Community & Yoga Studios

In this moment of all-that-doesn't-need-to-be-named, we are experiencing a big shift in how we connect with our practice communities and teachers. As a teacher, who has built community through yoga studios, it is also a big shift for me, and all the other teachers who worked with studios.


I credit Shakti Vinyasa yoga and Lisa Black, founder/owner, for helping me be the yoga teacher and leader that I am today. Originally Shakti was my yoga home. Where I went to forget the life of a single mother of a teenager and pre-teen, balancing work-life, home life and whatever social life there was. It gave me respite and place to feel powerful and at ease in my body all at once.


Upon returning from what was for me a not-so-good experience of the Level 2 Teacher Training with Baron Baptiste in 2008, I shared with Lisa how I was considering dropping out of teaching. I felt incapable of leading such a powerful practice when all I wanted to do was hide under a rock and disappear because I wasn’t good enough to lead such a powerful practice. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue to practice yoga at all!


Well sometimes you need to break down to break through. Shakti Yoga East in Bellevue was the place I could return to and find a sense of peace even amidst the break down because Lisa didn’t accept my resignation. She encouraged me to continue teaching at Shakti for at least a month and then after a month I could still quit if I wanted. I taught for that month. The orange walls, connection with other powerful teachers and the fabulous community of students held me without knowing it until my breakdown did break through. 


I’ve been teaching, leading and facilitating at Shakti Vinyasa Yoga since 2006 and I am forever grateful to the community Shakti to have “been there” and supporting me during that time and beyond. May I continue to serve others I have been served and I am honored to continue to do so.


Now we are being asked to hold a different kind of space. It's the one where the studios don't have walls, and the creative energy - shakti - for which my root studio is named, comes into full view. As I launch this moment of taking my work digital- out of necessity, and as a growth stage for my students, I am not leaving this studio. We continue to work together, as I do with BeLuminous, leading their online teacher training.


We are being asked to collaborate and practice in new ways. We continue to hold steady through the practice itself, and in gratitude for all the places that have fostered us along the way. However you choose to practice, please continue to do so.


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photos: Pau Sanchez & Erika Schultz