In 2006, Katy underwent a serious and ultimately traumatic spinal surgery. Harrington Rods fuse 12 inches of her spine to correct scoliosis and kyphosis. This painful challenge has been vital in helping her to understand treating spinal injury with yoga, as well as full-body injury prevention in yoga. This surgery, though well-intentioned, has left Katy with chronic pain that is currently being managed with holistic health practices including yoga, a clean vegan diet, essential oils, yoga and therapeutic touch. There are a number of people with these and other forms of spinal fusion both on Big Island and neighbor islands and Katy welcomes them in reaching out to her for support.
Katy has been a dedicated student of yoga for almost 17 years. Having received her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training from Konalani Yoga Ashram here on Big Island, she incorporates ample attention to pranayama and the more subtle layers of yoga practice. She also holds her 500 hour certification with Integrative Yoga Therapy, 1000 hour Yoga Therapist Certification with the International Association of Yoga Therapist. With a strong background in Anatomy and Physiology, her teaching style modifies for any level of practitioner with special attention to mental, emotional and physical health. Katy works with beginners, athletes, those recovering from surgery, pre and postnatal women, scoliosis, and supporting mental health with trauma-informed practices for anxiety, depression and PTSD. In addition to group classes, Katy is taking new private clients for yoga therapy. Utilizing the tools of yoga, private sessions allow you to be met wherever you are at physically, mentally and emotionally, in a safe and informed setting. Studying with the Barefoot Doctor's Academy Katy is also a passionate doula. Noticing that her strength in the natural birth movement is in education, Katy has begun to offer prenatal yoga as well as birth education workshops.
Katy is also impassioned with Mental Health. A life long battle with depression and anxiety has been an excellent guru on the path to her own mental health. She lovingly welcomes students who are experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, loss or trauma to her weekly Yoga for Mental Health class where we guide the spirit back into the body through gentle and thoughtful postures, creating a safe space filled with personal choice and patience.
Katy Benjamin E-RYT 200, RYT 500, C-IAYT 1000
Certified Yoga Therapist
In addition to the physical struggles of scoliosis and a traumatic surgery, Katy has also been living with depression for most of her life. It has been impossible to figure out whether the back pain fueled the depression, or the depression left her susceptible to increased physical pain. They have a chicken and egg relationship, and wherever the origin of each pain began, it is clear that treating physical and emotional pain as parts of a whole person will help to produce healing in all aspects of a persons life.