I almost did not want to share the interview I did with Khat.
Not because it wasn’t amazing.
But because it came at such a perfect time in my life.
My interview with Khat was what I will now refer to as a conversation with a friend.
And I selfishly did not want to share it.
But who would I be if I didn’t share words like these:
“If you can do something and all you need is time and a little effort then do it. Otherwise you’re just floating. And you will be like I wish I did that”.
Thank you Khat for coming into my life when you did.
Your wisdom, your heart and your inspiration are invaluable to everybody whose path you cross, especially mine.
I don’t want to float anymore. So here I am sharing inspirational words from this beautiful yoga entrepreneur, teacher and motivator I met last week in Ubud, Bali.
Almost a month ago, my friend Aimee and I were sitting in the Singapore airport on a twelve hour layover, waiting for our last flight before we got to Bali. Aimee wanted my opinion on emailing a yoga girl she “stalked” on Instagram who was going to be in the area the same time as us.
“Of course you should email her!” I said to Aim, and so she did.
Three weeks later we were taking a yoga class with Khat at Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio in Ubud, Bali. And just last week I was eating dinner, having beautiful life chats with this same lady and even more impressively trusting her to “fly” me.
And today, I share her story.
Growing up in the heart of New York City this self-acclaimed “boss lady” knows how to stay busy, stay on task and most importantly she knows how to seek growth and manifest her life in the most beautiful ways.
From taking her first yoga class in a dinky high school room and taking classes from deals she found on Groupon, this yoga guru has came a long way. From being grossed out by teachers who stepped on her toes to taking naked yoga classes on fifth floor penthouses, there has been a lot of learning and a lot of teaching by @khat_mandu.
“I was a germaphobe back then” she says. “And now I teach acro”.
Acroyoga is exactly what it sounds like, a combination between yoga and acrobatics (refer to above photo of my “flying”).
Khat began teaching yoga based off her own experiences and self practice. Before she even did her 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Khat actually became certified in Acoyoga, as she won free tuition for acro training by doing a three month challenge on Instagram.
“I called my boyfriend, my sister, my little sister, my best friend and I was like I want to do this yoga challenge. They were like okay. I was like well it’s acro though so you know they tell you what poses to do and how to do it and I just need your help” said Khat.
Each day her and her rotating partners did a yoga challenge and she posted the photos. (check em out!)
Out of everybody on Instagram who did the challenge they chose Khat.
“I cried” she said.
She was the only one in the class who didn’t have all of the previous certifications, but they chose her anyway.
“You’re not really good at yoga. You practice yoga” said Khat.
Just over a year after participating in her acroyoga teacher training, she was assisting as a teacher for the same training course in Bali.
And just wait until you hear how she got herself to Bali.
“This mind is so powerful” said Khat. “I would say things that I want, but not when I wanted them and opportunities would just come in my hand”.
Khat will tell you over and over again that we are our own creators and we manifest what we want out of life.
And Bali is just one example she shared with me. She had mentioned in passing her desire to visit Bali and a few weeks later she got a call, “Hey Khat you said you were interested in coming to Bali. Can you come in two weeks? How long can you stay?”.
Khat went to Bali for six weeks. When she first arrived she taught twelve classes in one week, the most she had ever taught. And her life changed, in more ways than she anticipated.
During her first week in Bali, she met her current boyfriend in the hot tub.
“You literally create the life you want to live” says Khat.
It was not always like this for our dazzling yoga queen. She did not just wake up one day and have this life she is so proud of and so happy living in.
“I created my life” she said.
And that she did.
From coaching her high school’s boys volleyball team, to selling life insurance at just nineteen years old, to getting into the fashion industry Khat has done a lot, and a lot she has done in a little amount of time. This twenty-something grew up fast and and has learned how to manage her time, money and priorities to best suite her goals.
She started college, playing on the volleyball team, and then her parents split. Her father moved back to the Philippines, her mom back to Queens and her, she moved in with her best friend. At this time she began selling insurance.
“I’m talking about death and I’m like I’m just a kid” she said.
“I worked a lot. I had at one time four jobs” said Khat. “All of that money is gone. All that money went to travel. I made a lot of money and then I would spend like two or three months away” she explained.
“I wasn’t happy [but] when I was in this dark place what stayed with my the whole time was yoga”.
At this same time Khat was in a rough relationship, filled with imbalance and heartache, but what she learned was an enlightening piece of guidance. “He did love me. When I loved myself”.
“I just gave too much and I got confused” she said.
So Khat went searching for something better, something she knew she deserved.
“I went soul searching. And it worked. It’s cliche. But it worked. I just did things for myself. Took care of myself. Changed my diet not because I felt like I had to. One day I just started eating less meat and less dairy. And I felt strong”.
Khat is strong. And khat is small.
“I feel so light but so strong” she said. “Tiny but mighty”.
Before it was yoga she explored, it was Buddhism, or “The simplicity of how life is supposed to be”.
“Buddhism says that everything you need is already in yourself. All that cloudy shit around just needs to be cleansed. It needs to be cleared and fixed before you can start to fix other things. Cluttered desk cluttered mind. cluttered mind cluttered life” she said.
“So you cant try to fix someone if you can’t fix yourself. You cant love someone else if you can’t love yourself. I still get shivers” she said.
“It’s here (in yourself) first” – Khat
Khat talked to me about fear.
“You have to understand something before you can judge, before you can make decisions”.
Before you can be afraid of something, you must first understand what it is you are afraid of. And how will you overcome that? In your mind, and then your body.
“The mind and body connection comes from understanding what is not real but what is reality. You’re perception is what you create”.
Khat changed her life. She changed her perspective.
“Instead of running away from something you run towards something or to something” she said.
“I ran for myself”.
She speaks about being in Bali, the place she ran to. The place she is now.
“It really helped to be away from all the options, all the distractions” she said about leaving NYC.
“I used to have three planners. Everything down to the fifteen minute was clocked in and if its not clocked in its not happening. Now I’m just like ohh what time should i drive to Ubud today”, but she will still say “I’ve got one foot in Bali life and one foot in New York life”.
And even through her busy double life, she still has time to read.
“Both have similar themes” Khat speaks about two of her favorite books–Eat, Pray Love and The Secret. “You get to choose the life you want to live”.
“That’s what I did with my life. I didn’t like it”. So she began making changes like, “Im going to change that chair to face that way” she said.
It is those tiny choices you make throughout your day that put you in control of your life.
And through years of personal growth here she is, beautifully in control of her life in Uluwatu, Bali.
“Life is awesome” says Khat.
This yoga girl has her first yoga retreat planned for May 6th through the 12th in magical Bali.
Check out the details here!
“Just taking yoga wasn’t enough for me. I think teaching is what transformed it into a lifestyle” said Khat.
It is so amazing, just to think about how quickly yoga and her power to turn her life around and manifest her desires has created such an amazing path for her.
“If you can breathe you can yoga” – Khat
Check Khat out on Instagram Facebook & her website for more information on yoga retreats & more inspiration!