“Go home and do whatever yoga you are doing!” – My Surgeon
You want to know why I LOVE Yoga? Read on…
For almost all my life, I couldn’t walk without falling over. To the extent that people have told me things like I should just “join the circus” and I will “get nowhere in life…nobody will want to marry such a spaz!”
Since I was 6 years old, my knees kept dislocating constantly – I was forced to give up most forms of exercise that I loved (running, dancing, and martial arts were definitely out of the question), and I absolutely dreaded P.E. lessons at school. Physiotherapy didn’t help much, and after several trips to hospitals around the country, when I was 18 the doctors finally concluded I needed specialist major surgery on both legs to correct this so I wouldn’t end up in a wheelchair in my early 30’s.
At 19, I had the surgery on my right leg during my Uni Summer Holidays. During this time I was also struggling with anxiety and depression, and felt quite lost within myself.
A couple of weeks after I came out of hospital from my operation, I found myself despondent at being stuck indoors on my birthday on crutches whilst the rest of world was enjoying the sunshine.
So on my birthday evening, having nothing better to do, I decided to tag along with my dad to a Chi Kri Yoga class run by Neil Patel where I just sat at the back and joined in the meditation. I had no interest in Yoga, I just needed to get out of the house for some fresh air – yet this turned out to be one of the most special birthdays of my life, and I feel so grateful that I ended up there…
…as 4 years on (just before I turned 23), I went back to Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to set a date for my knee operation on my left leg – yet after looking at my X-rays and testing my balance, my surgeon was astounded to conclude that Yoga has given me so much muscle control that I no longer needed the second surgery!
He actually told me to ‘go home and do whatever yoga you are doing’ – and that’s when I started to realise how powerful Yoga can be, and just how much of a positive difference it can make to my life.
I kept in touch daily with Neil whilst studying at Warwick University, and in addition to Yoga poses, he taught me Meditation techniques and Yoga Philosophy to help me find my peace, stability and strength in a world that can be so unpredictable.
I found through my own experiences that together these were the perfect antidotes to burnout, fatigue, and anxiety – they enabled me to tap into and express the colour and happiness that I knew were somewhere deep inside me, but I felt I had lost for a while.
It seems the world is starting to waking up to the power of Yoga and Meditation too – Doctors from Harvard Medical School and Oxford University are prescribing them as treatments for Depression, and managers from top companies including HSBC are using Chi Kri Meditations to stay calm and reduce stress.
My life is now dedicated to passing on everything I’ve learnt from Yoga to as many people as I can, including children, teenagers and university students, so that they can bring out the best in themselves.
The Yoga teachings are so deeply ingrained in my soul that wherever I go, they come along with me. Literally…I’ve been spotted Meditating on the Tube, doing Pigeon Pose in Trafalgar Square, and upside down in Wheels and Headstands in Waterloo!
Thank you for patiently hearing my story! Here are a few words from Chi Kri Founder Neil Patel who awarded me my Chi Kri Gold Qualification in March 2014…
“Sheena is an exceptionally passionate, genuine and dedicated Yoga teacher. She cares deeply about her students, classes, and teaching – I get the impression she gives to her students the same high standards she expects from herself. The thing that makes her special is that she values yoga and Chi Kri teachings – and uses them in her own life – and that faith and belief is evident in her classes. I personally have immense trust in her potential to deliver excellent yoga classes for many decades to come…”
– Chi Kri Founder, Neil Patel
“I was initially recommended to Sheena's class over 2 years ago by a good friend who had so many nice things to say about her as a teacher.
What struck me about Sheena's teaching style is her honestly and bravery, she's not afraid to share her vulnerability with her students. I find this both refreshing and inspiring, since I've not encountered a yoga teacher that incorporates such a deep level of philosophy during their classes.
She has a great way of connecting with her students, sometimes I find it hard to believe how young she is as she's very wise beyond her years.
I love that Sheena always makes her class fun yet personable, I mean how many more ab exercises can one teach and still be excited about it!
