Visakha Rose

Position:E-RYT 500 Yoga Instructor & Studio Assistant
Experience:Certified Since 2015
Biography:
My name is Visakha Rose, and I am from the scenic Catskill mountains located in Upstate, New York. I pursued my love of yoga teaching in 2015 alongside a lengthy career in emergency medicine. Currently I have over 500 hours of teacher trainings from New York to India and have studied with many dedicated and spiritual practitioners of yoga. I've studied yoga with Jennilee Toner author of The Perfect Chaturanga, Jimmy Barkan of the Barkan Method and Ragunath Cappo from Super Soul Farm located in the Catskills. My spiritual mentors are located in Vrindavan, India where I have lived a year before and during the pandemic. My practice begins in Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga with emphasis in Pranayama or breath work. I also teach restorative, gentle/beginners, light prenatal, yin yoga and yoga for the aging population. I am a practicing sound healer, bhakti yoga practitioner, and I enjoy playing the harmonium where I chant and sing my heart out! Bhakti yoga is a spiritual, selfless service and devotional path that I have been practicing for some time now, it's a lifestyle I live on and off the mat! Namo Namo Namo

Kathy Shirley

Position:Owner, B.S. Psy, M.A. Edu., E-RYT 500, YACEP, RCYT
Experience:Certified February 2009
Biography:
I began practicing yoga at home in 2000 and loved it but never really committed to a full on practice. When I attended my first real yoga class with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois in 2008 if Islamorada, FL, I fell in love with this ancient practice. A year later, I traveled to Costa Rica to complete my 200 hour Vinyasa Teacher Training and am currently registered with the Yoga Alliance. In the spring of 2014, I traveled to Rishikesh, India for a 6 week intensive training in Hatha Yoga to complete my 500 hour YTT. Since 2009 I have been teaching yoga and sharing my passion for this transformative practice. Like many yogis, I had longed for a deeper connection to my spiritual side and yoga has helped me find that missing link. After teaching for 5 years, I decided it was time to take a leap of faith and open Key Largo Yoga! I just had to share this journey with as many people as possible! I hope this journey finds each and every one of you! My philosophy on yoga or what it means to me to act from a state of yoga is very simple. I have two famous texts that I read from daily, The Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. These two ancient texts have transformed my way of thinking and being. Two quotes from the Gita play a vital role in my daily living. The Gita states, yoga is "skillfulness in action" and "Yoga is equanimity and equilibrium". These quotes show me my capacity as a yogi to be able to act skillfully to produce positive results in all aspects of my life, on and off the mat. When I am faced with life's challenge that bring up fears, my ego and limitations of my mind, I am better able to remain in a calm state and approach the situation with evenness. I am not always successful, but I work on this daily and remind myself of these quotes when I am feeling out of balance or am faced with challenges that are difficult to face. Then Patanjali says that "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind". Ahhh, he clearly states that the practice of "yoga" is the ability to still the mind and release the ego. If only it were that easy to allow the monkey mind to quiet and live in the moment every single day. This is why I practice. My daily sadhana on and off my yoga mat is how I experience my world. I realize that my practice fluctuates and changes but my commitment to my practice never wanes and it brings me closer to freedom one baby step at a time!

Kat Wheatley

Position:Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Experience:Certified May 2013
Biography:
Katharine “Kat” Wheatley was certified as a RYT-200 in 2013 with YogaWorks and is a registered member of Yoga Alliance. Kat was trained as a classical ballet dancer, studying and performing for nearly 18 years with the Fletchers and with the Land of the Sky Civic Ballet in Asheville, NC. Kat started practicing yoga occasionally at a gym almost 25 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she committed to a steady and (almost) daily practice of yoga. Kat is currently manager of Key Largo Yoga and in addition to overseeing workshops and special events, she manages the schedule, our team of teachers, and our social media connections. Kat subs classes when the regular teacher is unavailable and as such can teach any level of Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Aerial, Gentle, SUP Yoga, and Yin. Kat continues her education as often as possible through her own practice, with her mentor Kathy Shirley, and by attending multiple workshops, conferences and events throughout the year. Join Kat for her Yoga Essentials class, Yin Yoga, Hatha Basics or her Friday afternoon Fun Flow, or stop in to the studio office to say hello!

