A Weekend with Kathryn Budig

Kathryn Budig
Photo by Under Armour

Martial Arts, Energy and Career Transition

Budig's workouts aren't only on yoga mats: For the past six months, she's been practicing Kenpo Karate, Kung Fu, sparring and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

"My husband has always been a fan of [mixed martial arts] and turned me onto Ronda Rousey years ago," she said. "I started to get into boxing and wanted to become a better striker, so my teacher recommended my now-amazing karate/kung fu teacher. It wasn't long before [Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu] called my name.

"Martial arts satisfies the fighter side of me, while still staying disciplined and respectful ... It's also giving me strength in areas I've never had before, as well as a huge dose of confidence. I'd love to see more women empower themselves through martial arts, as it's still dominated by men."

Aside from her strength, one thing that impressed me was the energy she had throughout the weekend. She continued to encourage people while maintaining such enthusiasm. To me, it sounded exhausting. I just didn't know how she could do it for a long weekend.

"These weekends are so intense," she said. "I go home, and I'm writing at home. That's my time to be with my family, that's my time to write, that's my time to do things for me. That way, when I come to a weekend like this, my battery's charged and I can properly give the amount I want to give to people.

"I mean, I'm human; I get moody and cranky, but I don't believe in bringing that into the room. And people pay good money to be here. People have been excited for months for this. I owe them that. I owe them 100 percent of myself."

Budig also hinted that next year may offer some transition for her career. She's spending more time with food and speaking, really trying to help people with positive body image issues and empowerment — her 11 years of experience rooted in yoga and the health world has given her the tools to do that.

"I think I'm moving more into a lifestyle realm as opposed to just being a yoga teacher," Budig said. "And, I'll never stop teaching yoga, I love it. But, I just have the kind of personality where I keep the need to keep evolving, and I'm just reaching a point where I'm like, 'OK, what's next?'"

I ended up in 11 hours of yoga workshops and driving more than 200 miles over the three days. With the time commitment, class cost and gas, it was an extravagant weekend.

Not many people understand the expense or how I could possibly spend more than two hours in different variations of balancing my knees on my arms, but I can assure you, it was totally worth it.

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