Written by Jackie Sloves for Anamaya
The Anamaya Yogi: Stella Reeder
Name: Shannon “Stella” Reeder
Birthday: September 5, 1975
Weight: 100 lbs
Favorite Yoga Pose: Side Angle
Least Favorite Pose: Twisted Triangle
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Animal: My dog
Favorite Food: Creamy Peanut butter
Hobbies and interests: I enjoy hiking and running. Though the waves in Montezuma are a little big, I do enjoy surfing. I also love living in Costa Rica because every day is like a new Discovery Channel episode, and I value my alone time in nature. I also love to go dancing, write poetry, and crocheting.
How did you first begin practicing yoga?
15 years ago, my music professor recommended that I try out yoga for improved concentration to help myself memorize the music.
Where did you complete your yoga teacher training?
Most of my training was done in Oregon with various nationally and internationally known Anusara teachers. In June 2008 I completed my 200 hour teaching certification, although over the past 15 years I have logged closer to 500 hours of yoga education. I have been teaching for 10 years now.
What type of yoga is practiced at an Anamaya Yoga Retreat?
Hatha yoga inspired by the traditions of Anusara and Ashtanga
How did you connect with Anamaya?
I found Anamaya through Craigslist. What they were looking for in their post looked exactly like my resume. It was just uncanny.
Do you practice yoga outside of Anamaya?
Yes, I run my own private practice.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Yoga is something I need to do every day for myself so I am a better functioning citizen. Yoga has been a mirror to show me my strengths and weaknesses. It has been the catalyst for change and growth.
Is your yoga practice targeted at a particular type of person?
No, the yoga teachings are for all beings. Though I have had specialized training in yoga for women with eating disorders, and musicians with repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel. This is not limited to musicians, it is inherent to any repetitive task, which can apply to most people.
What inspires your yoga teachings?
Like a good tour guide, I am focused on ensuring my students have a safe journey, notice all the landmarks, and that there is an element of self-discovery and “aha!” moments through silence and peace. I try to inspire playfulness.
Where were you before Costa Rica?
I was born in West Virginia, but moved to Indiana for college. I received my undergraduate degree in Music from Butler University. I then moved to Oregon, where I received my Master’s degree in Piano from University of Oregon. I lived the last 11 years in Oregon before coming to Costa Rica on 8/8/08. In Oregon I founded and directed a community music and art school called the Harmony Roadhouse Studios.
Why did you decide to move to Costa Rica?
I was brought to Costa Rica for Massage Therapy school, and have been here ever since.
What three words would you use to best describe yourself?
Analytical – sometimes for forces of good, sometimes for forces of evil, but mostly just to myself. Energetic. The Eternal Student – I am constantly learning and surprised by what I am learning. I am eager and open to that so things seem to come to me.
What else should we know about you?
I am an only child, a free spirit travel adventurer, and a recovering type A.