We had the good fortune of connecting with Kat Parks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kat, how do you think about risk?
When I was just 13 years old, my parents made the huge decision to move our family from Miami, Florida to a tiny town in Washington state 3,500 miles away — despite all our family being located in Miami, my dad having a successful business there, and my brother and myself being in the middle of our teenage years. People thought they were crazy (myself included!), but the move turned out to be incredibly positive for all of our family. This was my greatest firsthand experience with risk-taking, and although my 13-year-old self wouldn’t believe it, I am grateful that my parents showed me that it’s okay to do “crazy” things!
After high school, I took another risk going out of state for college, then studying abroad in Italy for a semester. Beyond graduation, my next big risk was diving into a Yoga Teacher Training program — not knowing what to expect, or if I could even make a career out of yoga. Instead, I got something even better: meeting my (future) husband in one of my first yoga classes!
Not long after meeting each other, Ryan (aka Dr. Ryan — he is a chiropractic applied kinesiologist) and I decided that we both really wanted to be entrepreneurs and run our own wellness center and yoga studio. Within the year, we moved from sunny Southern California back up to the small town where my family had relocated 13 years prior. Dr. Ryan and I built our first space (called Via Vita) with our own hands, and opened our doors in early 2015 — before getting married later that year. My yoga studio was voted #1 in the city for all five years that we were open, and Dr. Ryan’s reputation for healing preceded him in the small town.
Enter another big life risk: a few years back, we decided that we were ready for a change — mostly of weather! We came down to Scottsdale for 5 weeks to make sure that we liked the area, and ended up making friends with some folks who are still our pals to this day! Upon our return to WA, we planned our big move, shared the news with our patients and students, and packed up our lives and our cat to drive down to AZ for a new life!
Since arriving here at the end of 2019, we’ve created a new business movement called Be Easy, through which I teach yoga and Face Yoga, and create essential oil blends and sprays! Dr. Ryan’s practice has thrived in its new community, and we are grateful every day for the risks we took to get here!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Like many people in the Phoenix valley, I am a yoga instructor! I’ve taught over 2,000 hours and owned my own yoga studio for five years. What sets me apart from others is that I’m also a certified Face Yoga Method instructor!! There are not very many of us in the world, and especially in the US – and I’m proud to be the only Face Yoga instructor in the Scottsdale area, offering my students an opportunity to reduce and prevent wrinkles, create facial symmetry, and gain awareness and confidence! As a vinyasa yoga instructor for the last 9 years, leaning into Face Yoga was a fun and transformative journey for me, and I’m excited to share this all-natural and non-invasive methodology with as many people as possible. Beyond my yoga and Face Yoga career, I also create custom essential oil blends in rollers and sprays. I have created over 60 different roller blends for clients, groups, events, and even people I don’t know – all with resounding success! Recently, my brand has debuted six of my essential oil sprays as well: Divine Love, Divine Joy, Clearing Spray, Calm the **** Down, Namaste B**ches, and Does this count as Cardio? – available at our wellness center, or on Etsy!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have actually gotten to experience this quite a few times in my 2 years here, with many out-of-towners coming to visit! Typically, I take folks to my favorite restaurants: Grassroots Kitchen, Butters Pancakes, Khao Thai & Sushi, and Hopdoddy Burger Bar. If my pals are yoga fanatics like myself, we’ll go to classes at CA Yoga Barre and Modern Yoga. And I’ll trust my hubby to plan a few hikes around the surrounding mountains and preserves!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My hubby Dr. Ryan is always so incredibly supportive of me and my endeavors! Without him, I wouldn’t have this dynamic story to share, or the life I have now!!
Noelle Johnson, Kim Butler