Home. The word has transformed into many different meanings over time. For some of us, it is the place we rest our heads, where we have found a way to make a living, or simply just the place we were born into. For 31-year-old Sacramento native, Katlyn Bosnich Matic – known as Kata to friends and family – this city is more than just the place that raised her, it is the place that has called her home to a higher sense of purpose.
Kata showcases this purpose inside her new artistic Midtown yoga studio, DOMA, which fittingly means “Home,” in Croatian. “When my father moved here from Croatia he made Sacramento his home,” Kata smiled. “I wanted to nod to my father, my heritage, and the impact he has had on my life, as well as to the city we love so much.”
About Kata, the Owner
At the early age of fourteen, Sacramento introduced Kata to the one thing that has remained a constant throughout her life: yoga. “I have been practicing yoga for over half my life now, but, during my very first class I actually had an asthma attack,” she laughs. “The teacher ended up leading the rest of the class with her hand on my shoulder while she talked me through my breath. I was thankful because it taught me to work past it and as a result that asthma attack didn’t stop me from continuing my practice. To this day I haven’t stopped.”
Kata’s love for yoga may have remained unbroken over the years, however, like most of us, it took leaving for Kata to realize the extent of her love for her city. “When my husband moved to the United States his job moved us to San Jose. During the time we lived there I was managing a studio,” she explained. “However, I had already known for many years that I wanted to own my own studio, I just didn’t have a clear vision and I didn’t know anything about the city of San Jose.” Kata knew in her gut something wasn’t right.
Even though Kata knew the location, the community, and the vibe didn’t fit with her dream design, the time she spent living in San Jose did not go wasted. Just as most things in life do for us all, the experience Kata received from mentors in San Jose was priceless. “All my mentors – from Sacramento, to San Jose, and beyond – have been incredibly supportive. They all encouraged me to pursue opening my own studio. They would tell me to not be scared and that I could do it,” she said. “Having a support system was a big help and still is. Especially, during the times when I worry whether or not I know what I am doing. That’s when I will just call someone.”
Home is Sacramento
Finally, with enough support under her wings, Kata recognized it was time to put her dream into action, the only problem was she still didn’t feel right about what city she called home. “I found that the idea of opening a studio in San Jose didn’t feel right,” she said. “My husband recognized this and encouraged me to open my studio in Sacramento. As soon as he said those words to me all the weight dropped out. He told me to go home. Home to where all my people are, to the city that I love. As soon as I made the decision to open my studio in Sacramento, everything started to unfold as if it was meant to be.”
DOMA Yoga Studio
Now, seven months after opening, DOMA Yoga Studio is a home to Kata, her team of instructors (whom she loves dearly), and an ever-growing list of community family members who all share a desire to begin or deepen their practice and expand their being. Through DOMA, Kata hopes she can help teach others how to achieve their goals – whether it is through fitness or by helping empower others – just like her mentors have done for her. Yet, Kata knows it is not a task anyone can take on alone. “Teaching is a very commonplace for me. I still teach every day. Except now, I am experiencing the whole other side of running a business, like marketing,” said says with a laugh. “Fingers crossed that I am doing everything right. That is why when I saw the Women of Sacramento I was super excited that I found a group of women that are all trying to do the exact same thing.”
Joining the Community
“To me, The Women of Sacramento is an amazing community of like-minded women who are all emphasizing that there is room for everyone. We are a community,” she exclaims “and no one is pitted against each other. I feel particularly, for women, there has been so much competition and finally there is a loud platform screaming ‘No, cut that out. Just be for one another.’ In opening this studio, it is my intention to make sure no one feels pushed out.” She smiles. “I believe that is exactly what Women of Sacramento is doing and I hope it can continue to spread and create that sense throughout the community. I remember when I started seeing the Women of Sacramento posts I had a sigh of relief, like yes, finally a community of women ready to do this together. Everybody build each other up and we will get much higher than if we were all trying to climb all by ourselves.”
This is exactly why Kata is passionate about building a community through DOMA. A community that no matter your gender identity, will welcome you into their open floor plan studio with open arms. Kata has built DOMA to be a place not just for people looking to practice yoga, but also a place where people can come to gain strength and flexibility. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I am a big advocate for creating balance. Yoga is not all-inclusive. It doesn’t hit every body part, all the time. There are things that are missing,” she explains. “Having a variety of workouts is what will maintain all areas. This is why we have the yoga classes for flexibility, but also classes like Inferno Pilates and Heated Strength to help hit all the things yoga can’t assist with.”