I would highly recommend Sheena's class to anyone who wants to discover something more than just yoga asanas. She teaches you how to tap into the mental qualities of yoga, which I personally find is the most challenging part of yoga. Connecting to your soul takes time and patience and no one does it better than Sheena :D”
ShueRead More Testimonials
“I still remember my first yoga class with Sheena - what is so unique about Sheena’s classes is the personal touch Sheena brings to each and every class. Sheena really works hard making each class so different, reaching into your soul with the yoga she teaches and the wisdom she brings through her poetry, quotes and personal experiences.
For me personally, after trying out a gym yoga class which I found pretty generic, I then attended Sheena’s - I was astounded at the level of attention, love and genuine care Sheena put into teaching yoga to all her students, you don’t just learn yoga postures and poses, you learn how to listen to your soul, how to nurture your body and how to strengthen your mind.
The energy and positivity in every class is contagious and you certainly won’t be disappointed - I certainly haven’t been and nearly two years on, I’m still attending Sheena’s yoga classes and now training to be a yoga teacher myself, all from the incredible inspiration from Sheena”
ReemaRead More Testimonials
“When I was asked to write a testimonial for Sheena I was tempted to tell her to write whatever she wants herself and then put my name at the bottom of it. Because honestly, I know that no statement exists that would be an exaggeration of the beauty that is Sheena's skill, craft and art. I am thrilled to have the privilege of writing her a testimonial and I do so happily and proudly.
There is an endless list of wonderful things that can be said about Sheena's teaching and devotion to yoga and all its principals, mind body and soul alike.
Sheena has taught me to seek the truth in its purest form. How to live this truth and how to strengthen all my innate qualities via beautiful postures. The detail and depth of her teachings not only physical but spiritual too are uplifting without fail and act as a constant reminder that life is all about aiming to react perfectly, not act perfectly.
I urge you strongly to give yoga with Sheena a try. I promise, you will feel re-energised, inspired and confident to take on life with readiness, joy and love. I certainly do! ”
NilamRead More Testimonials
“Sheena is an exceptionally passionate, genuine and dedicated Yoga teacher. She cares deeply about her students, classes, and teaching - I get the impression she gives to her students the same high standards she expects from herself.
The thing that makes her special is that she values yoga and Chi Kri teachings - and uses them in her own life - and that faith and belief is evident in her classes. I personally have immense trust in her potential to deliver excellent yoga classes for many decades to come…”
Neil (Founder of Chi Kri Yoga)Read More Testimonials
“Hi Sheena, last night you thanked all of us for having the faith and belief in you by attending your Yoga classes.
I cannot speak for everyone on the class but I am sure if you ask them individually, they will agree that it is us who remain very grateful to you for helping us cope with our daily stresses in our lives.
You educate us with various channels to "let go", believe in ourselves and develop the mental and spiritual strength to deal with the challenges that we all face in different ways. (Accompanied with some muscular pains as a remembrance! :) ).
So THANK YOU Sheena. I am very glad that I met you through this class and it has made a monumental difference in how I behave in various circumstances.
I also saw your video on depression and it is extremely touching. I admire you to have gone through that difficult period and becoming what you are today. You are an inspiration to us all - and that inspiration, together with your strength, is permeating across many many souls who know you through various means.
Please keep up the good work - and continue to be that Spiritual Warrior! ”
VijayRead More Testimonials
“Sheena's Yoga and Meditation sessions are the best part of my week! Her immense passion for what she does makes her shine bright, and her classes are incredibly fun and fulfilling :)
Ever since I first started, Sheena has been a continuous source of inspiration for me. I am so grateful for the dedication she shows both in and out of class - it is clear that Sheena wants us, as her students, to soar high and become the best possible versions of ourselves.
Practicing yoga has been challenging, but with Sheena's help I have pushed myself both physically and mentally to achieve some of the very same poses that Sheena amazed me with at my first session! :)With the help of Sheena's teachings, I have been able to not only make meditation a part of my daily routine, but I have been able to meditate for longer periods of time, something I found difficult to do previously.
I have already learnt a great deal through her teachings and the Chi Kri philosophy. I couldn't recommend her more highly, whether you are looking to build strength, or simply find some inner peace or still your mind. ”
NihalRead More Testimonials
“Sheena has an incredible way of connecting with each and every student of hers, making us feel special and loved. She offers endless support and encouragement, both in class and outside. She is inspirational with her own strength and determination, setting the best example of reaching the highest standards, both physically and mentally.
