By Jean Kottemann
“Kathleen Settoon took her first yoga class in 2011 in attempt to heal her mind and body from cancer treatment.” That’s the first sentence in Kathleen’s bio, and it contains a whole lotta info.
My friend once told me he would never take yoga from a young, healthy person because they have nothing to teach him. There is a maturity that comes to people who have lived through some stuff. Especially if that stuff came young. Kathleen has that maturity.
I met Kathleen a mere couple of months ago when she was recommended to me to teach yoga at Crescent City Strength. Before I knew the first sentence of her bio, I liked the way she ran her class: she’s very hands on, attentive, and is pretty individualizing considering its a (small) class.So to get to know her a little better, I posed 6 fairly general questions:
1. How did you get started in yoga?
I took a few yoga classes in high school and college, and I enjoyed it but it never really took. I became more interested and committed during and after my cancer treatment. I started practicing from YouTube videos! When I went to a class with a teacher, so many things clicked. A led class with adjustments makes a big difference. I started practicing vinyasa flow yoga regularly in 2013. In 2016, I wanted to further commit to my practice and yogi lifestyle, so I enrolled in the Shanti Yoga Shala 200 hour teacher training.
2. How has yoga affected your life?
Yoga is about connection! It has connected me to my body but also to my spirit. And it has given me connection to a whole new community outside of the one I knew before.
It has also helped me with physical symptoms I was previously experiencing, like peripheral neuropathy, problems with balance, and chronic fatigue.
3. Who has been most influential to you in terms of your yoga practice?
So many people! I enjoy many different yoga studios and teachers in New Orleans. My brother was the first one who dragged me to a class after my treatment. My teacher Nathalie Croix at Shanti Yoga Shala. My friends that I have practiced with over the years. And of course my students, we always have so much to learn from each other.
4. What do you still want to achieve through yoga that you have not yet conquered?
So much! I want to continue my studies with my teacher at Shanti Yoga Shala. I want to continue to connect to myself and my community. And of course I am always working on my breath, my alignment, my meditation practice, and a fun inversion or arm balance!
As a teacher, I want to connect to my students and serve their needs.
5. What do you want your students to get from practicing yoga with you?
A sense of connection to body and spirit, an understanding of breath, alignment, and postures, and a good feeling when we are done with class.
6. What is your yoga philosophy?
Practice consistently and purposefully, but keep it fun!
Kathleen teaches flow classes that link movement to breath, creating body awareness and a sense of calm. Her classes feature long warm ups with fun sequences that are accessible to all levels and bodies. She is excited about teaching and bringing more yoga into her life and community.