Katharyn "Kat" Bond is the creative designer of KAT BOND, luxurious, professional dresses designed for modern women who practice high performance exercise. Here she shares why she is HOT, what she's learned from the challenge of standing on 1 leg, and her secret desire that inspired KAT BOND.
Why I am HOT: I practice Bikram Yoga, a hatha based, 90-minute yoga practice composed of a sequence of 26 postures and two Pranayama breathing exercises performed in 104-degree heat. We do each posture 2 times and hold it for 60/30 seconds. And yes, we are dripping in sweat! I've been doing Bikram Yoga for 10 years and now practice 2-3 times a week. Afterwords, I continue to sweat for up to 45 minutes so I often look like I've just stepped out of the shower!
My practice empowers my life in so many ways. To open up to the unknown. To take on new challenges such as creating KAT BOND, launching an online legal platform to empower fashion designers, and opening up my own law firm to work with creatives. These new endeavors have stretched me in totally new directions. I think this is why I am HOT!
How I became HOT: I started practicing Bikram Yoga soon after I was diagnosed with chronic facet joint syndrome throughout my lumbar spine, an injury caused by a near fatal car accident in San Francisco, California.
Flash back to February 2000, while driving across an intersection I was t-boned by an SUV running a red light at 55 mph. Amazingly, I survived without a broken bone, ruptured disc, or even whiplash, a miracle that doctors attributed to my being in such excellent physical shape. At the time of the collision, exercise was a big part of my daily life. I ran 30+ miles per week, cycled, swam, and lifted weights 3-4 times a week. Thanks to my fitness and strength training, my muscles absorbed 100% of the SUV’s impact
Yet, l wasn’t injury free. Over the course of next 5 years, I experienced inexplicable body pain. I went from an athlete who ran 5-7 miles a day, 6 days a week, to walking less than 20 minutes a day!
In February 2005, I went with my best friend to a Bikram Yoga class in Los Angeles. I woke up the next morning and had 24 pain free hours. Later in November 2005, I found a fabulous pain specialist who properly diagnosed my lumbar spine injury, but told me the bad news--that I might not be able to walk in my late sixties. I commenced pain and steroid treatments that lasted 5 more years, threw me into a chemical anorexia, and caused me to lose half of my hair!
During the second pain treatment in 2006, I recalled that wonderful morning in Los Angeles when I awoke pain free. I found a Bikram Yoga studio in NYC and started practicing 4-5 days a week. I think for the first year, I just lay in the heat and tried to breathe. Over time, I began to do the poses and my pain lessened because the heat and stretching helped to erase the muscle memory of the accident and created new central nervous pathways.
By 2010, I was virtually pain free and stopped all of the pain and steroid treatments. I now bicycle, lift weights and do high intensity interval training, hike, kayak, and I'm still trying to perfect my bow pose in 104-degree heat.
What HOTNESS has taught me: Throughout practice, I’ve struggled with my bow pose. In this pose, you stand on one leg while lifting the other upward above your head. Then you move your torso down and forward until your stomach is parallel to the ground. It is so hard to do!
Four years ago in class, a teacher said the most amazing words while I was struggling to stand on my one leg. She said, “Right now, there is only 1 outcome to your life. You will breathe and hold this pose or you will fall down. If you fall down, you will get back up and get back into this pose. Maybe you will fall down again, maybe not. Eventually, you will breathe deeper, smoother, and be able to hold the pose longer. Until you can’t and then you will fall down again. In between the falling, getting back into the pose, and holding it, you will learn to breathe through it until one day, you find yourself standing more than you are falling down”.
Her words just rocked me and my bow pose, the posture I hated the most, became a metaphor for living. Stand on one leg, breathe, fall down, get back up, stand on one leg again, try to breathe more, fall down again, repeat. I’ve learned that falling down is just as much a part of my pose as standing on one leg. Breathing is what is critical – in a yoga class or in life.
And she was right, I can stand on my one leg now for a much longer time, but I don't fear falling down in my bow pose or in my life.
Why KAT BOND: One of my secret desires is for every woman in the world to exercise! Yes, every woman! Exercise saved my life twice and right now, America (if not the world) is facing a major health crisis with the rising levels of diabetes, obesity, breast cancer, heart disease and strokes, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. Studies show that exercise can significantly reduce all of those risks, and yet many women don't integrate exercise into their daily lives. They can't because they lack access to a gym, day care, the money, or even the time to exercise.
So I've created KAT BOND to make clothing that can integrate exercise into women's jam packed lives. If all a woman has is her lunch break, I want her to wear my dress, lace up her sneakers, and go for brisk walk. Or if she can, attend an exercise class and return back to work feeling confident about herself and not worrying about whether she's sweating or has body odor.
Empowering women to live healthy, beautifully hot lives, that is the mission of KAT BOND.
Katharyn "Kat" Bond is the creative designer and owner of KAT BOND. She’s also a fashion law attorney who represents fashion designers and creative entrepreneurs through her law firm, KAT BOND LAW. And she's the founder of the FASHION LAW STUDIO, an online platform that offers legal seminars, classes, and resources to fashion designers and fashion businesses to help them operate and protect their businesses.