Student Feature: Shawn Ward

Name: Shawn Ward

Hometown: Yellowknife (Originally from Vancouver Island; moved north to YK, in 1995)

Months/years practicing yoga: Since October, 2015 

Favourite class offered at Taiga: Can I say ‘all of them’? ‘;0)

Every class (and workshop) I’ve attended, thus far, is diverse and has offered various skill sets that challenged me to develop the awareness of my practice. I have benefited greatly by attending different types of classes, and truly appreciate, each instructor’s commitment and eagerness to share their own unique talent, energy and perspective with us, each and every day. 

What is your favourite yoga posture and why? 

I have a few: 

1. Supported Shoulder Stand, Right Leg Behind Head (Utthita Sarvangasana Right)

2. Pigeon Pose on Right/Left Foot, Head Up (Urdhva Mukha Kapotasana)

I like this pose as it challenges me both physically and mentally. The power of this pose can be intense at times. I’m learning that the way I choose to react to it is ultimately my choice. By working through the pose with what I was taught, I now convey clarity and focus into my thoughts, and channel the positive energy required to enjoy that place in time. When I succeed, I feel stronger and content.

3. Down Dog Split - Three-Legged Dog

I like this pose because it makes me feel poised, relaxed, and strong. Plus, I have a three-legged dog, named Lego, who does this all the time!

Tell us a bit about your yoga journey:

Okay, I’m dating myself here but…

As a child, my Mom encouraged me to join her practicing at home with ‘Kareen’s Yoga’, (on TV); does anyone remember that? As I recall, it was fun and I enjoyed the time spent with my Mom, learning something new. 

That was my only exposure to yoga until last winter, when a friend invited me to join a small group that were joining a Tai Yin Workshop. I joined that, plus, enrolled myself in the Beginner’s Workshop (also, offered at that time), hoping to gain some basic knowledge of poses and yoga theory, and to see if, and where, I’d fit in. 

This was the perfect opportunity for me to spend what limited time I had, doing something, simply for myself. It’s my belief, things come to us for a reason and, as fate would have it, this opportunity was a gift that came along at the right time. 

…I absolutely loved it…so fluid; yet, still.

The benefits of yoga are undeniable and my experiences enlightening. Although, I started late, I will finish old.

What keeps you coming back to Taiga?

The wonderful instructors who continually teach us to grow and learn with positive affirmation and who, all willingly, share their experiences and knowledge. Also, the challenges of the practice itself, the happiness I feel learning and the absolute serenity of the space. 

I’m very pleased with my personal growth and physical progress since joining the Taiga community. 

What words of wisdom do you have for the Taiga community? 

Of my own experience…

Empower yourself and appreciate ‘beautiful you’.  Take time out for yourself. Try different classes and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The reward, far supersedes the risk. 

Our reasons for getting, and being here, are as diverse as each of us, but, the perseverance to strive to improve our practice and our lives is united. 

Namaste

Shawn