I think I became a yoga teacher when I was 20 years old, even though I didn’t know what yoga was and I wouldn’t step on my mat for another 6 years. I was going to school to be a respiratory therapist. I was helping people who were sick breathe better. The irony is that the first part of teaching yoga is to teach people to how to breathe. As the months unfolded in my schooling, I realized that many of the people who needed my help were actually sick because of life choices - for example, poor diet, lack of exercise, and managing a lot of stress without an outlet. Many of the people were very young and very sick way before their time. I realized then that my life purpose was to help people live better, less stressful, and more mindful lives. I did a u-turn in my schooling and earned a BS in Exercise Science, Health Promotion, and Nutrition Education. This was the starting point of my journey to helping people live better.
I began practicing yoga in 1997. In 2003 I was introduced to Ashtanga and with the guidance of my beloved teacher, David Garrigues, and have been fully immersed in the practice and teaching of this system ever since. From the moment I was introduced to Ashtanga, I knew this system was exactly what I had been searching for. I knew it could help people begin to experience stillness of mind, which opens the way to personal healing. I think my gift as a teacher is to make the practice of Ashtanga accessible to everyone and I truly believe that with commitment and patience anyone can do this practice.
Shelley is a full time yoga teacher as well as a Licensed Massage Therapist and a mother of two. She is one of Spokane Yoga Shala’s most senior teachers and as the Director of Mysore, developed and runs the Mysore Apprenticeship Program.