8 Limbs is pleased to publish monthly Teacher Profiles to help you to know and learn from the amazing group of 8 Limbs Yoga Teachers. This month we profile Kathleen Dowd, who teaches the Intro Series at Capitol Hill and will begin a drop-in donation-based Meditation Session Tuesdays 5:15 – 5:45pm at 8 Limbs Capitol Hill. Kathleen is also our Education Coordinator; she manages our programming and schedules and all 50+ of the 8 Limbs teachers.
Teacher Name: Kathleen Dowd
Practicing Yoga Since: 1995
Tell us about the first yoga class you took.
I had just returned from two years overseas as a Peace Corps volunteer; I had a lot of free time on my hands and didn’t really know what to do with myself. My mom told me about a yoga class at a community center nearby that I could walk to. I tried it out and immediately fell in love – it was just what I needed to reach some contentment with where I was right then, in the present moment and in that transition period in my life. It is what would now be labeled as a “gentle” yoga class and it helped me to relax into exactly what was, right at that time. Yoga pretty much still does this for me today.
Teaching Yoga Since: 2012
What do you remember of the first yoga class you taught.
I was so nervous! I remember the students were so loving and sweet and it was a class where I was able to receive immediate written feedback (for those who wanted to give it) and it was great to know both what they loved and what I could strengthen. It’s something I still look for in feedback today, in pretty much everything I do: what did you love and what could be strengthened?
Who/what are your teachers?
My first teacher was Katarina Das from Hungary. Though I’m no longer in touch with her I still feel so connected to her as a teacher and grateful for her introduction of yoga. Other primary teachers include Molly Lannon Kenny from the Samarya Center (where I’m now finishing my Yoga Therapy certification) Morningstar Borzoni, and more recently Rod Stryker, Anne Phyfe Palmer, and Jenny Hayo.
Currently inspired by:
Integrated Movement Therapy (IMT), the form of Yoga Therapy in which I am pursuing certification. I’m also inspired by my pranayama and meditation practices.
Tell us about a time in your life that yoga really supported/helped you.
I recently went through a separation and eventual divorce from my former husband of nearly 17 years. During the couple difficult years prior to our separation I was literally clinging to my practice for my sanity and to get through each day. I was so glad to have a strong spiritual foundation into which I could ground down and find the inner support I needed.
One of my teachers Molly taught me the saying: “Practice in the straightaway what you’ll need in the curve” – I’m so grateful that I took that to heart because my many years of practice helped lay the groundwork for that time in my life when I was in the curve.
Is there a practice you do daily? If so, explain why.
I have a daily meditation practice that is my base, no matter what I sit at some point in the day. Beyond that I also try to go to an asana class 3-4 times/week. Lately my home practice, beyond meditation, has focused incorporating some kundalini yoga kriyas, along with pranayama practices, and most specifically agni sara.
Hobbies/interests: I love to cook, ride my bike, hike/snowshoe/ski in the mountains – just be in nature in general, as well as travel to new places. When I can I knit and I’m also strongly drawn to my close female friends and strengthening bonds amongst women.
What book(s) are you currently reading/did you recently read? (this can be yoga and/or non-yoga related)
I am a classic reader of multiple books at a time. Currently the stack includes:
- Living in Gratitude by Angeles Arrien
- Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
- The Quiet Time – a collection of short stories by my dear friend Dimitri Keriotis
- No Gurus Came Knocking by my teacher Molly Lannon Kenny (just arrived!)
I just finished re-reading Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope – it’s a gem!
One secret that helps you stay healthy: lemon water in the morning, and a daily gratitude practice (I know – that’s two…;)
Favorite recipe? I can’t follow a recipe to save my life as I mix and modify all over the place – but I draw inspiration from many sources of ethnic cuisine. Last night I made homemade Pho and I also love to make fresh rolls, which are so easy and yummy and healthy! Here’s a great recipe – http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24239/vietnamese-fresh-spring-rolls/ – though I’d leave out the shrimp, sugar, and fish sauce (replace that with Tamari). I’d also add in fresh ginger strips and thin cucumber strips. See – can’t follow a recipe!
Anything you want to share with our community?
Starting in February I’ll be offering a drop-in, by donation, weekly meditation session. Tuesdays 5:15 – 5:45pm – Capitol Hill studio. Would LOVE to see you there!
Posted by: 8 Limbs