Jon E. Garrett
Writing the future of journalism one post at a time


July 2, 2012

True confessions of a yoga dealer

With temperatures hovering in the low 100s, July can be a hard time for Texas fitness junkies who prefer to get their fix in the great outdoors performing natural motions, rather than the sterile – but blessedly air conditioned – confines of a gym performing mechanical ones.

Luckily for those who want to feel like they are embracing the freedom of nature, while cutting their chances of ending up a casualty of it, there is a compromise.

Yoga has been around for centuries and over the last 50 years has seen a boon in the United States, as everyone from actors and musicians, to video game characters (I’m looking at you Dhalsim!) have embraced the art of meditation to further their physical, mental and – in many cases – spiritual development.

For Kellie Arnold, fitness was the main attraction when she began practicing yoga as an undergraduate at Kansas State University.

“I think I got a DVD at first (featuring the so-called First Lady of Yoga Lillis Folan),” Arnold said. “I watched the video and tried to do it and it was amazingly hard. I was watching this much older lady do it with no problem and thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool!’”

Arnold continued to practice yoga throughout college and during her first career as a petroleum engineer for Exxon, but it was still mostly a hobby until 2006 when the decision to go back to school changed her life in more ways than she expected.

“I wanted to do something that I felt was more meaningful. I was kind of bored being an engineer,” she said. “Yoga taught me I could do what I want to do… that I didn’t have to be miserable all the time.”

So, she packed up her bags and prepared to head to the University of Texas and attend its lauded MBA program that fall, but not before making a detour that changed her life.

“I just wanted to go on a trip,” Arnold said.

What she ended up signing on for was a Baptiste-style teacher training in Hawaii in January that convinced her to go “pro.” “That’s when I decided I really wanted to teach,” she added.

By that August she was teaching two to three classes a week, while attending school full time. When she graduated from UT in 2008, her newfound love of teaching guided her career choice as well as she joined Manor Independent School District as a math teacher. With a fulfilling career and free summers, Arnold had finally found the balance in life she sought at the age of 33.

She was named Manor’s teacher of the year this pastspring and this summer is teaching Anusara yoga at Castle Hill Fitness, where she hopes to entice more people into the yoga lifestyle – one which she believes has benefited her greatly on many levels.

“It’s not only helped me stay fit. I’m much stronger and more flexible at the same time.” said Arnold, adding. “It helps soothe my mind as well, because I tend to stress a lot naturally. Especially being a teacher.”

For those tired of trying to beat the heat, Arnold recommends trying out any of the many yoga studios in Austin, until they find the right fit. Those who would like to experience her own brand of heart-centered, alignment based yoga can find her at Castle Hill Friday through Sunday. The Friday (4:30 p.m.) and Sunday (10:30 a.m.) classes are community classes and are only $10 to attend. Rates and times for the other classes are available at Castle Hill’s website.


Some Types of Yoga:

Ashtanga  – highly physical

Iyengar – super alignment based

Vinyasa – fluid motions and transitions

Bikram – hot

Kundalini – chakra based

Benefits of Yoga:



Stress Reduction

Heightened athletic performance


About the Author

Jon E. Garrett



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One Comment

  1. […] Kellie Arnold is not just an award-winning math teacher for Manor ISD, she’s also one of Courtesy APDAmado “Mayo” Pardo […]

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