Graduate Story – Shayna King – Graduated 2023

Written by graduate of the 500-hour Teacher Training Course, Shayna King

A New Way Of Living and Looking At The World

Yoga was something I remember feeling drawn to from a fairly young age, but was too scared to try for many years. When I was a teen, I bought a “Yoga for Women” DVD & book set that I found some joy in, but it didn’t quite stick. I finally attended my first class in 2014, more than a decade after purchasing that set! Being from the Bikram tradition it was a bit of a punish, but I enjoyed the calm in my mind and the changes to my mobility.

Unfortunately, it was not to last. Not long after starting, I was fat-shamed by the studio owner and became highly discouraged. I thought that because of my size and lack of flexibility (I started suffering from arthritis when I was in primary school), yoga wasn’t for me. 

Yoga For Everyone

Fast forward to 2020, and someone recommended a local yoga studio to me, and after sitting on it for weeks, I decided to give them a try. I was terrified to say the least, but the teacher was incredible. Her language was kind and inclusive. She said things like “Listen to what your body is telling you, and pull back when you need to. You can push yourself to your edge when you feel ready to”, and “Your worth is not determined by whether or not you can touch your toes.”

What a change this was from the things I had heard in the Bikram studio! Here was someone who was telling me to make my body and ally, not an enemy to be conquered. Everything changed after that class. I started practicing 4-5 times a week, and started to understand that yoga was so much more than asana. Every narrative in every class, regardless of teacher, felt like it was written just for me. I had to know more.

I started reading, talking, asking questions. Religion has never resonated with me, but in yoga I found a way of living and looking at the world in a way that just made sense to me. I knew that if I could, this was a gift I would love to give to other people.

When I asked the owner of the studio if I should undertake Yoga Teacher Training, she responded “I have been waiting for your to ask me this question for a while.” She then recommended The Yoga Institute, and everything just fell in to alignment from there.

Studying Yoga

During Teacher Training at The Yoga Institute, every weekend felt like and eye opener. Going deeper in to anatomy, history, communication techniques, and class planning was amazing.

For me though, the Yoga Sutras were life changing! The depth of wisdom, the way those teachings travelled from the ancients to us, and the relevance to the human condition despite the thousands of years of distance between us was nothing short of transformative. It has since sent me down a path of discovery that I don’t think will end any time soon. 

Paying It Forward

Since graduating from The Yoga Institute, I started teaching at the same studio that changed it all for me. I try to pass on what small flakes of wisdom I have learned, and hope I create positive experiences for the people in my classes.

Yoga has completely changed how I view myself and the world, and I have found a peace that I didn’t know was there. Physically, while I wouldn’t ever be described as “flexible”, I have more mobility at 38 than I did when I was 5, and the arthritis that felt flared up for decades is now quiet 9 days out of 10. 

Whether you want to become a teacher yourself, or you want to deepen your knowledge and personal practice, The Yoga Institute is the place to find it all. Michael and the whole faculty share all that they have in a beautiful, safe, and non-judgemental environment.  

Connect with Shayna



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