Meet Catalina, #YUJgirl
A brief overview
Can you introduce yourself ? My name is Catalina San Martin, and I'm Chilean. I am 27 years old and I am passionate about the practice and teaching of yoga, travel, music and art. Right now I'm working in France for a year, then doing a road trip through Europe.
When and how did this passion for yoga come to you? In truth, it was at first a simple activity for me. It didn't "excite" me. So I participated in a few classes to give up in favor of practicing at home. So I continued to practice at home while attending classes at centers from time to time. Through practice, I was able to notice quite rapid physical and mental changes. Almost the moment I started yoga, I quit smoking, and never did it again. I became a much calmer and more thoughtful person, especially when making decisions. All of this made it start to become a habit that turned into a passion, until I realized that yoga was a real passion that would guide my life. I started teaching friends in parks in the afternoons and then gave private lessons, but I needed something more. For this, I decided to take a vacation from my office work, and go to India for my first yoga teacher training. From that moment, I started to do a little more meditative practice, to add more breathing exercises, and to put into practice everything I had learned during this workshop, and I love it!
What does this represent in your daily life? I completely changed my life, in almost every way. Without yoga, I probably would have continued to smoke, and I wouldn't have become a vegetarian. My way of thinking about my ecological footprint has also evolved a lot since I started this practice, because I try to ensure that my daily actions are in line with my passion.
Every day, I always give myself at least one or two hours to meditate (sitting or moving) or practice my "Asana". This "just for me" hour is my favorite of the day!
Do you find time to practice during your travels? Honestly, it hasn't been easy. With so much to discover and visit, I had to learn to combine the practice of yoga with travel, to organize my schedule, and to make sacrifices. There are nights when I choose not to go out, to practice the next day. It's all about balance, and you always find the time.
What is your favorite YUJ product? The eco-friendly rubber yoga mat! I love its material and its design!
What is your favorite country so far? Very difficult question! Of course, my heart is in Chile, where my family, my friends and all my history are. Australia, where I lived for more than a year, is also a country that won me over. The people, the landscapes, the animals... It was my first solo trip, and I think it was the one that allowed me to really grow and where I discovered myself.
Good addresses to share? Take a stroll to the Botanical Gardens in Sydney and watch the birds, the trees, the people. This is the best place for a quiet yoga practice. Tonsai, the most relaxing beach I know, in Thailand, which can be visited only by water.
For you, is “the place to be”? I think it's the place that makes you happy, where you feel you should be when you are there. It's the perfect place.
In the cinema, which actors/directors make you dream? Jim Sturgess and his British accent!
A quote that defines you? I love: always be yourself, everyone else is taken.
What does a day in the life of Catalina look like? It depends on where I am! But right now: Yoga, beach, walking and swimming, surfing, and finally going to work in the evening!