Entries in yyc (4)


Gratitude changes everything

A video posted by Kate Mak (@katewmak) on Mar 28, 2015 at 7:07pm PDT

Today, my second yoga retreat in Bali starts and there are about 18 people who have taken a leap of faith, said yes and made their way with a flight across the Pacific ocean to join me. I am SO excited to share, write and pen another chapter of my life with all of the wonderful people.

I know that I did not get here alone and it has been years of work, support and love that have gotten me here in the middle of a rice paddy in beautiful and blissful Bali in addition to this stage in my career. 

(It feels like I'm about to do some Oscar acceptance speech stuff)... 

Thank you to my family. Especially my parents. Growing up in an Asian family who immigrated from Hong Kong, I know that my family had great hopes that I would be a doctor (of course). So, when I told them I was leaving my neuroscience lab in pursuit of this yoga thing it definitely wasn't expected. But, they have been supportive and to my father who works so hard to give his family every luxury in life, thank you for working this hard so that I have the great opportunity to choose where I want my life to go. 

Thank you to every single student who has hit the mat with me. Without you, I cannot evolve. Every single time that I teach, I learn just as much from you all as you may be from me. It is an exchange of energy, of life, or experiences and of knowledge. The way I teach is constantly in a flux of evolution as I learn and adapt alongside you all. It doesn't matter if you have only practiced with me just once, a handful of times, several months or years... there's gratitude for you and a deep well of love. 

Thank you to my Lululemon family for always supporting me in everything I do and for asking me what my dreams are (and to hold me accountable to them). Thanks to Reggie bear for always being my #1 supporter, I know that you and others (April Miranda, Don Shipton, Anna Smith, Kim Dykes) spoke so highly of me and helped me get my ambassdorship. Thank you Lindsay White-O'Neil for picking me of the many to represent the Chinook store. Thank you Cara Kingstone for being a pillar of support, love and inspiration for me... you have gone above and beyond for me!! Thank you my lems (former and current) from every part of the city (there are SO many of you)... I love you all. 

Thank you to my teachers for fostering me. There are so many of you! Thank you Ananada Ashram (Nikki, David, Radha, Ma Bha, Bharati, Lauri and extended faculty) for being my spiritual home and for always inviting me in with open arms so that I can fill my cup again. Thank you Kelly Kamm for being the first to show me the ways of bhakti and for always being so open to sharing. Thank you to my fellow teachers for being so amazing, so loving... from sea to sea, all of you! 

Thank you to Guenevere Rodriguez for that one fateful afternoon you shared your time with me and acted as a catalyst for me to rocket myself to GODDESSdom. 

Thank to this beautiful Earth we have for all the beauty, splendor, mysteries, adventures, and lessons you continue to provide me every single country, city and town that I land into. 

Thank you for even the fleeting moments of connections my heart has made to hundreds, thousands of people. 

Thank you retreaters!!!! I am BLOWN away every time I think about it. It takes a lot of commitment and definitely that leap into the abyss to come along on an adventure. Thank you for coming... I hope to make this the trip of a lifetime for you. <3

Gratitude unlocks happiness and there is no happier kitten than this one!! 


SLOMO - the man who skated off the grid

There are a handful of videos that I always go back to, to remind myself of what is truly important in the world, to re-inspire and to remember who I really am. Even though they come from many different sources of people that have never met, a lot of them share the same sentiments.

Most recently, I watched the mini documentary of a man named Slomo again.

Slomo spends a vast majority of his day doing what he loves... Rollerskating. Slowly. On one foot. Up and down Pacific Beach he goes all day and all night. One might think, what a character! And certainly, what a character indeed. Slomo, in his previous lifetime, Dr. John Kitchin, a reputable and wealthy neurologist who left it all behind to "do what you want to".

Rollerskating is not only Slomo's obsession but a place where he finds himself in the zone of expanded meditation. But he goes further to encourage us to run forward to everything that we can dream up, whether we go towards those dreams, is entirely up to us! Damn anybody who tells you otherwise and live a life that makes you deliriously happy, even if people will call it insane.

