Shannon Sabol

Certified & Registered Yoga Teacher

 

I first started practicing yoga in my living room with VHS tapes as a teenager. At the time I was a competitive figure skater, and enjoyed the flexibility aspect of yoga. There was a lot of pressure and constant competition while skating and performing, and after 14 years, I was ready for a change. I decided to trade in my skates for a yoga mat!

Once I started practicing regularly, I was hooked. I quickly learned that yoga is about the Self, not about competing with others. Yoga transformed me in so many ways: It brought balance into my life, provided a stronger mind-body-spirit connection, and is an opportunity for continual growth.

After I developed my practice, I wanted to share my love and enthusiasm for yoga with others and become a teacher. I completed the 200-hour EFWA Program with Deanna Black in 2008. I am growing as a teacher everyday and hope to inspire others to bring yoga into their lives. I believe that once you have an open mind and heart, you can receive all of the wonderful physical and spiritual benefits of yoga. My classes are fun, energizing, vibrant, and have a dance-like vinyasa flow style.

shannon_sabol@yahoo.com
facebook: Shannon Sabol Yoga
Instagram: shannonsabolyoga

Why yoga? Yoga is a sweet balance of hard and soft, effort and ease, trying and trusting, messy and beautiful. It's a practice that brings together two opposing qualities, and let's them coexists. We learn to feel a balance between strength and flexibility in our bodies, so we can understand a middle space between control and letting go in our lives....it's the same thing. 
 

What makes you come alive? Being the mother of my two beautiful children makes me come alive. They teach me way more than I could ever teach them. They make me laugh, remind me to stay curious and ask questions, and constantly challenge me to use my imagination. 

I also come alive while teaching yoga. I love creating an intelligent and creative experience through breath and movement for students come home into their bodies. It is an honor to hold space, and witness a physical and energetic shift as they soften and find peace within  themselves. They also teach me way more then I could even teach them.


3 words to describe your teaching style: Graceful, hard & soft
 

My life before yoga...is a blur. It was ingrained in me at a very early age to plan ahead, stay busy and keep up with everyone else. I was anxious, insecure, uncertain, and was always seeking approval of others. I had no idea why I would ever benefit from taking a deep breath or feeling my body. I didn't have a voice, or know that I had a right to one. I had a hard time making decisions on my own, and avoided conflict at all cost. If someone was uncomfortable, it made me feel uncomfortable. People pleasing was my drug of choice. I remember feeling so hungry to be seen, felt and held in a safe space to be myself. Authenticity was a word I rarely heard, if ever. 

Being a competitive figure skater for 14 years, I often felt judged by others...because I was; that was the whole idea behind competing. I was trying to fit into a model that was someone else's design. The skating world was a tough one, with a strong message of "push, force, strive, and try harder." I have always loved the creative expression and athleticism of the sport, but never felt "good enough." The voice of "not good enough" was a familiar guest in my head, and visited frequently. 

Before yoga, it felt like I was gripping life with a tight fist...knuckles turning white...too much fear to let go. Overall, I had a heavy sense of waiting. Waiting for something to happen and my life to change. 

My life after yoga...
At times I still feel anxious, insecure, and uncertain. There are moments where I still seek approval of others, and struggle to make decisions on my own. The story of "not good enough" occasionally plays in my head. There is still pushing, forcing, and striving in some area in my life. I still have moments where my knuckles are white. 

What is different is that there is less of all of that. The negative voices have softened. I can see it, feel it, and release it with less judgement. I can look at those things with loving eyes and make space for all of feeling to exist. There is room in my heart for compassion, and I can let go and start again with more grace and ease. I am more comfortable with the ebb of flow of change, and now have a safe space to learn, grow and fail. When I take a deep breath and feel my body, I make peace a priority in my life. 

My practice gives me daily courage to be my most authentic self. It gives me unapologetic permission to be imperfect. I am much more at peace with my messiness. I realize that when I show my own messiness, I might inspire someone else to be okay with their own messiness. Showing our humanness is how we connect and remember that we are not alone.

I now realized that I don't have to wait for anything. Nothing outside of myself has to change for me to be happy and find peace. I am the one who has to make changes. When I release my tight fist and open my hands, I open to the idea that God has creative plans for me. I see now that I am always a student and learning in public. My life is my practice. It's a practice of falling in...and falling out. Letting go...and starting again. 

Why I return to the mat...
I return to my mat because my practice makes me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fit. I am more grounded in my parenting, more present in my friendships, and more vulnerable in my teaching. I am grateful for the awareness that yoga has given me. I can look at my life with more clarity and ask...does this serve me? Where am I using my energy? What am I still holding on to? What changes can I make to open to my full potential and deeper knowing? 

Yoga continues to teach me a balance, and how the beautiful mixture of effort and ease can be applied to all areas of my life. I can say no to someone else, but yes to myself. I can be compassionate to others and still create healthy boundaries for me. I can provide roots for my children, and also hold space for them to spread their wings. I can cultivate quiet strength by being still through a chaotic time. I have the ability to find blessings in the catastrophes. 

My practice gave me the strength through a huge life transition, and taught me that  some choices that I make might be painful, but loving at the same time. My yoga practice heals my heart when it's broken, and has expanded my capacity for forgiveness and gratitude. I have a better understanding of how resilient the human heart can be. Yoga has taught me that the highest love is self love. 

I'm in love with this ritualistic practice that reminds me that I am already whole and complete. I keep coming back to the mat to remember what I already know. It dissolves the illusion that I am separate, and shows me how connected I really am to all beings everywhere. Once I connect with my own heart and feel my own vibration, I remember that Yoga is seeing LOVE everywhere.


Secret pleasure: Alone time (I'm an outgoing introvert), live music, Buddhism, traveling to new places, playing pretend with my kids, making playlists, spirituality/meditation podcasts, documentaries, coffee, avocado toast, Game of Thrones
 

What is in your backpack: 

  • A Yoga Journal magazine or book about yoga/meditation/spirituality/Buddhism. I always and never plan for my classes. I never plan, but am constantly learning and being inspired. I feel most like a student when I'm teaching. 
  • Patchouli 
  • Almonds, because I'm always hungry
     

What impact do you want to leave on the world: I hope to encourage others to be authentic, and be brave enough to be themselves each day.  Authenticity isn't something you have or don't have, but something you practice. We all have gift to share with each other. 
 

If you had 4 legs & you were furry, what would you be? I would rather be a butterfly...wings remind me that I am free. 
 

You are stuck on an island and can bring 3 things. What would they be? I struggled to answer this question, so I asked my kids...
My daughter suggested a sleeping bag, toothbrush and oatmeal. 
My son suggested donuts, Batman shoes and a Superman toy.