Shannon Solitaire

Winnipeg, MB

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I started practicing Yoga a handful of years ago when free classes were offered at the YMCA where I was a member. I thoroughly enjoyed the different aspects of what Yoga gave to my body, mind, and spirit. With my athletic background and love of soccer, various sports and physical activity, Yoga improved my flexibility, endurance, strength, mindset, and was a lot of and still is! From there, I went on to try different studios around the city, the main one being Moksha Yoga Winnipeg on Donald, and made it part of my everyday life. I got a month-to-month membership, which meant unlimited classes and I found myself almost living at the studio, sometimes doing two classes a day. I was an addict, and I loved every minute of it. I thought to myself, how could something like this take such a hold on me, and be good for me nonetheless?!

In about 2009, I remember being in an evening class at Moksha on Donald, it was at the end of the class and the beautiful instructor Clancey, said something that would change my life forever. She told us her story about becoming a teacher. She said she wanted to share this gift, this life, with everyone and decided to go to India. She said stepping off that plane was the best decision she had ever made. Her story was so inspiring, and the way she shared her passion with the way I was feeling in that moment, it was like the greatest transfer of energy I had ever felt. Lying there in Savasana, feeling this crazy energy moving inside me, even though my physical body was completely still like I was supposed to be in corpse pose, inside I was building up something that would never leave me. I knew this is what I wanted to do, this is what I had to do, and nothing was going to stop me.

I decided this is something that I wanted to be a part of my life forever, and I wanted to be able to share that with the world. India would be the place. I actually had no other place in my thoughts that I wanted to go to do my first ever yoga training. I strived to go to India firstly because I am a travel bum and have always wanted to go there and live out my Bollywood fantasy :), and secondly because India is the Birthplace of Yoga, and I wouldn't want to honour both the country and the art in any other way than by being in India for my first training experience.

In November 2012 I hopped on the plane solo, and started my journey. From Winnipeg, I flew to Toronto to catch the International flight that had already started changing my life. Once I got to Delhi, my heart didn't stop smiling, and still hasn't.

I had researched for a long time, at least two years, as to where in India I wanted to go to train. I stumbled across this little website for a training program in Rishikesh called the Rishikesh Yog Peeth. It was barely a site with a few tabs giving information for the training sessions. I read up on their philosophy, the training schedule, the location, the price, the accommodations, and any other information I could gather, like I did with every location I researched. Instantly I felt a connection to this place, and saved them in a bookmark. Keeping them in mind, I continued researching the different training programs, all across India. Some obviously more prestigious than others, but I also wanted to make sure I was going to one that was approved by the Yoga Alliance.

For some reason, I would always refer back to the website at the Rishikesh Yog Peeth, and I didn't know why but that energy I felt was huge. I am not exaggerating when I say this, I thought about the Yog Peeth every single day, at least ten times per day (if I can even put a number on it) and I couldn't help myself. Even though at the time I was still in University, this was something that would not leave my mind or my heart.


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