Krissy Shields: My Yoga Journey
words by Krissy Shields
My path to yoga was simple and naturally messy. After finally letting go of years of addiction, I immersed myself in the practice of yoga. Yoga lifted me to a new place in a physical, mental and spiritual capacity. My first yoga training, with Jonathan Fields was eye opening and cut the surface of my self awareness, like a 200-hour training does.The long held poses strengthened me, deep and slow breathing calmed me and daily practice built my confidence. I gradually shifted into yoga as a way of living.
Then, I became a mom. Suddenly, I didn’t know my place in the world. I was forever changed. The identity of who I once was felt distant, isolated, unsure and lost. Through my yoga practice and sharing my truth, I found grounding. In this transformational experience my personal practice truly formed.
I dove into advanced studies with Sri Dharma Mittra, while nursing my one year old. Part of our practice was to gaze on a picture of someone we loved for a period of time. I chose Amma, the hugging saint who blessed my baby. I got tired of rushing to this practice between meal times with my baby and started incorporating it into her nightly ritual. I stuck a picture of Amma over my baby’s head while she nursed. She began to wonder why mommy was no longer staring at her. After I explained what I was doing, she too stared at Amma, saying her name while falling asleep. It dawned on me that this was yoga! I needed to find the time within my mothering to embody my yoga practice.
As I continued to integrate yoga and mothering, my second daughter was born and the challenges of dark days ensued. I vividly remember the three of us sitting together one morning after a rather tough day, when my two year old look at me, put her hands in prayer and Om’d. Then she said, “Now you do it, mommy.” I was floored! I put my hands in prayer and I Om’d for her and then for her sister. I had been doing this daily with her since utero. When I needed it the most my kid became my teacher.
I knew my path was to work with women and moms. The next training I did was with Gurmukh as A Khalsa Way prenatal yoga teacher. I have since devoted my energy to creating ways to connect and learn in a circle of women, through my business Maha Mama. I’ve continued studies in holistic health with Inner Harmony, positive psychology with The Flourishing Center, and herbal medicine with Aviva Romm. All I’ve learned finds a way into my teachings, as they evolve to meet the needs of women through many stages.
Through my experience as a yoga teacher, the part that lights me up the most is witnessing someone’s eyes and heart open up. It is about leveraging the practice to a deeper sense of truth, a deeper sense of you!
Visit MahaMama.com to learn more about our donation based classes and inclusive workshops and trainings.