Katie Brauer on Connection, Identity & The Power of Rest

Today marks the start of a series called “Happsters Happy Questions,” where I feature incredibly inspiring women once a week. In these interviews, we’ll dive deep into how these women got where they are today, what drives them and get their advice on how to lead happy, healthy lives.

I’m delighted to start this series with Katie Brauer. Katie happens to live just down the street from me, so I got the chance to sit down and connect with her in person for the interview.

Katie has a calming energy and I immediately felt at home as we chatted. She is an entrepreneur, educator and personal transformation expert and I was extremely impressed by her ability to eloquently tell me her fascinating life story with ease. Enjoy ♥♥♥

1. Tell us a little bit about your background.

I have always been fascinated by the body and human potential. I started out as a professional snowboarder and suffered a lot of injuries throughout my 7 year career, which provided me the opportunity to study a whole lot of things that I was interested in. The first time I blew my ACL out and needed a full reconstruction, I went to massage school and fell in love with bodywork, during my next bout of down time from injury, I did a 2 year program in classical Pilates. Pilates was a huge part of my rehab and became complimentary to snowboarding. When I had to have my second ACL reconstruction, the rehab wasn’t working and my swelling hadn’t gone down, so I decided to try to understand what was going on the inside. I went to the Vail library and started reading books on chakras, the energy body and emotional wounding and experimented with visualization and meditation. While I previously didn’t love yoga, once I started doing these things, I began seeing yoga as a mind body practice as opposed to just a physical practice. I’ve been down the mindfulness and yoga rabbit hole ever since.

Eventually I combined everything I learned from yoga, Bio Dynamic Craniosacral Therapy, classical Pilates, functional movement, Therapeutic Massage, Somatic Experiencing, trips to India and personal experiences to create my own teacher training program and worked to build out my yoga programming and approach. I’ve trained thousands of teachers over the last decade, have owned my own yoga studio and served on the Executive Team of the fastest growing boutique yoga company, Yoga Six.

Over the years, what kept coming back to me was that I needed to follow what I love to do instead of just doing what I’m good at. I figured out that:

1) I love connecting with and supporting people
2) I love educating
3) I love providing people with tools and resources to feel more aligned and alive

My career has followed a very natural evolution and I have no idea what is around the next corner, currently I am focused on two major areas of my business: I just launched The Yoga Professional™ and provide education, inspiration + a modern approach to supporting the evolution of Yoga Teachers to rise as Professionals that sets them up for long term career and financial success. While I was training yoga instructors, I learned that every yoga teacher I came into contact with wasn’t making the money they desired and didn’t know what steps to take to get there. Now I help yoga instructors with the business component of their careers with group coaching and masterminds.

The other leg of my business is focused on educating and supporting women in living an empowered life and teaching them how to skillfully ride the highs and lows through modern mindfulness techniques.

Editor’s note: See the last question to get more details on how Katie empowers women through her online program starting soon!

2. You’ve accomplished A LOT in your life. What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment both professionally and personally?

Personally, it would be my relationship with my mom because it wasn’t good for a long time and there was a lot of wounding on my part (I’m a highly sensitive person). I just can’t believe where we were and where we are now. I think that is a testament to how important the internal work is and our responsibility as individuals to pick up the carpet, look underneath it, and deal with what’s there.

Professionally, I’m proud of the fact that I make a multiple six figure salary doing something that I love. When I tell people I’m a yoga teacher and coach, many people “poo poo” it and it just makes me smile. It’s been interesting to observe the change in my identity along the way. From the identity of being a pro snowboarder to feeling pressure to moving on after my injuries to get a real job with a title to where I am now. There have been many different identities along the way as my jobs have changed, but what I have learned is the title doesn’t matter, but what you are doing, the impact you are having and the contribution you are making does.

3. Do you have a morning routine?

The first thing I do when I wake up is lie there for a few moments to check in with my body and notice how I am feeling. I notice how I’m feeling physically, energy-wise and emotionally. I ask myself “what do I need right now?” and do what I feel in that moment instead of doing the same exact routine every day.

My husband is in the military, so a lot of times he’s gone and I generally spend about 30 minutes hanging out with my daughter in bed. She’s starting to talk and that time with her is so amazing. Then I usually drink a big glass of lemon water and coffee, make my daughter breakfast, and we go hang out in the backyard together.

My old routine was wake up and get up right away. There was no pause and transition time, but now that I have my daughter in my life, my mornings are very spacious and not rushed.

4. Has being a mom changed how you’ve run your business?

It has heightened my awareness around the impact that my actions have on others. My daughter is almost 2 now and she’s modeling after me the same way that I modeled after my mom. I have a lot of incredible traits that my mom has, but I also have a lot of patterning that I learned from her like a “just get it done” and “keep going no matter what” mentality. Now after having my daughter, I think about how I show up for everything I do and how my actions impact other people.

