Shannon Stephens: Yoga Medicine Teacher 200 RYT & Co-Owner, Routed Connection

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Bio:

Shannon Stephens teaches a diverse range of classes and specializes in Yin yoga, meditation, and vinyasa flow. She’s a Yoga Medicine teacher, a trainer for the 200-hour program at Soul Yoga in Oklahoma City, and co-owner of Routed Connection, a small business that organizes local and international yoga events and retreats. Shannon is down to earth and meets her students where they are, promoting transformation through steady, consistent practice. She believes that through yoga we become keenly aware of our bodies, minds, and emotions; that by tuning in we learn how to heal, nourish, and know ourselves from the inside out. Shannon is passionate about helping others find balance in their lives through the different lenses of yoga. She believes that every student has his/her own specific set of needs and that through yoga and meditation we can achieve balance and harmony in our bodies, our relationships, and our communities.

What do I do best?

Teach. I think I’m good at connecting to people.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Time in silence. I used to think that my sensitivity and introversion were weaknesses but now I view them as strengths. I’ve learned to separate myself when I feel like the world is turned up too loud. Being the life of the party is not for me. I love quiet – whether it’s spent outdoors, creating something with my hands, or at home curled up on the couch, time in silence fills me up so that when I am teaching and connecting with others the interaction is genuine.

What are my aspirations?

To never stop learning. Each time I attend a training or read something new I’m reminded of how much there is to know. I love peeling back layers and going down rabbit holes. Knowledge continually alters the path and introduces new ways of seeing and thinking.

My Biggest Success?

Leaving a career in public school education was one of the best, yet toughest decisions I’ve made, in part because of the sacrifices that were made to earn my degree. My husband and I skimmed on next to nothing while I was in grad school. I graduated with student loans and a career that took several years to admit, wasn’t for me. I made teaching yoga a career in 2015 and I’m in love with my work. Last year I formed Routed Connection, a retreat business with two dear friends. Teaching yoga, traveling, and connecting with people on a deeper level is the most gratifying work I can imagine.

My Most Challenging Moment?

I can’t pinpoint an actual moment but there was a period when I was stuck in a downward spiral. I have always struggled with depression but a couple of summers ago I found myself questioning everything. Self-doubt and indecisiveness can be paralyzing. I found a therapist that I trusted and she helped bring the muck to the surface. It was a rough patch that seemed to go on forever, but I’m grateful for it. Scars are part of being human. They remind us the depths of what we’re capable of feeling and experiencing.

My Motto?

Breathe. As multi-layered a practice yoga is, the simple act of breathing mindfully can completely alter your state of mind and your physiology.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

My family as a whole. I’m fortunate to remain super close to my siblings, and I’m proud to share their DNA. And my husband. We’ve grown up together in so many ways - shared ups and downs, career changes, two states, many addresses, the loss of family members and pets, and countless hours behind the wheel (road trips are our thing).

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

I love to travel and I’ve been to some pretty incredible places so It’s hard to choose a favorite. One of the most memorable trips was to Peru. The culture is beautiful, the people warm and welcoming, and the landscape is absolutely stunning.

My Favorite Products/Objects?

I take my RAD Roller myofascial balls everywhere I go. Teaching yoga full time can be hard on my body. Myofascial release is like a tune-up.

My Current Passions?

I started taking jiu-jitsu classes this year and I am officially obsessed. Jui-jitsu is a humbling reminder of what it feels like to be new at something. I have so much to learn - being at the very beginning is inspiring.