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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

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Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

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Kalaheo Yoga's Ellen Wagner: Entrepreneur with a Heart

Ellen Wagner breaks the mold when it comes to yoga. As the owner of Kalaheo Yoga – a successful yoga studio that caters to students of many yoga traditions– she employs some unusual methods to achieve success in both her business and personal life. 

Work-study scholarships for students who can’t afford class fees, classes offered for donations that are given to charitable causes, in addition to a litany of regular yoga classes – Iyengar, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Yin Yoga, Kundalini, Tai Chi, and African-Inspired dance, taught  by a variety of instructors, are ways that Kalaheo Yoga stand out from the crowd.

Wagner explains that she runs her business based her yoga practice and philosophy. 

 “Yoga philosophy is centered on five ethical guidelines, called yamas which are universal and demand deep self- exploration. With precepts such as restraint, honesty, lack of greed, and non-violence, these teachings are manifested in the yoga postures, and over time allow an awareness to develop that changes the practitioner from the inside out.”, Wagner explains. “This in turn leads to a more joyful and generous heart.” 

With certifications in the 1,000 hour ‘Yoga Instructor” course, and the 500-hour Yoga Alliance approved Integrative Yoga Therapy, Wagner is currently studying to become a First Level Iyengar Instructor. Called IYANUS board certification, it requires two years of study with a mentor and is completed by passing a board exam. 

Wagner, who opened the studio in 2009, also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts and is currently teaching 8th grade English at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School full time. For that reason she says opening and keeping Kalaheo Yoga flowing has been a team effort.

The yoga studio is the culmination of Wagner’s life experiences, and she strives to meet the needs of her students, especially those with physical limitations such as chronic pain.

“The great thing about healing through yoga is that it gives the student a way to heal themselves,” says Wagner who also suffered from a back injury at age 23.

In addition to a lending library in the studio, private sessions and upcoming workshops with Senior Iyengar Instructors, Mary Obenforfer and Eddy Marks on January 13-17 and February 17-21, Wagner explains why she offers a variety of traditional yoga styles rather than ones that cater to the latest fad.

For more information and Kalaheo Yoga class schedules visit www.kalaheo.yoga.com