“Shanna's generous attitude and innate, uncommon spirituality make her a beloved teacher.”

–Cecelia

Testimonials


Journeys
Meditation
Yoga/Yoga Therapy

•••

– Journeys –


"It was peaceful. We visited places that were serene, holistic, organic, engaging, visual, and for the most part, quiet in a way that allowed each of us to "reach inside" ourselves; it was well organized. Shanna Hughes is the quintessential tour guide/leader.  She uses good common sense and judgment, has done her research, knows how to put together a full and interesting itinerary, she's a good facilitator."

— Dan


 "Food/Lodging was Superb!  Remote but not too far; amenities accessible and within walking distance. I liked not being in the vicinity of the typical sightseer vacationer. I thoroughly enjoyed our partnership with 5-Pillar and our hosts/guides.  They were very professional, charismatic, and I think we got to know them on a 'personal' level."

— Susan 


 "All of our trip was wonderful from the beautiful places we stayed to much of the food we ate. One of my favorite parts was visiting the many and varied temples, meditation in many and blessings in all.  Also, I loved visiting the villages to see how many Balinese live, work and worship. In our travels to these places we were able to see some of northern and southern Bali, the gorgeous landscape and some of the wildlife."

— Cyndi

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•••

– Meditation –


"Shanna's encouraging and positive nature made this class a true joy to attend."

— Amy


"I learned tools I can use the rest of my life. I feel more enabled to use meditation in my life during difficult times."

— Maria 


"The most beneficial thing about this course was including the breathing practices into the meditation. I use these techniques in my daily routine and I have been seeing a difference in my stress levels."

— Louis 


 "Shanna really cares about making these practices life-long practices, not just something we do for class and a grade."

— Leanne 


"A lovely professor who fostered a caring and safe environment for students."

— Jim 


"This course really helped my mental health this semester. Taking the time to relax, take care of myself, and reflect on things was extremely beneficial. Shanna's expertise in this area is incredible and I think that her teaching style fits very well with LMU's students."

— Tom


"I was so grateful for the awesome blend of practical activity and pragmatic explanation. There was no activity that was not explained before-hand and everything in class followed an order and purpose. There was never any boredom in this class. It offered so much for me physically and mentally in terms of health also and was a highlight of the week."

— Deanna 


"I wish that there would be more classes like this for students to take. I found this class more beneficial to my mental and physical well-being than any other I have taken at LMU. We worked hard, self-analyzed and improved as people and students."

— Fazia


"I took the course because a friend recommended it to me to help with managing my anxiety, and it took a few weeks for the content and honestly for Professor Shanna's teaching style to grow on me. I've tried a lot of different things to manage my anxiety and was feeling a sense of fatigue and dread about yet another self–help plan. But within a month, I recognized how earnestly joyful and kind Professor Shanna was, and that made me feel valued in the class and like it was a worthwhile experience. Shanna's own devotion to the iRest practices and her belief in their efficacy really helps students feel the same hopefulness for their own lives. She really lives as an example of what she teaches, and her care for students really exemplifies the lessons of the course. Her actions and her attitudes are what make the course successful and meaningful for students who might have been less inclined to have faith in the iRest practices."

— Jennifer


"Everything! From all the guided meditations to the book to all the external sources recommended throughout the course, this has been a class that has given me a lot of determination to keep meditating and learning about it!"

– Anthony

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•••

– Yoga/Yoga Therapy –

 


Testimonial from Dr. Morris at the Morris Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center

“I frequently refer my patients (and friends) to Shanna. She has an exceptional ability to help people relax, decrease fear and allow their healing to begin and strengthen. She has taught me and my patients so much, and I whole-heartedly recommend her.”

— Dr. Rick Morris
Associate Director of LMU Yoga Therapy Year One Program 
Specializes in spinal stenosis, disc, degeneration, disc herniation, sciatica, and scoliosis
Former team doctor for the US Olympic trials, LA Clippers, UCLA and LA track club


Testimonial from Larry Payne, Ph.D.

“Denise and Shanna Hughes are two of the graduates of the Prime of Life Yoga and Yoga Therapy Rx programs that I am most proud of. They along with John Hughes are among the brightest lights in the Yoga sky.”

— Larry Payne Ph.D.
Founding director, Yoga Therapy Rx™ and Prime of Life Yoga™, Coauthor Yoga Therapy Integrative Medicine, Yoga for Dummies, Yoga Rx


“I have been a student of Shanna’s for almost 10 years now. She is one of the loveliest women and best yoga instructors you will have the good fortune to know. Since she is a yoga therapist she cannot only lead you through a series of vinyasas, but can tailor-make them for you according to your needs. My flexibility and strength at age 59 are a direct result of her classes. If I take time off for any reason, I can immediately notice a difference in my body in a negative way. There are not enough words that can impart how wonderful she is and how enjoyable and beneficial her classes are.”

