First and foremost, I am an artist. I have spent most of my life exploring authentic expression as an artist. Through dancing, singing, photography, performance art, poetry, yoga, and gardening, I found connection with something beyond myself. A living embodiment of Source. In my soul journey over the past 20 years, I realized that the inner work of spiritual awakening is indeed an art form in and of itself.
Dance: A deep love and study of dance was my focus from a very young age, and I eventually graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance and Movement Studies from S.U.N.Y. Purchase, an art conservatory in New York. I then performed, taught, and traveled with modern dance companies in New York and San Francisco. Near the end of my dance career, I found that there was something missing in how I felt while performing these choreographed pieces. I remember being at a cast party and witnessing the joy on peoples faces as they spontaneously danced to the music a D.J. was playing. At that moment, everything inside me knew that dance is for everyone! Dance is a powerful vehicle that has the potential to wake people up to the hidden treasures inside themselves, and a platform to connect on a soul level. A place were we are supported to let go of inhibitions, and to ride the wave into the unknown. I began to search for a way to work with dance in this new light of awareness. This search led me to Australia where I trained in Kundalini Dance with founder Leyolah Antara. This began my journey of facilitating conscious dance practice, inspiring me to extensively study contact improvisation, Soul Motion, and 5 Rhythms dance. In 2010 I founded Being Danced. An experiment in communal Play!
Bodywork: While I was receiving my dance degree, my mother suggested that I become a massage therapist to support my work in the arts. I am so grateful that she so wisely guided me in the direction of the healing arts. I became a Certified Massage Therapist in 1995 through my studies at Healing Arts Institute, SF School of Massage, and Harbin Hot Springs School of Shiatsu and Massage, and this practice became yet another gateway for my inward journey of transformation and service.
Yoga: My study of yoga and mysticism began as a young girl while out in nature with my father. He would gently remind me to listen to the sound of the wind...to listen to the earth and the plants calling out to me...remember...remember...who you are! Years later, my first introduction to yoga as movement happened during my rigorous years of dance training in New York. I remember being blown away by how much the class challenged me physically and at the same time left me with a sense of peace and calm that I was unaccustomed to. This new-found center of serenity launched me into 20 years of gathering and studying the ancient art of yoga. Most influential to me have been my trainings with Angela Farmer, Victor van Kooten, Rodney Yee, Richard Rosen, Rod Styker, James Higgins, Dana Flynn, and Anusara yoga.
After studying with these master teachers I still wanted a deeper connection to the real and true meaning of yoga. With courage and curiosity, I traveled alone to India, where I deeply re-connected with my essence through the serendipitous meeting with teacher of Truth, Shanti Mayi. For 5 months, I sat in her sangha (spiritual community) and felt my true heart opening as I listened daily to satsang (meeting in Truth) at Sacha Damn Ashram. Here I found the real and true meaning of yoga in the sound of the ganga, the haunting beauty of the bhagan chanting, and the guiding grace of Shanti Mayi’s deep-seated teachings of Truth.
My time in India changed me in a radical and awesome way. Upon returning to California, I vowed to find a way to support myself in the world that was of service to the awakening of our planet. I have been cultivating my gifts while living in the supportive and contained environment of Harbin Hot Springs. I am so grateful to the Harbin community, especially the Garden department, where my soul thrived in learning and living with the plant and elemental world.
Equally important to my growth was the next 7 years I lived in Oakland. During this time I developed my private practice, and became Creative Director for Ecstatic Dance Oakland. This time taught me about the importance of commitment, consistency, community building and creative entrepreneurship.
I am now living and loving life on Big Island Of HAWAII as I continue to create my Heaven on Earth reality.....
one loving step at a time!
"Shannon is an amazing teacher, receptive to what shows up, and has an infectious joy. It is almost like she approaches her classes both from her expertise and with beginners mind."
"Shannon is the most wonderful surprise for me. Her flower of knowledge, and kindness continued to open for me in ways that made me respect her as a human. She was just so present. So open. So accessible. But also, so so talented."