About Cat


About Cat

Cat McCarthy lives her yoga.  She holds a space for relational self-discovery.  Whether telling a story on the silver screen or at the beginning of class, she makes connections between everyday details and the big picture, weaving it all into a fun, poignant narrative on 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 Kripalu Yoga, Anusara Yoga, and the Barnes Method Prenatal Yoga.  She has studied Rajanaka Yoga extensively with her teacher and community, under the Srividyalaya philosophical tradition.  She also facilitates NVC (Nonviolent Communication) conflict-transformation courses and leads the “Empathy In AnyBody” curriculum, integrating physical, mental, and emotional reorganizing, on and off the mat.  When not traveling to teach yoga, Cat directs/produces non-fiction TV and film projects.

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 asana. 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.

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.  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.  She also combines her love of asana with her Breathing Project studies in Embodied Anatomy and Body Mind Centering.  Cat’s voice can be heard on albums “Invocation” and Krishna Das’ “All One.”

Inspired daily by her students, and over the years by her colleagues Amy Ippoliti, Elena Brower, Desiree Rumbaugh, Nikki Costello, Amy Mathews, Leslie Kaminoff, Thom Bond, Dr. Douglas Brooks and Paul Muller-Ortega, Cat is happy to share her process of applying the yoga practically in poses and in life.  She has a reputation as a wonderfully funny storyteller, a dedicated educator and, above all, a precise and passionate student.  Cat holds a space in which her students feel safe to practice unknown perspectives.  She keeps it real and makes learning fun and challenging.  Curiosity feeds this cat!