GTPulse: M22 Yoga Girl Changed Her Life Through Vision Boarding
There is no shortage of extraordinary young people making their dreams come true in Northern Michigan and Katherine Palms is one of them. The 27-year-old has made a career out of her passion for wellness and she made it all happen through perseverance, dedication and vision boarding.
Katherine grew up in Grosse Pointe and her family vacationed at a summer home at The Homestead in Glen Arbor. The beaches, woods, water, winter skiing and overall mystique of Northern Michigan stuck with Katherine for the rest of her life.
“This always felt like home. There’s just such a strong sense of community and just love of nature, which is totally me and my family,” Katherine said.
Katherine attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio where she majored in communication with a focus on public health. She played lacrosse and volleyball in college, until a head injury changed everything.
Katherine had been showing signs of burnout before her head injury. She was participating in both sports, a sorority and the school newspaper. After the injury she couldn’t do any of it and the sudden stillness in her life made her question what she wanted out of life.
“I lost my whole identity. I was a lacrosse player, I had played since seventh grade… that’s who I was. I had to go on a medical leave from school but it was such a gift, I had this time for complete deep reflection. After a concussion you can’t raise heart rate so I started practicing meditation.”
After her medical leave Katherine ended up writing her senior thesis on contemporary versus alternative medicine. She explored different medical career paths by doing research and talking to various medical professionals, but meditation and yoga stood out to her as powerful healing practices. She became a certified instructor in 2013 and taught yoga her senior year of college in 2014. She also traveled to India to study yoga more that year. Not only did she deepen her practice, she also started started considering what she was putting into her body.
“We had an Avuyerda professional come and I was on birth control for my acne and I had just brought it up in the conversation we were having and she asked, ‘is that natural?’”
Katherine considered what the woman had said and decided to stop taking birth control. Because taking the birth control helped her control her acne breakouts, she switched to a plant based diet that has drastically improved her skin. Yoga had sparked a complete life transformation.
After graduating she spent some time in Seattle, Kalamazoo, and back in Grosse Pointe.
“My old lacrosse coach had opened a raw juice cafe in Grosse Pointe and she needed a manager. So at the same time I was learning about plant based foods I was asked to manage a juice bar.”
Katherine started a Wellness Wednesday at the juice bar where she would invite professionals to come in and speak about health on a variety of topics ranging from financial to physical. She decided to host a vision board class. Vision boarding is where a person creates their own vision of what they want to achieve by cutting and pasting images, quotes and affirmations on a poster board in an eye-catching way. Testimonials can easily be found from people saying that creating a vision board has helped them manifest personal dreams.
“I still had this dream of getting up to Northern Michigan, I had put it on the backburner but I kept telling myself that I was gonna get there.”
“Two days later, I got a call from my uncle about a job here in Leland, Michigan where I could manage a store and have my own yoga studio. Just completely out of the blue.”
She moved up for the job and stayed at a friends cabin on Fisher Lake in Glen Arbor.
“I look out my window and it was the same exact image from the vision board. Same trees, lake, fall time. It was so freaky.”
She’s been teaching yoga throughout Northern Michigan ever since. She lives in Suttons Bay now and her home base studio is at Yoga4 in Lake Leelanau. She guest teaches at 20Fathoms in Traverse City, Yen Yoga, Centre Ice Fitness, and Sleeping Bear Bay Club. She also teaches outdoor classes at local wineries in the summer. Katherine particularly enjoys teaching an annual summer series for the Leelanau Conservancy where all proceeds go back to preserving the water, land and scenic beauty of Leelanau County.
As far as instructing goes, she’s got it. After taking a class with Katherine the perpetual numbing, TV static I feel in my back dispersed. She’s confident, but not pushy, and teaches with natural grace and ease. Her voice is easy to listen to and she takes care to make sure her students are comfortable with all aspects of the class.
“It’s just the coolest thing ever when you listen to your heart. This yoga studio, Yoga4 is now turning into Yoga4 Wellness Center…in Leelanau. I always wanted to run a wellness center in Leelanau, now I’m apart of one. Be careful what you have on your vision board!”
If you would like to take a class with Katherine, make sure to check out Yoga4 in Lake Leelanau. If you would like to change your life, consider making a vision board of your own. All you need is some craft supplies, and to know where you wanna go.