— Lynn Lansing


“Shanna Hughes’ Yoga class has helped me recover from two major surgeries. The back strengthening poses have been just what I’ve needed to gain stability and maintain normalcy in my life. Added to that, the poses for hip opening have been very useful and have seen me through painful stiffness to new pain-free flexibility. Another plus is the general relaxation one feels after one of her classes. Shanna understands the needs of her “students,” most of us well up in our years. She is kind, thoughtful, understanding, knowledgeable, and a simply great teacher!”

— Joy Jacobs


“I have practiced yoga with numerous teachers over the last 15 years. I can truthfully say that Shanna has been a unique inspiration. Her kindness and devotion to her students is a joy and a blessing. I have learned to breathe into my stress and feel it slip away. I have been known to tell the guys in the Post office line to 'breathe deeply'. They do, and are amazed that it really works!!”

Evelyn Cronin


 “In Los Angeles, one can choose from any number of yoga options in most any neighborhood. Yet the experience of one yoga teacher to another can vary widely. Shanna’s consistent emphasis on breath, and her readings of spiritually oriented poems at the mid-way point in class offered students a deep, reflective experience, as well as a good yoga workout.”

— Deborah Myers, CYT 


“Shanna Hughes’ Yoga class has helped me recover from two major surgeries. The back strengthening poses have been just what I’ve needed to gain stability and maintain normalcy in my life. Added to that, the poses for hip opening have been very useful and have seen me through painful stiffness to new pain-free flexibility. Another plus is the general relaxation one feels after one of her classes. Shanna understands the needs of her 'students,' most of us well up in our years. She is kind, thoughtful, understanding, knowledgeable, and a simply great teacher!”

— Joy Jacobs


“I just got back from a physical today and my blood pressure is great! I’ll be reducing blood pressure medication and hope to be off meds totally. I get so much from my yoga class—breathing, meditation, gentle movement, food for thought…. yoga class has helped when I’ve had physical tests and when I am stressed or anxious. It feels good to slow down!”

— Lynn Akamini


“As a beginning student of Shanna Hughes at the Culver City Senior Center last spring. I was physically healing from several surgeries. I started yoga gradually with Shanna’s chair yoga class. As my strength started to increase she allowed me to advance to floor yoga. The healing effect of Shanna’s yoga is not just physical healing exercises, but the psychological, mental and emotional healing that has improved my life greatly. I could not be much happier than I am. Thank you Rays of Yoga.”

— Arnie Schoenfeld, 85 years young


“Without Gentle Yoga as practiced with Shanna, I would be a stiff, aching being. I know this because at times when I have been out of town for extended periods and not practicing yoga, that’s how I was. After being in class for three weeks upon my returns, I was more flexible and free of pain. Shanna pays close attention to our specific needs and gears the class to us. She is a caring and personable teacher. Of the six yoga teachers that I have practiced with over the years, she ranks within the top two and is number one for being in tune with the class.”

— Debby Deblas


“Yoga works!! Many times I have come to class weighed down by the demands of my life, the arthritis I fight continuously, and worries that in the grand scheme of things probably don’t amount to a hill of beans. Anyway, after class I feel better! So… yoga works!!!”

— Virginia Kaufman


“I find that Shanna’s utilization of music, poetry and stories blend very nicely into a relaxing physical workout when combined with her extensive yoga exercises. She has an aura and personality that makes the entire session a pleasing and rewarding experience.”

— Doug Grant


“I have practiced yoga with numerous teachers over the last 15 years. I can truthfully say that Shanna has been a unique inspiration. Her kindness and devotion to her students is a joy and a blessing. I have learned to breathe into my stress and feel it slip away. I have been known to tell the guys in the Post office line to “breathe deeply”. They do, and are amazed that it really works!!”

— Evelyn Cronin


“Shanna has always structured the practice to adjust to the needs of the participants and provided options for beginners to the more advanced students. She would always begin the class by asking what the particular needs of the day are, depending on any aches or pains present, and would work suitable poses into the practice to address these needs. I have always enjoyed her classes because they provide both challenges and relaxation in a pleasant and non-judgmental atmosphere. Shanna shares her knowledge of Eastern philosophy and poetry and her gentle, soothing voices puts one at ease. I feel that I have benefited greatly both physically and mentally from my yoga practice under Shanna’s direction.”

— Peggy Kharraz


“I was fortunate enough to attend Yoga Classes given by Shanna Hughes for many years. I found her caring, considerate and helpful and always full of encouragement for those students who may had difficulties or even disabilities. No matter how tired I was at the beginning of the class, I was always amazed to find that I felt totally rejuvenated and relaxed at the end of the session.”

