Yoga is a beautiful system that, at its best and most effective, one can enact for oneself. Eventually, it is individually sustainable. But until we get to self-realization, and for most of us that’s a big until, we benefit from wonderful teachers of the science and art of yoga to guide us in our practice on the way. In Shaw Yoga’s first two weeks, Parker and I have practiced with almost each Shaw Yoga teacher once (or even twice or three times!). Here’s how lucky we are…

In the opening class with Gina, Parker and I discovered a new side of Ashtanga-inspired flow, (which is a school of yoga that neither of us had jived with before.) Gina’s sturdy yet gentle cues are accessible to anyone, and her contagious love of the practice had us sweating and smiling throughout.

Erika’s style is perhaps best compared to an orchestra conductor; her class was the fullest of the Monday night classes, and she guided practitioners of diverse ranges of experience through a strengthening practice, infused with light humor and attention to alignment and particular body parts.

Michelle Mae’s class came and went fast, though it lasted the whole hour; to practice with Michelle is to forget exactly what you are doing and then find yourself in savasana, happy and bettered. (The next day you’re sore and grateful.)

Parker’s class is slated as “for runners,” and what that means is that she breaks down yoga in a way that is refreshingly new, tolerant to inflexibility, and inventive in its ways of strengthening and extending muscle groups. Her loving voice and open demeanor inspire euphoria throughout the experience.

Lisa describes poses you’ve done a hundred times in a way that makes them feel entirely new. You will sweat in poses you had never considered sweat-inducing before. Who knew, for example, that you could begin sweating while in Parighasana / Gate pose?

Lauren’s peaceful cueing matches beautifully with her magical assists. Magical is actually too common a word for the way it feels to have Lauren adjust you in a pose; alchemy might be more appropriate. The combination of massage-like deepening assists and energizing, challenging poses give you the best combination of what physical yoga practice can be.

John H’s class will elevate your soul. In unusual and refreshing ways, he interweaves meditations with rare and satisfying asanas. You will be challenged mentally and physically.

Grace’s class is intensely demanding, but she ensures that each practitioner feels cared for and supported. If you haven’t experienced a “yoga burpee” before, you should come to Grace’s class to understand how she makes them feel awesome.

Parker described Jeanette’s class as an hour and fifteen minutes where you feel you’re just hanging out with a wonderful person, and happen to be doing yoga. She is laidback, humorous, loving, and so knowledgeable.

MK starts her morning class off with music that will make you forget how early it is. Parker and I have yet to spend the magical hour with her, but the way she sweeps into the studio and greets each of her students has us eagerly awaiting our first experience with her.

To be in Heather’s class is to feel utterly certain that you have found someone who loves yoga more than anything in the world. Her love and dedication is infectious, and her humor and huge heart fill her cueing.

During Jenny’s first Thursday night class, I felt more supported (“support” was, indeed, her theme) than perhaps ever before in a yoga class. The challenging and vibrant asana sequence of the first 50 minutes is followed seamlessly by 25 minutes of loving restorative poses. Jenny makes it abundantly clear in her classes how much she cares about the community-development potential of yoga.

Caitlin’s longstanding love and practice of yoga reveals itself in her teaching. The most humble and generous of spirits, she is nonetheless the teacher to get you to try to overcome fear or reticence towards a certain pose.

There isn’t a teacher in the bunch we don’t offer with shining confidence. We feel so grateful to be in their vicinity (and often in their classes)!