This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own journey. In this post, Namaste Yogini, Heather Gregory, interviews Katty Janus about her Namaste experience.
A petite lady, born and raised in communist Romania, Katty Janus is anything but petite when it comes to the size of her heart or her love of yoga. She is a gifted, published poet, who has been celebrated as one of "The Best Poems and Poets of 2003." Katty currently resides in Florida and worked previously as a makeup artist for Chanel. Her work situation changed, and she is moving with it by taking steps towards a massive career transformation: from makeup artist to yoga instructor!
"When one door closes, another one opens,
What was earlier hard, in transition it softens!
Let the time settle down and wipe it like dust,
Shine will show through and faith is a must..."
(Excerpted from "Doors"© - Poetry.com)
"All those years I have enhanced only the outside beauty," Katty said. "Now it's time to work on the inside and bring the beauty outward! I am so determined and excited!"
Katty's yoga path began in 2007, when a back injury and the advice of her chiropractor led her to try Namaste Yoga. At first she simply watched the show, and said the beauty in the scenery amazed her, as well as the soothing quality of the music and Kate's voice. When she tried it, she was impressed with how easy it was to follow, especially since she was a beginner with back problems!
"It brought me peace of mind, physical health and strength, and most importantly it brought me closer to a God inside my heart, while in Namaste prayer pose I find spiritual inspiration."
At the suggestion of a friend, Katty's yoga practice expanded, and she tried a local class. She loved the energy generated from the group setting and felt a strong connection with her teacher. Katty experienced a powerful revelation while in mediation in class one day. The words "Let it go," so often heard in the Namaste Yoga series and now in this new classroom setting, resonated with her in an incredible way.
"I didn't know if it was just my imagination running wild or something more than that, working deep inside me, to help me heal and move on, to LET GO of all debris from my past and to clear my mind, body and soul of IT," Katty exclaims. "And God only knows I needed a good cleansing!"
Katty happily continued along her yoga path. Late last year, that path began to expand when a business trip brought her back to her birthplace, Romania, with husband Danny. Anxious to maintain their healthy lifestyle, the couple began attending a gym there. Katty was excited to see there was a yoga class available, and decided to attend.
"What a sweet mess that yoga class was!" Katty completed the session and respectfully decided not to attend another. Another day at the gym found Danny speaking with the instructor. He learned that the instructor was trying to give members the yoga they wanted and he felt would benefit them, but had very little experience with it.
"Yoga is brand new [in Romania], it's so new to most people, that they don't know what to make of it." Katty explained.
When approached with the idea of helping the instructor, Katty nearly forgot one major yoga fundamental: Breathing. She questioned if she was truly in the right position to teach. She wasn't sure where to start! Katty was concerned about the safety of her students, but relieved to find the instructor's background was in physiotherapy. She decided they might be able to co-teach the class, and her compassion called on her to bring these people the yoga that has so greatly benefitted her life. She decided her teachings would be informed from her Namaste Yoga practice.
It was a hit! The instructor loved the flow of poses, and described each movement for the class as Katty led the sequences. She stressed the importance of the breath, and wondered where this new journey would take her. As the class grew to 20 students, Katty began looking for yoga books to study, and considering the possibility of pursuing a certification in yoga instruction.
"I was so nervous but so calm, so excited but so content," she recalled of her first session with the group. "[I was] surprised by the curiosity with which they welcomed and followed my postures, leaving them wanting more. Before I left [the U.S. for Romania], there was a block in my road as Kate says in one of her mantras, 'Every obstacle you meet in life can be seen as a block or an opportunity.' Now I see this whole new journey of mine as an opportunity. Isn't it amazing how much a moment can change your future?"
Katty led the class in Romania for three months before returning home to Florida. Before she left, she connected them to Namaste Yoga online. Once back in the states, Katty began studying all the books she looked up while in Romania, practicing the second season of the Namaste Yoga DVDs, and pursuing her exploration of other forms of yoga including Bikram and training such as the certification offered by Lily Goncalves' Blooming Lotus Yoga.
"Yoga will always be in my life," Katty says. "[It is] the best source of balance that has always brought me together with myself, mind body and soul."
This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own yoga journey. Do you have a story to share with the community? To be a featured Namaste Yogi, send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org