As a complete novice and admittedly having very little knowledge of yoga and yoga philosophy, the experience of my first hot yoga class more than 10 years ago is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

It is amazing what one long hot yoga class can do to change your personal views. It is even more astounding what a committed and continued hot yoga practice can do for your outlook in a wider context.

I was hooked; I had found a new passion in life. Becoming a yoga teacher wasn’t foremost on my mind after that first class but certainly sharing what I had experienced was. So, I told everyone I knew that ‘I now do yoga!’ I started my hot yoga journey with Bikram yoga. My curiosity heightened over the years until I discovered the diversity and freedom that is Moksha Yoga (Canada).

Sharing this journey has been the driving force to further study and I feel blessed to have trained with some visionary people along my path: Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson at Moksha Yoga in 2007 when completing my 500 hour hot yoga training, and more recently with Sarah Powers and Ty Powers as part of the Insight Yoga Institute studying yin yoga and mindfulness.

I opened the door to the first studio in St Kilda (May 2012), the second in Richmond (June 2014) and Mornington (April 2015) which has seen our total class offering and student base grow significantly. More importantly, we’re all enjoying the benefit of community.

Although a hot yogi at heart, I moved closer and closer to the inner practices of mindfulness meditation as an integrative way to approach my own yoga practice. This has resulted in more mindfully led hot yoga classes at our studios, and also proved instrumental in creating the first home grown hot yoga teacher training in Australia, Mindful Hot Yoga, under which a great number of the Grass Roots Yoga teachers have graduated.

As Director of Grass Roots Yoga & the Mindful Yoga Academy, I’m excited to have the opportunity to share the wonders of yoga and to build your community. Namaste.

Shannon Barry