I’m Shawn McMann
I began practicing yoga sporadically in November 2008, originally because a bunch of soccer teammates thought it might be a great way to bond and get in shape for the coming season. I never took it seriously but I still felt myself drawn back to it from time to time so I did stay in touch with a kind of practice. When I quit drinking for good I found yoga, savasana and meditation to be an integral part of the recovery.
My practice became more consistent in November 2012 after I was dragged to a hot Vinyasa flow class in Edmonton and today I have attended more than 1000 yoga classes and taught over 2000 classes. Initially, yoga was an alternate way to try and get into better shape but it soon revealed many more benefits for me. It became my refuge and a place to recharge and clear my mind. I often joke about my OCD but in reality OCD and hyperactivity are difficult challenges to try to live normally with and the yoga mat has become a salvation for me and a way to become more productive in all other aspects of my life.
The most obvious way yoga changed me is when I learned to take my practice away from the mat. I know I’m much more calm, focused and patient now when confronted with life's hurdles. In December 2013 I took up the challenge to commit to a daily practice and I cannot stress enough how exponential all the benefits became.
A couple things you may not know about me.
I’m a survivor of malignant cancer, a massive car accident and a battle with Rhabdomyolysis . You may have seen the tattoo on my neck, it signifies two of the bullets I’ve dodged.
Also, on my birthday in 2011, I made a decision to change my life in all aspects. I went through a tough time personally and reached the point where I needed to change or I would not survive any longer. I gave up drinking and dedicated myself to a full mental and physical transformation. I look back and can't believe how I looked at the time I made my decision, 260 pounds and the embodiment of unhealthy and unhappy living. I owe a huge debt to the many ways yoga has played a part in getting me to where I eventually plan to be!
I've been called "Bullet" or "Bullethead" by close friends and teammates for thirty years, but recently it has taken on a much deeper meaning for me, representing the bullets I've dodged to get to this point in my life!!
I intend to use this space to chronicle my yoga journey….