Shonali Banerjee

Since 1995 I have found solace, strength and profound expansion through yoga. In 2002, after a bicycle accident, I quit my stressful job in downtown Manhattan, and still recovering from injuries, joined the 500 hour teacher training program at Be Yoga with Alan Finger where I also became Director of Yoga Teacher Training programs. Alan teaches a style of yoga called ISHTA yoga (the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda), which is a wonderfully rich multi-faceted vinyasa practice. Simultaneously, I found myself studying as an herbal apprentice, and exploring the rituals of chanting. I was drawn to wise earth-honouring women who taught me about aligning with the natural cycles of the seasons & the moon. This fusion of healing through yoga while consciously connecting with universal rhythms is at the heart of my teaching. After moving to Paris, France in 2004, I did further intensive study in India and Europe focusing on therapeutics and women’s issues with TKV and Kausthub Desikachar. I built a yoga business in Paris (shonaliyoga!), personally teaching 15 – 20 classes each week, which allowed me enough experience to register as E-RYT-500. I relocated to Atlanta in 2010 and since August of 2011 I’ve taught primarily at Sacred Thread Yoga, Vista Yoga, and Decatur Yoga & Pilates. In May 2013, I became a certified Yoga Therapist by completing a 500 hour program through the Pranakriya Yoga School in Atlanta, registered with the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists).  I sing as part of a duo called Mantra Ma! (with Jocelyn Rose), where we explore and celebrate the power of sacred song and chant. I teach for Centering Youth, a non-profit bringing yoga to under-served populations throughout Atlanta.  I offer private yoga sessions to any and all who are curious about yoga and it’s healing potential.

Everyone can do yoga! As a certified yoga therapist and teacher of over 10 years, my classes are particularly safe and grounded in breath and alignment allowing steady & safe exploration of postures.  We will flow through and hold within unique sequences that encourage you to drop deeply inside.  We strengthen, challenge & expand.  We soften, play, and nurture.  We’ll honor the seasonal changes and what’s happening culturally, as well as the moon cycles. You’ll encounter chanting, pranayama (breath work), mudras (positions of the hands), visualization, chakras awareness, a wide range of music (Bjork, Al Green, Juana Molina, Krishna Das) paired with mindful silence, sacred poetry, and I’ll sing you into a blissfully opening final rest to create an impactful experience each time we practice.  With reverence for the unique process of each individual, I encourage students to make the practice their own: To listen, to receive, to nourish from within.  In perpetual gratitude to the many phenomenal teachers who have inspired me: my students, my children, my husband, Alan Finger, TKV Desikachar, Carrie Wykoff, Robin Rose Bennett, Erich Schiffman, Mark Whitwell, Sarah Powers, John Friend, Michelle Jacobi, Hillary Cohen, Tias Little, Yoganand Michael Carroll, among others!

Namaste