— Catherine Annette Matzner


“When Shanna walks into our Yoga studio, she brings a precious gift of her bright nature and kindness—always reminding us to accept ourselves as we are, no matter how frail and ungainly, and to love and appreciate ourselves and others, flaws and all. Her teachings are beyond practicing deep breathing and asanas. This generous attitude, plus her innate and uncommon spirituality—make Shanna a beloved teacher.”

— Cecelia


“There is no better teacher than Denise, except maybe, her daughter Shanna. And there is no better teacher than Shanna, except maybe, her mother Denise. With the two of them, you get the best of the best!”

— Andi Christensen


“I am so thrilled that I have happened upon Shanna’s classes at the Culver City Senior’s Center. She and her faithful devotees are inspiring. She provides a wonderful multi-level workout experience. But, there is only one level of (complete) inspiration for all who attend. I also appreciate her choice of music and her readings from Rumi.”

— Liz Moser


“Due to an accident, I am now forced to live my life in a wheelchair. I want to be healthy and fit, but have limited mobility. I cherish the day Shanna Hughes came into my life with her Chair Yoga class. Shanna guides her students through proper breathing, stretching, strengthening muscles and helping the mind and body to feel centered and at peace. She uses the appealing tone of her voice to guide her students through a variety of exercises. There is no shame if we can’t perform and she uses humor to encourage us to enjoy our experience with her. It works. I feel stronger. I feel more confident. I feel more empowered. Thank you Shanna.”

— Beverly


“Shanna is a gifted teacher and her greatest gift is the serenity, calm, and humor with which she conducts her classes, which are a very pleasant balance of stretching and breathing exercises, interspersed with moments of relaxation and meditation. I take her chair yoga course together with several friends and we describe the hour with Shanna as our “mini-spa.” We look forward to her classes because they’re fun. We leave them refreshed, much more limber and far less stressed than we were when we arrived. The meditation and breathing techniques she teaches are a great help in dealing with life’s stressful moments.”

— Gene Smith


“Doug and I have loved everything about Shannas’ yoga classes at the Culver Senior Center. The stretches and breathing exercises start in a basic and non-threatening way and then progress into a more challenging space that she expertly lead us into step by step. We never thought we could be doing what we now can do when we started this class in the fall. Since we feel better we are now exercising every day and walking thirty to forty minutes at time. Our doctor is very happy about our progress and we’ve lost weight on top of everything else. The breathing and meditation has helped me personally with my anxiety and stress. Most recently I was able to get through a frightening medical test by using the breathing techniques that she taught us.

We feel that Shanna’s class is magical and inspiring. We feel the benefits to our health and well-being are many fold and will only increase with further practice. She has helped us rediscover joy in movement. Thank you. We wish her class was every day!”

— Anne & Doug Saxon


 “I’ve always been driven to DO—to define myself by the WORK done, the visible ‘product’ resulting. But, as one grows older, the effort becomes more frantic compromised by bodily wear and tear. One feels diminished, less worthy as one is able to DO less. I find that Shanna’s class has moved me over time—and this is certainly an on going exercise in redefinition—from appraising myself on the basis of filling every moment with measurable, viable, concrete results, from registering WORK DONE, ACTIVITIES UNDERTAKEN to a greater quietude, a more generous and sympathetic, less physical definition of self. I find Shanna’s vocal Rhythms, her own composure, the choreographed postures, the thought provoking readings are moving me from, above all, glorifying DOING to more nuanced appreciation of BEING.”

— Phoebe Faulkner 


“My mother, Helen Epstein, takes your chair yoga class at the Senior Center and she really enjoys it. She speaks about how kind you are. It’s a wonderful opportunity for older people who have certain physical limitations to still engage in yoga, in awakening their bodies, breathing deeper and living more fully. Thank you for providing this invaluable service!”

— Helen Epstein


“Shanna’s Chair Yoga class is just what I needed, since I could not keep up with a conventional yoga class. I especially like the way that she makes sure we synchronize our breathing with our body movements. I have recommended her to many of my senior friends.”

— A happy student


“I just wanted to tell you again how grateful I am that you started me down this new path to mind-body health and wellness. I am now 4 full months medication free with my arthritis and emphysema very well controlled. I use the yoga breathing techniques daily and now meditate without fail each evening or more. I have expanded my practice with course work and classes. Sofia (my daughter) and I do a walking meditation when she is upset or disorganized and the alternate nostril breathing really works for her anxiety. I feel like both you and Dr. Rick have changed the trajectory of my future and I will forever be grateful.”

 — Staci Ascencio 

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