Kellie is a yoga therapist, yoga educator, and business-whisperer for holistic entrepreneurs. She is the founder and director of a Yoga-Alliance registered integrative yoga school – Wisdom Method School of Yoga– (RYS200, RYS300, RPYS, RCYS) which provides teacher training for basic, advanced studies, Restorative yoga, Yin Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and Yoga Therapeutics recognized by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.
As a Yoga Therapist, Kellie has worked with clients from age 5 to 95 to manage arthritis, spinal injuries, joint replacements, psychoemotional conditions, osteoporosis, women’s health issues, and disordered eating. Using the wisdom of yoga, Ayurveda, + mindfulness training, Kellie creates customized therapeutic lifestyle plans for private clients.
As a Yoga Educator, Kellie is passionate about training effective, safe and integrative yoga teachers who specialize in a person-centered approach to therapeutic yoga. In addition to her work as a yoga therapist + educating yoga teachers, Kellie brings her holistic business expertise to her coaching + mentoring practice for budding conscious entrepreneurs + yoga teachers. Kellie works with multi-passionate holistic entrepreneurs to design a business that features their talents, aligns their passions, + is an authentic expression of their deep purpose.
We’ll be welcoming Kellie to Flow, November 13th through November 16th, but for those who just can’t wait, here’s a little teaser…
KA: I was drawn to the yoga traditions at an early age to heal my own heart-traumas. I struggled through childhood and young adulthood with body shame, disordered eating and depression. By the time I began high-school, I was severely depressed and anxious. I found yoga because nothing else fit – I began practicing meditation and following the principles of Ayurveda at age 17 then began an academic (and personal) study of Classical Indian Thought and Vajrayana Buddhism under my mentor at New College of Florida. My love affair with yoga – and the Himalayan traditions – continued into graduate school and it was during that time that I began a comprehensive Yoga Therapy program + Mentorship with my own teachers (Saraswati Devi + Vaz Rogbeck of the PranaVinyasa School of Yoga). The Wisdom MethodTM approach really grew out of my own interests in transformational lifestyle practices, cognitive science and anatomy. I have continued to follow my interests “down the rabbit hole” by seeking out innovative trainings to answer my own questions! (many outside of the yoga traditions). Over the past 7 years as a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Educator, I’ve continued to reinforce my own love for anatomy, science and philosophy with 200+ continuing education hours annually: including, most recently, a Human Dissection course!
FB: How did you first come to yoga?
KA: My first exposure to asana was through Rodney Yee DVD’s in high school (remember those tiny spandex shorts of his?). I was then introduced to Meditation and pranayama via my college mentor (John Newman, PhD, one of the foremost American scholars of Tibetan Buddhism) and followed that thread to Europe (after college) with the study of Sufi meditation and Iyengar yoga. From there, I got bit by the Ashtanga-Vinyasa bug! During my graduate work, I practiced for a time in Tallahassee with my teachers Robyn Ceballos and Richmond Dickson and was then introduced to my Yoga Therapy mentors, Saraswati Devi and Vaz Rogbeck.
FB: Can you speak a little more to the specifics of the Wisdom Method, telling readers what it’s all about?
KA: The Wisdom MethodTM approach to yoga is a method rather than a style. Ultimately, it is a set of transformational lifestyle practices that empower individuals to develop, maintain and sustain a lifelong, healing practice. The Wisdom MethodTM blends therapeutic yoga, mindfulness and movement to lead yoga teachers + students both into operating from a place of inquiry, observation, and evaluation, and encourages awakening to our inner wisdom. From a practical perspective, it comprises an integrative approach to movement, mindfulness, and breath which aims to balance the subtle undercurrents of the bodymind through kinesthetically intelligent sequences, intentional breathing, and fluid movements. Harnessing Ayurvedic wisdom, Taoist philosophy, flow-based movements, and Eastern thought, Wisdom MethodTM classes, workshops, and trainings encourage students to direct the lens of their attention inward, to tap into that source we call flow, and to undergo a cognitive perestroika: uniting the inner with the outer, seeing with new eyes, and discovering oneself as one’s greatest teacher.
FB: What should students expect to experience in your Therapeutics training and Retreat at Flow?
KA: Students will be invited to awaken their own insight and encouraged to explore assumptions about yoga practice (and their own bodies) with a higher level of discernment and awareness. The Wisdom MethodTM steps outside the yoga traditions to draw from contemporary neuroscience, fascial research and evidence-based research in our yoga therapuetics approach. In a nutshell: we forsake dogma for discernment and eschew hard-and-fast rules in favor of ever-evolving inquiry.
The Yoga traditions and all of the Himalyan wisdom traditions from which the Wisdom Method draws are ultimately about freedom. Against logic, that freedom (liberation) comes from lovingly applying a set of practices that encourage self-awareness, discipline and the formation of new habits: muscular and mental. As an undergaduate students, my deep interest in the wisdom traditions was as a way to heal my own heart-traumas and reshape my own neurocognitive suffering patterns (samskaras). As a graduate student, I continued to study the Western sciences of habits formation and habits change and I bring all those revelations and insights into the Wisdom MethodTM approach to yoga. Just as in coaching, we ask powerful questions like: How can I change the body to change the mind? How can I be more in harmony with the elements around me and within me? How can I affect the energy system with my awareness? How can I be a better mother, friend, teacher and partner – using holistic sadhana as an inspiration and a support? Truly, the Wisdom MethodTM is transformational lifestyle design and is the embodied expression of authentically bringing your practice off the mat.
FB: Many of Flow’s teachers have already gone through the Wisdom Method, and they’re doing great, please describe what it was like to work with some of them.
KA:he Flow community is such a gift! I have been so honored and blessed to work with many of the teachers at Flow and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and admiration for the practitioners they are …and the Yoga Therapists they are becoming! Each of the teachers I’ve had the pleasure to guide in the training has shown such tremendous dedication, openness and deep wisdom. The Flow family is wonderful!!
FB: Can you talk more about yoga and creativity? How does the connection between the two happen for you?
KA: My two favorite topics! Yoga -for me- means yolking together opposites, harmonizing polarities and residing in that Source-point where those powerful energies align. Creativity – for me- is an embodied expression of Source. It is our true birthright as humans and our connection to all that is unseen (though deeply felt). The dance of opposites informs both creativity and yoga – drawing together disparate threads in the formation (or crystallization) of new insights and revelations. Also, from a very practical perspective, a holistic yoga practice (more than just asana) harmonizes one’s inner energy, resulting in more creative energy and more passion to create. Personally, yoga is my secret weapon for remaining consistently creative…and creativity is my secret weapon for keeping my yoga practice strong and fluid!
FB: Thanks for joining us!
KA: My pleasure