Jaimie Evans

Position:Yoga Teacher RYT 200
Experience:Graduated KLY April 2021
Biography:
I have been a student of Yoga for 30 years.  I fell in love with the physical practice on the spot but it took some time to realize that I was also somehow becoming a nicer, calmer and more loving human being.  At last it was time to share with others the practice that has been  so transformative for me.  I am now a graduate of Key Largo Yoga's teacher training program. I am a retired high school French teacher and a current world traveler.  My husband and I moved to the Keys in 2018 to enjoy the ocean and the beautiful weather.  How fortunate that there just happened to be a top notch Yoga studio right down the street! There are very few styles of Yoga that I haven't tried:  my absolute favorite is Iyengar Yoga but Vinyasa runs a close second. I like to think that I bring a sense of lightness and fun to my classes, combined with close attention to detail and alignment.   Students will learn how to do poses the right way for their bodies and their practice in a safe and compassionate environment.

Andrea Rojas

Position:Yoga Teacher, RYT 200
Experience:Graduated April 2021, KLY
Biography:
I grew up in Bogotá, Colombia. Played volleyball in school, University and the Bogotá team... In 2001, a couple of days after receiving my Batchelor’s degree in Fine Arts I came to the US (Sarasota, Fl) expecting to go back to Bogotá after a few months, that turned into 4 years, after which I took a leap of faith and moved to NYC to work on photography. A decade went by before I actually found yoga... or yoga found me... I wasn’t really looking, I just got really lucky one day a very dear friend recommended I get a massage from somebody she knew... Nothing I’d done in my life could’ve prepared me for this experience; a combination of breathing techniques, Kundalini yoga and Marma massage reminded my body what it feels like to have vitality and energy again... that day a seed was planted, and I’ve been trying to nurture that seed ever since...Perhaps this is why yoga for me is something magical, deeply transformative and infinitely rich... layers and layers of teachings with the power to permeate all aspects of life and enhance it; a practice that is incredibly generous: it has given me even more than I’ve put in...My first teachers introduced me to Vedic philosophy and literature, mantra meditation, Kirtan, and hatha yoga... after a few months I found Ashtanga yoga and dedicated myself wholeheartedly to this practice, studing with Guy Dunahaye and Eddie Stern. In 2020 when I moved to the keys and found Key Largo Yoga, I reconnected with Vinyasa and feeling a deep connection with the Kathy as a mentor, I decided to do my 200 hour YTT. For the first time, since I began to practice in 2014, I feel ready to share and give back what yoga has so generously given me... I’m honored and humbled for this opportunity to serve.

Tennille Dinon

Position:Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 200
Experience:Certified June 2013
Biography:
My journey into yoga began in 1996, as a Freshman in college.  Hatha Yoga was the perfect baseline for me and exactly what I needed at the time. It taught me how to relax, strengthen and stretch my body. I resonated with the philosophy, alignment, and lineage of Hatha Yoga and pursued my first YTT in 1998.  After graduation, I backpacked and mountaineered around Central and South America teaching yoga as a means to continue traveling. Vinyasa was the next exploration of my yoga journey, it became a healing practice for me and a step into meditation. I pursued another YTT within that modality.  Settling down in 2001 on a small island off the coast of Panama I met a Kundalini guide who shared with me the teachings of Yogi Bujan and the technology of Kundalini. The depths of this practice had a profound effect on my emotional, energetic, mental, physical and spiritual body, SO QUICKLY! I indulged, studied and practiced allot.  Teaching and sharing the tools I use, that work for me, with others. Moving back to America in 2017, I felt compelled to continue sharing this work and I am excited for the ever-unfolding path to peace. SAT NAM

Jessica Shafer

Position:Yoga Teacher, RYT-200
Experience:Graduated KLY April 2017
Biography:
Jessica grew up in Syracuse, NY and moved to Key Largo in 2007.  She graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelors in Inclusive Education and a masters in Special Education and taught 2/3rd graders in NY for six years before moving to the Keys to take a teaching position at Key Largo School where she primarily works with students who have severe disabilities.  Looking for a stress release and another form of exercise besides training in the gym, Jess started practicing yoga back in 2013.  After seeing all of the benefits yoga had to offer both on and off the mat she started working on her children's yoga certification so she could bring yoga to first, her own students and then eventually all of Key Largo School.  The next step was to obtain her 200 HR RYT which she did right here at Key Largo Yoga in April 2017.  