"For a while I thought I might be going crazy or something, because I'm too happy... and I kept waiting... that was 15 years ago".

"But now... I experience myself like the tip of a great iceberg of consciousness"

"Once we see the light, we know that there will be no satisfaction until we experience a kind of divinity. As close to divinity as man can experience".

It is SUCH an amazing 15 minute clip that I will gaurantee will make you smile at some point.

Do what you want to!!! <3



The year is 2009 and it's September.

I'm a bright eyed and bushy tailed teacher fresh out of yoga teacher training with absolutely zero experience under my belt and eagerly seeking out work to share in this newfound love of yoga and teaching it.

Enter, Frank T of Sanguine Yoga.

Now, I don't know where life will take me in a year's time or in a decade's time but I will always remember, honour and cherish the fact that this is the studio that gave Kate W. Mak her first chance. I grew up as a teacher in this studio, I found my voice here and it was here that I started to understand the seat of a teacher. There have been many friendships that have formed here and many tears that were shed and many laughs that rang through the class and hallways here.

I remember the first classes I taught and how I would get so flustered, nervous or forgetful that I had my students in child's pose so many times in a class so that I could try to remember exactly what happened. I'll also remember the first time my classes filled to capacity and what a thrill that was for me to experience. Because the first classes I taught, there would sometimes only be 3-5 people. I remember even teaching to just 2 people on a Saturday morning class which near the end of my Saturday run, would fill to capacity and we even had to turn people away.

There are so many emotions that bubble to the surface when I walk down memory lane. Sanguine holds many beautiful moments for me... moments of great joy and growth, moments where I was so vulnerable that I broke down in tears, moments of budding friendships and moments of powerful and earth shattering exposure of the heart.

It has been with extremely careful and lengthy consideration that I am amicably and respectfully bowing out of the studio after nearly 5.5 years of service at Sanguine. I love you all for everything you have taught me (more than you will ever know) and for every moment of raw and amazing humanity that has inspired me so.

I will be teaching the next two Saturdays at Sanguine to the end of January and would LOVE to have you there to share, laugh and groove together. :)

Ever in your service and with so much love.


Kate's yoga teaching schedule


Designing your life...

Recently, there have been two pieces that have been floating about social media that touts on how we shouldn't be jealous of people's social media feeds because we always present the best portions of our lives to share with the world around us. I agree and disagree with the Elephant Journal article and the Youtube video. It almost seems to put people into two different camps when really... we're all in it together.

I love social media and the power it has to connect with so many individuals and to catch up with your friends. I would be the first to say that I have embraced social media for all its glory and all its flaws as well.

But what bothers me about the article and the video is that there's a negative spin to them both. Them against me or me versus them mentality. When I think about my social media feeds, they are exactly what the article and the video is pointing towards... but the truth is, my life really is this awesome.

It wasn't always this way though... and 7 years ago, I would say I was a very different person. A person, I wouldn't even recognize today. She had spells where she could be quite bitter, jealous, mean and all of it stemmed from the fact that she was just truly very sad with life. Even ~3.5 years ago when I came out of a tumultuous and detrimental relationship, I wasn't in the best place.

We hear of amazing success stories and seldom we will hear about the tears, the hardships, the rejections, the heartbreak and the sorrow. I am not going to suggest that those things don't exist. They most certainly do, but what good is it to continue to put it on blast?

How I see it, you can make a decision to take your time and learn the important lessons and continue to forge forward. You are allowed to feel the emotions that arise along the path for however long you need but suffering the suffering and dwelling in it is a poison that will not fare you well.

I have designed this life I have and as I evolve so does the design.

It took years and continues to take hard work and showing up every single day. It takes time in sitting down and asking myself (and answering honestly) what I want. It takes goal setting. It takes asking and receiving help from others. It takes dedication. It takes courage to walk away from situations or relationships that are poisoning or holding me back.

I was and am equally susceptible to the heartbreak, to the mistakes, to disappointments and to the tears.

Every misstep is simply an opportunity to learn and fine tune your radar and skill set to forge forward stronger on your path.

Design your life.
Ain't nobody else going to do it for you.