Katy Gassaway opened the doors at Body + Shine Wellness in October 2017. In under three short years, she has cultivated a thriving community of yoga enthusiasts and friends. She has also inspired a handful of students to become yoga teachers and has nurtured local woman-owned business along the way.
When Covid-19 forced us all to shelter in place, Katy quickly pivoted to online classes, but I have no doubt everyone is longing to practice in the lovely space at 28N Main again.
She lives in Elgin with her Shar Pei, Nama, and enjoys traveling to warm places.
1. Why did you move to Elgin?
I moved to Elgin sort of because I didn’t know where else to move! I was living in Hawaii at the time, and had been there for about 7 years, and I knew I needed a change. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I knew I wanted to be closer to my parents, who were living here in Elgin. They were watching the house I live in now being built and kept telling me how cute it was, and maybe I should just live there for a year until I figure out what’s next. And it’s the house I’m still in now! I loved the community, the small town feel, while still having the convenience of a big city nearby. Cow patty bingo was a big selling point, too.
2. What compels you to spend time practicing and teaching?
It’s easy for me to spend time teaching really, because it is so rewarding to watch people grow. Not only in the physical practice or their strength or flexibility, but watching them connect more to themselves, become more confident, more empowered. It’s really the most rewarding thing I think I’m capable of doing. If I had enough energy to teach more, I would! Making time to practice is a different story. It’s really hard for me to want to commit time to myself, but I have to remind myself I’m worthy of that same opportunity to grow, too, and I need to take it. The quarantine has actually enabled me to get back to my personal practice a lot more through virtual classes, because I have a hard time being at the studio separating work from my time on my mat. It feels good to get back at it!
3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.
The past five years have been a crazy ride for me, it’s hard to pick just three! But here we go.
(1) The universe has a plan. Before I started teaching at 28 N. Main, I was ready to quit teaching entirely. I was working all the time for other studios, making almost no money, driving to Austin constantly. Then Melissa Ladd found me on Facebook and asked me if I wanted to see her space and the rest is history.
(2) Leap and the net will appear. This is something one of my favorite college professors would say, and it’s served me well with Body + Shine. Every big step I’ve taken, whether it’s buying furniture, investing in software, hiring teachers, has been scary–but I think once you make that investment in yourself, your business, whatever it might be, it will come back to you accordingly.
(3) If you want things to change, you have to change. I’ve learned it’s super easy for me (and others may relate) to sit back and gripe about the things we don’t like or aren’t happy with. But that’s not going to change them. If you want something to be different, you need to be willing to do something constructive. Whether it’s taking care of yourself, being more involved in your community, engaging with customers differently–you can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results.
4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?
Making: what feels like never ending online content 😉
Reading: articles for business owners on how to cope with COVID related issues
Watching: American Gods and Naruto | Listening to: my yoga playlists 😉
5. Cake or Pie?
This is so hard! Pecan Pie tips the scale to pie though