Diana Sweeney

Position:Yoga Teacher, RYT-200
Experience:Graduated KLY April 2017
Biography:
I was a "Jazzerciser" and aerobic dancer for twenty years and even taught aerobic dance classes. In 2007 I had an opportunity to attend a yoga class and really enjoyed the stretching yoga offered and started regularly attending class. In the next couple of years I  suffered great losses in my family. I started to realize that my time on my mat was helping with more than stretching - it was helping me find a peaceful mind. In 2012 I under went major surgery on my neck and afterward I was not sure a yoga asana practice would be possible for me again. But I had to try, and received my doctors approval to start my yoga practice with no headstands. I became stronger everyday, yoga was helping me gain strength and also helping me accept what would never be the same. I have been a student of Kathy Shirley since 2011 when I first came to Key Largo. In October 2016 I started Yoga teacher training with Key Largo Yoga. I wanted to learn more about the spiritual part of yoga. It was a truly uplifting and humbling experience. There was so much that I learned but there is also so much more to learn. I finished the yoga teacher training in April 2017 and I am now a 200 hour RYT, which is just the beginning.  

Erin VandenBergh

Position:Yoga Teacher, E-RYT 200, YACEP, RPYT
Experience:Graduated 2010, San Diego
Biography:
Erin VandenBergh became a yoga instructor after three years of her own practice. She turned to yoga after a major back surgery (Anterior/Posterior Fusion on L5/S1) due to a condition called Spondylolisthesis. Her personal journey through her yoga practice has given her quality of life back and teaching others is her way to pay it forward. She specializes in Yoga for the Back and Therapeutics, however, she teaches a variety of styles: Hatha, Vinyasa, Pre/Postnatal and Restorative. Erin’s class style is a Classic Eclectic Hatha Flow, a fusion of various styles, with a meditative and spiritual journey. She teaches with an open heart and will guide her students through a series of poses that will develop strength and flexibility, release tension, increase energy, reduce stress, and enhance concentration. She is committed to help her students reach full awareness (body, mind, breath and spirit)…both on and off the mat. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL and moved to San Diego, CA in June of 2002. Erin worked in the NFL for 10 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and trained a few professional athletes along the way. She is now dedicated to teaching as she travels to share the gifts of the practice.

Jane Hlis

Position:Yoga Teacher, RYT-200
Experience:Graduated KLY 2019
Biography:
I recently completed my yoga teacher training through Key Largo Yoga studio under the guidance of her mentor, Kathy Shirley. I am also a licensed physical therapist and owner of Atlantic Sportcare, Inc, in Key Largo, FL. I have been actively practicing physical therapy 33 years specializing in orthopedics and sports medicine. I received my BS degree, double majoring in biology and physical education and a minor in psychology, from Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, and played Division I scholarship tennis. In addition, I attained my physical therapy degree from Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. My interest in yoga stemmed from my medical and sports background, knowing my body needed much “love” both physically and mentally from competitively pounding the tennis courts for 20 years and realizing it was catching up with me. My physical practice began about 4 years ago and I quickly felt not only the physical benefits, but also the mental and spiritual changes as I found my way of thinking was definitely and naturally changing. I was “sold” on that combination and have never looked back. I look forward to expanding my yoga knowledge and practice while integrating and sharing my technical medical background with the Upper Keys community!!

Mattie Sue

Position:Kid's Yoga Teacher
Biography:
Mattie is 10 years old and recently began teaching kid's yoga classes at the studio with her Gigi, studio owner Kathy Shirley. Mattie has been exposed to yoga since she was born and has been practicing for several years. She enjoys the quiet yoga brings but also loves to play with challenging arm balances and inversions. She believes yoga is GREAT for kids and it is a way that children can learn the important skill of self care. Mattie uses yoga in her own life to relax and to exercise her body!