Neal Kearney:

Neal is a yoga teacher, writer, caregiver, and former competitive surfer from Santa Cruz. Growing up a block away from the bluffs at Pleasure Point, the ocean became his second home, and he spent countless hours honing his skills in the cold, powerful surf of the Pacific Ocean. Before long he was a successful competitive surfer with a deep interest and respect for big wave surfing, under the watchful eye of local legends such as Jay Moriarity and Peter Mel.

Yoga entered his life after a series of injuries and some unfortunate congenital musculoskeletal complications sidelined him from his pursuit of professional surfing. Around 2008, he went from traveling the world with photographers and competing against the best surfers in world to taking pain medication and sleeping the days away.

Luckily, yoga was one of the many blessings that salvaged his life, and, after practicing for nine years, he completed his teacher training with Dawn Hayes. His favorite styles of yoga to teach are Yin, Slow Flow, and Gentle Yoga. He considers himself lucky to teach chair yoga to the assisted living population at Dominican Oaks, a local retirement home.

Neal’s classes draw upon his experience living with limitations, focusing on embodying mindfulness and the breath to take his students deep into their bodies, leaving their perceived shortcomings at the door.