Katya Slivinkaya, CHHP, CIYT, is a coach, astrologer, yoga teacher, writer and speaker on the topics of human potential and development.
She is also a food addict in recovery.
For over twenty years, she battled this very difficult eating disorder while not knowing she was sick. Like many, she thought the problem must be on the spiritual and personality levels – and tried to solve it on those levels, taking her on a thorough journey through spiritual and psychological work. When she learned about the biochemistry of food addiction, she began to see how all the levels of human existence – physical, psychological, intellectual, spiritual, connect and speak to each other.
Today, with a new understanding of the unity of the Human organism and the co-arising of all these levels at once, she teaches about their interaction with regards to the individual Human evolutionary journey. If we are to heal in an empowered way, we must understand how the different levels of who we are affect each other. With this understanding, we become poised to master our lives.
I am a certified coach, astrologer, certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, writer and speaker on the topics of human potential and development.
Born in Russia and raised in New York City, I attended Jiddu Krishnamurti’s Brockwood Park School in Hampshire, UK from the ages of 14 – 17.
At the age of 18, I moved to Boulder, Colorado, where I studied contemplative psychotherapy and creative writing and poetics at Naropa University, receiving my BA in both disciplines.
After the birth of my daughter, I moved back to New York City to complete my Health Coach training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a Yoga Teacher training with YogaWorks.
In 2014, I narrowed the focus of my yoga practice to the path of Iyengar Yoga, in which I am now trained as a teacher. I have been studying astrology since 2009 and practicing professionally since 2014.
I am also a trained PSYCH-K advanced facilitator – a method developed by Robert Williams and dedicated to empowering humans to simply and quickly change their subconscious beliefs. This work is resonant with the latest research in neuroplasticity and human potential.
When I was ten, I coached a girl in my class after she was bullied by another classmate. Essentially I was just trying to make her feel better. But I was like, “what was that? That was something. That had something to do with my essence and why I’m here.”
Years later, I started Curb the Binge , having been through the horrors of food addiction, I knew I wanted to help those struggling with it get to the other side and live a fulfilled and purposeful life. Even though I did not have the answer to binge eating and food addiction at the time, I knew I was going to keep looking until I found it or died trying.
Many things have changed since then, both in my understanding of the disease and my ability to help, but these were the beginnings.
I knew I wanted to be a health coach, and I knew I needed to zero in on the folks I could really help. I’ve always deeply believed in transparency and sharing our stories – I think stories heal even when we aren’t perfect or healed 100%. Who is? A coach is just someone who has made it to where you want to go – that can give you the lay of the land, an understanding of what to expect from the terrain. So I wanted to be that for women who struggle with binge eating disorder and, what I realized later was actually technically food addiction.
Today, I work with men and women, anyone who struggles and needs help in this area. When I first started, it was like, “I’m gonna turn my shit into compost and may it help others.”
My relationship with food is, in some ways, more complicated than ever. I follow a strict food plan and that keeps me from abusing food to either avoid my emotions or fill my deep spiritual needs that should be filled by spiritual means, not food. Thanks to that program, I am much closer to my own process than ever.
There’s nowhere to run or hide, although of course I could think up other ways to distract myself, but I am wise to my own game now. I have learned that the raw emotion and the raw experience carries wisdom that can only be gleaned if I am willing to sit in the pain. To feel the pain. And, that said, I still observe my mind making up all kinds of stories around food and twisting it to be something more than it should be.
I still check the clock and wait sometimes impatiently for my meal times. But because I don’t take action on those thoughts and am “abstinent” from my old behaviors around food, I can observe this craziness and get to know it, rather than let it control my actions which, you know, it’s like when you are in something you really cannot see it for what it is, just like the fish can’t understand water. That’s how I experience it, anyway.
The sweetest, most tender thought I have about my body is that it’s aging. From the moment I was born, I began to move towards death. Today I look at my knees in downward-facing dog and I recognize that my knees don’t look like they did seven years ago. Today, they look much more like my grandma’s knees than the knees of a woman in her early-twenties.
It was harder to love myself before I had all these “flaws.” My aging knees and grey hair are endearing me to myself.
My Life Today:
I’ve chosen Boulder, Colorado for my home and practice because: 1) The outdoor sports – everyone is living it up! Mountain biking, skiing, hiking, are daily things. Seeing incredible vistas that I had never dreamed of as a child, are everyday experiences for many Boulderites. 2) That there are so many entrepreneurs and such an entrepreneur culture. I feel Boulder really digs that we all create our own reality – and creation is embraced, here.
Today, I host Curb the Binge: The Podcast, a movement dedicated to empowering women struggling with binge eating disorder.
I have led women’s circles and groups, lectured on various health topics, and taught yoga to those with severe physical and mental disabilities.
My greatest passion and purpose in life is to empower humans to fulfill their full potential.