by Cecilia LaFrance
“Hi, Beautiful.” Kali Cathcart’s beaming smile adds to her greeting to a familiar student entering Yoga Pod‘s Denver West location. Although a friendly welcome may be part of her role as a membership consultant and instructor with the yoga studio, Cathcart’s salutation is delivered more as an honor the individual. True to the universal connection intent of yoga, Kali’s practice reaches outside her classroom.
“When I’m out and about I try to represent because I think the world would be a better place if everyone did yoga.” The former hockey player tucks strong legs under her and sits in a straight but soft pose on a sofa in the studio’s entry and retail area.
Cathcart teaches three styles of yoga at the studio: Hot, Fit, and Barre. “I like Hot for opening the doors for me, but I like Fit.” Her face blooms as she mentions it. Cathcart explains podFit as a high energy, bouncing-around class. “I just have the most fun.” The class allows her to constantly change and work differently. While teaching podFit and podBarre, a “bootylicious” mix of ballet and yoga class, Cathcart tailors her sequence to the people, abilities, space and props in each session. “They are guidelines, but I totally pick it up on the fly sometimes.”
“Always learning, always growing—that’s my goal in life.”
Originally from Chicago, Cathcart lived in a handful of states before coming to Colorado three years ago, taking a job as a special needs caregiver. She now recognizes she was getting burned out. “I didn’t grow. I got bored.” Her employer, the mother of the special needs child, enrolled Cathcart with her in hot yoga at Yoga Pod’s Southglenn location. “They opened the doors in me and gave me what I needed then to see it.” She rests with the tribute. “You just need someone else to believe in you a little bit.”
Beyond providing a way for Cathcart to release her stress in the 105 degree, 60% humidity, 75-minute stretch and balance class, the mother also encouraged her to become an instructor. For her 30th birthday, Cathcart’s parents pitched in to pay for half of the 200-hour training as a gift. “It’s the best one I’ve ever gotten.” After an audition with the studio, she became a substitute, worked briefly at another Yoga Pod location, and started with the Denver West site as it opened its doors in the Colorado Mills Mall a year ago.
“I want to do it forever. I don’t see getting stuck.” The 32-year-old says she’s found an instant family in the teacher training and has only scratched the surface of yoga. “I’ll go where the wind takes me. So, I don’t have any plans beyond that. If another opportunity comes, I’ll take it.”