Spotlight: Kate Berlin, Trauma Yoga, and Purple Dot Yoga Project
By Landon Funk
Do you know what transference is? I didn't until I met Kate Berlin. Transference is when you associate someone you have just met and/or come into contact with with a negative or positive experience you have had in your life. That experience can dictate how you see the person with whom you are interacting without having spent any time with them.
When I first met Kate, I was a student in her first Trauma Informed Yoga Training. I walked into the room, saw her, and immediately loathed her. Why? Because she reminded me of someone who I grew up with who was incredibly two-faced and fake. I was transferring my feelings about this person from my past onto Kate.
It took three days of intensive training to undo my initial thoughts about her. Now, I am glad to say that she has become one of my role models. If I am half the woman that she is, I will have succeeded in life.
Kate is a twenty-nine year old Jill-of-All-Trades. She is a mother, Florida resident, yoga instructor, Reiki practitioner, frequent panelist with Bessel Van der Kolk, and founder of Purple Dot Yoga Project, a yoga non-profit that supports and empowers individuals affected by domestic violence and trauma. The organization has been a registered nonprofit since October 2015 and has various programs to help survivors.
Their biggest contributions are One-on-One yoga sessions and Trauma Informed yoga teacher training. The latter is available to 200-Hour certified yoga teachers that want to serve trauma populations. Kate firmly believers that true healing can only happen through connection, and PDYP's Trauma Informed Yoga is evidence of that. She herself is a survivor of intimate partner violence and was able to break away from the unhealthy patterns that she fell into through her yoga practice.
Everything Kate teaches stems from her personal experiences. Purple Dot Yoga Project is her calling. In a way, she had no choice but to answer on the first ring.
Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in doing good or advocating for a cause just because the rest of the world is. Kate encourages others to devote their attention to whatever is in front of them, pulling at their heart strings. When a person succumbs to its tug, that passion will be the most beautiful expression of them and will ultimately serve the rest of humanity.