Caterina Patimo, a mechanical engineer from Italy, rediscovered her spirituality through yoga. The powerful practice can transform your body and mind, allowing you to get in touch with your higher self. In fact, the entire purpose of yoga is to unite your soul with the universal consciousness that governs all life. After starting her own practice, Caterina’s life totally shifted directions, and her inner world blossomed. Here is her story.
“I am a yoga lion’s teacher, and I also own my own yoga studio, Yukta Yoga Studio, located in Molfetta, in the south of Italy,” Caterina said. “Yoga gave me all of this and also awakened back my silent spirituality.”
Lion’s breath pose, or simhasana in Sanskrit, is a breathing technique commonly incorporated into yoga practices. This pranayama breathing exercise helps eliminate toxins, relieve stress, and get the energy flowing in the throat and upper chest. It relates to the fifth chakra or the throat chakra. If you have trouble speaking your mind or communicating in general, you may have a blocked throat chakra.
This breathing technique can help you connect with your genuine thoughts and emotions and clear any blockages here.
To do this breathing technique, follow the steps below:
1. Sit cross-legged or in a lotus pose, if you can do so comfortably.
2. Lean forward slightly, placing your hands on the floor beside you.
3. Spread your fingers out as wide as you can.
4. Inhale deeply through your nose.
5. On the exhale, open your mouth wide, stick your tongue out, and stretch it as far down your chin as possible.
6. Exhale forcefully, bringing the breath all the way to the back of your tongue.
7. On the exhale, make a “ha” sound that comes deep from your abdomen.
8. Then, breathe normally for a few minutes.
9. Repeat lion’s breath 3-5 times.
10. Then, breathe deeply for a few minutes after your practice.
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How yoga has changed Caterina’s life for the better
“My biggest reward is to read peace and joy on other people’s faces – my friends, my loved ones, my students, my followers,” Caterina said. “Their love and their sense of self-realization fill in my heart.”
After gaining peace and connectedness from her own practice, Caterina wanted to share this joy with others. Despite being a busy mom of two and working as a mechanical engineer, she also became a businesswoman. She doesn’t mind the packed schedule, however, because she knows yoga can heal the soul.
In addition to owning her own studio, Caterina also started a website for people to take yoga classes online. Called TES yoga, short for The Exit Strategy, the site offers yoga practices, breathing techniques, and more. She explains the benefits of starting a practice in addition to giving a background on yoga. Subscribers can also gain access to live group classes, one-on-one classes, challenges, and even a personalized program.
You can also learn meditation, concentration, and relaxation techniques through her website. Yoga not only relieves pent-up stress and tense energy, but it helps you to unlock deeper layers of the self.
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“Yoga brings together all the layers of the human being and connects the individual self with a universal one.”
Caterina says on her website: “Yoga will bring clarity and calmness in your mind, strength, and flexibility in your body. You will find your purpose and enthusiasm in life.
It’s never too late or too early to love yourself. Invest your time in yourself, on your wellbeing, your health, and your happiness. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
You need your body and your willingness to embrace a self-exploration and self-discovery journey, the most incredible journey you will ever do. Everything at your own pace, no rush, no pressure.”
Indeed, studies have found that yoga can offer plentiful benefits to the mind, body, and soul. In the Western world, many people begin their practice to relieve stress. However, the impact of yoga goes much deeper than just the mind.
Benefits of a regular yoga practice
- Builds muscle strength. Studies have shown that when you stretch your muscles, it helps ease tension and build muscle tissue. Yoga can also reduce lower back pain and arthritis because of the increased muscle mass.
- Protects your spine. Not only does yoga stretch your whole body out, but it also protects your back from injury. Because of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, many people hold a lot of tension in their backs. Yoga can help relieve this tension by proper movement of the spine.
- Improves posture. The spinal cord helps support the entire body, so when it becomes misaligned, our posture suffers. Yoga improves the posture by keeping the spine straight in all movements and poses.
- Increases flexibility. Even if you’ve never done yoga before, you can always start with beginner poses. As you practice more, you’ll notice your body become more flexible and “bendy.” Since yoga stretches out muscles and relieves tension, it frees up energy and makes the body less stiff.
- Relaxes the mind. A big part of yoga involves correct breathing, which consequently relaxes the mind. Most of us breathe in a fast, shallow way, which makes us anxious. However, a regular yoga practice instills calm and security, making our minds more balanced and focused.
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Final thoughts: yoga can “reset” your whole life from the inside out
As Caterina showed us, yoga offers many incredible benefits, the foremost being the ability to unite our soul with Spirit. By practicing specific breathing techniques and poses, stagnant energy flows again and purifies our minds and bodies. When Caterina started her practice, she quickly realized how much better she felt. She wanted to share her experience and knowledge with others, opening up her own yoga studio and website.
We hope her story inspires you to begin your own practice or at least try out a few poses. Yoga and meditation can improve your mental and physical health dramatically, as Caterina notices in her own students. If you’d like to get started, you can check out her website or search YouTube for many free videos.
“Yoga is not about touching your toes; it’s what you learn on the way down.” – Jigar Gor