Off The Mat: Shannon Moran

This is a monthly series featuring a student, teacher, and/or business owner committed to wellness in a positive, forward-thinking capacity. February 2023’s profile is Quad Cities yoga instructor Shannon Moran.

Title: Owner, Zen Yoga & Meditation
Teaching credential: E-RYT 200
Pronouns: he/him

Q&A with Shannon Moran

  1. What’s a non-yoga fun fact about you?
    I love birds and have a parrot as a pet. 

  2. How did you learn about yoga?
    I was first introduced to yoga at a small music festival in Oregon in 2000. The band The String Cheese Incident had a Kundalini yoga teacher, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, on stage before they played each night leading the crowd in yoga and breath work. I was already very interested in the philosophy and was reading yoga sutras, but this was my introduction to asana (yoga poses). 
  3. What’s a favorite pose and why?
    It’s so hard to pick a favorite pose as my body would feel incomplete with just one. If I had to pick only one it would be Downward Facing Dog. It has everything except a backbend and twist that yoga poses do for our physical body. It allows strength and flexibility, and the wonderful benefits of inversions. If Surya Namaskara could be considered one pose that would be my choice. 
  4. What would you say to someone who tried yoga once, but was frustrated about not being able to do all the poses?
    Yoga is a lot like going into a coffee shop. There are many different flavors. One person might like a hot coffee and one person might like a cold coffee. Another person may want tea. Yoga classes are very much metaphorically like this. We have to find the class that tastes right to our body, mind, and spirit. 

  5. What classes do you offer and how are they different?
    I teach Vinyasa Yoga, Gentle Senior Yoga, Yoga Nidra Meditation, and Zen Mindfulness Meditation.
    – Vinyasa is going to be more physically challenging. This type of class is great for people to enjoy more of a physical workout and are more active. I find athletes, runners, and bikers enjoy Vinyasa.
    – My Gentle classes are adapted to anyone. Often some people will be in chairs and other people will be on the floor. I see a lot of senior citizens in these classes, people with hip and knee replacements. Gentle yoga is wonderful for those that have less range of motion, more physical challenges, or just are looking for a slower paced yoga class.
    – Yoga Nidra is all reclining and a wonderful way to release tension, reduce fatigue, improve sleep cycles, heal from trauma and improve brain cognition.
    – Zen Mindfulness Meditation are simple breathing practices done, seated, walking, laying down or while you eat. With Zen Mindfulness you can incorporate the practices into anything you do during the day to stay more present and joyful. 

  6. Which class(es) do you recommend for someone with little to no yoga experience?
    Someone with little to no yoga experience, if they can, I would suggest 3 to 5 private yoga lessons. One-on-one lessons are a great way to find what practices work well for your body and allow the teacher to get you comfortable and enjoying the practice. If someone was not going to do a private yoga lesson what class I suggest for them [is] determined by their personal situation. A beginners or gentle class is a great way to start. 
  7. Why are students are drawn to your classes?
    I work on making everyone feel comfortable and really try to offer as much one-on-one assistance as I can, even in a group class setting. Many students love the adjustments and help I give to allow deeper stretching. A lot of my senior citizens and the Gentle classes I sometimes think come for the community and visiting with each other more than yoga!

  8. What is a favorite “student transformation” story? 
    So hard to pick one! For a couple years there was a blind gentleman with a little bit of a learning disability that would come to my Gentle yoga class. You could really see and feel the joy that he got every time that he was at the yoga studio. That’s one of the most wonderful things about yoga is anyone can do it; we just have to find the right approach and the correct practice for each individual person. 

  9. What are some upcoming events we can look forward to at your studio?
    I am excited to be hosting another international yoga retreat! I will be in Punta Cana July 29- Aug 5. It’s a beautiful resort doing yoga and meditation with students. Some workshops that are in the works are “Yoga for Low Back Pain” and “Day of Yoga and Mindfulness”. 
    zenyogameditation.com is my website 

    Recommendation someone to be profiled, by sending an email to abreathoffireblog@gmail.com.

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