“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”

–B.K.S Iyengar

Today our student spotlight centers on Shannon, a mother of 2, who has recently deepened her practice at Vitality Yoga and is choosing to undergo teacher training at Vitality in the fall. The last several months have been a time of change for Shannon. Able and grateful for the chance to become a full-time stay-at-mom after the birth of her second son, Shannon resigned from her fast-paced, electric and expecting position as a Creative Director of an accessories company in NYC.

 

Shannon describes this transition as the best time of her life, and also a slowly, creeping daily struggle. Later, realizing this was caused largely by a hormonal shift and some onset of post-partum anxiety. Much of what she identified with in the preceding decade and a half was traveling, organizing, planning and thriving off the energies of the individuals she worked beside in the design studio. Motherhood was a whole new host of responsibilities which included getting her eldest son on and off the bus, following up with doctor’s appointments, and attending as many field trips as humanly possible. Self-care in motherhood is often overlooked or carried with a negative and guilt ridden stigma. However, more and more moms including Shannon are finding that the best gift they can provide to their family is a strong and vibrant mother.

 

“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state.” ~ Sharon Gannon

 

Enter Vitality. A friend had invited Shannon to take a class with her and something inside quickly awakened.

 

“Within the first 10 minutes I felt this sense of awareness as I centered myself and my breath. I’ve done yoga for years, but this time it was different, it felt new to me. I remember at one point closing my eyes and being blown away by all the sensations I was feeling. The heat, the music: it was as if I was on my own little island in the sun. For those 75 minutes I was on a inward journey and discovering different areas of myself I never knew existed. I felt great.”

Her discovery of Vitality yoga was her haven, during this identity crisis.  She found that the more she went, the better she felt and the longer she was able to sustain that feeling and bring it into her everyday life. She attributes her practice at the studio as the thing that “brought me back, but a better version.” She has grown into a better mom, wife and friend since having developed a regular routine of 2-3 classes per week.

 

One of her reasons for choosing Vitality Yoga as her go-to place of practice is the teacher’s emphasis on the focus of breath and the importance of it as it pertains to the poses. She likens the focus on deep breathing to a “magical inner cleanse” that encourages exploration of different poses without making you feel intimidated. She describes the teachers as highly supportive guides that empower students to push through the end, and also, to laugh.

“The teachers encourage you to explore different poses without making you feel intimated.

‘Let’s just try this and see what happens’ and if the pose is extremely challenging, you can almost guarantee there will be an outburst of laughter”

 

Like many other students who choose Vitality, Shannon loves the community feel of the studio and has formed some really close friendships as a result of her regular attendance.

“I became a better mom, wife, and friend. It’s becoming a way of life- transforming how I breath, how I move, and my ability to handle stressful situations.”