Shannon Powell

Student level

I started dancing from a young age and always felt a strong affinity with somatic practices. At fifteen my mum invited me to her yoga class and it felt like a natural partner to my dance practice - the breath, the fluidity and the physical expression. After practicing for ten years I decided to do my teacher training while I was living in a sustainable community in Central America.

I had no expectation that yoga would become such a big part of my life. It has been a satisfying process to share the physical, psychological and emotional benefits with others, and to see this modality evolve and become more informed and more relevant to contemporary people.

I like to teach with sensitivity; in a way that is invitational and empowering for all bodies. My classes are fluid and meditative and use sensory awareness to explore the body. I also like to weave mindful adjustments and poetry into classes to encourage a creative atmosphere.

Teaching & Certification

  • School of Yoga Institute

Teaching Style

  • Adjustments/Assists: I am a Zenthai Shiatsu massage practitioner so I like to use small sequences from this practice during class with students consent.

  • Theming: I studied creative writing and philosophy at university so I love to weave quotes from poets, spiritual teachers, psychologists and other great thinkers and feelers into classes.

  • Sequencing: I sequence my classes to be very fluid and grounding with a peak pose in mind or with the intention of opening a specific area of the body.

  • Music: I like to use ambient music, sometimes contemporary Japanese composers, sometimes classical composers and sometimes spiritual jazz if I am teaching a more dynamic class.

On & Off the Mat With: Shannon Powell

As a yoga teacher, what inspires and motivates your teaching?

I love teaching yoga, I can't imagine a life where I don't practice and share these practices. I am inspired by many things when it comes to teaching, the pages of a book, the notes in a song, lived experiences, all of which translate back to the mat.

How has your own yoga practice evolved since becoming a teacher?

My practice has become more sensitive, more slow, and more sustainable. As time passes I feel drawn to styles that embody these shifts, such as slow flow and yin yoga.

Do you have any yoga teachers that you admire and/or look up to? Who are they?

Many yoga teachers inspire me, but my greatest teacher was probably reading texts by Krishna Murti a revolutionary spiritual teacher. I recommend his book 'freedom from the Known.'

For those of us that haven't practiced with you before, what can we expect from your classes?

Expect to feel empowered, nurtured, supported, grounded and in touch.

I like to teach with sensitivity; in a way that is invitational and empowering for all bodies.

What type of class could you teach all day, everyday and why?

Slow flow or yin yoga because there is more time to really explore the entire sensory perception.

Do you practice any other form of movement or fitness besides yoga? If so, what kind?

I still like to attend dance classes. I also like taking adventures into nature, hiking and using the body in natural environments.

What's your go-to spot in Melbourne to get inspired?

I love to practice at Gertrude street yoga it was the first place that really allowed me to develop a deeper connection with the practice. I also love to visit hidden book shops or go for a short drive out to Warrantyte to hang out by the river.

Which 3 icons or figures would you want to sit next to at a dinner party and why?

Krishna Murti, because he speaks only the truth. Esther Perell because she is my favourite psychologists and the modern Einstein of sexuality. Rainer Marie Rilke because his poems transcend time.

Finish this sentence. "I feel the most like myself when..."

I am close to nature and grounded in my body.

And lastly because it's fun, what's your spirit animal?

Octopus because apparently they are psychic and they communicate in dance-like movements.

Images provided by Good Vibes Yoga.

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