Keisha Turner BA'12

Keisha Turner sitting in a studio

Keisha Turner BA'12
Owner & Head Yoga Coach
Toronto, ON

What degree did you graduate with? And what year?
BA in Sociology 2012

Can you tell me about your company, AthleticYogis?

ATHLETICYOGIS (@athleticyogis) is Canada’s leader in modern athletic yoga mobility training. We offer unique yoga mobility programs (specific to individual sport) for elite and professional athletes. The programs we design help maximize athletic performance, which includes physical, mental and emotional aspects. From movement, to speed and injury prevention, to mental focus, we improve the way athletes perform on and off the court, ice, and field.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

I attribute my success as a volleyball athlete to yoga and meditation. After struggling to make it off of the bench in my second year as a varsity volleyball athlete, I was determined to be the best. Although I had been doing yoga here and there since I was 16, I became disciplined with how I incorporated it into my everyday and athletic life. I started going to yoga classes early in the mornings before my training sessions and would use it as a way to be mentally prepared and physically mobile for my sessions. After practices I would use yoga as a physical and mental recovery tool. It helped me in all aspects of my life as a student athlete, and I realized that I was not the only one who was missing this component in their training routine. After introducing traditional yoga into my training routine, I wanted to create something that represented exactly who I was as - an athlete who practiced yoga…and ATHLETICYOGIS™ was born!

Keisha Turner doing a yoga elbow plank poseWhen you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you think you’d be known as Canada’s most notable yoga coach?

When I was young I knew I would be a leader. As I got older, I knew that I would be involved in sports in some way, and was determined to do something that I loved and that I was passionate about. After finishing at SMU, I stayed involved with the volleyball community. I coached, ran different volleyball camps, and always advocated for coaches and players to incorporate yoga and meditation into their training. I had the privilege of starting the Junior Huskies Volleyball Team in 2012 and immediately knew that as a coach, yoga would be a part of our training program. This was my opportunity to really put it together and use my experience as an athlete who practiced yoga to show the benefits to these athletes. My goal has always been to be recognized for creating something great, but I never thought it would be by merging two of my favourite activities. (@yogacoachk)

Why did you decide to attend Saint Mary’s?

I loved the intimate family feeling at Saint Mary’s. I also had a connection to several of the athletes and coaches on the volleyball team and I knew I would be supported throughout my four years as both a student and athlete.

You work with top athletes every day and you’re one yourself. What characteristics do you all share?

Athletes and people who are committed, determined and disciplined are those who succeed. These are the characteristics of not just top athletes, but top business people, leaders and those who create change in the world. I connect to all of my athletes in a way that not every person will, because we have experienced the struggles and challenges of athletics. It is important to be able to share these types of experiences to help athletes be the best they can.

What’s the biggest benefit of staying connected to the Saint Mary’s alumni community?

Staying connected to the SMU community is so important to me personally and in business. Many of my closest friends (who I consider family) and mentors are a part of the SMU community and have helped me grow as an athlete, confident business woman, leader and coach. The same people who supported my growth as a student athlete continue to support me in becoming the best version of Keisha Turner. I am so thankful to be part of the SMU community. It is where the roots of where my business started and where I started to become the leader I’ve always committed to being. SMU is HOME!