What is an empowering woman? Immediate words that often come to mind are attributes like strong, courageous, genuine, and influential. But when you look up the actual definition of 'empower,' it means to make someone else stronger and more confident; to give power to another. That is what an empowering woman does above all else - she instills power, strength, and confidence in others.
We are surrounded by so many incredible woman at KiraGrace, and we want to share a piece of their stories and characters with YOU in the hope that they will empower you the same way they've done for us. And what better time than International Women's Day to introduce our new series on empowering women? We will be highlighting different women who inspire us, challenge stereotypes, and are just, well, fabulous!
We're kicking off our first issue with one of the women we find most inspiring in our yoga community – Kathryn Budig. This woman does it ALL. Seriously. She's an outstanding yoga teacher, entrepreneur, gifted author, esteemed editor, passionate recipe creator, philanthropist, and an avid dog lover.
After attending the University of Virginia and graduating with a double degree in English and Drama, she moved to Los Angeles to train at Yogaworks. Currently, you can practice with Kathryn at one of her many workshops, festivals and conferences taking place across the globe, or from the comfort of your home at her regular online classes for Yogaglo.com.
Several of the writing ventures that Kathryn juggles include creating recipes and meditative blogs for MindBodyGreen, regularly contributing to The New Potato as resident yoga guru, creating challenging posture posts for YogaJournal, sharing her experiences on Huffington Post, and creating original pieces for Elephant Journal. She created Gaiam’s Aim True Yoga DVD, co-founded the animal project Poses for Paws, co-hosts espnW’s podcast Free Cookies, and wrote The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga and Aim True.
With so much on her plate we are extremely grateful we could steal a bit of her time to answer a few questions about her daily inspirations …
KiraGrace: What is the meaning behind your message to “aim true”?
Kathryn Budig: Aim true is a simple reminder to stay on track even when I feel like I've fallen off course. It’s the ability to trust myself amongst the noise and opinions of others, and to hold onto my core values even when I don’t feel like I'm getting answers or results.
KiraGrace: What has challenged you the most in your yoga practice?
Kathryn Budig: Injuries. I have struggled with them on and off for years, and they are not only humbling, they’re often maddening. Learning when to slow down and sit still is a skill, and yoga has taught me that over and over again.
KiraGrace: What advice would you give to other women who have realized their marriage isn’t working?
Kathryn Budig: It’s absolutely heart-wrenching and I feel for you. You haven’t messed up, you haven’t failed. You’re just evolving and getting better at hearing your own wisdom. Life will go on; it will even get better.
KiraGrace: How has your new love changed the way that you live your life?
Kathryn Budig: I have a feeling there’s a word count on this interview, so I’ll try to sum it up neatly — in every way possible. Finding this kind of love has made me slow down and reconnect to my core values; the values that keep my soul motor running. I’m learning how to trust my intuition and pull success from my happiness and not the other way around.
KiraGrace: The number of projects you are working on must be exhausting. What helps you unwind?
Kathryn Budig: Time with my dogs, my love, and the kitchen does wonders. I find cooking incredibly cathartic. Add a nice wine or bottle of champs plus a little snuggle time watching Netflix and I’m good!
KiraGrace: What is the most essential part of your day?
Kathryn Budig: I love our morning ritual. Wake up, meditate in bed, smooch the puppies. Feed the puppies, pile them into our car, go get our lattes, and walk them in the park. Brainstorm ideas and let our imaginations go wild. Being outside is always a direct shot of creativity for us.
KiraGrace: What accomplishment or aspect of your work/art are you proudest of?
Kathryn Budig: I gave an honest talk about body image and shamers at the MindBodyGreen Revitalize Summit, and I still get messages to this day from people who have watched the video. If I can be honest in any format and help people re-wire the stories and thought patterns that make us suffer, then I’m a happy human. I feel the same way about teaching online at Yogaglo. I love that these classes and programs can reach people around the world who otherwise wouldn’t have access to this kind of teaching. It’s humbling and thrilling.
KiraGrace: How has yoga benefitted your life the most?
Kathryn Budig: It’s taught me that life is full of the unexpected, and that it’s okay to sit still and give your emotions permission to live. Life is a big land of no answers, and yoga allows me to be okay in that tango.
KiraGrace: Where is home for you?
Kathryn Budig: Charleston, SC
KiraGrace: What is your favorite yoga pose?
Kathryn Budig: When I’m feeling (or needing) energy: handstand. It’s so playful and freeing.
When I’m exhausted: Double Pigeon. I love a juicy hip opener.
KiraGrace: What provides inspiration for the recipes you create?
Kathryn Budig: I love to eat out as well as try local cuisine in all the places I travel to. I note different dishes and flavors, and then take it back to my kitchen where I add my own healthy-ish spin. I want to create food that fuels without sacrificing an ounce of flavor or enjoyment.
KiraGrace: Why is “Poses for Paws” important to you?
Kathryn Budig: Everyone has their Achilles heel, and mine is dogs. Ashi (my almost 12 year old puggle) is the doggy love of my life, and she has been the purest source of love. I’m in my element when I’m around them, so I knew I had to do something to give back and help build awareness about how other people can help. Poses for Paws is in the middle of a make-over, so we’re hoping to reveal the new plans for it in the next year.
KiraGrace: And of course, we'd be amiss if we didn't ask you about your fashion sense! Do you have a favorite KiraGrace outfit or piece?