Katrina Johnston Bodyworker & Yoga Teacher & Founder of Samacitta Retreats ~ see full BIO here
Growing up in Hong Kong and Singapore, & living in Bali, India, Scotland & UK and now in Puglia, South Italy, Katrina has had a fascination with the bodymind and with movement and the art of touch since childhood when Buddhist practice and daily tai chi practice was all around her, although, she did not come to the yoga mat or come to believe in the power in her own hands until she was in her 30s.
Katrina trained in AyurYogic bodywork in 2007 and later in 2008 in AyurBalance massage at Rasovai Ayurveda in Goa. Teaching originates from Pune master teacher Kusum Modak who combined ayurvedic massage techniques with Iyengar yogic stretching.
In 2011 she trained in Esalen® massage from the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. It is a combination of various techniques – it’s influences being the movement of the Pacific Ocean, sensory awareness, Swedish massage, oriental medicine and the meridians, meditation, Gestalt practice and the deeper work borrowed from Ida Rolf’s teachings and neural somatic integration and Trager’s passive movement - to awaken the body/mind. In 2015 she completed a Tula®️ bodywork workshop to rewaken her hands, after a period of not giving sessions.
Today, in her Samacitta® bodywork Katrina offers presence and skilful touch that is in fact a meditation of the body, using long strokes, compressions, deep tissue work, subtle work and myofascial release, creating a free-flow, intuitive session, which is a mix of all the trainings she has completed and that is unique each time to both giver and receiver, that both re-aligns & liberates & restores back to balance and connection.
Becoming a hatha yoga teacher ran parallel to Katrina's bodywork practice. Beginning with philosophy and coming to the mat later - in her 30s - and spurred on by triumph over adversity that required a change in mental attitude and in all action so that ultimately despair turned into gratitude and life took a turn for the better. Little by little the new emerged. It was after completing a juice fast in Portugal in 2009 that was affiliated to the Sivananda lineage/ashram in Madurai - and being inspired by the fact that the owner had recovered from a near-fatal accident through the power of Sivananda yoga - that Katrina decided to do a Sivananda yoga teacher training for strength and self-development so that ultimately she could teach. She did not teach yoga straightaway, teaching only after many more workshops, practice and experimental training in different yoga styles, though she has always returned to traditional hatha teaching as her foundation. Katrina is currently teaching adults beginner/intermediate level hatha yoga at the local school in Puglia, - where she is based - and teaches yoga on 2-day/weekend retreats for private clients with homes in Puglia. She is accredited and certified through YAUK.