Shelby Stricklin, a Certified Yoga Teacher at A Gentle Way, has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years. She found her first class early in college, after loosing her boyfriend suddenly to cancer.
“I remember my first yoga class like it was yesterday. I was in such a dark place, riddled with anxiety and depression. The instructor guided me to my breath, and directed me inward to a place that was calm and peaceful. We held each pose for what seemed like forever and with each exhale I could feel everything I had been holding on to just melt into the mat below me.”
During that first class Shelby says, “I fell, deeply, madly, in-love with yoga.” While working on her degree in Speech Communications from SFSU in 2004 she practiced yoga everywhere she could. She took classes at school, at studios, at gyms and community centers and practiced many different yoga styles and traditions.
In 2008, in search of deepening her yoga practice, she found the 200-Hour Advanced Teacher Training Program at Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California. There, she was afforded the opportunity to study under Richard Rosen, Mary Paffard, Baxter Bell, Vickie Russell Bell, and Ann Dyer. Shelby also completed yoga workshops for Scoliosis, Prenatal, Teaching Disabilities, Meditation & Yoga, Inversions, and Ayurvedic Yoga along with her required assisting hours and received her Yoga Teacher Certificate in 2009.
Still focused primarily on her marketing career, Shelby obtained her Internet Marketing Masters Certificate from USF in 2012. She then relocated from the Bay Area to San Diego. Shortly after, she became pregnant with her daughter and started experience serious health challenges that brought her yoga practice to a halt.
“My body felt vulnerable and weak. I was achy, stiff and fatigued. I was in terrible pain all over my body and didn’t know why I felt so badly. It was like every system in my body went haywire. Some days I could take my daughter on a walk around the neighborhood, and other days I couldn’t even walk to the drive-way.”
Shelby was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease shortly after her daughter was born, and although undergoing treatment, many of her symptoms persisted. Early in 2015 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, an incurable disease characterized by wide spread pain and fatigue.
Today, although Shelby feels like she is beginning in yoga all over again, she knows from her years of experience practicing yoga and meditation that a beginner’s mind leads the way to limitless potential. She hopes to encourage and support students in regaining more of their own strength and vitality through gentle and restorative yoga practice and meditation.
When Shelby is not teaching yoga, she enjoys spending time with her family, paddle boarding and exploring sunny San Diego. Connect with her on Facebook, via email or sign-up for one of Shelby’s weekly yoga classes at A Gentle Way.