Day: June 10, 2015

Meet Shaun, Teacher of the Month

Shaun in Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon Pose

Shaun in Ardha Chandrasana, Half Moon Pose

This month we celebrate Shaun as our Teacher of the Month. Shaun has been loyal to Yoga by Degrees as a student first, then a teacher trainee, and now an amazing teacher. His gentle but strong energy will disarm your stress and ground you throughout class. Also try to guess where he is from by his accent… 🙂

He subs at every opportunity but check out his permanent classes on the schedule:

6am YBD2 95 on Mondays in Western Springs

6am YBD2 95 on Fridays in Downers Grove

4pm YBD2 105 on Saturdays in Wheaton

2pm YBD2 105 on Sundays in Wheaton

4pm YBD2 95 on Sundays in Wheaton

When and how did you come to yoga?

Some time in 2010, my wife encouraged me to join her at a Bikram class. She thought I would love the sweat.

She was right. But even though I attended Bikram classes and YBD sculpt (and only sculpt) for close to 4 years,

I didn’t know anything about yoga (there’s 8 limbs?) until I started my teacher training in 2014. Once I began

to understand yoga’s breadth and depth, I was in the tank.

Why did you start teaching yoga?

I would come to YBD sculpt classes with my daughters, and after one of our instructors announced upcoming

training, they suggested I consider it. Ultimately, I chose to proceed for three reasons: teaching fit similar

things I had done in my past that I enjoyed, I was curious to learn more about yoga and as a big fan of YBD, I

saw it as an opportunity to be more integrated into it’s community. In a weird twist of fate, I had planned to

do sculpt training, but it wasn’t available at the time, so I jumped into the 200 HR program. That experience

has been transformative for me. Shit happens for a reason.

What is your favorite pose?

The next one.

Who inspires your teaching?

While my hope is to be a helpful guide to all that come to their mats, I am particularly inspired to serve those

folks who are new to yoga.

Tips for beginners…

I would offer three tips:

Do your thing and don’t worry about anyone else.

If you’ve lived by the no pain, no gain mindset, let it go.

It’s always a good time for a child’s pose.

What’s your favorite quote?

“To make the most of every minute, to fully embrace every second of every day, we have to accept we

only have a limited number of minutes and seconds left.”

June Pose of the Month

Summer is finally here in full swing and it feels glorious!  How incredible to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin!  It is with gratitude and a full heart we welcome summer with Wheel Pose.

Lie on your back (supine) on the floor. Bend your knees and place the feet hip width apart, close to the hips. Bend your elbows and place your hands next to the head on the floor, palms open and wide, fingers pointing towards the shoulders.

  • Press the shoulders down in the floor, feel how that opens and even lifts the chest somewhat, take the tailbone in. Press the inner feet down.
  • On an inhalation lift the hips to the ceiling. Stay here for a breath or two
  • Inhale and on an exhalation pull the feet in towards yourself, ground the shoulders actively down into the floor to ground your shoulder blades on the back and take the armpits in and press into your hands to lift your body up, onto the crown of the head or straight away up to the ceiling straightening your arms as much as possible.
  • Once up there, inner thighs roll in, tailbone lengthens, upper arms rotate outwards, upper back curls ad you can let your head hang or lift your head a bit to look down to the floor.
  • To come out, exhale and lower yourself down to the floor as you look up to the ceiling, chin to chest.
  • Hold the pose anywhere fro 5-10 breaths and possibly repeat them
  • Feel free to try a variation by lifting a leg or to open the shoulders a bit more go up against the wall and place blocks under you palms

  • Benefits of this Pose

    • Strengthens your arms, wrists, upper back, spine and thighs
    • Opens the shoulders, chest/lungs, groins, front of the thighs
    • Increases your energy and counteracts depression
    • therapeutic for back pain, depression, low energy, asthma, osteoporosis, infertility
    • Open your heart to the possibilities robert sturman wheel