Maria Shen Headshot

Maria Shen
Instructor

Aerial Yoga is my bliss. I see Aerial as a playful trust exercise that encourages exploration of the mind, body, and spirit.

My own approach to yoga emphasizes mindful movement with deeply embodied breath, gives equal attention to transitions and asanas, and utilizes props to accentuate postural elements that may be inaccessible otherwise. I hope to bring physical and mental relief to the many aches of every day life, including those in my position a few years ago.

Like many Silicon Valley tech workers, I had begun to experience pain daily in the lower back, shoulders, and wrists due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle (long hours in front of a computer). Inactive for the first time in my life, I realized that I had not only lost years of practiced movement but I was also beginning to lose my mobility. My mind felt completely disconnected from my body. I decided to alter my trajectory and sought a science-based yoga teacher training program, with my sights on pursuing aerial later on.

Today, gratefully, I am an AFAA certified Aerial Yoga Teacher through Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla, California. I'm also a certified RYT 200 through Avalon Yoga International in Palo Alto and have been teaching since 2016. Besides Aerial, I teach Yin Yoga, Yin / Yang Yoga, Mixed Styles Yoga (All Levels Yoga), and Restorative Yoga. For my mentorship, I assisted Janya Wongsopa in her Yin Yoga & Meditation class for over a year.

I also have a background in Tae Kwon Do (3rd Degree Black Belt, practiced for 15 years, taught and performed) and various forms of martial arts including: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and weapons.

During the day, I'm a Development Consultant for Mercy Beyond Borders, a non-profit empowering girls and women in extreme poverty through education. I have a double major in Economics and English from the University of California, Irvine. My hobbies include: hiking, reading, doodling, and spending time with my loved ones, including my partner Dexter and our German Shepherd rescue Lucky.