How Teachers Became Teachers - Kate Stone

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Growing up in southern Indiana, Kate never thought of herself as particularly athletic. “I was good with words and I could write,” she says, "but when it came to physical things I had to think about it.” She had been dancing and practicing gymnastics regularly, but felt like she had hit a wall. 

When she was 12 and it came time for her to pick an activity to keep her busy over the summer while her parents worked, she spotted a flyer announcing yoga classes in the attic above her dance studio. “I don’t know if I even knew what it was, but for some reason I wanted to do it.”

The class was filled with women in their thirties and a twelve year-old Kate, all practicing hatha yoga on carpet squares, learning this ancient form of movement that was slowly making its way across the States. 

Naturally interested in anatomy and physicality, Kate kept with her practice three times a week for the rest of the summer, peppering her teacher with questions. “I’m sure the teacher was confused by me - this 12 year-old girl who kept showing up all summer, but I was really interested in how the body worked,” she says. "She gave me a folder of printouts illustrating and explaining the anatomic effects of the poses and I studied those all summer, practicing at home.” 

Building on her practice through high school and college, Kate was often the only person among her friends who knew of yoga. 

After college, she arrived to teach third grade on Chicago’s South Side as part of Teach for America. In her first year of teaching, she found refuge in her practice after long weeks in the classroom. “I would go to yoga on the weekends and I would just let everything out of my system.”  Over the years, teachers and gym owners had asked her repeatedly if she was interested in taking a teacher training, but she had always refused. "At the time, I thought I didn’t want to become a yoga teacher because I didn’t want to turn what had become my special place into a job.”

But a few years later, she had become a personal trainer and was approached again to take a yoga teacher training, she decided the “sculpt” training would benefit her clients and signed up.  After getting a taste of teaching, she was hooked. 

“As soon as I started teaching, I knew I loved it. Whether it was teaching elementary school or dancing or performing before that, I’ve always been up in front of people and the performance aspect of it made sense to me,” she says. "More importantly, it combined all of the things I was already doing; the anatomy, the body movements, getting people to feel good in their own skin. I also discovered it’s a much different experience when you’re teaching than when you’re practicing; I was scared one would tarnish the other, but that didn’t happen."

Kate jumped into teaching and hasn’t looked back. She moved to LA in the fall of 2017 and started at SoulPlay shortly thereafter.