cat enright yoga therapy yoga teacher bellingham, wa

Hi, I’m Cat.

I am a Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).  For 30 years I have explored yoga as a path to healing and wholeness. Yoga therapy is the culmination of my life experiences: my love of poetry, the physical body, and spiritual exploration coming together to benefit this sometimes-wearying world.

The beginning…yoga, poetry, and teaching

I began practicing Iyengar yoga in 1989, at UC Santa Cruz and eagerly started my home practice.  I loved the attention to detail, anatomy education, and integration of yoga philosophy.

I also thrived on outdoor activity:  mountain biking, hiking, running, and just being in my body. I hadn’t yet recognized my tendency to disassociate when under stress and how yoga brought me back into myself. I just knew it felt good.

Meanwhile, I earned my bachelor’s degree in literature and continued on to graduate school, enriching my view of life with poetry.  Although my life was still rushing along at a jangling pace, I found a soothing calm in the poets’ slow, quiet observations.

I regularly include poetry in my teaching.  I find deep healing and a feeling of belonging when a poet can say what I have felt but not named.  Poets like Mary Oliver and David Whyte bring comfort, curiosity and the ease of recognizing our shared challenge to feel at ease in this world.

Over the next several years, while living in Oregon, Kauai, Paris and Prague, I explored Kundalini, Ashtanga, and any yoga I could find.

I also studied Waldorf Education, became a certified teacher, and guided young children through an education imbued with the arts, music, literature and reverence for all life. I loved my teaching for its integration of nature, the spiritual with the practical.  I witnessed the empowerment and healing of children through simple daily practices that upheld beauty, compassion, and self-love.

In my current practice, I often offer clients poetry, chanting and movements integrating these. Some verses come from my 1st grade curriculum!

Becoming a yoga teacher

I was delighted to return to the Iyengar practice for my first teacher training, at Iyentar Yoga Institute of San Francisco.  I was blessed to have Judith Lasater as my first teacher at the institute. She clearly had her feet on the ground, was internationally known, and insisted on the integration of yoga philosophy into the practice from our first step.

I made my first journey to India to meet B.K.S. Iyengar and practice with him and his family.  Upon my return, I started my own family and began the side-by-side practices of householder and yogi.  A better image would be a braiding-together of these two practices, along with all the other distractions and responsibilities of a full life.  

When I moved to Bellingham, I was blessed again to be welcomed into the Iyengar community here.  Under the guidance of Senior Teacher Ingela Abbott, I earned two levels of Certification, each of which requires a year of preparation.  

Over the next several years I attended many teacher trainings and workshops, deepening my Iyengar practice and studying with teachers that will always be my influences.  These include Ingela Abbott, Patricia Walden, John Schumacher, Dean and Rebecca Lerner, Mary Dunn, Gabriella Giubilaro, Rodney Yee, Judith Lasater and the Iyengars. I am forever grateful to all my teachers and this lineage.

From Iyengar to Yoga Therapy

However, I still recognized that I needed to explore outside the Iyengar community. I found my way to Mindfulness practice and Sarajoy Marsh’s Yoga Therapy Training.  

This was initially inspired by an injury to my rotator cuff, which was one of many physical injuries that inform my role as a yoga therapist. In the same way I have learned from every yoga class I have attended, I have observed and taken away mountains of knowledge from all my PT appointments!  I love to learn and my body has been a great educator. My wealth of exercises to offer clients is abundant.

Yoga Therapy training was the permission I needed to pull from everything I knew:  the wisdom of all my own wounds and healings, anatomy and physiology, Ayurveda, yoga philosophy, poetry, art, music, psychology.  

Most importantly, I learned how to really listen and reflect back to my clients. I learned how to witness and to teach my clients the skill of witnessing themselves with more open-heartedness and with less judgment.

I earned my 800-hour International Association of Yoga Therapy certification and continue to enrich my practice with ongoing trainings. I am currently most inspired by the Prajna Yoga of Tias Little, which embodies all the yogic qualities I respect.

My intention as a yoga therapist is to help clients see themselves authentically, with compassion and patience. This work is my soul purpose, my calling. I strive to guide clients to hear their own inner wisdom and feel true confidence, empowerment, and ultimately find  “their place in the family of things”.