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Shawna Scizak

Early in life Shawna began exploring the benefits of exercise, particularly those associated with improved emotional and mental wellbeing. She worked in the fitness industry for seven years, taught exercise classes, and was certified by several nationally recognized exercise organizations. Although acquainted with the basics of yoga, it wasn’t until 2008 that she discovered a teacher who inspired her into a deeper appreciation of the practice and revealed that what she had always sought at the gym was actually waiting for her in the yoga studio. Yoga has turned out to be the mind, body, spirit connection that she’d been seeking and so, in 2010, she graduated from Brentwood Yoga Center's Advanced Yoga Studies Program and became certified with the Yoga Alliance. She also took her pursuit of yoga half way around the world when she accompanied Jim, Kate, and her teacher Sandy on their spectacular retreat to India. As a student first and a teacher second, she hopes to use her knowledge and enthusiasm to bring the life changing benefits of yoga to others. She currently lives in Discovery Bay with her husband, Mike, and two dogs, Jazmine and Bodhi.



Shawna Scizak instructs the following:
  • Restorative Yoga
  • A healing practice of supportive and restorative poses, which relieve tension and stress throughout the body. Beginners welcome!

  • Yoga @ Noon
  • Come in for a great "lunchtime" yoga practice. The practice will run 1 hour and 15 minutes, from noon to 1:15 p.m. Just enough time to get your mind and body "reset" for the rest of the day!

  • Beginner/Intermediate
  • Build upon the basic standing and seated postures taught to beginning students. Intermediate classes can be more vigorous as they focus on building strength and stamina in the poses. Learn more about our Pose Syllabus here.
    What is covered in the Beginner/Intermediate Yoga classes?
    All 50 poses in the Beginner’s Yoga syllabus are frequently practiced within the Beginner/Intermediate classes. The main addition in the Beginner/Intermediate class is the introduction of Inversions in class.
    What is an Inversion?

    An Inversion is any pose where the head is below the heart. Theoretically, downward facing dog pose is an inversion. But when we speak of Inversions in relation to the Beginner/Intermediate class – we are mainly refer to these three poses: headstand (sirsasana), shoulderstand (sarvangasana) and handstand (adho mukha vrksasana).
    Why are these poses so special and important?

    Headstand (or Sirsasana) has been referred to as the “King” of all poses. Shoulderstand (or Sarvangasana) is referred to as the “Queen” or “Mother” of all poses. The benefits of these poses are many. The most immediately recognizable benefits are increased strength, balance, stamina, flexibility and vigor.
    Isn’t it dangerous to be on one’s head or shoulders? It doesn’t seem natural.

    If you have specific concerns about your particular physical condition and limitations, please consult your physician. With proper preparation, support and guidance most of the inverted poses are safe. There are times when a person should NOT do inversions. It is recommended to NOT practice inversions when a woman is menstruating, if you have extremely high or low blood pressure, eye issues or neck issues. Again, please consult your physician if you have any concerns prior to beginning inversions.
    Are those three poses the only difference from a Beginner’s Yoga to a Beginner/Intermediate class?
    Not quite! Not only do we begin to introduce the 3 inversions listed above. We also start introducing other combinations of inverted and more challenging poses, which are detailed here.
    Is there anything else I should know about a Beginner/Intermediate class beside the emphasis on Inversions?

    Yes! Poses are held for longer duration in Beginner/Intermediate class. Standing poses may be held for several minutes at a time. The purpose of extending duration in the poses is to find a deeper release, relaxation and strength while in the pose.
    Also, the teacher will require the student to be in the pose with finer and finer precision and accuracy. The reason for this is we are trying to remove any resistance to finding complete ease and comfort in the pose while retaining firm strength and stamina. This principle is known in Sanskrit as “Sthira Sukham Asanam”.
    When would I be ready to move into the Intermediate Classes?

    If you have been practicing at least 2-3 times a week, for a minimum of a year, and you can hold either Headstand (Sirsasana) or Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana) for 5 minutes without the support of the wall – AND – you can comfortably perform 80% of the 65 poses listed above (52 poses), then you are welcome to proceed to an Intermediate Class.