Lee Schardein has been practicing yoga since college, but after a life-changing event 7 ½ years ago – a car accident that left her with back issues and anxiety – yoga became less of a practice and more of a way of life. Lee says that yoga helped her “heal physically and emotionally” after that trauma.
Grounded, bubbly, kind-hearted, and determined, Lee brings opposites into crative flows in her classes. She’s been teaching yoga for 3 ½ years, and her favorite parts of the practice seem to oppose each other—inversion and arm balance poses opposite savasana (relaxation). “I love any pose that gives me the opportunity to take flight. Forearm balance (pincha mayurasana) used to be one of my least favorite poses, but over the past year it has become one of my favorites.” But, “I’m also not going to lie, I sometimes go to class for a good savasana. Give me a chance to chill with nothing to do and no dogs crawling on me, and I’m a happy girl.”
Lee teaches Lotus Flow-inspired Vinyasa yoga (with a nice long savasana at the end!). “In these classes, I create a creative flow that allows students to feel like they are dancing to choreography with their breath. While I do love the freedom, I am still a big stickler for alignment.” Lee likes the shared energy that’s felt in large classes, but she also likes the hands-on personal approach that can be achieved in smaller classes.
Studying and practicing yoga in New York, New Orleans, India, and with her mentor from Australia (Lee has several mentors from multiple locales and considers herself a lifelong learner), yoga has opened the world to Lee. But her favorite part of the day is actually going home. She loves getting home from work and seeing her pugs. “Their excitement at seeing me never gets old! I love putting on my yoga gear, burning some incense, listening to tunes, watering my plants, and then pulling out my yoga mat to practice.”
With her 200-hour training behind her, Lee is now working on her 300-hour training. She only has 25 hours left to go, and she plans to wrap that up in September. Teaching yoga is truly a passion for her. “The best part of teaching is the results. I love it when my students tell me they can sleep more soundly, that they have improved their golf swing, they feel stronger, or that something I said spoke to them personally.”
We asked Lee for a quote that speaks to her, and she shared this one that we now want to share with you: “Even after all this time, the sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” –Hafiz