Trailblazer: Kay Kay Clivio
Today we trailblaze with Kay Kay Clivio! A New York-based teacher (by way of Hawaii, Boston, and Hong Kong) Kay Kay is a senior teacher at Pure Yoga NYC and the head of Pure’s Teacher Training Program. Get to know what inspires this Wanderlust Vermont teacher as she responds to our five Trailblazer questions.
WL - What aspects of yoga / meditation / spirituality do you bring into your work?
KK - I am mindful when I teach that I am a guardian and preserver of a sacred tradition. I am here to serve this practice and act as a conduit between it and the divinity within its students. I work to stay open and receptive to what each individual student needs so that I might act as a channel of this beauty as much as possible.
Also, I remember and honor the lessons my amazing teachers passed along to me that I now share with others.
WL - How did you get involved with yoga?
KK - I had the privilege of living in Hawaii for many years where I was a competitive Outrigger canoe paddler. In 1996 I was training for my second Molokai Channel crossing and sustained a miserable low back injury. A friend had been hounding me to go to a Bikram Yoga class with her for nearly a year, but it wasn't until I was researching every option to heal my back I finally got myself onto a yoga mat. It makes me grateful for my injury, it has been an incredible teacher.
I went to class 4 times in my first week and not only did my back begin to heal but my times in the boat improved, I felt more agile, lean, strong and more focused. The first time I went to class my shoulders were so tight from sports I couldn't even wrap my arms in Eagle pose! By my 4th class I could double wrap and it was a done deal. I practiced very regularly for about 5 years just to improve my athleticism, health and well being before I thought to take a teacher training. Yoga slowly over those years became a lifestyle for me as it has for so many millions of people.
WL - What's your favorite pose?
KK - TRIANGLE! Utthita Trikonasana does something for my back that no other pose does. When I get myself aligned properly in the pose it is like a key that unlocks my low back. It makes me feel grounded and fills me with a sense of support and stability.
Also, I love the sacredness of it's geometry, the Trinity... Body, Mind, Spirit... Father, Son, Holy Spirit... Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu... I have a thing with 3's.
WL - What's feeding your wanderlust today?
KK - Living in New York City, I am always looking for ways to be with nature. I get to Hawaii at least 2-3 times a year to play in the ocean, hike in the mountains, be with family and friends. I like finding sacred spots that land me in a place so quiet I can hear my heart beat, the wind blow and grass grow. Hawaii always opens up its Magic and beauty to me. I will be headed there a few days after our time at Wanderlust Vermont for a couple of weeks. That is fueling me for sure.
I plan on some impulse traveling in the year ahead. I definitely Lust to Wander. My boyfriend is a Head Surf Judge on the ASP World Tour and it brings him to some amazing spots so I visit with him as much as I can. Whenever I travel and return home to PURE NYC to teach I feel more alive and full for my students. Traveling is a very important part of keeping my intense teaching schedule sustainable.
WL - If you could leave one legacy for your community what would it be?
KK - I have been working on my book for over a year and it will be the legacy of my life's work that I leave. My intention in writing the book is to provide a manual that will improve the lives of millions of people by creating a daily yoga practice for themselves. To see it's rich history and use it's ancient wisdom to manage stress, improve health and connect with the rhythm of nature around us. It's in that space we can listen to he wisdom of our bodies.
I am thrilled to be a part of Wanderlust VT... Looking forward to seeing old friends and making lots of new ones!