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  • Writer's pictureshannonkyeager

My Yoga Journey: How Yoga Helped Me Grow, Heal and Prevent Injuries




The Bhagavad Gita teaches us "yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self” and in my years of practicing and teaching yoga, that resonates deeply.


My first yoga class at age 12 mainly consisted of confusion as to how to twist my body into bizarre shapes and how to pronounce sanskrit terms I had never heard. But as I moved out of the final pose, savasana, the calm and clarity I experienced was like no other, and I knew yoga was going to have a lasting impact on my life.


Fast forward six years as a freshman in college – my “type A” personality was suffering from major anxiety as I was constantly pushing myself to get perfect grades. I started attending regular yoga classes to manage stress and step away from my monkey mind.


As I entered the corporate world, I found myself spending ten hours a day behind a desk, mainly typing on a computer. My back ached, my muscles were tight and I didn’t feel good in my body. One of my mentors completed a yoga teacher training and I felt inspired to learn more.


During 2015-2017, I completed 500 hours of teacher training through Yoga Tree and YogaWorks. I had the privilege of learning from Darren Main, Jason Bowman, Judith Lasater, Annie Carpenter, Harvey Deutch and more. I loved learning about the history and philosophy of yoga. The alignment cues helped me deepen my practice. What struck me the most was the vulnerability of each person in the community and how we became family. The experience helped me find my voice as a yoga teacher.


Throughout the years, I have had the honor of teaching yoga at Live Fit Gym in San Francisco, Ocean Yoga in Pacifica and Crunch in San Diego. I lead corporate in-person and digital yoga classes with Carat, Peppercomm, Flipboard and Brilliant Earth. I also volunteer with GLIDE Yoga to make yoga more accessible.


Another way I make yoga more accessible is by helping students prevent and recover from injuries. My family would probably tell you that I am injury-prone – if there is a door, I will run into it. If there is a stone, I will trip on it. I have torn the cartilage in my wrist while snowboarding (that one needed surgery). I partially tore my rotator cuff while lifting during an at-home workout video and I’m currently in the process of healing it. I have come to view injuries as an opportunity to learn and grow, as both a student and a teacher. I have learned poses to modify or stop doing while injured. From Dr. Bruce Allen at SDRI and Caroline Jordan Fitness, I have learned how to engage and stabilize the muscles around an injury. For me, the most challenging part is allowing myself to rest. Each injury reminds me to listen to my body, slow down and let go of my ego.


I hope to help people practice yoga safely to recover from injuries, prevent future injuries and move functionally through every stage of life. I am not a doctor. I will not have all the answers, but I will commit to sharing my experience, researching and talking to my colleagues to help you any way I can.


Thank you for coming on this journey with me.


With gratitude,

Shannon



I'd love to hear about your yoga journey or help answer any questions. Leave me a comment below!

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