no phones. Just the sun turning light blue, warmth of my skin and the birds sing. I just listen. It’s the only time of the day I feel most alone, in the best meaning of the word. It’s just me and my breath and nature, in peace and its beautiful.

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