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Kelsey Koch is a Michigan based yoga, owner of Serenity Yoga in Grand Blanc. She teaches yoga daily and coaches the girls golf team in her hometown. She is passionate about sharing her practice and helping others find strength, self love and hope throughout theirs.
Born without a tibia, Kelsey had a through-the-knee amputation on her left leg when she was just 9 months old. She says she grew up wearing a prosthetic leg that looked realistic but wasn't practical for exercising. It’s easy to get caught up in what people think and how they would like the prosthetic to look as normal as it could. While she carried those thoughts with her for quite some time, she was able to let go of that leg and realize it’s just not functional for activities like yoga or running.
She discovered yoga at age 22 after she started working with a personal trainer to treat her scoliosis at her local athletic club, which was caused by being so dominant on one side. Her trainer, a former Handful ambadassador, Jen Colombo (Sesti), suggested she try yoga. Jen also suggested that she switched to a running blade prosthetic, a lighter model designed for fitness. It made a huge difference in not just her practice, it was a lot lighter so she could live her daily life and invert a lot easier.
Mastering advanced inversions with her legs over her head wasn't an immediate thing. It is important to realize how mindful of your practice you need to be, and really put time and effort into it to really see the true benefits. Kelsey dedicated herself to her practice, and her passion for yoga grew—as did her strength.
It was about this time that Handful products starting filling her dressers. Through Jen Colombo (Sesti) and deepening her practice, she altered her wardrobe to fall in line with her ongoing journey as well. Handful allows Kelsey to live her daily life however she pleases, whether it be golf, yoga, or everything in-between. She no longer owns any other bras outside of Handful, and enjoys repping the clothing while teaching and inspiring others.
She completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training in May 2016. Kelsey started teaching yoga at her nearby athletic club, which she credits this beautiful journey and transition for, and she knew she wanted to keep climbing. Her dream of opening her own studio became a reality at the start of 2017, when she secured a space. Her studio, Serenity Yoga opened its doors on March 1st of 2017. The classes at Serenity Yoga are for people of all abilities, both abled and disabled. The people attending my classes can see me, and they'll know, I can do it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually if I keep trying, I can do it too.
Outside of her studio, Kelsey still teaches at her local athletic club, Genesys Athletic Club, where she teaches yoga, helps run kids programs and works their front desk. She also travels to local schools around her hometown where she teaches to children on the autism spectrum. Last August she started coaching to the girls golf team for her hometown, Grand Blanc High School. Being able to coach golf, something she's been passionate about her entire life, has been one of her favorite parts of her journey.
Finding herself, her strength, and being able to pass it on to so many others has been a life changing experience for Kelsey. This past December she received an invitation of a lifetime where she was asked to be apart of Reeboks 2018 Womens Calendar. She works hard daily to promote self love, self inclusion and acceptance. Above all, she has Handful to thank for being on this journey with her.
You can find Kelsey on Instagram where she shares her true self, acceptance and journey https://www.instagram.com/kelseykoch/