Helping people to move freely within their bodies – and life – is our new ACT State Rep, Katrina Hinton’s mission, as she explains…
Do you find the older you get the more the ‘meaning of life’ questions become more regular popups in your consciousness? I believe they are often prompted by the big milestones like large number birthdays, older family members passing or perhaps just getting to a point where we look back and wonder what’s it all about.
This has certainly been the case for me losing both my parents in the last three years. The finiteness of life has landed and prompted an urgency to fulfil my purpose on this earth. The answers aren’t all there yet and may never be but one thing is now clear: I want to help people feel free to move in both their bodies and minds and with this, find an ease and grace that permeates throughout their lives.
I believe in trusting the wisdom of our own soft animal body (thanks Mary Oliver!) and our body-mind-system. I believe we are ultimately responsible for our own wellbeing. We’re the ones who inhabit our unique Soma and the only ones who know how it feels. If we can learn to truly listen in, we can learn how to discern what we need. At times it can be confusing especially if we’ve been living in our heads, or with chronic pain and dysfunction which make it harder for us to find clarity. It can help to receive coaching from a specialist to help us get out of our own way and find the path perhaps a little more directly to our recovery or comfortable place.
All of my trainings have been aimed at unpacking the mysteries of why and how we move the way we do, why we get injuries or pain and how to relieve it. I’ve reached a place where I know what to do to support my own health and the most easeful movement for my body at this point in my life. I’m now ready to help other’s make their way to more ease and function so they can enjoy doing what they love.
Katrina’s Yoga journey
It’s been illuminating to look back and see the countless events and choices that led me to this path. A defining moment was rupturing my ACL playing soccer and fearing that my career as a yoga teacher would be over before it started. I’d just begun my 500-hour Advanced Diploma in Yoga Teacher Training at Nature Care College in Sydney the year before. But rather than hold me back, that injury set me on a path of seeking balance and unravelling how one’s body compensates for injuries.
Nature Care College provided an amazing foundation and I trained with some of the luminaries of the Australian yoga scene. I was exposed to Donna Farhi’s teachings and a few years later was lucky enough to spend three weeks in Christchurch in a transformative advanced teacher training. My appetite for learning was kindled as Donna introduced us to many wonderful movement modalities and teachers including Thomas Hanna’s Somatic movement education and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Body-Mind-Centreing.
I set off down a path of training in Hanna Somatics with several teachers and have used the principles everyday in my own healing of postural issues incurred by 30 years in computers and management consulting not to mention the impact of the ACL long ago.
I have also explored healing through the Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique and more recently, I trained in a brilliant movement education method called JEMS, named after Joanne Elphinstone; a gifted wholistic rehabilitative physiotherapist, coach and teacher based in Wales.
This year I am very excited to be embarking on a Graduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy which can only broaden my delivery framework and be a great way to connect with other yoga therapists and allied health professionals in the Canberra and wider community.
I have been teaching yoga since 2008 after my initial 500-hour training and started a corporate class at my day job in a software development organisation.
On moving to Canberra from Sydney, I started teaching relief classes at different studios, teaching public servants in their lunch hours, and eventually inheriting my own class from a legendary Canberra teacher Ursula Huber. Some of those original students remain to this day 11 years on.
Over the last ten years, I have taught at women’s gyms, presented at local yoga conferences and festivals, hosted sold-out workshops and continued to teach my intimate functional yoga and somatic classes out of my home studio.
I take delight in hosting women’s retreats at beautiful locations including Heartspace at Yass and at venues near the beach on the far south coast. I have a dream to run retreats using the healing connection to country and practicing in nature and one day, lead a squad of like-minded women to play, explore and immerse in the magical culture of Bali.
I have been coaching clients for five years in postural assessments and providing follow up programs to reach my client’s goals. I love helping clients restore their freedom of movement through re-connecting their brains with their bodies. When you can truly tune in to your sensations and quality of your movement and breath, you can become aware of habituated physical (and emotional) responses to stress.
I am delighted to step into the role as the ACT representative for IYTA. I think it’s so important that the association is founded on the basis of excellent standards of yoga teacher training. I am a living example of passionate life-long learning but our foundation training is a critical launching pad for the rest of our yoga path whether that be teaching or for our own wellbeing. I aim to support this continued learning through community events in the ACT and broaden the reach with the help of social media platforms and through my own networks.