Yoga is refreshing, energising and great for toning and strengthening every muscle too. Meditation provides a means of relaxing, and leaves you with a sense of peace, calmness, and positivity.Sheena's classes are the highlight of my week! They give me something to look forward to, and to work on, for my own well-being and for a sense of accomplishment. ”
KrupaliRead More Testimonials
“Sheena’s classes have transformed my understanding of the power of yoga. Unlike other teachers, she approaches her class with the aim of her students becoming warriors, seeing life as an opportunity to learn and to grow, able to find peace in themselves regardless of the world around them.
Her deep understanding of yoga means that she can cater to my individual aims during our 1-2-1 sessions. We cover a wide range of yoga applications in each session, from chakra work, pranayama, and meditation to specific postures that will develop my strength, balance, and flexibility.With her help, I have now overcome severe anxiety and feel more empowered and self-aware than ever before. I’ve been to many teachers, but with Sheena I was able to do a Baby Crow for the first time ever!!
I couldn’t recommend her more as a yoga teacher – I have never met someone who so intuitively knows what you need and so patiently helps you achieve your peace - whilst making sure that you are always playing an active role in your development. ”
DhruvniRead More Testimonials
“I was in a rut at the gym and I had no motivation for exercise until I went Sheena’s trial session. My misconceptions of yoga evaporated in that one class and I was hooked!
Sheena is passionate about yoga and that shows through in her classes. I enjoy her varied classes with mixed abilities and ages with her carefully selected motivational music.
Time flies in each session with a balance of a warm up, mix of core, strength, flexibility, breathing and relaxation techniques plus she gives words of inspiration and motivation to focus the mind.
It has helped with reducing my stress levels and I have never been so flexible. I have been going for over two years and can’t imagine life without Yoga. I would encourage anyone to attend one of Sheena’s many classes. ”
BhavinRead More Testimonials
“I have suffered from back pain for a while and am incredibly inflexible. I therefore decided to join Sheena's Saturday morning classes as I've heard yoga is useful for both of these things. I'm not sure what I expected, but after my first class I felt a lot better physically and mentally. This has only continued over my time.
The classes were fun yet challenging. Tackling the "Baby Crow" and "Chi Kri One Legged Peacock" pose have been some of my highlights. The contemporary yoga style was contrasted with modern music which really enticed me and I've been caught out singing along to some of the songs!
What I've learnt from Chi Kri is that strength is both an external and internal entity, and the yoga is there to stimulate both of these things in order for one to reach their maximum potential and lead a fulfilling life.
The quotes that are read out in class, and the interpretation of limericks are inspiring and provide me with a fresh outlook on situations. I would really recommend Sheena's classes for any yoga level and anyone just trying to find a better version of themselves ”
NikeshRead More Testimonials
“Sheena’s approach to teaching is a mixture of friendliness, compassion, and dedication to both to her students but also to yoga itself. She has the ability to awaken power and strength into our minds and bodies through her asana teaching, and to take us on a journey inwards towards peace and stillness when she teaches meditation and relaxation.
Her teaching voice is very beautiful, and her knowledge of the teachings of yoga is phenomenal…As a person, she is extremely humble at all times and is always ready to give her time and help when you need it. I have asked for her help many, many times during our training together and I am blessed to be able to call her my special friend.”
Shirley (Yoga Teacher)Read More Testimonials
“Sheena's beautiful and caring energy makes her a fantastic teacher. Her creativity made us look forward to every class ... sometimes we ended up attending two classes a week! Her favourite Chi Kri affirmation is "I am calm, l am peaceful, and I am relaxed" and this is exactly how you feel when you leave her class. We'd recommend Sheena's class to anyone who wants a break from the world :) ”
Deepa & AnkitRead More Testimonials
“I found I felt very relaxed from the beginning with Sheena’s calm tone and aura, and I found myself open and ready for Sheena’s teachings. Sheena constantly checked to see how I was doing, always making sure, I was feeling comfortable and content…I felt what I had learnt that will be something I will carry with me forever, and also use to help me within my everyday life. I am very grateful for Sheena's teachings.”
