CARLY CONATSER | instructor, coordinator, Bluegrass B&B, E-RYT 500

I believe the yoga mat is a space of alchemy, a place that is just for your body. No matter who you are, what you’ve been through, and what’s happening in the world, your mat is your sanctuary. It sets a boundary, but is open on all sides, unifying boundaries and spaciousness. When you begin the practice, you may notice all the thoughts in the mind spinning and swirling. You don’t have to change that, but you add the gentle awareness of your breath, ocean sounding, and eventually, it’s as if you’re alone on a beach somewhere and there is nothing but water, sky, and land. You feel vast, small, content, and part of something greater than yourself.  Eventually, you realize, your mat has nothing to do with it, or rather, your mat offers you the space to pay attention deeply to your breath. Your breath is the link to infinity. The power of jala, water. Still and calm, or capable of hurricane, storms, and tsunamis. We tap into this energy when we breathe.

I fell in love with yoga early on in 7th grade and my first teachers were books that I had checked out from the local public library. Since then, I have lived and practiced across the country. I did the majority of my teacher trainings at Kripalu: 200 & 500 hour (plus Restorative and Trauma Informed Teacher Trainings) as well as living there for two years for a residential yoga and leadership internship where I immersed myself in yoga education at the 200 & 500 hour levels. I love teaching beer yoga because it brings the sacred and the profane together, or rather, it helps us understand that those two things are different aspects of the same thing. When I first started teaching yoga, I was a mixologist in New York City. People often asked me how I could do both things, but essentially, whether you came to the bar or the yoga studio, you were looking for connection. I'm grateful to bring my passion, humor, and joy for yoga, beer, and people coming together to the Bluegrass community!

A bunch of questions with | CARLY

What is your day job? 

Writer and yoga teacher. You can find me at Sterling Hot Yoga Works, Solid Roots and teaching SUP yoga with SUP Kentucky

What lights you up?

Nature. Noticing the small simple things in life. Good company and conversations. I love the energy when people realize their shared connections and passion. Also, making waffles.

A favorite TV show?

I don't watch too much right now. Growing up I loved Felicity, Blossom, The Wonder Years and My So Called Life. I'd binge watch any of them again. :)

A favorite local spot?

Kentucky Native Cafe

What do you love about Balance & Brews?

It's fun. I know that's simple, but I like that the yoga practice can be what you want it to be. Fun, spiritual, healing, silly, challenging, profound. I think the setting changes the energy and invites people to reach out and be a little different on their mat. In my life, yoga has been a catalyst for creating deep and meaningful friendships and so ultimately it is also that. 

What's a dream vacation spot?

Kauai. My husband and I went to the Big Island for our honeymoon and can't wait to go back for more. 

Hey, you got a nickname?

Car, Carbar

A favorite quote? 

"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince