Add Yoga to your Running Routine with Lacy Shannon

When you think of places to practice yoga, odds are the first thing that comes to mind is inside a yoga studio. Lacy Shannon thought the same thing – until she started teaching at Outdoor Yoga SF.

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“You have great views, fresh air, and it’s really easy to connect with nature. For a lot of my students they’re indoors most of the week and it’s just a wonderful break. As an added bonus, we don’t have to reserve studio space – so we can stay and have an impromptu picnic after class. Outdoor yoga is pretty awesome.”

We’re all about getting outside as much as possible, so we had to know more about Lacy, Outdoor Yoga and her upcoming Yoga for Runners series (starts June 6).

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Massachusetts and went to college in Minnesota where I majored in International Relations. I lived in DC working for the federal government for five years which was a great experience, but then I felt like I needed to try something new.

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What direction did you take from there?

I moved to San Francisco two years ago. I had a new job that I did from 8-5, and really at that point, I’d always done yoga on and off. I started going in college; first attending class with my dad, and then always returning to my mat to supplement other athletic pursuits (I had a pretty intense running phase, a CrossFit phase, etc).

So here I am in San Francisco, enjoying yoga the most and wanting (craving!) yoga. I went on a retreat in Utah, ramped up my practice a lot more and became a completely dedicated yogi. The retreat was absolutely life-changing – I know people throw that word around quite a bit, and while it may be overkill, I was definitely inspired. It was an experience that continues to inspire me and I’ll always remember it.

Talk to us about your path to teaching.

I came back from my retreat thinking I must be a yoga teacher! In the past, I’d thought, “Maybe I should be a CrossFit or spin instructor”, but yoga is definitely where I want to be. It was a big decision, so I gave it some thought and ended up connecting with a teacher at The Pad StudiosDana Damara. She was coincidentally leading a teacher training and I knew I had to do it. She was so energized and I just felt connected to her from the beginning.

After training was complete, the owner of the Pad, Leila Burrows, and, the creator of Yoga MBA, Julianne Aiello, mentored me kept the momentum going, helping me put in actionable steps – the type of yoga I want to teach, how to make a website, specialize my teaching style, cueing, etc.

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What type of yoga do you teach?

I love the power vinyasa style. It leaves you feeling both more energized and calmer. I want my students to walk away feeling stronger and also ready to enter the world in a better way.

Where can we find you teaching?

I teach at Outdoor Yoga SF on weekends and also at the EducationSuperHighway office a couple of times a month.

I’m currently on a small hiatus, but I also teach at a women’s shelter in SOMA. I had taught wellness seminars at a women’s shelter in DC for five years. I knew I wanted to go back (I’m very passionate about the cause), and now that I’m certified to teach yoga, I can finally teach a class to these amazing women. Having that practice in front of women really eager to learn is fulfilling and rewarding.

When you’re not teaching yoga, what are you doing?

I work as an analyst at EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit with the goal to connect all public schools to high speed internet by 2020. I now know way more about the internet than I ever thought I would.

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How did Yoga for Runners come to be?

I had a less than stellar relationship with track in high school. Now I like 5Ks and 10-milers. I love to teach athletic classes, and I love the idea of everyone of my yogis walking away feeling their inner athlete. I want them to feel more confident in how they move and being more self-aware of their bodies. I want them to feel like they’ve discovered more about themselves and are getting physically stronger.

I’ve been doing endless research on what makes yoga for runners different and how to work through that. I can’t wait to teach it!

What’s the vibe at your classes?

I want people to have fun – when I went to CrossFit, I felt like I was going out to recess every day after work. It was always fun and new, and I think that people come back to workouts if they’re having fun – at least I do! My classes are never too serious – I still revere the practice and acknowledge all of its teachings, but I want people to laugh. Everyone has enough serious in their lives, and all of my classes focus on strengthening and a little bit of fun.

What’s on your travel bucket list?

I just came back from Greece which was at the top of my bucket list for a long time. I feel like I have the travel bug now – I would love to go to Asia – Cambodia and Japan, and I’d love to go back to the Mediterranean. I’d also love to go to Patagonia. I love active vacations. It seems like paradise.

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You’re from Massachusetts but you lived in DC – Red Sox or Nationals? 

Definitely Red Sox, but I’m mostly a basketball fan. Celtics! I grew up going to games as a kid.

What’s on your DVR?

I had a “Jane the Virgin” phase if I’m being brutally honest. I just finished watching “The Night Manager” which I could barely peel myself away from. I really like “Nashville” – I followed Connie Britton from “Friday Night Lights” to “Nashville”.

Favorite food? 

Pasta and sushi – I’m gluten-free so the pasta is an eat-at-home kind of thing. My last meal would be a big bowl of spaghetti or sushi or peanut butter cups. Actually all of them, together!

Favorite restaurant? 

For lunch I love Onigilly.

What’s your MoveWith word?

It’s grace but I had a hard time choosing a word and I feel like grace isn’t perfect for me. More energy, athleticism and enthusiasm.

Favorite yoga pose to do? 

Sun Salutations. I can do just a few in the morning and feel ready to go into my day — stronger, calmer, and a little more creative.

Favorite yoga pose to teach?

I love teaching Crow – it’s super exciting and so accessible to new yogis but also challenging with its variations. It’s the first opportunity to fly and life yourself up – always a great level of excitement. It’s also scary and getting over that land-on-your-face hurdle. I love that newness and that energy.

Want to get outside with Lacy? Or are you a runner craving some yoga designed for where your muscles are the tightest? Follow her here.

 

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