Liz C. Kawecki, Director/Owner of Y Yoga, Inc., or "Lizzy" as she is known by her fellow yogis, friends, and students who share her enthusiasm and love of yoga. Liz moved from Hawaii in the spring of 2001 and has made Amelia Island her home. Since then, she has offered classes island wide for individuals, groups and corporations on the beach, in her studio at Gateway to Amelia, McArthur Family YMCA, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, and the Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Lizzy recieved the 2001 Elsie Harper Social Service Volunteer of the Year Award for her outstanding community service on April 19, 2012 presented by City of Fernandina Beach, Nassau County Commission.
In the summer of 2010 Lizzy and her sister, Susie De Mille, were awarded the hightest grant amount in the state of Florida by USTA for their "Share the Love" Campaign to introduce kids ages 5-10 years old to the FUNdamentals of tennis. She and her sister have shared their experience, knowledge, and love of the game with kids who may never have had the opportunity to play tennis; starting up a "Quickstart" Kids Tennis Camp hosted/supported by members of Kraft Athletic Partners who volunteered their time and assistance to make this program a success with over 95 kids (10 kids from the Boys & Girls Club who were scholarshipped by the membership) at Kraft Athletic Club. Lizzy and her sister have created and established a "Quickstart" Junior Team Tennis League in the Fall and Spring for kids on Amelia Island to continue to share the love of the game of tennis and keep kids active. "Quickstart" Lizzy was nominated and received the CTA "Volunteer of the Year" Award from USTA Florida at their Annual Meeting/Tennis Weekend on December 4th in Orlando for positively changing kids lives forever by introducing them to tennis; a game they can grow with developing life skills as well as play for their lifetime.
Y Yoga, Inc. (her business) had been invited and was actively involved in the Bausch & Lomb Tennis Championships, a premier women's professional tennis tournament, part of the worldwide Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at Amelia Island Plantation Resort each Spring; working with the players, ball kids, and umpires, officials and volunteers.
She has been instrumental in the establishment of yoga in the community, contributing her time and talents by speaking and working with many chatrities and organizations, introducing and sharing the many benefits of yoga.
Lizzy is a living example of the dramatic healing power of yoga. She knows first hand the ability of yoga to rehabilitate and transform your life. She offers her own inspiring story as she helps others find themselves through the study and practice of yoga. While living and working in Hawaii, she suffered an arterial gas embolism while scuba diving off the shores of Waikiki. This once highly competitive, athletic young woman found herself partially paralyzed, her coordination impaired, and speech and cognitive skills compromised. After numerous surgeries, years of physical and speech therapy, Liz turned to yoga, upon the encouragement of a friend and fellow yoga practitioner, in her quest to return to the active lifestyle and the activities that had been a part of her life before the accident. She now surfs, bikes, kayaks, plays competitive tennis and runs nationally recognized marathons and half marathons, thiathalons, and adventure races; activities she once loved and never knew if she could do again.
Her life has been dedicated to share the power of her experience with others. Liz has studied and practiced Kripalu, /Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Bikram yoga in Hawaii, California and Brazil; integrating the more classical traditional styles of Hatha Yoga for all ages and levels of fitness and practices while encouraging others to develop and create their own style and practice. She has studied under some of the leading yoga teachers (Joseph Le Page, Rodney Yee, Shiva Rae, Baron Baptiste, Rod Stryker, Johnny Kest and Rolf Gates...) and continues to in her pursuit of knowledge to enhance her own yoga practice. Her creation of specialty classes, beach yoga, aqua yoga, and kids/family yoga has introduced yoga to people who otherwise may have never been privy to the joy of yoga. All those around her are inspired by her warm, energetic, kind-hearted spirit. She encourages other to look deep within themselves to face their fears, embrace their emotions, discover their sense of strength, courage and determination, and see themselves as they truly are, embracing life and what it may bring.
Intergrative Yoga Therapy Teacher (IYT)
Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (RYT)
Yoga Fitness Instructor (YFI)
Empowered Kids Yoga Teacher Level 1 (EKYT1)
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
Post Rehabilitation Exercise Specialist (PRES)
Children's Fitness Specialist (CFS)
USTA "QUICKSTART" Recreational Tennis Coach
Pilates Fitness Instructor (PFI)
Y-Cycle (Spinning) Instructor
YIN & YANG OF TENNIS FEATURED COMCAST 57 - Y Yoga's Director, Liz C. Kawecki & Comcast Special Events Reporter discuss yoga and tennis on the beach at Amelia Island Plantation (During Bausch & Lomb Championships, April 4-10, 2004
HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA FEATURED ON FOX TV - Y Yoga's Director Liz C. Kawecki, and her "Beach Yoga" class students were featured on Fox 30 News June 15, 2001 6 & 10 o'clock News
AQUA YOGA - News-Leader, Fernandina Beach, Nassau Sports Section, Friday, July 29, 2005, p.1A, 14A
YOGA MAKES CONNECTION: AMELIA ISLAND - Florida-Times Union, Wednesday, July 21, 2004 Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors Staff Write.
