Shortly after the birth of her first child, and the intense special needs she would develop, Michelle discovered Ashtanga Yoga. First using this ancient system of self-care as an efficient means to stay in shape she soon noticed it also helped her maintain calmness in the frenzied world of her daughter’s uncontrolled seizure disorder. “Celia’s seizures are always so fierce and scary especially when she was just a tiny baby, I’d use my Ujjayi Breath and breathe through them with her”.
Noticing how Ashtanga Yoga enriched her own life and fueled by an intense personal practice she was inspired to share this gift and decided to open an Ashtanga Yoga Shala herself to provide a safe and enriching atmosphere for learning.She started teaching in her home (hence the name “Yoga House”) and then in January of 2001 she opened the beautiful space on France Avenue in Edina. Now after 12 years she has moved her studio back home for a new adventure... a New Beginning (see above link). To immerse herself even deeper, Michelle traveled to India and spent one month studying in Mysore, at it’s source, with Sri K. PattabhiJois.
Over the years, as the students and the shala evolved, Michelle expanded the Yoga Curriculum to include more classes, amazing instructors and another form of Vinyasa Yoga “Vinyasa Flow”. Through her dedication to her personal practice, her love of Ashtanga Yoga and her students, Michelle continues to enrich the Yoga community by providing access to accomplished Yoga Instructors through workshops and teacher trainings. She is honored and blessed to have ManjuPattabhiJois, David Swenson, David Williams, Govinda Kai, Matthew Sweeney, Michael Gannon, Kino MacGregor and Tim Feldmann visit the shala and looks forward to their return.
Michelle is a devoted and enthusiastic student of Ashtanga Yoga. She is strongly committed to passing on the traditional method of Ashtanga Yoga as taught by her teacher, the father of this practice, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, of Mysore, India.
After her initial teaching certification, she continues to study with the top Ashtanga teachers in the world including Govinda Kai, Manju Pattabhi Jois, David Williams, David Swenson, Lino Miele, Tim Miller, Richard Freeman and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. After her last trip to India, studying directly under Jois and his grandson Sharath, she is ever more committed to bringing the truest form of this practice to her students. Her passion for Ashtanga is fueled by her intense personal practice and she feels that her time alone on the mat is her best teacher.
Michelle has the unique ability to work with students of all levels in an encouraging and compassionate manner, making her sessions both accessible and challenging. She has an eye for precise structural alignment and effective verbal cueing. Her teaching style is soft and focused, with constant attention and awareness being drawn back to the Internal Alignment, Ujjayi (Victorious) breath, the bandhas (internal energy locks) and the dristi (gazing points), the essence of the Ashtanga system.
In addition to her Ashtanga Practice Michelle is a Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner achieving her certification through two different schools.