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Brandish

Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 042219 — Sharon Holly

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The remarkable unfolding journey of life is illustrated perfectly in the #sparkchamber today as we welcome Yoga Therapist, Sharon Holly. Sharon didn’t consciously start out on a path to yoga therapy, but the stars aligned, and the dots connected.

Her plan when she moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1993 was to get away from the cold, live at the beach, and work in the film industry. Which she enjoyed for 10 amazing years, working in television and film production at Fox Studios, ABC Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Digital Magic, and various other post- and visual-effects houses.

Looking for more flexibility and the ability to visit her sister and her children more frequently, she started a photography business. She specialized in candid portraits of children and families at the beach, playground, or their homes, and built her business beyond LA, into several cities on the East Coast and the Midwest. Along the way she folded in another passion, becoming a coach for youth soccer … which led to her discovery of children’s yoga.  

Her own introduction to yoga came at a time when she was healing from a difficult romantic break-up, and she felt firsthand the power of yoga in emotional healing. Several years later, the unexpected loss of her brother took her practice to another level and served to shift her focus. As much as she loved teaching soccer to preschoolers, she knew it was time for a change. Her brother loved children, and by working with children through yoga, teaching them self-confidence and body awareness in a fun, nurturing, non-competitive environment, Sharon remained connected to him.

Children’s classes expanded to “Parent & Me” classes, as the moms and dads asked for advice to heal their own injuries. And then … a health challenge of her own changed everything. In March of 2011, Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shock, disbelief, questioning, journaling. Successful treatment came through traditional methods but it didn’t seem enough. Googling “yoga and breast cancer,” Sharon found a yoga retreat for women cancer survivors, which she attended and where she aligned to her life’s passion and true calling — teaching survivors/thrivers.

Over the next three years, she attended Loyola Marymount University, earning her Yoga Therapy 800-hour certification. She currently teaches survivors privately, and in small group classes and workshops throughout Los Angeles, constantly inspired by her students’ commitment to their practice and participation in their own healing and wellness.

And, beautiful full circle, Sharon is now one of the teachers for The Foundation for Living Beauty, the organization that provided her the life-altering retreat when right when she needed it.

1.] Where do ideas come from?

My own teachers and what helps and supports me.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

Finding new and fun ways to share what I have learned so that others become inspired to practice on their own, feel the effects of the practice, and become self-empowered.

3.] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?

I don’t consider myself a night owl or early bird, but I do find that my creative juices tend to flow more in the evening or as I am teaching. Usually a deadline helps me get the job done as I often teach 20+ hours each week so the process of creating workshops needs to happen in between.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

I don’t feel like I am ever done. I gain information at each workshop or class that I teach and the students who attend. I also continue to expand my own knowledge, but studying with my favorite teachers and mentors so I can share with others.