Shannah Green opened the doors of The Yoga Room in 2001 with a year round schedule. I remember. My former sister in law had just gone to a yoga teacher training, and a passel of us cousins started taking her classes in support. Through the years, I’ve come to depend upon my yoga practice as a way to move through the world and allow life to move through me.
Much like dining in Italy, where the food is exceptional in its simplicity, Shannah’s classes are refreshingly simple. So often restaurant meals and yoga classes can become very contrived in an effort to deliver the “latest and greatest”. Linking breath with movement is at the heart of yoga and moving your body into certain poses releases physical and emotional tightness, all in an effort to relax and ground the physical body in preparation for meditation. Shannah weaves the Yamas and Niyamas (the ethical precepts of yoga)throughout her classes and offers tips on how to “take the practice off the mat”. If you’re lucky, she adds one more layer of beauty to class by singing a prayer or chant as we rest in Savasana, the final pose of integration.
What does “A Delicious Lifestyle” mean to you?
To me, A Delicious Lifestyle involves nurturing myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. This includes yoga, fitness, reading, spending quality time with friends and family, mindfully parenting my daughter, playing guitar and singing, and having quiet, reflective time.
Where is your home base?
I live in Providence. I started coming to Nantucket in 1980 to vistit my friend, Carol Green, in the summers, and it was Shangri La. In 1985, my mother passed away from cancer. It was a profound loss for me. I didn’t want to be in the frenetic lifestyle NYC. I needed to be in a really beautiful and healing place and I wanted a rest for a year or two. I came and I never left. It happens to everyone. The island takes hold of you. I eventually found my healing and yoga was a huge part of it.
Why do you practice yoga?
Being a former dancer, yoga provides me with a powerful, kinesthetic mode of self-expression while giving me the tools with which to navigate my life.
What are the benefits of a regular practice?
The benefits include a greater sense of wellbeing, deeper self-knowledge, tools for living mindfully and courageously, the ability to remain present in the moment-to-moment experiences and focus on the bigger picture of life, while holding what is important and sacred.
You have to commit to it regularly for it to happen. You reap the benefits of yoga when it is something you do as part of your lifestyle.
Do you have any advice in the busy world for a healthy lifestyle?
We have to ask ourselves what we are running from and what we are running to? What would happen if we took 10% off of our plate and slowed down? Would the world fall apart? It’s about making a healthy lifestyle a priority, just like anything else. If your priority is maintaining health, then what steps will you take to get there?
For example, I get up at 4:45 because I need cardiovascular exercise in the morning, which is the only time I can work it in. It is a priority for me to get in to bed at 9 pm to do what I need to accommodate. Usually, I realize I need to leave an event so I can live my life and be available, the way I want to live it.
When you need to shift your mood, what techniques do you use?
Find gratitude and make a gratitude list. Just remember all the abundance you have. It is a great way to shift.
You can’t over estimate the power of breathing, Pranayama. Getting myself outside in nature, and breathing, gives me perspective. You can shift your thinking process.
I tend to think about life, and what is most important… i.e., if I’m stressed, I think about my daughter.
Shannah & Tess
Being present for her, being a kind person, showing up for others, and thinking about people less fortunate… makes my problems seem like luxury problems. I try and see my personal problems within the bigger picture. Once you put it in perspective, the answers come to you… For me, I realize I’m not too far away from my mother’s age when she died.
On a busy day, what choices would you make for your health if you only had:
10 minutes: Breathe and meditate
30 or 60 minutes: Depending on how much time I have: some yoga, (because some is better than none) and/or cardio exercise like running, the elliptical, spinning, or biking.
Do you have any “Go To” Health Tips (or tricks to keep yourself motivated???)?
I might not feel like waking at 4:45am, but I know I feel better if I do take that time to exercise.
Prepping food. I make my own granola and make it in bulk once a month so I can control what goes in it.
What are some of your favorite Healthy Eating choices?
I am a person of habit; I start almost every morning fresh fruit and homemade granola (CLICK FOR RECIPE!) or oatmeal, almonds and seeds. I also drink a little Goji juice (great for an antioxidant lift and anti-aging!)
I make an “everything but the kitchen sink” salad with roasted brussel sprouts. I take the time to prepare lots of labor-intensive foods on Sunday so I can grab and go during the week. For example, I’ll add cooked beets in a lunch salad with avocados and goat cheese and maybe salmon. I always have protein (roasted chicken breast, tofu, or nuts) in my meals.
Having said all that, I am a coffee drinker and enjoy my biscotti.
Cheers to living A Delicious Lifestyle, Shannah!!!
Who would you like to study with and why?
I would like to study more Buddhism, and specifically with the Buddhist meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, as well as Pema Chondron and Jon Kabat Zin.
While Shannah now lives in Providence with her family during the school year, she is very connected to Nantucket and The Yoga Room. “I feel very proud of the vision that I’ve had for the space which was a place for a special community to form where people can find inner peace and fulfillment. With the help of wonderful teachers, I have been able to provide the quality of yoga, instruction and experience that has transformed my life and others…”.
Stay in touch with Shannah and her teaching schedule at: www.Shannahgreen.com.
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