Hi, my name is Michelle but people usually call me Shelby or Shell or Mitch
What first brought you to Yoga?
I literally fell onto a yoga mat after seeing an advertisement in a new paper for a beginnings course. I was working 12 hours a day at a stressful job and I was pretty exhausted and stressed out. I remember the first night of the course, looking through the windows at the yogis in the class before mine and marvelling at how their bodies moved like poetry through the asana. It was beautiful to watch. When it was my class, my feet touched the mat and I literally fell in love with yoga and haven’t stepped off the mat since 🙂
When & how were you inspired by the practice?
The practice inspires me daily. As you practice over the years everything constantly changes. At first it was all about achievements and showing myself what I could accomplish with a little concentration and perseverance. It matched the stage I was at metaphysically though. I think this is an important aspect of yoga, the physical and metaphysical are always needing to balance with each other. I needed to build my self esteem, my inner strength and the way I thought of myself at that point. During the years my practice has morphed and changed depending on what stage metaphysically and psychospirtually that I am at. The physical practice supports and allows transition through life stages with more ease. This always inspires me. When I think back to what my life and how I viewed the world was like prior to yoga and how I feel and live and embrace life now and the rich full relationships that have resulted – there is a big positive difference. That is what inspires me the most about yoga the awareness that it brings you about every facet of your being so that you are better equipped to make wiser choices for you. This to me is real freedom – the awareness to realise there is always an array of internal choices for how you live and respond in the world.
How did yoga practice shift you and from there why did you get inspired to teach?
When I experienced the changes in myself and the peace and joy and love that sprang up from the practice I started to feel like I wanted to share this. The real moment came when I was partnered with a person with social autism in a yoga class. This person struggled to make eye contact and speak around other people and yet when he was practising he smiled and talked to me during the partner yoga session and seemed so much more at ease. I knew then that I really wanted to teach this amazingly beautiful science and art form.
From what perspective do you teach and what lights you up as an instructor?
I teach from the perspective that we are all gifts to this world and yoga helps us to unwrap this gift. Self love features very heavily in my classes as I believe love is everything, and self love is the basis of wellness. I love when people chat to me about things they have suddenly realised in their beings or lives etc and then tell me how this has been life changing to them 🙂 Nothing lights me up more than hearing how people’s lives open up and are full of internal possibilities after starting their practices.
Your study, influences and continued learning?
I originally started studying physiotherapy went I was first out of high school. I never really clicked with it because although I loved the anatomy and physiology it seemed to lack the wellbeing component. I then studied nutrition at university. Again loved the science but felt it was too clinical and not orientated around the cause of why people may not be eating healthily. Finally I fell in love with philosophy & sociology and completed a double degree. I find this invaluable in my every day life and practically when I work with people in one on one yoga therapy. For yoga specific training I originally studied teaching training at Fremantle yoga studio where I completed a 350hr teacher training course. I still meet regularly with one of my main teachers from Fremantle, James McIntyre, for invaluable private yoga sessions. I then went on to do completed a 600hr+ Yoga Therapy diploma with Surya Health & Yoga Space. I am currently studying further into Yin Yoga and Ayurvedic studies. My plan for 2019 is to go to the States and study with Lauren Walker for a few weeks.
What do you do off the mat?
I love to read and learn – so I tend to be listening to podcasts, reading, studying or practicing yoga. I love oils so lately I have been reading and mixing potions that I research and then test on myself 🙂 Other than that I love hanging out with my husband and beloved pouch, Yoga Bob!