5. What do you know now that you wish you could have told yourself 10 years ago?

Less is more. I know now how important rest is and that I need space for creativity. I know that by giving myself space, I’m able to tap into my best work. That’s a key piece instead of “go-go-go” all the time. I feel like something huge is on the horizon because I’m finally understanding that piece. I’m realizing that doing nothing doesn’t mean you’re doing nothing.

6. I heard you have a great program for empowered living starting soon. Can you explain what it is?

Absolutely. My Flourish Program for Empowered Living starts Wednesday the 10th of May. I run the program every spring and it takes place over 10 weeks. The program is online with an incredible group of women who come together each year. It takes them from where they now in their life in every category – spiritually, health, financially, relationships, socially, career – so that they have a snapshot of where they are now. I introduce them to my philosophy on life and help them get where they want to be in the categories where they don’t feel like they are a 10 out of 10. We’ll talk about how to enjoy the highest highs and navigate the lows. Every module I give them new tools and resources to use from the breath to conscious communication to mindfulness techniques. They complete the program being able to recognize patterns in their life that are not serving them, having the tools to change them and feeling more empowered. I like to call it a system software update for your life.

You can learn more about the program and sign up here: http://bit.ly/kbflourish. Get $50 off your registration with code “50OFF”.

Thanks so much to Katie for the inspiring interview! You can also follow Katie on Instagram at @katiebrauertransform.

This interview is part of Happsters Happy Questions, an ongoing series of interviews that take a peek inside the lives of inspiring women around the world.

Weekend Pics + Happy Explosion Reveal

Hi friends! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Any fun plans? We are going to lay low and maybe have a margarita or two. I was supposed to go to Chicago for the weekend, but I ended up staying home and having a really busy weekend! Funny how that happens isn’t it? It was crazy hot here in San Diego, so I ended up near the beach 90% of the weekend. Here are a few pics from the weekend:

Lunch timeLunch time


Del Mar BeachCan you believe that view?

 

MazeWe made our way through a maze! It’s a miracle that we weren’t stung by bees.

 

LouisI got to meet my friend Maggie’s cat, Louis and fell in love ♥

 

Queen Bee Market

Cute signsMaggie and I went to the Queen Bee Market where I bought lots of cute Mother’s Day presents!

 

Beach dayI went down to the beach with Billy and caught up on my SHAPE and Fitness mags.

 


Partner YogaI got to see some cool yoga moves at a festival called Yoga Disco!

 

Yoga DiscoNamaste

 

Yoga Happy NotesI had to hand out a few happy notes of course. Get yours mailed to you for free by clicking here.

 

I also wanted to thank you for all of your sweet comments about Happy Explosion! If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, the top voted act of kindness for Happy Explosion was A) Buy the person’s coffee behind us. If you’re participating, you can choose to do that or any other act of kindness that you want. I’ll be posting about my experience buying someone coffee on Saturday and starting a link up so that you can share your post that day too. I can’t wait – I hope you’ll join me!

 

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Tips for a Great Morning, Every Morning

What are some of the first things you do each morning when you wake up? Recently, I’ve been really conscious of what I choose to do when I open my eyes in the morning.

I go through phases of reaching for my phone on my bedside table to see the time and then getting sucked into reading work email and checking social media while still in bed. Since I’m a social media manager, I look at the Twitter and Facebook accounts that I manage at work and then check my own personal ones. Sometimes I would center myself with some morning mantras or meditate, but it wasn’t a daily routine.

Three weeks ago I made a rule for myself that I would leave my phone in the other room and commit to some new morning rituals. Note: I am a fairly early-riser so I have about an hour of extra time before I need to get ready for work in the morning.

Tips for a great morning, every morning

Here are the rituals I try to do each morning. I get to about 5 of the 6 each day.

1. Think of 3 things I’m grateful for.

2. Meditate

3. Read a few pages of a book. Right now I’m reading The Power of Self-Healing by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini.

Morning Rituals

4. Do some stretching exercises/yoga.

Morning RitualPhoto of me and Billy at the Wanderlust Festival

5. Go for a morning walk around my neighborhood (and sometimes down to the beach!).

Morning Rituals

 6. Eat breakfast

Morning Rituals

What does your morning routine consist of? Let me know in the comments!

Happiness Found: Wanderlust Festival

Wanderlust

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to go to the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, CA. For those of you who don’t know, Wanderlust’s purpose is to create community around mindful living – yoga, the arts, personal spirituality, environmentalism, organics and conscious consumerism. There are lots of fun activities and sessions going on throughout the festival that I thoroughly enjoyed so while I won’t go into every little detail, here are 5 happy things that I experienced at Wanderlust:

1. The KIND Wall

#kindawesome

The snack company “KIND” had a wall of flowers and were handing them to people walking by. Their instructions were to pass on the flowers to other people at the event and “do the kind thing for your world”. They are definitely Happsters :).

2. The Amazing Sessions

Sessions ranged from Power Vinyasa Flow to the Four Phases of Meditation to Thai Massage + Chinese Medicine. I especially liked the self massage class that I took (life-changing!).
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