Swami SivanandaSwami Vishnu

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Swami SivanandaSwami Vishnu

Overcoming Self-Sabotage: Presenter Spotlight Q&A with Katie Papo (Ambika)

Please share what you do in 10-15 words:

I teach self-care, as well as help compulsive overeaters heal their relationship with food.

Why do you do what you do?

For much of my life I was repeatedly falling into self-destructive habits of self-sabotage. Even though I was able to put others before myself, I had trouble prioritizing my own health and well-being.

I understand how frustrating it can be to feel like you can’t even trust yourself to do what’s best for your own well-being. Now I work with people who are having this inner battle and need to find balance in their own lives.

What are you currently fascinated by in your work?

My clients have always been my mirrors. They show me exactly where I still need to grow. I find it amazing how the lessons we need to learn show up no matter what we’re doing or who we’re helping. In that way, everything we do becomes a spiritual practice.

How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?

Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda, and their disciples are my most cherished teachers. The Sivananda organization, specifically the Bahamas ashram, has grown me faster than I ever could have expected. I’ve spent years as a presenter, as a participant in the Karma Yoga Program, and I’ve also taken the Yoga Teacher Training Course.

The ashram has always given me exactly what I needed at the exact right time, whether I wanted it or not. I believe everyone should either join the Yoga Teacher Training Course or the Karma Yoga Program, at least once. They are incredible opportunities for self-development. I will carry what I learned with me for the rest of my life, and it has been a huge player in my personal healing process.

What book(s) did you like reading this year?

Teachings on Yoga Life by Swami Vishnudevananda, and Further Dimensions of Healing Addictions by Donna Cunningham. I also loved The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion. It shows how we are all so much more alike and connected than we realize, even regardless of species.

If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?

I’ve come to expect the unexpected at the ashram. The energy in the ashram always magically points me in the direction of serving in my life purpose more deeply. It amazes me every time.

In May 2019, I’m leading a program called Self-Care Weekend Retreat, which is a deep dive into the art of self-care for those struggling to maintain a healthy routine due to self-sacrifice, overwork, and burnout. Those who join this program will undoubtedly learn something new and unexpected about themselves … the energy of the ashram really brings out the best in everyone.



Katie Papo (Ambika) is a Sivananda Yoga teacher and leader of yoga, food, and fitness programs for the past decade. A regular presenter for the Sivananda Yoga ashrams and centers, she offers lectures and workshops on yoga, healthy living, and self-care. Katie is the former director of Shane Diet and Fitness Resorts, specializing in integrative weight loss since 2011 and teaching throughout the United States and the Bahamas. A creative plant-based foodie, she inspires a compassionate and practical approach toward health and wellness.

Upcoming Courses

Experiential Course
May 24 — 26, 2019
Katie Papo (Ambika)

Combining the natural beauty of the ashram with practical self-care techniques, this is the perfect experience for those in need of a yoga beach vacation with an emphasis in personal well-being.

Yoga Vacation Program
October 1 — 4, 2019
Katie Papo (Ambika)

Learn how to motivate and power your healthiest, most successful life.

Experiential Course
May 18 — 20, 2020
Katie Papo (Ambika)

Combining the natural beauty of the ashram with practical self-care techniques, this is the perfect experience for those in need of a yoga beach vacation with an emphasis in personal well-being.


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