PLAYERS RECEIVE SERVICE - Florida-Times Union, Friday, April 2, 2004 p.6 Jayne Krichbaum
YOGA HELPS PUT TENNIS PLAYERS IN THE ZONE - Florida-Times Union, Bausch & Lomb Championships 2005 Special Advertising Section, Friday, April 1, 2005, p.4 Jill Zehler, Special Sections Writer
YOGA POWER: INSTRUCTOR SHARES YOGA'S HEALING POWER - News-Leader, Fernandina Beach, December 10, 2003, p.1, 6A Alice Walsh
IN TOUCH WITH NATURE - News-Leader, Fernandina Beach, Around Town Section, May 2003, p4A Articles "Hot Fun in the Summer" Take a Break Amelia Islander Magazine, July 2004, p.11 Karen Miller "Yen for Yoga: Shredding Stress by the Seashore" April/March 2004, Vol. 6, Number 5 Waters Edge Magazine "Amelia in Summertime" Amelia Now Magazine, Summer 2002, p.3
YOGA STUDIO OPENS AT GATEWAY - Florida-Times Union, Dickie Anderson, Nassau Neighbors Correspondent, Wednesday July 3, 2003, p.1-2, http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/060901/nen
LIZ C. KAWECKI: SHE FINDS BEACH A GOOD SPOT TO TEACH YOGA - Florida-Times Union, Community Spotlight, Saturday, June 15, 2002, Amelia A. Hart, Nassau Neighbors Staff Writer
LETTING GO OF BODY, MIND: AMELIA ISLAND YOGA TEACHER OVERCOMES ADVERSITY BY TAPPING INTO INNER STRENGTH - News-Leader, Fernandina Beach, Around Town Sectioin, July 24, 2002, Liz Flaisig
TEACHING YOGA ON THE BEACH - Florida-Times Union, June 9, 2002, Susan P. Respess, Nassau Neighbors Staff Writer, Saturday, June 9, 2001, p.8, http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/060901/nen_6379653.shtml
MORNING BEACH WORKOUTS IS PEACEFUL - Florida-Times Union, October 31, 2001, Dickie Anderson, http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/103101/nen_7685070.shtml
I had never been to a yoga studio before going to my first stretch class with the ball. I loved it. I still haven't done a regular yoga class but it is in my future. It is great to have such a variety. Anita Oliver
Liz has changed my life forever! She is an experienced, excellent personal trainer who is caring and knows how to rehab injuries! I participate in yoga, core ball class, and personal training and spinning! Hollie Keffer
Liz and I have worked together for the last 12 years. Her personal training has produced good yearly physicals, general health, and a great freindship. She knows her business, which I appreciate. Rick Keffer
I started going to Y Yoga in January of 2014. Prior to starting, I had terrible hip pain from tendonitis. With Lizzy's understanding of anatomy, combined with her stretch and strength class on the ball, I am happy to say that I am completely pain free now. Suzanne Wienbarg
I am thankful everyday that I found Liz Kawecki when I moved to Amelia Island! Her group core, yoga/stretch classes have strengthened me physically and helped my arthritis. Always an active person, I faced two hip replacements at 60 years of age. Liz became my personal trainer for pre and post surgery. Thanks to Liz and her individualized and weekly training, I am now back to playing competitive tennis and an active lifestyle! To me these words best describe Liz: Extremely knowledgeable, professional, compassionate, motivating, caring, devoted to each individual and superb quality of training and teaching. Liz Kawecki is the BEST! Pam Rea
Liz has that special blend of tough and tender! She understands me as a person and knows exactly what my body needs to excel. She encourages, not criticizies! Because of Liz, I am more confident, flexible and strong. Her knowledge of anatomy and physiology is impressive and knowing that, I feel comfortable and confident that what Liz has me do is for a purpose and function, not because she saw a new fad on TV or the gym. Want a workout? Work with Liz! Lisa Flick, RN
I have known Liz Kawecki from the earliest days of YYoga. She has built a highly successful business which constantly innovates and changes as the needs and wishes of her clients change. Amelia Island is lucky to have such a wonderful resource and service on the island. Dickie Anderson
When Liz moved to Amelia Island, I met her when she conducted her first class - beach yoga at Scott Road entrance. Following that, we began weight training at the "Y" and I was hooked! She has been my personal trainer at her own Y Yoga studio. Liz not only instructs, she is passionate about what she does and genuinely cares about you and your needs. Everyone is an individual, and she works with you accordingly. My main concern was my elevated blood pressure, and the excercise program not only lowered my numbers enabling me to cut back on medications, it has also helped in maintaining my core, muscle tone and weight control. Thank you Lizzy for the incredible Y Yoga experience! Phyllis Helmes
I began my journey with Lizzy in November, 2015. It started with a gathering at the Kawecki home and a number of people praising her yoga studio and classes. Having some physical issues, I was eager to give the core ball stretch class a try. It was challenging at first but now I hate to miss a class. My progress has changed my life for the better. The reason that the classes are so special is Lizzy: her story, her knowledge, her compassion and her strength. Thank you Lizzy for all that you are and every wonderful, selfless thing that you do for so many. Lorraine Gaito
After 2 long hospital stays, I desperately needed to improve my balance, strength, and stamina. I began working with Lizzy about 8 weeks ago and the results have been amazing. From a professional perspective, Lizzy is extremely capable. From a personal perspective, she tailors workouts to her clients' goals and ability level. She "gets to know" her clients which adds to her overall effectiveness. In a very short time, I have made strong improvement physically and my overall confidence has improved tremendously. Linda Rogers