Born and raised in downtown Charleston, Kate Smith ventured out West after graduating from The University of the South-Sewanee and took her first yoga class in 1998 while living in San Francisco, CA. In 2001, she decided to attend Larry Schultz’s Ashtanga Vinyasa Teacher Certification. Upon certification, she moved to Sedona, AZ for a brief stint of absolute immersion into New Age culture – vortexes and all. While in a sweat lodge (no joke) she heard the guidance to move back to her hometown of Charleston, SC and teach yoga.
She opened Gaea Yoga Center (Version 1.0) in an old church in Mount Pleasant, SC in June of 2002. She ran the business for 4 years before another calling, this time beckoning her back to the West Coast, tempted her enough to trust her heart and close the doors of her business. For three blissful years she and Legare and their chocolate lab settled in Encinitas, CA where Kate had the pleasure of having some of the world’s best yoga teachers in much closer proximity.
While she has practiced with all sorts of teachers, the credit of her biggest influence goes to Erich Schiffmann. Kate first met Erich in 2002 and attended his advanced training in 2005. In August of 2013, she again completed Erich’s advanced Freedom Style Yoga training in Santa Barbara, CA. Thanks to Erich, self-trust & meditation have become the main inspirations for Kate’s yogic journey.
Starting off as a power yogini, Kate is now most interested in the longevity of yoga as a sustainable practice for healing and self-growth.
All and all, the journey with yoga for Kate has been remarkable. She wouldn’t change a thing.
Kate’s Most Recent Trainings
Kate has completed her 500-hour certification focusing on Yin Yoga with Paul and Suzee Grilley. To date, she has logged 650 hours with the Grilleys studying chakras, meditation, yin yoga, The Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and meridian theory. In April of 2014, she was thrilled to partake in the life-changing experience of a 3-week integrated-anatomy human cadaver dissection with Gil Hedley. Yet another attempt to satiate her unending interest in both gross and subtle anatomy. Kate dissected again with Gil in June of 2015 – this time with “unfixed” tissues, meaning that the corpses had not been embalmed. Kate returned to Gil in November 2015 to dissect once again. In May 2015, she attended an 80-hour training on the island of Paros, Greece with Sarah Powers focusing on Yin Yoga and meditation. Kate has been studying Chinese Medicine for over a decade now with dear friend and acupuncturist, Sally Robinson of White Pine Acupuncture in Asheville, NC. She is is also interested in the self-healing use of essential oils in combination with yoga and Chinese Medicine and has trained multiple times with Peter Holmes of Snow Lotus Aromatherapy.
In February 2016, Kate traveled to Rishikesh, India for a 100-hour FLY & Bhakti training with Dana Flynn of Laughing Lotus in NYC. In March of 2016, Kate traveled to Ojai, CA to attend a 100-hour Bhakti Veda module with Saul David Raye of Ritam Healing Arts.
In March 2017, Kate & Legare welcomed an amazing yogi daughter into their lives. Since then, Kate has been practicing the Yoga of Motherhood while also running the studio. She still continues to train annually with her teacher Paul Grilley. She is enrolled to dissect with Gil Hedley again in the Fall of 2019.