VivianRead More Testimonials
“Sheena's 1-2-1 classes are perfect as I get individual attention for yoga poses that I find difficult, as well as tailored sequences that I can practice on my own and build up my body strength and flexibility. It is a safe space to ask questions about meditation, spirituality and life, and to practice affirmation techniques and chakra meditation to help me in my daily life. Sheena has incredible intuition and understanding for each and every one of her clients and I highly recommend these sessions to anyone!”
MayaRead More Testimonials
“Sheena and her classes have started to have a big impact on my life, whilst struggling with depression and anxiety. She helps you learn to focus and relax your mind.
By believing in you, and helping you believe in yourself as you accomplish little steps, she makes a huge difference when it is most needed. She makes you feel part of her team, whose goal it is to be and do the best we can. She empathises with your situation and gives you hope of better times. Thank you, Sheena!”
AnonymousRead More Testimonials
“Sheena’s inspirational ability is second to none. A google search found me speaking to Sheena; explaining I had injuries/needed to lose a lot of weight and did not want to attend a class that made me feel out of my depth. Sheena’s non-judgemental response makes me chuckle now - if you want to get your abs working and build your core strength then come to my Thursday class!
9 months on, I am 2 ½ stones lighter but it was not just the physical aspect of yoga that resulted in this weight loss so far. I now realise that there is more to yoga than the poses! Something Sheena helped me realise. I like to think that I was/am a mindful person anyway; I now find myself being mindful of my own wellbeing. The only way I can explain it is that yoga is a great life tool that creates harmony in the mind, body and soul – the more you practice the more you benefit (in so many ways).I now attend both her Monday and Thursday classes, and I finally feel I have a real chance in succeeding in my weight loss goal. The unexpected bonus for me being that that “feeling” filters through to everyday life.
The best thing I did in 2017 - pick up the phone to Sheena. Sheena’s classes are mixed ability. I found being a novice and having certain physical limitations really does not matter. You do what you can do and see where it takes you…”
SeemaRead More Testimonials
“Sheena’s class is a great way to focus your mind on yourself and get away from the normal manic, even after a bad day at work! She uses very simple techniques that you are able to practise by yourself and is always happy to help and support out of class. I love the space that my mind is in after class; peaceful, relaxed and free of any negative thoughts! ”
RupalRead More Testimonials
“Yoga really helps me to relax and de-stress after a long week, which is especially useful the exam period where I find there is a lot of pressure. Furthermore, it has had a significant impact on strengthening my muscles as well as improving my fitness.
Sheena's class is the highlight of my week - she's always so friendly and radiates positivity throughout the session.
She's always willing to help you if you find anything difficult, as well as keeping you motivated and enabling you to stretch your ability.
I am always excited to try new poses, especially power poses, and I often find that I am capable of doing more than I initially thought and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.
By the end of the session I always feel refreshed and amply positive and I cannot wait till the next session!”
MadelineRead More Testimonials
“As someone once said to me, 'the right yoga teacher is ultimately one you feel a connection with and are happy to learn from' and for me, this is Sheena. She is a skilled teacher, who I trust. She has empowered me to explore my mind and body at a deeper level. Her well structured lessons and physical ability have encouraged me to increase my own fitness levels. Sheena has played a fundamental role in enhancing my core body strength. Also, her soft enchanting voice and choice of music is something I look forward to every Monday evening. Sheena is a gifted teacher, who I hope to continue to learn from :)”
LavniRead More Testimonials
“I've really enjoyed 121 Yoga and Meditation with Sheena. She's a great teacher - patient, enthusiastic, encouraging. There's always something different each week - new positions to try, new places to imagine, new chants and techniques. I've loved their calming influence and Sheena herself is an inspiration. Highly recommended! ”
AlisonRead More Testimonials
“Yoga - a pass time for the old and hippies. A group of people who sit around and do stretches all day whilst preaching about a spiritual life. YOU COULD NOT BE MORE WRONG. I travel an hour and a half for one hour with Sheena because I believe it is the most exciting part of my week.
