Cat Acquaviva’s Fuel Formula
I discovered my yoga practice in New York City in 2005 right after leaving the dance world. Moved by the healing powers of yoga, I practiced for about five years before deciding to become a yoga teacher. Since then, I've been most impacted by the incredibly spirited teachings of Abbie Galvin and Nevine Michaan of Katonah Yoga. I've learned so much about physicality through the brilliant sequencing of Schuyler Grant of Kula Yoga & Wanderlust Hollywood, where I'm proud to teach.
Someone very dear to me used to say, “Cat, you see something you want and you GO for it.
The only problem is that you fail to see all of the obstacles and objects that lie between you and that thing you want.
Experience has showed me, however, that being shortsighted can create far more issues, roadblocks (and injuries!) than necessary.
I’ve learned to slow down when making decisions.
I’ve learned to step more consciously, both on my mat and out in the world.
My favorite way to wind down is simple and a little bit luxurious.
The first step is to soften the lighting and turn on my salt rock lamps in my bedroom.
I’ll diffuse some of my favorite essential oils: Amrita’s Spiritual Awakening (Mysore Sandalwood, Frankincense & Atlas Cedar) if I need to feel more grounded, Enfleurage’s Wild Lavender if I need to calm my nerves, or Healing of the Heart (lavender and rose) by Kate’s Magik if I want my bedroom to simply smell lovely…
One of the teachings from the Bhagavad Gita tells us that we should act without attachment to desired results. As Americans, we are conditioned to do just the opposite.
We take jobs with the purpose of making more and more money, climbing the metaphorical ladder so that we can acquire houses, cars and vacations…the list goes on.
Today we see a wave of millions of people who have left their jobs due to a lack of joy in their lives and instead are pursuing complete lifestyle and professional changes.
Perhaps you’ve been through this yourself.
I learned this lesson by watching my parents turn away from time constraints (and ultimately, financial gain) so that they could invest their time building something greater: a rich family experience of support and love.
For better or worse (sometimes it’s incredibly challenging!), none of my sibling and I chose careers based on the kind of financial return that we would gain.
“There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
I can say that there aren’t many films that I watch repeatedly, but I recently saw a film for the second time and loved it just as much as the first.
Chef, written, produced, directed, and starring Jon Favreau, is all parts things I love: a celebration of food, music, culture, relationships and letting your passion lead you in life.
It’s really charming, and will leave you craving a masterfully crafted grilled cheese. No joke.
There’s no shortage of self-help books and podcasts and just about everyone has advice on how to live a cleaner, more sustainable, happier life.
More frequently than not, I feel like it’s being shoved down my throat.
My advice to you is, spend some time on your own.
Do what feels like it’s feeding you.
Start by getting enough rest so you can see clearly what’s working in life and what’s not.
Begin weeding and in that fresh soil, plant seeds for what brings happiness to you.
We’ve all seen beautiful articles and videos depicting morning rituals that involve hopping on a yoga mat, meditating with crystals, making fresh green juice, and drawing a goddess or tarot card to inspire your oncoming day. Don’t get me wrong, that sounds dreamier than I care to admit, but it sure isn’t my life. 🙂
My mornings are spent doing what I love most: teaching yoga and nurturing other people.
I’m the slowest runner I know.
My steps feel heavy and time seems to slow down when I’m mid-run.
My cheeks flush a red hue that’s so bright, I’m often asked if I feel ok after I finish.
It just isn’t easy for me.
But when I finish a jog, I feel incredible. I know I’ve pushed through something that doesn’t come naturally to me.
So even if I look the worst, I’m pretty confident that I feel the best!
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.
I usually look to mantras when I’m feeling like I’m needing more. ‘More’ means lots of things depending on the situation: more support, more encouragement, more education, more experience, more reassurance, more confidence, more patience…the list is an endless rabbit hole of sentiments that express the same worry that we aren’t able to handle what’s thrown at us in life. The fact of the matter is, in any given moment, we’ve got what we’ve got and that’s it…
The greatest advice I ever received about running was immediately familiar to me as a yoga teacher: prioritize your breath.
This is especially invaluable since running does not come easily to me.
When I focus on my breath, I’m able to stay focused on the present moment.
I’m able to handle and even enjoy being pushed up against this sharp edge of temporary discomfort.
I once heard my teacher, Abbie Galvin, say the most beautiful thing about practice that I had ever heard.
She said, “With asana, we build a cup. With pranayama, we fill the cup. With meditation, we drink the nectar from the cup.”
She so beautifully articulated the purpose and meaning of a balanced practice.
I carry this sentiment with me daily.
I usually grab something simple.
My favorite go to is really not uncommon…avocado toast.
We live in the most avocado abundant state and I pretty much always have one on hand.
I usually mash it up with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper…
Here is my favorite smoothie.
• ½ cup of frozen pineapple
• ½ cup of frozen mango
• As many handfuls of baby spinach as you want
• Coconut milk
• A few ice cubes
• Chia seeds, flax seeds & green superfood powder are an added bonus!
Bizness, by tUnE-yArDs!
We have to mix things up to stay inspired!
Practice with new teachers that offer different perspectives from a range of traditions.
In your regular practice if you regularly move slow, speed it up!
If you like to move fast, slow down!
Create a shift in perspective to see things through a different colored lens.
My chosen superpower would be to understand all languages so that I could communicate universally.
How awesome would it be if there were no language barriers?!