Yoga Anytime teacher, Shelley Williams, offers an intimate look at the parts of her life that are near and dear to her heart. As a yogini, a mama, a surfer, and a lover of life, Shelly considers herself the sum of all of her parts. We caught up with Shelley to learn a little bit more about her practice, her inspirations, and her teachings.
Yoga Anytime: Why do you practice?
Shelley Williams: For my sanity. It's my daily dose of levity for my body, my head, and my heart.
What prevents you from practicing?
The typical, daily responsibilities of being a busy working mama and getting into a rut of exhaustion from "householder" pressures. Of course my practice gives me energy, so when I fall off, it is important that I remember that and get back on my rhythms so I can maintain my energy in taking care of myself so I can continue to take care of the important people in my life.
Tell us about a recent experience of Yoga.
Sitting in women's meditation/ Dakini Mandala visualization with Shiva Rea and Llama Tsultrim Allione (author of Wisdom Rising) and being guided into my own inner listening for self-guidance and wisdom.
What's the most challenging part of teaching yoga and what is the most rewarding?
The most challenging part of teaching—I hesitate to say it, but it is the truth—it is challenging to make ends meet dollars-and-cents wise as a yoga teacher in this day and age. But the other part of that truth is that I recognize I get paid in many other intrinsic ways. I can't imagine doing anything else. I love it, and it rewarding in new and different ways every day.
What is your personal mantra or words that you find yourself living by these days?
Trust your Path, Embrace the Present.
Is there a word or phrase that you are trying to eliminate from your vocabulary?
Who are some of your greatest sources of inspiration in the yoga world?
Shiva Rea, Max Strom, Mark Nepo, Eckharte Tolle, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hahn.
What advice would you give someone starting or restarting their yoga journey?
Open your heart to all the forms yoga takes ... The most potent practice of yoga is in the heart.