This rat race that we so lovingly call life has conditioned our minds to venture on a pursuit of happiness when in fact what we are not taught is that happiness is a journey; not a destination.
If you're looking for that extra hour in your week then I think you've found it. But then again why listen to me when you can come and try it for yourself with a whole host of other people who already know how good it is.
I have only been attending Sheena's sessions for a term but I like her calm and loving nature which flow through very clearly in her teachings. Whether you are doing breathing exercises (pranayama) or stretching/poses (asana) Sheena believes in you even when you don't! You will leave feeling relaxed, full of energy and ready to seize the day.
Having studied Neuroscience to degree level I am a scientist at heart but that does not stop me from believing in the power that we possess in our minds. After leaving these sessions you will be reminded about what it feels again to be at peace with those around you (and more importantly yourself) - something that seems to be fading away in this era.
Sheena's taught me to do things that I thought I'd never be able to do physically due to the back problems that I was born with. There is no requirement for you to be able to touch your toes or do the splits and Sheena is very understanding when it comes to people's abilities.
What have you got to lose? If you don't try then you'll never know. Take the risk - it's definitely worth the reward.”
NayenRead More Testimonials
“Yoga is the best thing I have done in ages. I decided to do yoga to lose weight and because it’s a lot of fun. I never thought for a minute it could help me in the way it has.
Before I started yoga I was not in a good place. I struggled with bad relationships which left me with a lot of anger inside me which I kept to myself for so long. I used to get panic attacks when I got stressed, having the feeling something bad is going to happen, and not knowing what it was use to make me feel sick and my breathing to become erratic. I also travel on the underground everyday to work and would worry everyday about being on a packed train – I hate the feeling of being enclosed in a confined space.
Now because I have an amazing teacher, Sheena Shah I am slowly overcoming my fears. I wake up in the morning and my mind is clear -I no longer worry and I just feel calm. My anger has completely faded.
I would recommend Yoga to everyone. I am so grateful to Chi Kri and my lovely teacher Sheena because I am so much happier now.”
DebbieRead More Testimonials
“Sheena’s Monday class has helped me channel my energy in a much more positive way. My practice has helped me subconsciously and in my day to day life where I can take a moment to stop and think before taking action and actually thinking about what I am going to do about the situation at hand.
When we go through our affirmations, my week starts so wonderfully to the extent that when I am back to work the next day, my team can really tell when I have attended a yoga class as my mind is at peace!
I’ve found that many people want to start yoga and think that ‘oh I can’t do it’ or ‘I’m not flexible enough’. Sheena talks you through the poses whilst helping you fight through your mental battles. I’ve found that it really is just all in the mind. If you think that you can’t do it, you won’t reach your full potential.
Whilst, when going in with a positive mind, you will reach your potential and even go beyond. And I have gained this from Sheena’s class and realised the amazing things we can do with various yoga poses and with our minds too.
I can’t put it into words how much I love her class and will always continue to love them even more – definitely a life-long Yogi! I’ve been attending for a year now and she is constantly challenging us with new things and I can guarantee; I always leave with a smile on my face and peace in my heart, mind & soul.
Thank YOU Sheena for all your hard work, love & support and your dedication towards your students and Yoga! I couldn’t recommend her classes more as I want to share the gift Sheena has given through her teachings and Yoga to all”
ChandniRead More Testimonials
“I recently found myself in a pretty dark place, one where I was unable to control my thoughts. It seemed that life had got the better of me and despite being at work, on the train, even in my bed, my mind was full of 50 different thoughts all at the same time. I felt more distant from religion. I really didn't like the thought of getting up in the morning to face the day. Having generally found myself to be a bubbly fun loving person I felt I had become a stranger to myself. I wasn't sure who I was but I did know the person I was becoming was not the real me.
Having been to University with Sheena, we had deep conversations about yoga and life in general. She told me how she's found that yoga really turned her life around. Social media, gyms, even health magazines/websites boast about the benefits of yoga but in all honesty I did remain sceptical. It seemed hard to believe that a few stretches and being told to 'breathe' would really be the solution to my problems. Turns out, it was just that and more.
