Shawn Galin is a true native of Alabama, growing up in Gadsden before moving to Birmingham to attend college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Shawn pursued his passion for the sciences receiving his B.S. degree, M.S. degree, and ultimately his Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics. He is also a true UAB alumnus as he has never left UAB and is now an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division. Shawn remembers always being drawn to physical fitness and his first teaching experience in the fitness arena was teaching gymnastics while still in high school. Shawn was first introduced to yoga in 2006 after a back injury left him searching for an alternative treatment/therapy for chronic back pain. As his yoga practice grew, he was greatly inspired by yoga’s potential for healing at a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. “The therapeutic potential of yoga is enormous, not only at a physical level, but it begins touching all aspects of our lives, integrating into realms we didn’t know we needed help!” he says. Through his journey, trying various disciplines of yoga, he found himself gravitating to Ashtanga yoga. To deepen his practice and understanding of Ashtanga, he completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2012 and is now able to share his passion for yoga and what he has learned. Shawn is currently teaching classes at the UAB Center for Recreation, The Yoga Circle, and, most recently, LifePower Yoga at LifeTime Fitness.
As a teacher, Shawn tends to focus on alignment, grounding principles, and, most importantly, the breath. Each inhale and each exhale, from one asana to the next, yoga allows one to travel inwards slowly bringing the vision of one’s true nature to the surface, he says. Shawn loves teaching but continues to be a passionate student. He is extremely grateful for the opportunity to teach and share what he is constantly learning. “Teacher training opened my eyes to many areas/disciplines of yoga I had not explored in depth before”, he says. “I want to deepen my practice and understanding of teaching even further, I have only begun my journey”. “Yoga constantly challenges me to explore the possibilities, the ever-expanding potential in all things, including myself”, he says. Shawn’s recommendation to everyone is “Take time each day to just be. Being present, you can learn a whole lot about yourself, which is a beautiful thing to do”.