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Featured Yoga Student~ Compassionate Shawnee Wood

Posted May 23 2011 11:48pm

Shawnee Wood is a compassionate soul that radiates warmth and love.  Her presence in my studio is always positive, and it’s evident by her expressions that she cares full-heartedly about everyone who comes to practice yoga. Shawnee brings a unique background to our studio- she’s a middle school teacher and belly dancer. It’s fun to watch her when she practices yoga because she adds her belly dancing flair to many postures. Shawnee is truly a pleasure to have in class. –Sara Holliday MFT, CPT

1.      How old are you? 50

2.      How many years have you been practicing yoga? 2 years

3.      Before you started practicing yoga what did you think it would be like? I questioned the spiritual aspect of yoga. Since I have a strong Christian faith, I wasn’t sure if I would feel comfortable with the eastern philosophy. However, after the first class I realized that it helps me connect deeper with my beliefs and others to theirs. I also thought you had to be really flexible to do yoga, but found I could go at my own pace.


4.      What prompted you to try a yoga class with me? I had heard about Sara’s yoga class two years ago, but the timing didn’t work with my schedule. Once my schedule changed and I could attend her class I feared I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the others. I bumped into my neighbor who had taken Sara’s class and she said she loved her class. She reassured me that the other students were very warm and welcoming so I gave it a try and was hooked.


5.      What made you decide to come back to more classes with me? I was surprised at how good of a workout Sara’s class was, plus I loved the idea of  Sara’s friendly reminders of “no competition in yoga” as well to “honor your body and do what feels comfortably challenging.”


6.      What advice do you have for others seeking a yoga instructor? Find an instructor that embraces your ability yet lovingly challenges you to grow.


7.      How has yoga improved your flexibility and or strength? Yoga has helped me in every way. My posture in my back and shoulders is so much better. I sit with my spine tall and lifted. I never thought I would be able to do the things that I’m able to do at my age. I feel I’m strong and so much more flexible. One time my young daughter-in-law came to Sara’s class and said she was, “dying” and couldn’t believe how much we all could do.

8.      What’s your favorite yoga pose? I love reverse/twisted triangle and pigeon. When I first started doing yoga both were so challenging for me, to the point that I was sore, but now I can do it and I love that I can!


9.      What do you like about yoga? I love it all, but what I love most about yoga is the spiritual aspect.  It brings me back to the innocence and enjoyment of life by reminding me to appreciate the moment…it’s like being a little girl again.


10.  How have you changed physically, mentally and spiritually since practicing yoga? Physically I’m stronger and more flexible, mentally I’ve learned how to use deep breathing to relax and release stress, and spiritually yoga has been a calming effect in my life, providing me with a deeper awareness of my whole self.


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