Striking A Pose For Balance

Sandra Carothers
Owner, Kalaheo Yoga

Please tell us about your business. We are a diverse yoga studio. We have six instructors who teach different styles of yoga. Everybody is welcome and classes are available for people at all levels, including beginners.

How did you start this business? I had been teaching here since it opened about five-and-a-half years ago. I purchased the business about two-and-a-half years ago. It fell into my lap and, out of default, I became the owner and stepped up.

What’s something that has changed about the business since you bought it? I got us online so that all of our information is easily accessible. There is a schedule online, for example, and you can pay online. I took it to the next level.

What are the benefits of yoga? Physically, it will create strength where you’re weak and openness where you’re too tight. The body will start to come into a better balance. The invitation is to be with yourself, and it doesn’t really matter how much physical ability you have.

How long have you been teaching yoga? I’ve been teaching yoga since about 1994, but I was introduced to it when I was very young.

Why do you do what you do? I can’t not do it. It’s what I’m supposed to do.

What do you love about it? Watching people become connected to themselves — that’s my deepest joy. I don’t care if they can stand on their heads; when I see someone sit with themselves and get relaxed, it’s like they light up, a radiance comes where they’re just comfy in who they are and their confidence builds, and they walk out of here feeling whole.

What kind of classes do you personally teach? I teach vinyasa yoga and have an advanced practice. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize that practice isn’t about whether you can put your foot over your head. It’s about how much attention you can place on your breath as you are going through the asanas (poses). I also teach yin classes. It is a slow class with long, deep stretches and integrated breath movement — just being with yourself. It’s for people who are damaged or have never done yoga. That’s probably the most powerful class I give here because I’ve seen the deepest transformation in everyday people from it. People who thought they could never do yoga — and didn’t even know if they wanted to walk in the door — have blossomed in the past few years into totally upright, confident people who are happy being them.

What are some examples of classes offered by other instructors? We have several types of vinyasa flow.

Every teacher teaches a little differently. We also have a bunch of mellow, entry-level classes like Yoga Basics, where you can come in and learn the basics of the forms. There’s going to be some teacher here who resonates with you.

Are there any people whom you wish would come through your doors more frequently?

Yoga also is great for people who are athletic — paddlers, bikers, runners — people who need to counter their action with something nurturing to their bodies. I want to reach out more to the sporting community.

4427 Papalina Road, Kalaheo