I got the pleasure of interviewing the beautiful Shanna. She is a Lifestyle and Wellness blogger/enthusiast. A yoga teacher and forever a student and also the founder of the brand, Self, Soul, Sport which encourages women to get out there and just do it.
I met Shanna on instagram and she commented on my page and I lost it. Let me tell you why, she was featured on Essence for Women of Color in Wellness to look out for and she was liking my pictures! So when I went to her page for 1, I felt silly because I followed all the other women and don’t see how I missed her because she is AMAZING! And 2, I loved her page probably more than she loved mine (this isn’t up for debate Shanna!)
Anyways, let’s get into the good stuff!
So how long have you been teaching yoga, and what made you want to start?
I’ve been teaching yoga for a little over a year. I currently don’t teach at a studio for my own personal reasons. I feel limited creatively when I work under someone else’s format so I’m looking at renting space and teaching with a sequence/playlist of my damn choice. What made want teaching yoga was my own yoga journey. I felt like the mat was the one place I was kind to myself and rooted for myself. I also noticed there was much more than a physical practice but a potential for community.
Was this the start of your self care journey?
My self care journey began at a time of darkness in my life. Depression started my journey. I practiced yoga before facing depression, but it was only for the physical benefits. After I was diagnosed and treated at an inpatient facility, I began practicing yoga for the full benefits, which includes self care.
So with you being a yoga teacher, self care is like second nature to you, do you always remain in a state of zen or are there times where you’re like yeaaaa..ain’t no peace today bihh?
Lol! This question is great. I would have to say that I’m around 60% zen and 40% ain’t no peace today bihh. It’s hard being 100% zen living in NYC, as well as balancing many different projects. I will say that without self-care, I’d be strung out!
Describe yourself in three words and why did you choose these three words?
I’m resilient, because I won’t let darkness consume me. I’m funny, because I try my best to not take everything so seriously. Lastly, I’m entrepreneurial because I cannot just focus on one passion.
Describe your self care practice?
My self care practice varies greatly. There are days I need a glass of wine, and there are days I need a yoga class. There are times I need to talk, and there are times I need to journal. My self care practice is one that I allow to take many shapes and forms based on what my soul tells me I need.
What was your reaction when you were featured in Essence as one of the women to look out for in wellness?
My jaw dropped. To be amongst so amazing women of color (not to mention Lauren Ash!) was the most flattering end of 2017. Then, I was flattered. Now, I am motivated. Essence featuring me means I had to step my game up for the brown girls!
What does it mean to be a woman of color in wellness?
This is an interesting question for me at this point in my career. I’m seeing differences in the way business is conducted with me, that I should feel fortunate for even being invited or considered amongst my less-melanin counterparts. I work much harder at making sure that I’m not excluding my WOC and having conversations that need to be had about the wellness industry. Lack of diversity in large wellness brands is still prevalent and it’s up to us in the industry to speak up about it.
How important is self care for women of color?
It is important for every single woman, and even moreso for WOC. Intersectional discriminatoon is real and we are not only minorities, but we are also women. We have to work two times harder. Thus, we need two times more self care, but we tend to miss out on this. It’s because we are so busy working that we forget to take care of ourselves. We need the balance, it’s imperative.
What is a typical day in the life of you?
Typical is no longer in my vocabulary when describing my days. Every single day is so different! I find myself usually working out, working at full-time job or on the blog or the podcast or the Instagram, or sitting on my ass on Netflix. I’m working on having more of a routine; but they tend to bore me.
Do you have any favorite artists, creatives, or “gurus”?
My favorite musician right now is Lono Bristol. His creative work resonates with me and embodies the current culture so well. I love Claire Fountain (better known as @cbquality) for her real conversations on wellness and health. Last but not least, Lauren Ash is a woman that I look up to for what she’s doing with Black Girl in Om and her own personal career. It’s about time we have such a driving force!
The power of social media! I have met some pretty amazing women through social media this year and it’s only February. Can we say MANIFESTATION!
Make sure you follow Shanna @shannatyler on Instagram and follow her brand and listen to her podcast @selfsoulsport!
Photos by Diana Davis