Archive for September, 2014

September 26, 2014

Lauren Dwyer

How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? I started practicing Yoga in 2010. It started out in the gym as a way to switch up my work out. I soon realized that Yoga was more than a physical practice. Before long, I was practicing 3-4 times per week.


What made you decide to practice Yoga? I was looking for muscle confusion and had no idea it would be life-changing!


What do you like about practicing Yoga at National Harbor? I like practicing at National Harbor because it’s beautiful for one thing. There are also lots of new and interesting people. The sunsets can be amazing! While some people find the extra noise a challenge, I have learned to incorporate it into the meditation practice. The sounds are the sounds of life – people, interaction, crying babies, nature, capitalism, etc., all at once! I have learned to treat it as the background music of life and now I love it.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? Wild Thing is my favorite pose. I love it because it is a full body stretch and still strength-based. I think it is feminine and beautiful while still powerful in appearance.

Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life: It may sound extreme, but Yoga has made me a better person. In addition to feeling healthier, stronger, and with better physical balance, my mind is also more balanced. My mind, breath and body are connected. I can control my own stress levels and better manage how outside influences impact me. I am more likely to think before reacting and it helps me to be kind and patient with those around me. Practicing Yoga lets me interact with the world in a better way!




September 18, 2014

Lisa H-Johnson

How long have you practiced Yoga? How often per week? I have been practicing Yoga for about a year now. I had thought of trying it through the years and even managed to register for an intro class through the county in 2006. However, this was yet another example of my OCD (Oddly Competitive Disorder). Who would sign up for a yoga class 2 weeks post OP from having a titanium plate and six screws put in their neck…I would. The intake form at registration class indicated any recent surgeries to which I answered yes……needless to say I was dropped. So indeed the next opportunity would present itself when my sister said, ”Hey did you know there is free Yoga at the National Harbor?” I tried it last summer and started going religiously. My favorite instructor by far was Cathy; it was like my mini challenge with myself to try to do everything and with a major sweat as well. I even ran my first 5K last fall! I now am a devoted Cathi-ite, having followed her to her classes at the Fort Washington YMCA. Due to thigh injury last December, I have mellowed back to 1-2 classes a week. It’s rough to nurse a leg injury and try to keep up, very rough. But there is so much more that Cathy’s instruction is bringing me…it’s a mental challenge as well as a challenge for the body, but also a sense of much needed inner peace.


What made you decide to practice Yoga? The initial interest was general curiosity in 2006 (which would remain unfulfilled). However in 2010, I had the luxury of seeing an executive coach through my company. What’s an executive coach?…A high priced psychologist who works with business executives to capitalize on their best attributes and leadership style. Hmmmm…I think this guy took it a bit further. In a few weeks, he deduced that the impact of both my personal and work life, led to a level of self-compartmentalization of which he had never seen before. He proceeded to walk me through my first chakra exercise (very interesting indeed). And he strongly suggested that I would benefit greatly from Yoga. I learned a great deal from this individual and vowed that I would indeed try it.


What do you like about practicing Yoga at National Harbor? Where else in the DMV area would be better? If someone had said 15 years ago, I would be “doing yoga” in good ole’ Oxon Hill, I would have laughed for 20 mins. I am soooo very proud of what my county has done with the National Harbor project and support it endlessly though (business meetings, dinners, lunches, family parties, events and YOGA). My son and I had the best time attending the FIFA World Cup events at the Harbor. Again, where else would be better? Second of course are the Fort Washington YMCA and other events as planned by Cathy (always in beautiful locations)


What is your favorite Yoga pose and why is it your favorite? I think all of the poses are beautiful, having both spiritual purpose and definition but overall I would have to say any pose that intends to protect, deflect and ward off any threats (be it physical, mental, self-imposed). Warrior poses, any standing poses with hand positioning suggesting confidence and the rejection of fear. I have found that when Cathy is instructing to the class during our flows and positioning, that those are the words which resonate with me…sometimes I don’t even know I need the mental release but it comes naturally with Yoga. The pain of Yoga is real, especially if I am really challenging my body, but the mental reward is very fulfilling for me.


Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life: Yoga has been my $250.00 an hour therapist!! I didn’t think I needed one but it would appear it has greatly enhanced my spiritual wellness. I use the word spiritual because I needed to connect with myself in a language Lisa could understand. I am a very driven person, somewhat over confident by nature. So I needed something to ground, challenge and intentionally force me to calm myself. Appreciate Lisa. I have always been a strong person, but I needed to be able to turn the inner volume down and listen to my inner thoughts. By doing so, I have been provided an insurmountable internal support system; one that I can rely on immensely. I have ended a 28-year marriage, stood my ground with many disruptive forces and I feel extremely optimistic every day. This inner peace is a direct result of Yoga! Thanks Cathy!



