Spotlight on… Kat Pelsmakers

1. Describe your yoga journey. Why; who; how?

I first started my ‘serious’ yoga journey in 2013 practising Ashtanga with Omar Baluch to help find balance in a stressful, international corporate career and manage a recurring injury.

After a few years of practice, and exploring various styles of yoga, and with the ever increasing demands of my corporate career, Yin yoga and meditation ‘found’ me, helping me connect the physical and mental aspects of yoga and life at a time when I needed it most.

In 2018, my New Year’s resolution was that life was for living and that it was time to pursue what my heart really desired, so I decided to leave my corporate career behind, and become a yoga teacher, whilst setting up my own consulting business. I signed up to the Teacher Training in February and started that April at RHY with Clarissa Ord and the fab team of Senior teachers (Jane, Sarah P, Denise, Clive and Mark to name but a few), completing my 200 hour training in March 2019 and 40 hour Yin Yoga with Denise Marlow in September 2018. Best decision of my life!  I’ve just started my Anusara Training at RHY with Sarah Powell so expect to see me teaching Anusara in due course…

I currently mix part-time consulting with teaching as much yoga as I can. I just love teaching, what can I say! Whilst at times it can get busy, I love everything I do these days, as the combination allows me to use both left and right brain in what I do. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do this earlier!

2. Which is your favourite class to teach?

I love variety so I can’t just pin it down to one class, my absolute favourite day would be teaching a strong hot class – nothing can beat the energy in the hot room – followed by a mindful flow or yummy yin and yoga nidra class.

3. What’s your favourite pose?

Goddess pose, Utkata Konasana in Sanskrit, literally Fierce Angled Pose, and fierce it is, building strength and heat, what’s not to love!

4. What do you bring to your class that makes it’s unique?

I try to keep it simple, often going back to the foundations, and building up from there. I’m not super flexible, having had multiple sports injuries over the years, so I like to work with strength to access flexibility.
I’ve been told I have a calming voice, though my other half does not recognise this in me at all 😊

5. How often do you practise?

I meditate and do a physical practice every day. Sometimes that’s 10 minutes, sometimes 2 hours when I’m playing with poses!

6. What else do you do?

I am an outdoors person, so anything that gets me outside at least once a day, come rain or shine: hiking, cycling, running, scuba diving (I’m also a Scuba instructor), as well as strength focused training like TRX, boxing, weights, kettlebells, and mobility training (check out Jane Beevers’ excellent FRC classes).

7. Top tip for a mindful practice?

I often hear people say to focus on the breath, but everyone is different and a mindful practice will feel and mean different things to different people. However, this is something you can train or learn, so my top tip would have to be: do little things consistently, they will bring you incremental rewards.

When I go for my morning walk, I like to tune into my senses: what can you feel (wind on your face, your breath), what can you hear (traffic), what can you smell (leaves, rain), what can you see (beautiful colours of the trees), what can you sense within you (feeling stressed, happy, sad). And just observe and acknowledge. Simple yet powerful.

8. What would your advice be to beginners?

We often strive to jump to an ‘end state’, whatever that may be. The beauty of being a beginner in something is that you are only a beginner once. Just enjoy and relish being there and going on the journey, be curious, explore, be wide eyed, that’s the loveliest place to be in, and know that you won’t be there forever, there will be a time when you won’t be a beginner anymore!

9. How do you relax at the end of the day?

Reading a good book, watching some Scandi Noir or chatting to my other half or a girlfriend over a glass of champagne.

Find out which classes Kat is teaching at Red Hot Yoga this week by clicking here.


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