Cathi Murphy MFA RYT500
originally from Sligo, I have recently returned to Ireland after almost 20 years living in the US where I explored a variety of educational adventures and numerous ways to make a living as I sought out the meaning and purpose of life. My own life has been thoroughly ordinary in so far as it's been a never ending series of ups and downs, but it was the rockiest parts of the road that led me to the wisdom of yoga and dharma. After having struggled with depression for many years, these powerful teachings and practices guided me home to a sense of belonging in my body heart mind that I had been sorely missing. It is my passion to share the potency of these teachings with others so that we can all share in this liberating possibility of a basic friendliness towards our own experience and come hOMe to a life of compassion, joy and wisdom.
I first practiced yoga when I tagged along with some friends to a class with renowned and much beloved teacher Katchie Ananda at YogaKula in San Francisco, California and it changed my life! (katchieananda.com). Never intending to be a yoga teacher, but eager to deepen my study with Katchie, I quit my job to embark on a yoga immersion and went on to complete 250 hours of teacher training with Katchie. I remain devoted to her unique blend of Yoga and Dharma, with its emphasis on liberating the body and stretching the mind. I am grateful to Katchie for anchoring my yoga practice in the wisdom of the Buddha's teachings and am especially grateful for the early introduction to Metta/Lovingkindness practice which was deeply healing for me and continues to be the bedrock of my practice, on the mat, on the cushion and in life.
I have also trained extensively with Stacey Rosenberg, a master at weaving the Tantric teachings with clear and accessible anatomical precision to create a signature blend of enlightening alignment (namastacey.com). I am continually inspired by Stacey’s unwavering commitment to empowering students by offering tools with which they themselves can grow their own yoga in their own bodies and in their own lives.
In addition to this 500+ hours of teacher training with my primary yoga teachers, in October 2015, I graduated from a yearlong teacher training program in Mindful Yoga and Meditation through Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, CA. The program was directed by Anne Cushman and Will Kabat-Zinn, whose kindness, wisdom, and humor now deeply inform my understanding and practice. The program featured a wealth of wise yoga and dharma teachers and I am particularly touched by teachings from Janice Gates, Jill Satterfield, Pascal Auclair, Phillip Moffit and Spring Washam.
While living in San Francisco, I regularly attended Sangha with San Francisco Insight where my teachers were Eugene Cash and Pam Weiss, and I continue practicing with Pam through her long-distance programs. I cannot overstate the influence of their impact on my practice: their separate and distinctive voices offer a collective experience of deep wisdom that bridges the paradoxical simplicity and complexity of the dharma, supports a generous embrace of the ferocity and fragility of human being-ness and calls forth an honest dedication to real-life practice. Even from a distance of 6000 miles, their echo inspires me every day to fear less and love more.
I began offering yoga and mindfulness practices in April 2013 in San Francisco. I was a founding facilitator at The Healing Well, where I taught weekly classes in yoga, meditation and creative writing (healingwellsf.org), I regularly assisted Stacey Rosenberg at Yoga Tree Hayes in San Francisco, and taught private clients, individually and in the workplace.
I have been studying, writing and teaching poetry, literature and political philosophy for over twenty years. I hold a BA and an MA from the National University of Ireland, Galway, where I taught for four years, and an MA and an MFA from San Francisco State University. Both my creative and academic writing have been variously published, and I was the recipient of the 2008 Mark Linenthal award for Poetry and received honorable mention in the 2010 American Academy of Poets Harold Taylor prize.
In 2011, I took a haitus from writing and teaching to immerse myself in yoga and dharma but resumed teaching poetry in Summer 2014 and now I look forward to weaving these three loves together.
Yoga and Dharma have brought profound transformation to my life. While the yoga tradition and the teachings of the Buddha are not always experienced together, I see them not simply as complimentary, but as deeply resonant. Their paradoxical blend of personal agency and radical acceptance of inter-being activated a deep but previously dormant potential for purposeful and integrated living, enabling me to cultivate a sustainable path of well-being in my body, heart and mind. I believe yoga is not only a place of ease and refuge, but also an effortful discipline, a call for active engagement with each moment in order to see how to calibrate these twin intentions of effort and ease—what blend is needed right here and right now? The strength, flexibility, balance and integration that mindful yoga cultivates in body, mind and heart allows us more response-ability in all areas of living, bringing skillful action off the mat and into the world of work, family and community infusing our relationships and our life with intelligence and vitality. I am committed to meeting people where they are, physically, emotionally and financially and while I am particularly dedicated to bringing yoga to marginalized communities, I truly believe that wherever you are in your life, yoga can inform, enliven and enhance your experience. I am deeply grateful to my generous teachers each of whom embody integrity and devotion and it is an honor to share the richness of their teachings with others.
Om Bolo Shri Sat Guru Bhagavan Qi Jai!
Thanks and Praise to all those who have taught about truth, going back and back through all the teachers, to the first mysterious teacher