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Shawna matsunaga

Molly Atkins

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45min

All Levels

BIOGRAPHY

Aloha, I’m Shawna. Born and raised on the beautiful island of Maui, which will always have my heart. My family is crazy, funny, and always down for adventures. I am a teacher (also forever a student) of yoga, meditation, and pranayama breathwork – all things which keep my head on straight! I’m all about minimalism, music that moves the soul, and dancing through the ebb and flow of life. Most importantly, my dogs Posh and Missy make my heart melt. 

Most of my childhood and adolescence was dedicated to competitive gymnastics. You could say I was obsessed. Big thanks to my parents for signing me up at age 3. After my dad passed away, gymnastics was never the same and I let go of the sport at 16. It was then that mom introduced me to yoga. Little did I know of the transformation this practice would bring me in later years. Back then, my focus was primarily external and believe it or not… I was afraid chaturangas would make my arms “too big”. Oh, how times have changed since then. 

The rest of high school involved joining the cheer team, drama club, and a local dance studio. Dance is what truly stole my heart. I felt a true sense of self-expression. Moving my body with freedom while being able to actually feel music was like gold to me. I took countless hip-hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet and modern dance classes. 

College time came and I found myself in Las Vegas at UNLV. Talk about a culture shock! I declared myself a double major of Dance Performance and Theatre. After two years I chickened out in fear of “not making it”, and my new major sparked an interest in both writing and videography. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Media Studies with two minor degrees – Dance Performance and Leadership Civic Engagement.

After college, I’ll admit I felt like a lost dog. I had no direction of where to go next. I worked my way through various jobs and finally landed in a corporate position that I was proud of. I thought I had made it because that’s what society tells you, right? I was making good money, had a luxury car and a beautiful place to live, but still – no true fulfillment. Fast-forward to 2019 when I made an epic choice to quit my job and live in an RV. Huh? Yes, you heard me.

Making the choice to live on the road was life-changing to say the least. At first adjusting was hard. Really hard. Once acclimated to the lifestyle, I was totally into it. It brought more awareness to simple living with less waste. Gratitude for every drop of water. Using solar panels for power created a new relationship I had with the sun. 

I missed my yoga studio. I discovered online yoga while travelling and quickly realized this was my calling. To be able to teach from the ends of the Earth with the glory of the Universe as my studio! I could help others access yoga in their world, wherever that was. Even after this realization, I still put it off. 

Welp, then 2020 rolls in – one of the most transformative years of my life. There is always a silver lining, right? Quarantine gave me the giant nudge that I needed. I signed up for Sadhana Yoga School online and FINALLY got certified to teach after over 15 years of personal practice. Wow. It was overwhelming. I not only learned about yoga, but so much about myself that had been buried inside. I realized how much I wanted to get to know the real me, so I began to truly look inward and dig deep into the path of healing.

I have been humbled by how much there is to learn about ourselves and our healing. What I know is only the tip of the iceberg. So no, I am no master guru or have a giant wealth of knowledge about all things yoga. I am simply someone on a transformative path. A hard one I might add because peeling back the layers of ourselves can be intense and uncomfortable. That’s growth. Learning to embrace the true me has inspired me to help others do the same. Helping my students tap into their authentic self and witnessing them transform fulfills me to my core. My style of teaching is playful, challenging, and intentional, providing a safe space to just be. Because we are all in it together. Even when it feels messy, ugly, and hard. There is magic along the journey and the more we let go the more we realize how powerful we are.