About Cat

Cat McCarthy meets people where they are and supports them to where they want to go. She respects the relational container in which others can safely explore the heart-mind-body terrain, integrating the practice of Yoga, empathy skills of Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication (NVC), and trauma-Informed somatic movement therapy.  Whether telling a story on the silver screen, at the beginning of class, or on the therapy coach, she makes connections between everyday details and the big picture, weaving it all into a poignant narrative, both on and off the mat. Cat’s teachings are rooted in dynamic alignment, playful awareness, and authentic expression. Her innovative guidance is applicable to both one’s inner terrain and to the outer world.

An Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Fulbright Scholar, Cat McCarthy balances her time between New York City and her global gigs. Practicing yoga since 1993, she holds certifications in Anusara Yoga, Kripalu Yoga, Barnes Method Prenatal Yoga, NYCNVC Facilitation, and Compassionate Inquiry®, Therapy.  She has studied extensively within the traditions of Rajanaka Philosophy, Neelakantha meditation, The Breathing Project, BMC’s Embodied Anatomy, Polyvagal Theory, and Gabor Maté’s Compassionate InquiryCat is honored to offer body-mindfulness meditation to medical residents and the spinal cord injury population at Mt. Sinai Hospital and specializes in plant medicine integration at Nushama Psychedelic Wellness Center in NYC.  She facilitates conflict-transformation courses and leads her Compassion In Action curriculum online and in-person, integrating physical, mental, and emotional asana.    Her podcast  The Upside of Over focuses on how to look at life's challenges through a lens of curiosity and compassion.  When not traveling to teach, this yogini directs/produces non-fiction TV and film projects.  Cat’s singing voice can be heard on albums "Invocation" and Krishna Das’ "All One." 

Salmonella food poisoning was the impetus that committed Cat to a yogic path. While in graduate film school at NYU, Cat burned the candle at all ends, as a graduate assistant, in school full-time making films, and working professionally in production. To rebuild her empty reserve tanks, she turned to kung-fu and yoga. Her practice not only built back her stamina, but it helped keep her calm and grounded amidst chaotic film shoots. From the nurturing realm of the Kripalu Center in MA to the plethora of yoga studios available around NYC, Cat found her first yoga home at Om Yoga. There, she took classes with Amy Ippoliti and Elena Brower, her earliest teachers. As Amy and Elena segued from Vinyasa to Anusara Yoga, so did she.

Relieving herself of chronic wrist pain is how Cat chose an alignment-based style of yoga. She completed her first 200-RYT teaching certification in Kripalu Yoga (2002), followed by an Anusara Yoga teacher training (2003) with Amy Ippoliti.  She received Anusara Affiliated status in 2004 and earned her Anusara® Yoga certification in January of 2008.  In February of 2012, Cat resigned her license with Anusara, Inc, on a quest to further blaze her own trail. 

A New Orleans native, Cat is the founder of NOLA YOGA, a 200-hour registered yoga school with the Yoga Alliance, offering teacher trainings, immersions, and mentorships to help weave together the Gulf Coast and southern yoga communities, created after Hurricane Katrina.  She also offers YACEP credits, for those looking for refined teaching support and coaching.  Her training in NVC (Nonviolent Communication) has helped bridge her conflict-transformation skills to her yoga practice, and to help mediate between disputing parties and maintain connection between couples in therapy.  

Inspired daily by her students, and over the years by her colleagues Amy Ippoliti, Elena Brower, Desiree Rumbaugh, Nikki Costello, Amy Matthews, Leslie Kaminoff, Robert Gonzales, Dr. Gabor Maté, Douglas Brooks and Paul Muller-Ortega, Cat is happy to share her process of applying the yoga practically in poses and in relationship with others and self.  She has a reputation as an entertaining storyteller, a dedicated educator and, above all, a precise and passionate student of life.  She keeps it real and makes learning fun and humorous.  An ally along the journey, Cat's motto of curiosity is "let's figure this out together."