Sati Chmelar

Sati Chmelar, yoga teacher trainer in Nepal

Teaching Focus: Ashtanga Yoga practice & philosophy, applied wisdom practice

Shannon (Sati) Chmelar is an American Yoga and philosophy teacher, writer, speaker, and therapist. She is the Founder and Director of Vasudhaiva Institute, a global educational institute dedicated to the study of classical Indian thought, Yoga, and Buddhism. In all of her work she strives to illuminate how ancient wisdom teachings may help us overcome our daily struggles and cultivate a more compassionate existence.​ Sati teaches in the United States, Europe, and Asia returning annually to Kathmandu, Nepal to lead various projects. She is currently based in Oslo, Norway with her husband.

Sati’s asana lineage is Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the tradition of Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and T. Krishnamacharya. She has practiced for over 10 years and is a dedicated practitioner of the complete Intermediate Series of Ashtanga Yoga. Sati is a Buddhist in the Tibetan tradition. She has received most of her guidance within the Kagyu tradition but has studied under Sakya and Nyingma lineages as well. She has a deep reverence for various schools of Indian philosophy most notably Advaita Vedanta and Ashtanga/Classical Yoga. Her strong interest in comparative religion, contemplative psychology, and progressive education inform her pedagogy and her background as a performance artist and massage therapist influence her approach to therapeutic process.

Sati’s teaching consists of asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy and a series of learning exercises she calls, applied wisdom practice. Sati has been teaching for over 16 years, first in the realm of dance and performance composition and later the tradition of Yoga. Her teaching style has been described as bold, heartfelt, provocative, and humorous. In her lectures she not only conveys traditional teachings but asks students to deeply examine them through the lens of their own experience often giving assignments to assist in this process. In philosophy classes, she often uses non-traditional teaching tools such as props, drawing, and theatre to make seemingly complex metaphysical ideas simple and accessible. Contemplative writing, group and partner exercises are also used to help students become intimate with the self-inquiry process. She stresses the vital importance of finding the application of wisdom teachings in our daily thought, speech, and action. In asana classes she teaches traditional Ashtanga Yoga in mysore method classes as well as led classes of varying levels. Her extensive training in massage and bodywork influences her use of touch and informs how she therapeutically holds space for students in their practice. Sati teaches primarily in retreat formats also offering occasional classes and workshops.

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