How did you get into Yoga and Healing?
I am from New Mexico, where natural healing and curandera remedies are ingrained into our culture. Growing up, I always felt this deep ancestral connection to the Earth and beautiful ritual practices. As a child, I would lay outside during thunderstorms and speak to mother Earth. I would light incense and dance while I prayed. Much to the surprise of my family, I became a vegetarian at 8 years old. I was a strange kid! However, as an adult, I see that the work I am doing now has been my purpose all along.
I had a period in my life where I was in pain for years, not healing from tragedy and trauma. I ignored the trauma and went into autopilot. My mind, body, and spirit paid the price. My health was in shambles, my epilepsy was triggered with seizures every couple of months, and my depression was unmanageable. It wasn't until I found positive psychology in college and continued as positive psychology teaching assistant and campus mentor that my journey into integrative medicine truly began. After graduating with a double bachelor’s degree in International Cultural Studies and Psychology, I packed my bags and took off on a trip around the world. I studied community outreach at orphanages in Peru, aromatherapy in Indonesia, and massage therapy in Thailand. I lived in the mountains of India studying yoga where some of the first yoga scripts were found. Through this journey, I used all of these tools mxed with my curandera and positive psychology backgrounds, to heal myself and grow and thrive from my pain in the process. This entire time, the idea of Grow Wellness Center was something I was just dreaming about and designing, knowing that it was a dream much bigger than myself. Upon returning home, I began to teach yoga, studied and obtained my massage therapy license, obtained advanced certifications in aromatherapy and cupping therapy, became a Reiki Energy Master, and eventually went into the management of two spas. I have never stopped learning with continuing education classes, increasing the modalities I can use and keeping up with the latest studies. A few years after that, I opened my private practice, mixing all of these modalities of Eastern, Western, and Southern medicines and creating a different business model. I am happy to announce that the Grow Wellness Center opens next month!
How does the studio influence your life?
I am a loving mother, wife, sister, daughter, and aunt to my family, and my work encourages me to be a better version of myself for them every day. Business can be trying, running a small business can test everything in your life. However, yoga philosophy, positive psychology, and curandero healing will continue to be, and will always be, my guiding lights. I really don't even think of my job as "work" because it truly is who I am and my purpose. Grow Wellness has grown into a beautiful place of healing and has become a beacon of light for our community, to be a part of it brings my life joy every day.
What Inspires or inspired you?
I find inspiration the most often with my family. We constantly support each other and cheer each other on. I find inspiration in the studies of positive psychology and post-traumatic growth. I find inspiration in the wisdom of those before us, such as Gandhi, Buddha, Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King, Patanjali, Emerson and so many more. I find inspiration in the perseverance of the human spirit and the incredible accomplishments of mankind. I find inspiration from animals and the signs and blessings all around us. I am constantly inspired! I am also VERY inspired by my 3-year-old daughter, my sunshine little girl who sees the world through a lens of joy every day.
How do you recommend people get more out of their practice?
My recommendation is to create a relationship with yourself, get to know the things that bring you joy and the habits that allow you to grow and be happy. Also, get to know the things that bring you down. Actively create a lifestyle for yourself with this awareness to create an authentic, amazing human experience for yourself that is 100% yours! Life is short, so love yourself and take time to let go of judgment often. Cut yourself a break and see yourself through the eyes of love. In terms of yoga, my biggest recommendation there is to dive into the yoga ideals and philosophies alongside the movement practice. Truly creating a mind-body-spirit practice on the mat is a game changer for quality of life. For example, hold a plank and focus on your inner fire above the belly button, igniting and empowering you while burning away anything that doesn't serve you. Or nail the alignment of downward-facing dog while focusing on compassion and causing no harm. Lay in shavasana and see what thoughts come, letting go of negative thought patterns and focusing on cleanliness of mind.
What's one item on your bucket list?
I would love to spend a full summer in Costa Rica with my family. I spent a semester abroad there in college, and that culture is so beautiful. Plus, there are monkeys and sloths and the jungle/beach mixture is amazing! One day, that will be the way I fully rest from all the hard work my family and I have put into building the Grow Wellness Center!
Favorite activities to do alone?
I love to meditate, practice yoga, and do reiki/curandera rituals with crystals and herbs and candles. I also love to be in nature by myself. Another thing I love to do is sit at the sushi bar with a good book by myself. I guess the only thing that has changed with the pandemic is the sushi part! Other than that, those activities have remained a staple and the very things that have helped me through this time in my life. I'll tell you an activity that we discovered 3 weeks ago that has REALLY been amazing. My daughter and I went for a walk around the lake and we found a secret beach/ swimming area tucked into the trees. We went skinny dipping in the sun! So now every day, we've been going to this gorgeous spot and swimming in the sun, as if we found a true little slice of paradise. It has done wonders for the spirit!
How has the Pandemic changed you?
We had begun build-out construction of the new Grow Wellness Center right before the Pandemic hit. Financially and logistically, the entire dream teetered between hope and failure for months. This endeavor tested absolutely every part of my being. I worked so hard, SO hard during those months. I faced so many challenges and obstacles that I feel 10 years older, truly. The universe was on our side, and I learned from every obstacle something new that helped me in the next obstacle and finally found myself on the other side. I have never felt stronger and more resilient in my life if a Pandemic can't knock my dreams.
Check out her website! https://www.growwellnesstherapy.com/
Watch Kathleen share some yoga tips!
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