September 18, 2014

Julie (Jewelz) Whipple

How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? Tried my first class in college in 2007, after much convincing by a girlfriend; practiced on my own off and on from 2008-2013 when I started regularly attending the free classes with Cathy at the Harbor and have been practicing 1-3 times per week since May 2013.


What made you decide to practice Yoga? I initially tried it as a relaxation aid during mid-terms in college, but have found that it helps me deal with anxiety, depression, and epilepsy symptoms.


What do you like about practicing Yoga at Fort Washington Park? It offers both breath-taking scenic views and a unique setting.

What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? Bird of Paradise or Wheel Pose. They each offer their own unique challenges; Bird of Paradise I had to practice for a few months before I could actually do it, so I felt accomplished when I finally could complete it. I enjoy the back-bending aspect of Wheel Pose and how it can make you see things from literally, a whole new perspective.


Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life: Yoga has helped me to accept myself, including all the flaws, imperfections, and mistakes as part of a unique whole. Life almost never goes as planned, but by making the connection between mind and body that yoga has led me to, I have found myself being able to reach into inner strength and abilities that I didn’t even know I possessed prior to practicing on a regular basis.



September 11, 2014

Christine Barron

How long have you practiced Yoga? How often per week? I have been practicing Yoga for the better part of three months! Yoga has been recommended to me by friends and family for quite some time, however I never tried it out until June of this year. I enjoy practicing about twice a week with Cathy, and I am looking to practice three days a week.


What made you decide to practice yoga? My friend discovered that the National Harbor was offering free Yoga classes on Tuesdays through out the summer months, and invited me to join her. I instantly began to love coming out every week. I have a debilitating back injury that had restricted my ability to do traditional forms of exercise, which promoted me to try Yoga. It has allowed me to work on strength building in my back, without re-injury.


What do you like most about practicing Yoga at the National Harbor? In addition to the National Harbor being very convenient, the Waterfront creates a great atmosphere and perfect setting for meditation and reflection.

What is your favorite Yoga pose and why is it your favorite? My favorite Yoga pose has to be the Camatkarasana (Wild Thing) Pose. It really helps with strengthening and stretching my back all while it improves my spinal flexibility. I love when Cathy incorporates it into her routine.

Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life? I feel like I really have a new lease on life. My back pain as significantly subsided, allowing me to regain flexibility. Cathy’s classes have been a lifesaver! I hope to continue to learn and work towards Yoga on an advanced level.




September 10, 2014

Tish Murphy

How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? I began my practice in 1974 as an instructor came into the workplace (quite progressive looking back) to teach a lunchtime Yoga class. I was so jazzed about it, I would follow the instructor to other classes in the evening. This is the third time that I have become active in my practice (in a good week 4-5 sessions)


What made you decide to practice Yoga? In the beginning, I loved my improved posture and the deeper breathing pattern that comes with doing Yoga. I have used my practice as therapy for physical discomfort and mental confusion–Restorative Yoga provided quicker strengthening and flexibility than my PT did after breaking an arm that was diagnosed as needing a titanium plate and pins (!!!)
I avoided that procedure and it will remain a lifetime practice for me this time.

What do you like about practicing Yoga at Fort Washington Park? I LOVE all outdoor yoga and yoga practiced in beautiful settings. Ft. Washington Park is one of the best locations. Feeling one with the ever changing cloud formations, the closeness to the water, the sun exchanging its warmth for the cool calm moon and the slight breeze that is a constant ~ a balancing space ~ yin and yang, all the directions and elements are found at Ft. Washington Park.


What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? My newest favorite is Triangle Pose. Opening to new opportunities is part of my current consciousness and staying open to all ways that may take form is a challenge for me. Opening my body and looking skyward is a challenge as I don’t see exactly where I am and need to trust that all is well.

Describe how Yoga has enhanced or changed your life: I have more compassion for myself and others. My goal remains to inform and inspire and that may take me to certification in yoga at some point. The more I practice the greater my perception as to what my body’s purpose is and what our minds are capable of manifesting in maintaining our health. Establishing a Yoga practice has changed my world and so it benefits all that I come in contact with.