The story behind the Girdwood Yoga and Wellness Shack

SAM NORMAN

I'm the creator of the Girdwood Yoga and Wellness Shack. I was raised in Alaska and have lived here for most of my life. I began practicing yoga in 2001 because of a nagging back injury and the pain went away.  I did my 200hr in the winter of 2011.  I am also a registered nurse and have worked in the healthcare industry since 2001. I am fascinated by the human body and the power of the mind and it's relationship to wellness and disease. I am also an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and a certified Yoga Health Coach. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga and is the oldest practiced medical science in the world. Disease begins when there is a disconnect between the body mind and spirit. I have over 2000 hrs in Yoga and Ayurvedic studies. Because of the changes in wellness I have experienced in my own life (from constipation, allergies to auto-immune dysfunction and cancer) combined with my clients positive results I am dedicated to continuously study and learn the vast depths of information out there about yoga and Ayurveda.  Your journey with me will help dissolve the disconnect between mind, body, spirit with the intention to help you live in your truth and connect more to the present moment. I'm currently living full time in the mat-su valley to focus on my family and raising my baby daughter Marjory born in the summer of 2017. A big piece and peace of my heart remains in Girdwood where I learned to love myself more, find a greater value in the concept of community, and trust that the wisdom I have learned is of value to share to the world. I am now working from a virtual space guiding women on year long journeys to become their own healer. If you are interested in what I am up to click the button below.

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JULE HARLE

Jule has been studying and practicing yoga since 2005. Her journey started as a purely physical one, enjoying how yoga restored and strengthened her body for Alaskan adventures, but the more subtle aspects were unveiled during her teacher training's in India. Jule studied at Rishikish Yoga Peeth, receiving her 200 hr teaching certificate in 2011 and her Advanced 300 hr in 2013. Her classes incorporate movement (asana), breath (pranayama), and awareness (chetna); hoping all yogis leave feeling physically and mentally restored with a sense of stillness in both mind and body. Jule has a M.A. in Counseling; she has a private Counseling practice where she utilizes Cognitive Behavioral and Dialectical Behavioral techniques, Ayurveda, Mindfulness & Yoga as therapeutic tools. She is also an Ayurvedic Health Counselor and facilitates Yoga Teacher Trainings & Retreats throughout Alaska.
Check her out at   www.ayurvedamindbody.org & www.alaskayogaadventures.com

 

 

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ERIN HENSZEY

"Yoga teaches us cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured" -B.K.S. Iyenger
Yoga has transformed my life and continues to do so with endless routes of growth. After years of enjoying the benefits of my own practice, I knew I wanted to share my passion with others. I completed my teacher training at Anchorage Yoga in May 2014 and started teaching Vinyasa at Alyeska Resort. I also spent the summer teaching a more restorative class to my fellow guides at Chugach Adventures! I truly believe is for everyone and am excited to share this awesome practice with the people of Girdwood!

 

 

 

EMILY MAXWELL

Emily fell in love with Pilates during her very first class in 2012. After just a few months of practice and observing the positive changes in her physical and mental well-being as a result, she knew she wanted to share the benefits with others through teaching. She received her Mat Pilates certification at Pilates Chicago in November 2013 and began teaching soon after. She strives to bring a mix of discipline and fun to each class, encouraging her students to find their own balance between effort and ease as she focuses on important details like precision and efficiency of movement, alignment and proper breathing-essential aspects for deriving the benefits of Pilates, which of course extend well beyond the mat. She loves being a part of her students’ development as Pilates practitioners and finds fulfillment in their progress. Emily is with us seasonally since she spends her winters mushing dogs across the state. 2018 was her maiden Iditarod race! Be sure to watch Emily and her team GO TEAM MAX!

shawn kennedy 

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My yoga journey deepened upon taking my first Forrest Yoga class in 2007. Previously I had dropped in a yoga class here and there and wondered if yoga was really for me. While I still like to explore different styles, Forrest yoga hooked me. It was a time in my life when I was beginning to make a connection between shallow breathing and holding my breath when faced with stress or anxiety. I walked into class, sat down on my mat, and was invited to notice my breath and then reminded to breath for the next 75 minutes. Ah what a relief! Also, the longer pose holds associated with Forrest yoga gave me time to truly feel the pose, feel the sensations in my body and notice the habitual thoughts running through my mind. The sensation took me by surprise and lit up my curiosity. My practice of yoga grew from a desire to be strong, flexible, calm, and feel good to an endless exploration and awakening of my inner self. I completed Anna Forrest's Foundation teacher training in March 2010 and shortly after completed the Forrest yoga mentor-ship program. Right after training I began teaching. I am happy to be able to share my love of yoga with the people of this special community.

EMILY MARENCO

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Emily Marenco was born and raised in Alaska. She currently lives in the cozy ski town of Girdwood, with her husband, two young sons and large fluffy dog. Emily began practicing yoga in the spring of 2004 at the age of 19. She attended classes on and off until the summer of 2012 when she dedicated herself to practicing yoga everyday for one year. This daily practice inspired her to enroll in a teacher-training program. She completed her 200-hour training with Anchorage Yoga in May of 2014. Emily has been teaching the Saturday Yoga I flow class at The Yoga Shack since the fall of 2017. 

CARLIE SHAW

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Carlie began her personal yoga practice in 2004 while living in Birmingham, Alabama and working full time with a middle school ministry called Wyldlife. She found a yoga DVD at Target and enjoyed it so much, it was the only thing she knew of yoga until moving to Colorado in 2006. After moving to Colorado, she took her first in studio class at a corepower yoga studio. Discovering the holistic benefits of a regular practice, she began practicing more consistently to help maintain a healthy work/life balance. However, it wasn’t until she moved to Alaska in 2013 that her desire began to go deeper into the practice and to share the benefits of yoga with others. In 2014, she completed a 200 hr yoga teacher training with Anchorage Yoga and in 2017, she combined her love for yoga and the water by completing a 200 hr SUP yoga teacher training with Stoked Yogi.  Carlie’s professional career in mental health has been pivotal in her falling more in love with the sustaining and life giving benefits of yoga. She believes there is an endless well of healing and restorative power when you treat the whole being, mind/body/spirit as one system that functions in unison together.  Her journey to live an authentic life, following her heart and love of small town living has landed her in Girdwood. Carlie is an avid coffee drinker, lover of simple things and being surrounded by the incredible beauty of Alaska. She is super stoked to be part of the Girdwood community and looks forward to offering her dharma of healing and inspiration to keep this tribe vibing happy and peacefully together.