Yoga Teacher Interview Series: Shannon Taylor
This lovely goddess came into my life when we began our 200 hour yoga teacher training program together at Yoga on High. Shannon Taylor has a smile and laugh that light up any space she enters. I’ve had the privilege of attending her class at Replenish ,which is a beautiful and welcoming space if you haven’t yet been! Her class is upbeat, and has the best music! Shannon has always had a natural knack for teaching, but it has been such a pleasure to experience Shannon grow as a yoga teacher (and yoga student). Shannon is also a dedicated and proud mother and wife, and is committed to supporting the youth of central Ohio in pursuing higher education. Get yourself to one of her classes if your schedule allows, you won’t regret it! 🙂
(And Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers out there – including YOU, Shannon Taylor!♥)
Shannon Taylor // Teacher at Replenish
Tell me a little about yourself in a few sentences.
Yikes, a few sentences? This is hard because I’m a talker…lol!
I am a wife, mom, daughter, big sister, yoga teacher, educator, and friend! I am a bridge builder and peace maker. I’ve been told I’m goofy, (I do love to laugh)! I love to dance, love my family, love the work I do and love yoga!
Where do you currently teach?
I currently teach at Replenish Spa Co-op in Downtown Columbus. It’s a donation-based studio owned and operated by two beautiful sisters and their AMAZING mom! I teach on Monday nights at 6 PM. I teach private classes and have recently been asked to teach classes to youth in different programs. I am hoping this grows into something bigger. Everyone needs yoga!
Where did you do your teacher training?
I completed my yoga teacher training at Yoga on High in Columbus, Ohio.
What style(s) of yoga do you teach?
Vinyasa. I’d like to think [I teach] a slower flow, but some of my students would beg to differ. I definitely try to include meditation and pranayama in each class. I love candles, incense and essential oils! I believe each yoga class should be a FULL sensory experience!
When did you walk into your first yoga class? What kept you coming back?
So..my yoga class was the yoga video Yoga Live with Elana Brower and produced by Russell Simmons! My first REAL live yoga class was in the basement of a tennis center. She had candles and pretty good music. It flowed and felt REALLY good. She always had a message/theme and I always left feeling really good! I made all of my friends come and try her class and even made a playlist for her. I kept going back because I liked how I felt after class. I got in a “workout” pushed myself through discomfort and felt refreshed. I thought savasana was AMAZING from the very beginning. It’s ALWAYS been my favorite part of class! I found Replenish about a year after I started practicing and Chanelle (one of the owners and the primary teacher at the time) was AMAZING! I found that many of the things I was learning on the mat, translated to my life off the mat. I always say I like my yoga with a little sermon/ life lesson and she always brought it!
What is your advice to a first timer?
My advice to a first timer is to let go of any expectations! Connect to the NOW and Be Present! Have an open mind and heart…Listen to your body and your neighbors mat IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS! Do you!
At what point did you decide you wanted to teach?
I think I knew after my first few classes. I imagined what my classes would look like – candlelit, bass booming, breath, and movement! I wanted to create a safe space that would resonate with people…particularly students who looked like me, to feel comfortable and practice yoga (not something I’d see in the classes I attended). Often times when I practice in different spaces, I am the “only one in the room” or I’ve brought my friends and “we” are there… OR if there are other people of color in the room, we are running to connect with one another because it’s not something we see in every class. It isn’t something that is intentionally done (I am sure), but I am not sure what or why it is like that…but I do know that representation matters! I (along with a few friends) are definitely trying to diversify the face of yoga!
Yoga with or without music? If with, what kind?
Both really. Sometimes I like the quiet and focus of breath. Often times in my home practice I go without music. Just last week in my Monday night class, my music wasn’t working and we had a silent class. I got a text later that evening saying that it was really nice and [the student asked if we] could do that every now and then. That being said, I LOVE music! Music with a strong bass beat: hip hop, neo-soul, r&b, rap, electronic, new age yoga. I’ll listen to it and if it resonates with me, I’ll add it to the playlist! I am looking for music EVERYWHERE! Shazam is getting lots of use in my life.
Seriously?!! I feel like a better question is WHY NOT YOGA? When I first began practicing yoga (concurrent with a running regiment), a good friend of mine was so excited for me! I remember her saying, “you can run for a while, but YOGA…you can practice yoga for a lifetime!” There are so many pieces of yoga that translate to everyday life, I really can’t imagine my life without it. The benefits are endless! The feeling you have when you leave is addicting. Before TT I really could name it, but knowing that yoga is yoking the mind, body and spirit, It is really EVERYTHING that I need!
Who or what currently inspires you?
God, my family, my students (school and yoga), my yoga family/mentors, Dr. Chelsea Jackson, my uncle Barack and Aunt Michelle (lol, Obama that is 😉 ), my ancestors….Work being done with underrepresented/marginalized communities.
What do you enjoy doing “off the mat”?
Spending time with people I love! Watching my daughter play basketball, watching my husband coach basketball, chatting with my son who is away at school. Laughing, reading, listening to podcasts (#staywoke), shopping, running. I also REALLY enjoy my 9-5 at a local nonprofit whose primary focus is to provide college access to Columbus high school students. #iknowican
Man… high lunge, warrior 2, headstand are DEFINITELY in my top 3!
Least Favorite Pose?
Not sure now…Yoga Teacher Training has opened my eyes to all the benefits of each asana and I somehow try to find comfort in discomfort. BUT, it DEFINITELY used to be utkatasana!!!! chair pose used to get at me!