Hi, I'm Shannon
In yoga, this position is called 'Tree Pose'. However, my version looks different from what you would see in yoga magazines and social media. Like the tree in this photo, I’ve had to adapt in many ways in order to survive. If you look closely at the tree, you will notice the ground underneath it has fallen away. In 2003, my ground fell away and life with a complex autoimmune disease became my new normal.
My previously-healthy self was incredibly active and one of the many activities I loved was yoga. Over the years, I attempted various classes only to find that they were simply not manageable. Sadly, I discovered this experience was also very common for those within the chronic illness community. There really wasn’t a yoga practice that catered to our limitations and needs. I believe yoga should be for every-body, so I decided to build Nourish for us!
In 2021, I completed my Therapeutic Yoga Teacher Training Certification through Yoga North International SomaYoga Institute. My program focused on adaptive classic poses, Therapeutic yoga, and neuromuscular re-education using Somatics. Understanding that calming the nervous system is fundamental, in 2023 I furthered my education and become a Restorative Yoga Instructor with Lasater's Relax and Renew® Certification program. Over the years I have also taken various courses in mindfulness, breath-work, meditation, Tai Chi, mental health, and management of chronic illness. My multi-tiered approach to classes blends aspects of all these practises to provide a rich support system for your body, mind, and spirit.
My passion is adapting yoga to meet your body where it is at, in order to empower those with chronic health conditions to successfully participate without exacerbating their symptoms.
I will not give false hope and say that yoga will cure you. But, from personal experience I know that true gains can be made. I believe that Nourish’s approach to yoga can provide valuable tools to help ease chronic symptoms and improve quality of life.
I am blessed to have travelled the world and now reside in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada with my Biologist husband and our amazing Labrador retriever, Farley. Now when I look at this tree, I am struck by its beauty, adaptability and perseverance. Come join me and help grow a resilient and sustainable forest.
How the heck did I become a Certified Yoga Teacher while living with a chronic illness?!
Like everything else in my life, it took determination, patience and a lot of pacing! I have learned, through years of trial and error, that when starting any activity, I need to start small and increase over extended periods. I used this strategy in my personal yoga practice to increase my resilience over time.
Then the pandemic hit, the world went virtual and a previously-closed door opened for me. I was able to participate in yoga training from the comfort of my home (often from my bed), and found a wonderful school specialising in accessible yoga that was willing to work with me. I was able to have classes recorded to view in my own time and I was given extra time to complete assignments, enabling me to rest when I needed to. My wonderful, supportive husband always reminded me, “one day at a time, one spoon at a time.”
Now I hope to share the multitude of benefits of this therapeutic yoga with you!