Shannon Thornton - Private Yoga Instruction
My personal yoga practice and my teaching philosophy share a single intention: to realize the union of mind, body and breath, combined with a practical application of that union for healing, equanimity and physical ease. My primary interest as both a student of yoga and as an instructor is in understanding the relationship between psyche and soma, and the effectiveness of yoga practices to address “dis-ease” in whatever form it might take, be it physical pain due to chronic postural habit or injury; or psychological hurt brought on by depression or emotional or physical trauma. I look at yoga as a both a psychological and a physical practice. It is a tool for enabling greater understanding and evolution of the self.
I took my first yoga class in 2000, and completed my RYT certification in 2007. I have been teaching yoga ever since. My instructional style incorporates a strong foundation in the principles of Iyengar yoga, a style taught with emphasis on safe alignment, precision and judicious use of props, along with deeper somatic and anatomical exploration to locate balance, strength and space, and where appropriate, slower heat-building “flow” sequences. Emphasis on breath is another indispensible touchstone of my own practice and my teaching, and I strive always to introduce the practice ofdharana, or what we might recognize in current parlance as “mindfulness.” In all of my teaching I hope to encourage the development of internal awareness that focuses and calms the mind not just during the time and space of our practice, but in the space of our day to day lives.
In private sessions, I often work with students in their 40’s and beyond, and those with specific structural imbalances or need for increased range of motion, bone health, and balance. I consider it a great privilege to work with people coming to (or well into) their, as psychologist James Hollis puts it, “middle passage,” as I feel yoga an invaluable tool for helping us navigate the wisdom half of life.
In my ongoing quest to broaden and deepen my understanding and practice of yoga I follow the work of Ellen Criswell, Mark Stephens, Richard Rosen, Karin Burke, Tias Little, Ray Long, MD, and Leslie Kaminoff, as well as writings in yoga history, Eastern and Western psychology and yoga philosophy by B.K.S. Iyengar, Vanda Scaravelli, Georg Feuerstein, Eknath Easwaran, Edwin Bryant, Carl Jung, James Hillman, and James Conger, and others.
I offer private yoga classes to individuals and groups all over Dallas, including East Dallas, Deep Ellum, downtown, Uptown/Oak Lawn, the Park Cities and Addison.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Potential students contact me by phone/text or email. I ask a few questions that help me get a fuller picture of the student and his/her/their needs and interests. If we can arrange a mutually convenient time/day and my rate is satisfactory, I email a client intake form. This allows the potential student to give a more detailed picture of their overall health and fitness status and alerts me to any significant health issues that may require a modified or more customized session.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
200Hr Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance
Ongoing continuing education both locally and nationally
Over ten years of continuous yoga instruction experience, both in group/class and private environments
How did you get started teaching?
I practiced for 7 years before pursuing my teaching credentials. I have a strong foundation in the biomechanical principles of modern postural yoga with an emphasis on deep anatomy and somatic awareness. I started teaching because I wanted to take my experience from the classroom as a student to helping others develop their capacity for this profound and lifelong set of tools to heal and develop strength and stability.