After my first lesson with Sheena I felt strangely more relaxed and vibrant. And a bit more at ease within myself. Since then I've found myself hooked and actually can't wait for the next lesson. Sheena is very clear in setting out each pose and makes the classes varied. She is very patient and helps give yoga a type of modern spin...one that connects to young people and elder. While teaching us the benefits of each pose, Sheena's lessons also help put life in perspective. That in all honesty, it is tough but what fun would it be if it wasn't? She teaches us that life and situations are dependent on our outlook on them.
I've been attending Sheena's weekly yoga lessons for just over a month now and can see the powerful influence they are having on my life. Not only do they make me feel reenergised I feel I am in much better control of my thoughts and have just learnt to live in the moment. I've found myself a lot more connected to religion and God, something I did not want to lose and was scaring me that I was. Not to mention they are one hell of a workout! Turns out I couldn't have been further from the truth in thinking yoga was just a bunch of stretches!
For anyone who feels they need to be a bit more control of their lives, feels a bit detached or that common feeling that 'something is missing' I highly recommend one of Sheena's lessons. You'll think she's made out of rubber with the kind of poses she can do but you will be happy she's come into your lives and brought yoga along with it.”
AnonymousRead More Testimonials
“I really enjoy Yoga because it has strengthened me physically and mentally. I have discovered peace and calmness throughout my journey and have learnt to love who I am. I have improved on my strength and balance when doing the Chi Kri poses and I have challenged my body to do the harder variations and achieve them. I have seen a big improvement in myself for just being there for a few weeks and it has been an amazing journey for me. ”
SionaRead More Testimonials
“Sheena's positive energy flows through every session - be it through the inspirational and motivational quotes she writes, or through her teaching techniques. Thanks to her encouragement each week I was finally able to hold Baby Crow for a few seconds. She believes in us even when we don't in ourselves, and encourages us to overcome all the challenges life throws at us!”
AkrutiRead More Testimonials
“Sheena's Monday evening classes provide great training to improve my meditation techniques. The sessions have a good mix of physical relaxation, meditation and pranayama...and Sheena's voice is incredibly soothing which aids relaxation...”
VikramRead More Testimonials
“My daughter attended Sheena’s yoga classes from the age of 7. The class was one of the highlights of her week and she would strive to attend it no matter what. Sheena is an amazing teacher as she exhibits a lot of patience and enthusiasm whilst teaching young children. My daughter learnt a lot about yoga and I hope she will continue learning the technique during any chance she gets. I also hope that Sheena starts holiday workshops so that my daughter can continue to learn from her!”
Meeta (Kids Yoga)Read More Testimonials
“It helped me focus and be calm when I had a stressful day which really helped me think about positive things.”
“It helped me concentrate and stop stressing about my exams. It took all the stress out of my chest and gave confidence to me.”
"The sessions made me feel very relaxed and not worried or stressed about what had previously happened that day. Thank you very much!”
“It really relaxed me, improved my state of mind and gave me the idea of listening to meditation music at home while doing homework.”
“It was great for me so I could be less stressed, for example with my homework. It made me calm down.”
“The sessions helped me relax and forget about my worries. ”
GCSE Students at Whitmore High SchoolRead More Testimonials
“I never attended Yoga and was always in doubt about it. However, after first lesson with Sheena, It completely changed my attitude. I felt that my body was surprisingly relaxed after one hour of Yoga with Sheena. Not only that, but also did I learn the technique to calm my mind as well. I enjoyed every single session with Sheena and recommend to anyone who is looking for Yoga teacher.”
Wendy (UCL Eastman Dental Institute)Read More Testimonials
“Yoga with Sheena was a revelation in to how much I squeezed my body of energy and tired it through the stresses of life. Sheena taught me how to slow down and make time for myself. Together with her words of wisdom and yoga I have worked through some challenges that once seemed impossible. Thank you.”
RupaRead More Testimonials
“I am definitely feeling the benefits of Yoga in just a few weeks - I’m even managing to touch my toes for the first time in many years! Thank you Sheena for your great classes."
Later Anne added...
"I need to thank you for all you have done to help me over the past few years. I should have said much earlier but it was your inspiration that drove me eventually to apply to become a professor. As a result I now have an inaugural professorial lecture in a couple of weeks! ”