Ralph starts his high stress job early in downtown Manhattan. He likes to begin the morning at 5:30 am with a quiet yoga session before facing the chaos of the city. Through the online interactive fitness website, Wello.com, Ralph hired me to be his personal yoga teacher. I live in Utah. The difference in time zones means I wake up at 3:30 am to "Wello" with Ralph. We connect using Wello's Skype-like web camera set-up and Ralph can practice yoga from the comfort of his New York apartment at times that are convenient for him. Since working with me he reports feeling more in tune with the mind-body connection and has lost 10 pounds. He is just one of many clients from the East coast that likes to do yoga with me in the middle of my night.
Waking up at 3:30 am to do yoga is not as hard as it sounds. My yoga space is always ready because I've created a professional looking at-home yoga studio. I sleep in comfortable yoga clothes, which many of you may admit to doing anyway. So when the alarm goes off all I have to do is roll out of bed and turn on my lap-top. The true test of my early morning yoga prowess is being mentally alert enough to provide a coherent yoga practice for my clients.
During one morning session I forgot the word exhale, which as a yoga teacher of 12 years I have probably used thousands of times. "Take a deep inhale and then, uh, breathe it out again." In another session, I skipped the number 7 when counting backwards from 10. My client brought attention to it after I had skipped it three times in a row. Thinking I was adhering to some unlucky superstition she asked, "Is there a reason you aren't saying the number 7?" And of course there was the morning my client logged in a few minutes late and found me snoozing at the computer. He snapped this photo before politely waking me up.
Early morning blunders aside, I take my work as a yoga teacher very seriously and believe every person deserves an individualized yoga practice. I pour over client profiles and plan classes based on their skill level, age, limitations, and goals. My preparation for each session includes written yoga programs with asanas (poses) and breathing exercises. But I'm always prepared to adjust my plan to the energy or needs of the client on a moments notice. One client has Lupus and I've spent a considerable amount of time researching the disease and planning her yoga program. My training as a Certified Yoga Therapist qualifies me to help clients like Margarita who is recovering from knee surgery, and Mike who has scoliosis. I don't have all the answers, but I truly care about my clients and hopefully they trust me to guide them safely through a yoga practice which is tailored for them and honors their efforts towards health and wellness.
"Shannan was great with gauging my strengths and tailoring the workout accordingly. She asked some questions up front to understand my goals etc. for the session and she did a good job of observing me throughout the workout and pushed me where possible to take it up a notch! I was sore the next day! Very effective workout!" - Nisha
Overall doing yoga on Wello is great. It's a legitimate option for staying fit even when you have a busy schedule and is considerably cheaper than working with a personal trainer at a gym. Wello allows users to pick any type of exercise, with any trainer, any time.
Clients have joined me on Wello from as far away as China and Australia. As a trainer Wello is also convenient for me as I can set my own schedule and teach classes from wherever I am in the world. (Like the time I was vacationing in Morocco and led an online class. Or when I taught Abhi, a Seattle based client, from the pool deck of an LA hotel.)
People frequently ask me about yoga and express a desire to "get into it." To you I say, join me on Wello! Schedule a private session or join one of my group classes. I may forget the odd word now and then, but when you do yoga with me on Wello you will always get a personalized experience. Leave a comment below or contact me here and you'll get a code for a FREE class.
"Shannan is great! She really understands and can identify different people's abilities -- therefore making an awesome class. When someone is guiding you individually (because of Wello's small group classes) it makes all the difference and you really feel it!" - Natalie