Yoga: A Journey of Self Discovery

Each month I honor one of our fit fam members. Our fit fam includes weight lifters, runners, ab challengers,  social media followers, and what I like to call our “yoga hotties!” Yep, these peeps know how to rock their yoga with consistent practice, leaving them feeling HOT!

This month, my client spotlight is Courtney. She is a yoga hottie. 


From Courtney:


I knew her and her daughter Belle. I have been doing yoga for 6 years with Kathy.

Before starting this journey I was in an unhealthy marriage that I refused to acknowledge to myself or anyone else. I gave up numerous opportunities from the time I was 17 to be with this man and I believed I could make it work and make it better. I had two young children that needed their world to be ok. And then I started getting sick, serious kind of sick, requiring surgeries and major medical intervention. Once, so driven and goal-oriented, I had somehow lost my way and lost connection to my self.

And then Kathy said those words I will always remember, “yoga is a journey of self-discovery” and I have never looked back. Health is dynamic and requires commitment and dedication. Health requires active participation in life-affirming actions, like yoga.

My goal is to continue on the health and fitness journey with Kathy.

Kathy is an exceptional trainer and yoga instructor.

The goals that she has helped me achieve are self care, discipline, increased mobility and flexibility. As a nurse, I know that our health is our greatest wealth.

Preserving my health through yoga has been an amazing journey that has been supported every step of the way by Kathy’s commitment and dedication to our yoga class.

I have gained inner strength as well as physical strength. I have often told Kathy that attending her yoga class these past 6 years has been a life-line for me during an extremely challenging time in my life. It gave me a framework to learn and understand the importance of grace under pressure. It gave me a connection when I had no other connection in my life. It gave me hope by keeping me moving, and as long as I was moving, I was moving forward in life.

Health is your greatest wealth and time is your greatest asset. Kathy Dolan respects and honors each of our abilities to foster healthy habits in our lives by providing a myriad of fitness classes and time-honored approaches to healthy living. I will always be a part of Kathy’s fitness world.

Fun Facts

My favorite saying used by Kathy is: “Yoga is a journey of self-discovery.”

The best part of the training: “Doing what you think you cannot do.”

Favorite “cheat food: “Sour gummy bears”

Where do you see yourself a year from now: “Doing yoga 4-5 days a week every week”

Any other comments: “Would you consider doing a yoga retreat, where we get to join you for a weekend, where we get to do yoga 2 times a day?”

Who would you like to thank?

“Kathy and Belle, because as a family you both make this fitness world possible for all of us.”


Trainer Comments:

Our daughters are the same age and we started seeing more and more of each other as our girls grew closer through playdates and activities. One day I invited Courtney to one of my yoga classes, and after a while, she took me up on my offer. I’m pretty sure this was her first class and I wanted to give her lots of encouragement as I know what it feels like to be the new one to yoga class. One class led to another and Courtney became a regular!  As we went along, I sensed some stress and knew she was going through a hard time in her personal life. 

Many times during savasana, emotions will rise to the surface and can sometimes be so overwhelming. I see it often as a yoga leader. It is a healthy form of release.


Leading yoga classes for almost 20 years now, I see this sort of release and transformation all the time. Yoga really is “a journey of self-discovery” and honestly some people bail quickly if it gets uncomfortable. Courtney stuck with it. Being alone inside one’s own head can get scary.


I am a single mom of three. I remember going through a divorce and feeling like I was going to die. Overwhelmed is an understatement. Through all the hard times, my faith in something much greater than myself, my kids, and exercising kept me alive. I never stopped teaching during these hard days and would somehow pull myself together each and every time to go lead my followers, teach my classes, and train clients through some of their very difficult days. At times I would lay my head on my mat feeling emotional pain so strong it was paralyzing. At times exercise was my saving grace. I remember, as I lie there cueing the leg lifts and the ab crunches, I felt once again like I was part of something healthy and good and that we all have emotional pain to go through.  I knew that to sweat and take my mind off my troubles would rid my body of the stress and I would be okay.

I always managed to get through for my students and clients. If I cried during a class, no one knew because it looked like I was SWEATING! I have always been athletic without being overweight. In high school, I remember coming home and at the family dinner table, my brother told me I looked so skinny as I walked across my high school quad! I cried.  The only time I really felt overweight was when I was on birth control pills. I share all of this because all transformations don’t revolve around how much weight was lost.  My story is not the classic before and after with photos of a huge weight loss like the kind that consumes social media. Life-changing, the kind that comes with a stronger body and mind transformation. Change your mind, change your body. Unless you change the mindset, you will most likely go around the same mountain many times until you make real change. Change can be scary. Transforming takes energy. 


When I feel someone going through the pain of any sort of emotional devastation, I find myself giving advice and comfort, all while pushing exercise, yoga, meditation, prayer, and health. I believe in the power of doing the work not only with the body but with the mind because I have lived it. 


Courtney’s story is a story of a mind and body transformation, much more than just the body. When you feel weak, thin, and low, some people have zero appetites and exercise takes a tremendous amount of mental strength. 

I am beyond proud to be a part of this beautiful transformation. You are not only a client but a dear friend and I am grateful our paths connected. Congratulations Courtney! You are a YOGA HOTTIE!

Kathy Dolan, ACE Fitness Pro, Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, is a self-employed business owner. Kathy Dolan is a master trainer with years of experience with the secrets to real results! You will find her teaching and training clients at a gym in the San Diego area or on the Class It Up Virtual Studio, and writing health and fitness programs for clients of all ages. She enjoys spending time with her three kids whether it’s in the mountains or on the seashore. 

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