Whenever people try something new, it creates an important moment in their lives, says Katie Douglas ’17.
Douglas, an exercise science student, counts herself lucky to be introducing clients to something new every day. While still completing her degree at Central, Douglas has opened her own yoga studio, Sequoia, in Pella.
“Having someone walk into the studio for the first time ever is the biggest compliment that I could receive,” Douglas says. “I get to show and teach people this beautiful practice that has truly changed my life. Then I get to see them grow in their journey and see how it will change their life as well. It takes courage to embark on a new journey and I’m just thankful I am along for the ride.”
Getting Her Move On
Douglas knew she wanted to pursue exercise science after her first week at Central. She didn’t waste a second — Douglas immediately began to help train athletes in Central’s strength and conditioning room with associate professor of exercise science John Roslien. Over the next two years, she helped train eight different teams for Central athletics.
A short time later, associate professor of exercise science Leslie Duinink helped Douglas become a CrossFit coach in Pella — and stretch her abilities further by trying new things. “I thought it was really important for her to be exposed to all of the opportunities available to her,” Duinink says, “and to connect her to even more good mentors.”
“Yoga is for every age, gender, body type, fitness level and every unique blend you could think of. The practice of yoga is the practice of yourself. You would be surprised by all the things you discover along the way.”
Then, last fall, Douglas trained nearly 30 hours each week in Des Moines to become a certified yoga instructor. “It is incredible how the benefits of yoga can impact all individuals in their own ways,” she says. “It is physical and mental; it is challenging and relaxing. The beauty is, you can make it whatever you want to get whatever you may need.”
Douglas opened her studio in December after a whirlwind two-week renovation. Located on Franklin Street behind Embellish, the space includes heat lamps for hot yoga, refurbished materials from an old family barn — and of course, Douglas’ emblem, the sequoia.
“Sequoia is the emblem for long life,” she says, “for attaining lofty dreams and reaching to be the best you can be. That’s what yoga is for me, and that’s what I want people to understand and find within themselves, to have that strength and grace.”
Douglas now teaches yoga classes each morning and evening in Pella. “My professors have been crazy supportive, which I’m incredibly thankful for,” says Douglas. “Seeing those things from my classes, and then taking them right away into the studio and being able to apply them, that is incredible.”