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Studio Owner/Director: Kate ShealyGaea Yoga Owner/Instructor: Kate ShealyKate Shealy was born and raised in Charleston, SC.She attended the University of the South in Sewanee, TN and graduated with a major in Studio Art concentrating in photography.Upon completion of college, Kate moved to San Francisco and began taking yoga in September of 1998."My first experience with Ashtanga was incredible.I couldn't believe that people had such grace and strength all in one body.I had never been so challenged in my life as I was in my first class, but I went back for more."Kate began taking classes all over town, but mainly settled upon the studio which opened just around the corner from her called The Yoga Tree."I couldn't get enough of it.I made the commitment to myself and I was hooked for a lifetime" says Kate of her first years of yoga.She practiced with San Francisco local teachers Michael Cooper, Rusty Wells, Jason Moring, Tara Dale, Samantha Beers, and Jason Crandell."I credit those teachers for laying the foundation of my love for yoga and my desire to teach the art of yoga," says Kate.During her three years in CA, Kate worked for a commercial photographer, but left the job and departed the big city for two months to attend Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina for a concentration in 19th century photographic processing.She returned to San Francisco and worked for Time, Inc. as a Publishing Associate of the magazine Real Simple, all the while attending Montana Daguerreotype workshops and working as the assistant to Daguerreotypist Jerry Spagnoli.However, at this point in her California life, her passion for yoga was as strong as her passion for photography and she left the security of a job with Time, Inc. to pursue yoga full-time.She became the manager of a start-up Pacific Heights Yoga studio, Therapeia and before leaving San Francisco to head back East, she attended the Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Certification with Larry Schultz at It's Yoga."My training was phenomenal" says Kate."I took a 180 degree turn after it.I found my truth and there was no turning back.I am forever grateful to my teacher trainer Katie for the experience and Larry for the business inspiration.I am still learning from the two of them."The day of her graduation from the training, Kate returned to the East Coast, but stayed in Charleston only two months.She moved to Sedona, AZ and lived the yogi lifestyle for 8 months - waiting tables to get by, practicing yoga, and working for a local Ashtanga studio, Devi Yoga, run by an Indian family who became her dear friends.While looking into graduate schools for photography, Kate heard the call of Gaea and made the decision to move back East and settled down a bit (just a bit) to open her studio.Since the opening of her studio on June 24, 2002, Kate has continued to share her love for yoga through other business ventures.She opened RAIN, a retail clothing store in February of 2004 with a partner.In the Summer of 2003, she hosted the first Gaea Yoga Ashtanga Teacher Certification which is now a registered school of the Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level.In the Fall of 2003, she was able to pursue her newfound interest in Pilates and partake in a Beginner/ Intermediate Pilates Teacher Certification with Peak Pilates and hopes to eventually offer a full range of Pilates at Gaea Yoga.Kate has studied with Erich Schiffman, Doug Swenson, Cindi Lee, David Life, Shiva Rea, Tim Miller, Saul David Raye, Patricia Sullivan, and Dana Flynn.She attributes her love for yoga and her teaching style to the foundation laid by her first teachers in San Francisco."All in all, it has been an incredible adventure", says Kate.
"Yoga requires patience, discipline and strength," warns Kate Shealy, owner of Gaea Yoga in Mount Pleasant."It is more strenuous than you think."CRBJ: We sent you to three yoga studios in three days: Holy Cow Yoga and Holistic Center, Studio Bliss and Gaea Yoga.How sore are you?
Teacher Trainer: Kate Shealy