PERFECT timing for this post because I just took class with Shino last night!
The first time was back in…2010 maybe? I was practicing with her before I got pregnant with Betty and I can still remember my excitement when I was 8 weeks along and announcing to my yoga-friends (they are the coolest!) that I was going to be having a baby! A friend of mine had recommended her class to me and since then I think I must have recommended her classes to a hundred more people. She’s so inspirational and I’m so happy she agreed to let me interview her.
Welcome to my blog, Shino Brown!
Salt: How long have you been practicing yoga and how did you get started?
Shino: I’ve been practicing yoga since 2000. I belonged to a gym where I regularly participated in step aerobics and kickboxing classes. My group fitness instructor told me she was getting certified in Yoga and recommended it to me. I had no idea what it was, but since I enjoyed this instructor, I decided to try a 6 week session. I didn’t care much for the practice at first; it didn’t meet my high-energy needs. But after a few weeks, I started realizing the benefits Yoga had on my body and mind. I was hooked by the end of the session.
Salt: What types of yoga do you teach?
Shino: I teach Vinyasa-style (breath with movement) and Hatha Yoga (a gentle, slower-paced format).
Salt: What do you enjoy most about these particular styles?
Shino: What I enjoy most about teaching Vinyasa is the freedom of creativity I get to offer my students. I love challenging them with advanced flows, or keeping it slow if I have a lot of newcomers.
Salt: What do you love most about teaching?
Shino: Knowing that I’m changing bodies, minds, and levels of fitness is what I love most about teaching Yoga. My true reward comes when a student tells me how much the practice has changed his/her life, both mentally and physically. Either on a broad perspective over years of practice, or as trivial as accomplishing a pose they’ve been working on for months (it’s what I call that “Ah-Ha! Moment in Yoga”). Teaching Yoga was recently published as one of the top 10 Best Jobs in America (ref: CNN Money). That should tell you what an amazing and rewarding job it is!
Salt: What has yoga done for you as a person?
Shino: Yoga has done so much for me as a person. Over my 15 years of practicing, I have experienced less pain, a stronger body, and a calm mind. I used to suffer from back pain related to scoliosis; this has been alleviated thanks in part to Yoga. I used to have a short temper, which has also diminished due to a regular practice, frequent connections with students/other teachers, and the study of mindfulness through books such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Salt: In your opinion, what are the greatest health benefits of a regular yoga practice?
Shino: I believe the greatest health benefits of a regular yoga practice are flexibility, strength, balance, and better posture. All of which are components we tend to lose as we age (which is why I’ll continue to practice all of my days). Even less vigorous styles of yoga can provide strength and endurance benefits, so whatever style works best for you, go for it! These benefits won’t happen overnight, but most students will begin to notice positive changes within a couple months of a regular yoga practice.
Salt: Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for someone who may have been contemplating trying out a class?
Shino: I’d suggest starting with a beginner class. Intermediate levels can be intimidating, which may cause you to shy away from attending another class. Yoga should be an enjoyable experience; not painful or overwhelming. I also recommend trying Yoga at least three times before deciding it’s not for you. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t purchased that 6 week session.
Fantastic advice and that is so cool that teaching yoga is one of the best jobs to have in the country! I totally believe it.
One of my favorite things about Shino’s teaching style is that she introduces a new sequence/theme at the beginning of each month and we spend 4 weeks working on it. I always feel myself growing stronger all month long as I become more familiar with the flow! Then the next month it will be something totally new…always challenging and always so much fun.
Have you taken a Vinyasa class? Have you ever taken class with a teacher who introduces a new sequence/theme every month? (The one we are working on this month is a nod to Shiva Rae and all about movement. It’s beautiful!)