As photos of Katie Kelly lunging and stretching on the sun-drenched beaches of Lake Michigan attest, all the world is her yoga studio. After acing her bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, she sought out renowned yoga sensei Jonny Kest in Birmingham, Michigan. At his levitating feet she learned his secrets, and when the time came, she rose up and snatched her 200-hour certification from his famously clenched fist. From there, she downward dogged and warrior posed her way up the coast, before finally opening her own cozy Saginaw studio.
Today, assisted by a faithful thermostat that keeps the atmosphere hot but not unbearable, she wrings sweat and toxins from bodies with the intense poses of Ashtanga yoga or the gentle stretches of relaxing Yin yoga. Classes spirit away distractions, creating a meditative space in which students turn off their cell phones, slip out of shoes, and set their portable microwaves to vibrate.