Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Sheev Ray.
Seattle Yoga News: What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
Sheev Ray: I was really inspired by the philosophy of yoga. I love the dance of masculine and feminine through form and energy that seems to pervade the entire cosmos, and how yoga is the science of understanding what it is to be embodied consciousness.
Seattle Yoga News: What is one piece of advice you always give your students?
Sheev Ray: I tell my students to do the best they can. Since everything is always changing, your best will also change from day to day. Try not to have rigid expectation for your practice, instead just do the best you can in the moment and let the ego-mind relax. All will come in time through diligent practice.
Seattle Yoga News: Describe your yoga philosophy?
Sheev Ray: It seems to me yoga philosophy was born of the curious human mind wondering about the nature of things and exploring the limits of consciousness and physicality. Over time these individual musings have become the basis of the philosophy and each new generation can verify the wisdom of this tradition through their personal experiences and even add to it. We are walking microcosms of the macrocosm.
Seattle Yoga News: If you could practice with anyone dead or alive, who would that be and why?
Seattle Yoga News: How lucky are you and why?
Seattle Yoga News: If you could be an animal or a plant, which one would you be and why?
Seattle Yoga News: What is your latest favorite thing about humanity?
Sheev Ray: People are starting to realize that everything that came before us is our ancestry and that their spirits are looking down at the culmination of 3 billion years of evolution and praying that we learn to respect our heritage and become good stewards of this bountiful planet where all living things deserve a chance to live harmoniously.
Seattle Yoga News: Anything else you’d like the local yoga community to know about you?
Bio: One day in my late 20’s it occurred to me that I was the most inflexible person I knew. Standing or sitting still for any length of time was painful, and so I was often quite irritable. As a result of being so uncomfortable in my body, my mind too was constantly churning, making it hard to listen or concentrate. I tried a yoga class, but it was so painful and humiliating, I never completed the series I had purchased. I tried meditation, but sitting still was too difficult until a teacher recommended I sit in a reclining sofa chair. Hallelujah! Suddenly I found myself awake and at peace for some unknown period of time—something I had never before experienced in my adult life! I began a daily “stretching routine” followed by meditation practice for about a year before I had the courage to try another yoga class. As good fortune would have it, that class started a practice that healed my life, introduced me to my guru/soul mate, and began what would eventually become my new career. Special thanks to Kathleen Hunt for opening my heart to the path of yoga. I began teaching in 1996 and three years later co-founded Samadhi Yoga Center on Capitol Hill.
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