What Is Shamanic Yoga?

Shamanism is a large umbrella term used to describe several different techniques and methods used by indigenous peoples since antiquity for personal and collective healing.

This description was given to me in the course material during 300hr Shamanic Yoga Teacher Training. I highly recommend the training with the Shamanic Yoga Institute


Yoga is the scientific inquiry of the self. It is a method by which using various techniques

including asana, pranayama, meditation, we are able to research who we are and why

we are here. This practice requires direct experience and therefore, discipline which in

turn develops self-mastery. The ultimate goal of yoga, if there is in fact one goal, is to

still the mind. This quiet brings us back into relationship with ourselves and the world

around us.


Shamanism is a large umbrella term used to describe several different techniques and

methods used by indigenous peoples since antiquity for personal and collective healing.

Often there is singing, chanting, dancing, but the aspect unique to the shaman is the

journey. Journeying is process of moving into altered states of consciousness and

travelling across time and space. By using these shifts in perception, one can often

facilitate healing because there is the ability to see the same story in a new light. This

change in perspective can often empower the individual to choose a different ending. In

the journey we are also informed by rich symbolism which facilitates an investigation

into the unconscious mind. This can empower someone to observe and be informed

about what drives their personal behaviour but how to transcend being led by an

unseen force and start to choose consciously their own life. This type of healing then

supports a movement of healing from the individual to the collective. The personal

healing then equips one to be of service to others.


Shamanic Yoga is the ancient practice of yoga placed in an opening of shamanic

sacred space, inviting and invoking personal growth and transformation through

pranayama, asana, energy work, song and journeying. By weaving these rich traditions

together, the student is offered an experience steeped in indigenous, collective

consciousness that aims to guide one back to the path of their homecoming; to

themselves now in the present moment and who they dream themselves to be.

In order to hold the seat of the teacher, we must first have walked the path. Only by

having a lived experience are we able to transform knowledge and understanding into

something we can share, wisdom. By living the truth of personal, direct experience,

teachers are able to hold a sacred, safe and loving space for their students to unfold, let

go, and discover their power.


Nature and landscape are primary themes of the shamanic yoga practice and are

woven into dialogue, invoking the students and the natural world to co-create their

 relationship with one another. Breathing techniques, asana, mantra, song and energy

work are all used along with journeys and visualizations to invite a conversation with the

unknown throughout class. Classes are also sequenced with intent to open certain

areas of the body, facilitating a release, a reclaiming or a remembering. In this way, the

student is supported to inquire, excavate and discern what needs to be changed and

what needs to be retained. By consciously creating one’s body and reconnecting with

one’s form, the student is encouraged to nourish themselves in a fundamental way.

The vision of Shamanic Yoga is to take the power of both yoga and shamanic practices

and knit them together to create a strong venue for personal transformation and healing.

Several tools are offered that facilitate an intimate connection with one’s both inner and

outer world. Being heart centred, this connection helps one move from fear to love.

This powerful shift creates the opportunity for one to forgive, reclaim personal power,

step out of old stories and begin to create a new story, dreaming their world into being

and living the life they were born to live. To participate fully in one’s life is the promise of

Shamanic Yoga.



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