Hello wonderful human! My name is KILTY, and I’m a yoga educator.
I grew up in Kaneohe, Hawaii but didn't appreciate yoga until I moved to Los Angeles, where I studied for my B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UCLA. I found that yoga was a great physical outlet and offered a mental reprieve from the stress of school. But I didn’t understand why. I simply knew that I felt better and that I needed to keep it in my life. During my time in Los Angeles, I completed my Yoga Alliance 200HR teacher training under Jay Co, purely out of curiosity and wanting to keep yoga in my life. When I returned home to Oahu after college in 2011, I took on a staff engineering position with a local geotechnical company. I held that role for a year and didn’t love it. So, I quit. I’m very proud of that choice now, but it sure wasn’t an easy decision. I felt a self-imposed pressure to do what I thought others wanted me to do and what I thought appeared to be “acceptable.” Maybe you know the feeling?
When I started looking for other jobs with my degree, I continued to use the tools of yoga beyond the physical movements—mindfulness and awareness. I started to see the postures as a way to practice using these tools. The engineering job search ended when I realized that I was walking down the path of a yoga educator and found myself continuing to accept teaching opportunities. Since that realization, I’ve completed a handful of more trainings: Jason Crandell’s 500HR program, the Yoga Philosophy Course on O'ahu, Off the Mat with Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling, Navina Thai Yoga’s principal training with Drew Hume, mantra with Stephanie Keiko Kong, philosophy with Amy Ippoliti, meditation with Darren Main, book study with Stephanie Snyder, cakras with Susannah Freedman, and the Oxygen Advantage with Patrick McKeown. I am committed to continue this learning by engaging in reflective conversation with my YTT co-lead colleagues (particularly Sona Desai Buchanan and Stephanie Keiko Kong), reading books from authors who hold different life experiences than me, and broadening my circle by learning from teachers and people who hold different identifiers than me.
Now, here I am as a yoga educator, simply sharing what I’ve learned. In my classes, you can expect a physical challenge. Sometimes we'll work through that challenge with a playful attitude, and sometimes we'll step into a more introspective and meditative space of observation. As a teacher, I encourage and focus on making mindful choices based on what you need that day because what you do on the mat is simply practice for what you do off the mat. How you talk to yourself, how you approach a challenging situation, how you receive, and how you do you anything on your mat is often a direct reflection of what's happening in life off your mat .
Ultimately, my goal is to foster a community of individuals who think critically and are empowered to be themselves, and therefore teach others to do the same. My hope is that your experience and our time together will create a lasting impact and reinforcing perspective that ignites you to take action in your life outside of the asana practice. And, ultimately, this connects us back to the roots of yoga, which I want to highlight as a practice that comes from India and has been grossly misappropriated and cherrypicked. Part of ethically and actively engaging in the practice is to learn about its history, to learn from teachers who have cultural lineage and connection to it, to learn from our own embodied experiences, and to give back and share with others.