Nestled along the base of the foothills in Hollister is a peaceful spot where Katie Killebrew welcomes students of all ages and abilities to her aerial yoga classes. Aerial yoga is a combination of traditional yoga postures and Pilates exercises with the use of silk hammocks or “silks” to aid and support the poses.
Killebrew began practicing aerial yoga as an extension of her yoga practice in an effort to treat her severe case of scoliosis and avoid surgery. As a young child, Killebrew was diagnosed with scoliosis and asthma. Being told by doctors that she should sit on the sidelines put a fiery spark into Killebrew’s mother who marched her to the nearest pool. There she learned to exercise and expand her lungs and work through the limitations of scoliosis.
Katie went on to become an accomplished synchronized swimmer who has competed and WON in multiple national and international venues and competitions. Her connections and passion led her to coach and embrace athletes with disabilities, welcoming them into the synchronized swimming arena. Later, Katie headed up swim programs in the Bay Area and was instrumental in getting synchronized swimming added as an official Paralympic event.
Killebrew went on to study yoga and complete her 300 hour training with Alchemy of Yoga in Bali. Not one to rest on her laurels, Killebrew continued her education to include certifications in Yin, Yoga Therapy for PTSD, Meditation, Chair Yoga, and Aerial.
It is in the custom backyard “studio” that Killebrew teaches aerial yoga to her students. Her yoga deck is surrounded by a lush garden where birds chirp and a cool breeze can be felt most times. Attendees are welcomed with hugs and laughter, and classes (which run about an hour) are full of encouragement, support, and affirmations. It is a safe space where students range in age from 16 to their 70’s and consist of first-timers to long time yoga practitioners.
Katie says her favorite part of teaching yoga is working with newcomers. There is no competition and she enjoys teaching each student how to move and be comfortable in their body. She finds great reward in watching them change and grow stronger.
Each practice consists of a unique therapeutic version of yoga intended to decompress one’s spine and align the body from head to toe while stretching and strengthening one’s muscles. Aerial yoga is low impact making it accessible to all abilities and ages. Katie urges participants to tailor their practices to their own abilities and offers alternative exercises to meet special needs.
Adjacent to the yoga deck is Katie’s spa where she provides a number of skin care treatments to help provide firming, anti-aging, and acne treatments to her clients. Katie has been a Licensed Clinical Aesthetician for over 25 years and hosts a variety of spa parties to groups which may include massage, spa treatments, yoga classes, and more.
To learn more about Katie and Flow & Glow Spa, please visit her website flowglowspa.com