You may have seen Kathryn Budig on the cover of Yoga Journal once or four times. Maybe you’ve taken one of her 176 classes available on YogaGlo, or perhaps you’ve read one of her two books, or her work with Women’s Health magazine. You might have even heard her talk yoga, sports and equality in the podcast Free Cookies, co-hosted with her wife Kate Fagan, an ESPN reporter.
Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher who is passionate about cooking delicious healthy meals; loves to write about all things life, yoga, health, wellness and love; enjoys an oat milk latte after a glass of room-temperature water first thing in the morning; and is a refreshingly authentic woman unafraid to forge a new path for herself, especially if it means following her heart.
Budig earned dual degrees in English and drama from the University of Virginia, which is also where her relationship with yoga began. It started out as a workout option, until she discovered Ashtanga, and fell in love with both her teacher and the practice.
Yoga became the highlight of her week. It was her opportunity to play and experiment with what her body was capable of doing. Pushing herself further and further, she transitioned into a vigorous two-and-a-half-hour daily Ashtanga practice with vinyasa on the weekends, and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue theater. Instead of a career in acting, she found herself in the competitive L.A. yoga world.
After completing her 200-hour teacher training through YogaWorks, she continued with her vigorous practice and started filming classes for online content with YogaGlo, teaching workshops all over the world, writing for the wellness website MindBodyGreen, contributing to Yoga Journal and working as a yoga editor for Women’s Health. In 2012 she also published Women’s Health’s Big Book of Yoga.
While exciting, this fast-paced lifestyle and advanced yoga practice started to lead to injuries and burn-out.
In my recent interview with Budig, she confided that she’s working on making some big shifts in her life. Though her yoga practice has changed dramatically over the last decade, the one constant has been her faith in how it helps people. She has never doubted yoga’s ability to heal, to transport her mentally and to help her body and soul feel good.
“I have learned to practice what my body appreciates,” Budig told me.
After a difficult divorce followed by a new love, Budig is willing to let change flow through her life, which includes incorporating more food in her career. You can follow her yogic and culinary exploits on her Instagram, @kathrynbudig, where she shares new and flavorful recipes she’s trying.
A Mini Q&A with Kathryn Budig
What advice would you give to a yoga newbie?
You are only a beginner once. Enjoy the wonder and beauty that comes with it!
What advice would you offer a yoga teacher?
Learn as much as you can, keep practicing, try all sorts of styles, allow yourself to be truly authentic to who you are and know what your message is.
What advice do you have for people who are struggling to find the courage to follow their heart/gut?
Look at the big picture and decide what kind of change has to happen. Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice in order to be happy or unhappy. Remember that nothing is permanent and that change is likely not going to be easy. You also need to decide what is going to suck more: going through the challenge or staying with things as they are.
Elissa Cirignotta is a writer, teacher, world traveler and change-maker. When she’s not teaching or practicing yoga in Des Moines, Portland, Oregon or Sicily, you can find her growing plants, planning trips and writing stories. She founded Happy Mindful People to provide kids, teens, educators and parents with the tools and support they need to inspire healthy personal changes and find more joy in the day to day. For more info visit www.happymindfulpeople.com. This article was originally published in YogaIowa magazine in October 2018.