The Beginning’s of DOMA
When Kata first started her own practice it was a physical thing for her. “I played a lot of sports in high school and as a result I had a lot of little injuries. Yoga was a way to heal,” she explains. “I have dealt with sciatica pain for a long time, but through yoga I have been able to find a way to ease and deal with the pain.”
These days, Kata has found that balance between using her practice for physical and emotional purposes. “My yoga practice really shifted for me when my whole life flipped upside down. Yoga became more of an emotional release. There was a good chunk of time where half the class was spent just crying because it was the only time that I felt like I could cry. Then, I gained this ability to get through this really challenging portion of my life that I didn’t have a way to handle outside of the yoga room and off my mat. It created a space that allowed me to experience the feelings that I was having, the ones I wasn’t allowing myself to feel outside of yoga. It was my safe space.”
Emotional, physical, strength, stability, flexibility. Through it all, we all just want the same thing: to feel good. “Whether it is simply standing or walking, to biking and dancing, we all want to do what we love freely,” said Kata. To her, this purpose is where her yoga practice truly evolved. “I believe if you feel good, you have freedom in your body, then you have freedom in your mind. You will no longer be consumed by pain all the time and instead you’ll be able to move freely through all the things you love doing in life.”
The is exactly why the goal inside DOMA Studio is to go deeper. “I don’t want people to come in, lay down their mats, and have an hour practice then leave without any idea of what they just did and why,” she explained. “I want people to understand what their bodies are doing and what muscle groups are doing what so they understand how to create that type of support for their bodies and themselves. I want things to be clear. I emphasize to my instructors that we need to be clear in order to let people know exactly what they are getting out of each movement, not only physically, but mentally. For instance, when you compress your chin to your chest you’re actually stimulating your thyroid and your parathyroid. But, if I don’t know what my thyroid and parathyroid do, then I am not going to understand the benefits. I want to educate people beyond just the movement itself. I want people to know the medicinal benefits to these actions. Even on the days where I have no balance and I can’t get into my fullest expression the nice thing is that I can take a step back and think okay, well, what is it I am learning today? Is it patience? No matter what, you are going to learn something, even if you don’t necessarily want to learn it.”
Importance of Health
Today, we all live in this society that is constantly moving. We are finding ourselves unable to focus or relax. DOMA is a space where you can find a solid chunk of time to just be. “We all have an endless list of places we should be and things we should be doing. But, when you are here you can catch yourself and remind yourself that you don’t have to do any of that here, it is just you and your practice,” Kata said. “I do think it is particularly challenging for us because we are all so critical of ourselves. We are so
This is why Kata has placed a mirror that spans across the entire front side of her studio. Kata begins to tell me stories about how many times, people have come to class and expressed how they do not want to see themselves in the mirror – including times of Kata herself when she first began her practice. “The whole class becomes this self-deprecation act. We think things like, I don’t like my legs, I don’t like my stomach, I hate the way my body looks or we start to compare ourselves to other people in the room. We start to feel inferior. And, before we know it, we have spent the entire class tearing ourselves apart.”
When I ask Kata what she believes needs to be done in order for us to rebuild our self-appreciation, she pauses, takes a look in the mirror, then full-heartedly responds, “We need to get really comfortable with looking at ourselves with kinder eyes.”
She goes on to instruct me that I need to find something that I like about my practice. “Is it your breath? Because, there is nothing to big or too small for you to like about it. If we can cultivate the act of speaking kindness to ourselves, talking about the things we like about our practice, opposed to the things we didn’t like, then we can truly begin to cultivate this compassion for ourselves.” Then she pauses again, with a little smirk. “Not that we should overlook our faults and believe we are all amazing and everything is perfect, because we all have places we could work on, but we need to see ourselves a little clearer,” she emphasizes. “I feel like there is this big pendulum swinging between either completely self-deprecating or we are wonderful and nothing we do is bad. That isn’t true either. There is a place where we can start seeing a middle ground, a place where we can say, ‘yes, I might need to work on my strength, but that doesn’t make me a bad person. That just makes me someone who is in process, and we are all constantly in process.”
As far as for the process and future growth of DOMA itself, a balanced fitness lifestyle will only begin to scratch the surface of what you will absorb into your life during your sessions inside the studio. With her background in Ayurveda – the sister science of yoga – Kata hopes to spread knowledge on using food as medicine and holistic healing systems, as well as implementing her knowledge of Herbology, through workshops.
If you are looking for a studio to call home and a community to call your own, DOMA Studio might be just the right place to lay your mat.
You can check out all the classes available at http://www.doma-studio.com.