November Staff Feature: Shaun Harris

Every month, we want to allow you to get to know a little more about each instructor or staff member here at Beyond Yoga.  This month’s Staff Feature is Shaun Harris. We hope you enjoy getting to know Shaun and trying his class at the studio!


Shaun Harris
Instructor at Beyond Yoga


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Hi Shaun!  Tell us a little more about the style and type of classes you teach at Beyond Yoga?

Currently, I am teaching the following classes at the studio (and occasionally a {be} still class):

Tuesday – 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM: {be} gentle – Vinyasa Flow
Saturday – 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: {be} gentle – Vinyasa Flow

My favorite type of class is a class that has a slow breakdown of postures for beginners and all levels.  I think that there isn’t such a thing as doing “the basics” enough.  So, when I think through a class, I am usually pulling from Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga postures to put a fusion of the two together.  Maybe the reality of the class is {be} gentle fusion, but it has seemed to be working for many people and it’s not necessarily easy.  I’ve always thought of “gentle” meaning that the student cares for their body in their practice, but it doesn’t mean “easy”!


What would you tell someone who is taking a yoga class for the first time?

The first thing I would say is for a new yogi is to check your ego at the door and be willing to laugh!  I remember the first time I tried down dog.  I literally was laughing so hard because it made no sense to me at all.  It was hard!  I could bench press 315 at the time, and I really thought that was much easier.  Today, there is no way I can bench press that weight, but down dog is a little easier for me and yet still challenging.  The tension of yoga is why I love it so much.  Our bodies aren’t on repeat.  We wake up each morning needing new morning mercies from the Lord.  We need those new morning mercies for our bodies too.

What would you say is the biggest misconception about yoga you hear from your students or the public?

Weakness and stretching.  Really, those two words sum up most of the misconceptions I run into!  I hear people say that it isn’t going to get me strong enough or it’s something that only women do.  I’ll refrain from history (guys actually did yoga more than women!), but strength comes from both contracting a muscle and stretching a muscle.  You can’t get “real” strength without both.  The other misconception is that yoga is just stretching.  Well, yoga is stretching, but it isn’t only stretching.  I really can’t think of a pose where I am not doing both.  Usually if someone tells me they went to a yoga class and weren’t sore the next day, then I know that they either weren’t giving it much effort or the instructor wasn’t telling the student what muscles to engage correctly.

How long have you been teaching yoga?  What is your yoga background?  And what do you love most about teaching yoga?

I’ve been teaching yoga for a year and a half.  Most of the sessions over the past year have been private.  Beyond Yoga is my first opportunity to teach in a studio setting, and yes, it’s addictive!  My yoga background is through Holy Yoga.  I went through instructor training in 2011 and then through a Masters training in 2012.  I am going through the Masters training again this year and into 2017.  The part that I love about teaching is seeing people feel comfortable with their bodies and in the process surrendering to the Lord.  I’ve seen people have their bodies and their hearts changed on their mats.  I love teaching and it’s a privilege that I “get to” teach.

What would you like to share with anyone that comes to your class or is interested in taking it?

My hope is that those coming to my classes experience yoga, but more importantly, feel the grace in our studio to feel the Lord.  Experiencing the Lord through worship on one’s mat is the only essential thing and anything else after that is a really nice bonus.

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