My name is KILTY KAIMANA INAFUKU. My belief is that what we do ON the mat is simply practice for what we do OFF the mat. How you talk to yourself, how you approach a challenging situation, how you receive, and how you do you anything in your mat practice is usually a direct reflection of what’s happening in your everyday practice of life (the real yoga).
I also believe that what you put is what you get out. Put positive thoughts into your mind, and it will respond to see the positive in other people and situations. Put good food into your body, and it will respond to fuel you how you want; after all, the gut is second brain, right? I grew up in Kaneohe, Hawaii but didn’t find yoga until I moved to Los Angeles, California, where I was studying for my B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering at UCLA. I found that yoga was a great physical outlet and offered a mental release from the stress of school and the chaos of city life. Since then, I’ve kept it a staple in my daily routine and completed my Yoga Alliance compliant 200HR teacher training under Jay Co and am currently training with Jason Crandell for my 500HR. When I returned home to O’ahu after graduation in 2011, I took on a staff engineering position with a local geotechnical company. And after a year in that role, I had a BIG realization that my PASSION IS YOGA. So… I quit.
I consider myself to be a good connector – connecting with people, connecting people to other people, and connecting people to resources.
I am adaptable and accepting. I am always willing to give something or someone a try. Often, this has allowed me to go beyond what I thought or saw to be possible.
I aspire to help people use the practice of yoga actively in their everyday lives.
My biggest success is recognizing my needs and being able to voice them. I am constantly working on this in little and big ways. I try to practice articulating my wants and needs throughout my day, even if it’s just picking out what I want to eat for lunch. I truly believe this practice lends itself to bigger situations where it may be more difficult to voice my needs in a relationship (personal or business).
I graduated with a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering. After working as a staff civil engineer for a year, I quit with the intention of finding a similar position that felt more meaningful to me; I wasn’t very passionate about my job at the time. For income, I started teaching more yoga. In doing so, I realized how much happier I was teaching yoga, and I made a VERY difficult decision to become a full-time yoga teacher. It required me to recognize my own needs and wants; it required me to voice this to the people in my life who I was afraid to disappoint; it required being honest and facing fears. If I had not made this decision, I know my life would be VERY different.
“If you’re not happy, then something’s not working.” And I don’t mean “happy” in the sense of laughter and smiles; I mean it in the sense of fulfillment.
My favorite people are the ones I spend the most time with. My partner Matt is one of the most playful people I know and reminds me to find joy in all that I do. My mom is one of my best friends and someone I constantly seek advice from. And I look up to my yoga teacher colleagues A LOT. Seeing what they do in and for the community constantly inspires me and pushes me to do the same.
Oh! This is tough. I don’t know if I have a favorite. I will always love Hawaii. I feel connected to the land in a way that’s really difficult to describe- maybe because it’s home or because of my Hawaiian heritage. It’s comfortable and safe, like a hug from a loved one. And at the same time, I LOOOVE to explore. I fell in love with Iceland because of its raw, natural beauty (and the ponies of course). Costa Rica’s endless surf and playful monkeys have me wanting to go back. And the towering trees in the PNW make me want to live in the woods.
Coffee – I love the morning ritual.
Vitamix – It is the BEST kitchen tool. (And let’s me enjoy Bullet coffee)
The Internet – Seriously, the world wide web makes my life SOOOOO much easier to connect with people that are far away.
Kevita apple cider vinegar tonics – They are so yummy.
My bamboo utensil set – It helps me be less wasteful.
Dr. Bronners lavender hand sanitizer – Germaphobe over here.
1. Movement. Any form. I have a love of yoga asana because it adapts based on what I’m needing and provides such a lovely complement to my other forms of. Asana practice has such variety, from an intensely sweaty and strong flow to a sweetly soft and subtle awareness of stillness. Other ways I find movement are surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding, bouldering, hiking, and anything that lets me find harmonious movement with nature.
2. Teaching. I absolutely love learning more about my craft. I love dialoguing with other teachers, taking workshops, and reading books about the different facets of yoga (not just asana) as it relates to how I teach. Some teachers have totally different methodologies and backgrounds than I do, and it’s fascinating. The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know.
3. Travel. Seeing the world, experiencing new cultures, and meeting new people is something that I highly value. Travel gives me a bigger sense of connection by showing me how similar communities are.
4. Food. I love letting my taste-buds dance and experience different flavors. Food can provide nourishment, physically and emotionally, especially when shared and enjoyed with others.