Leah Shugart

Where are you from originally? Calhoun, GA

How long have you lived in Chattanooga? Back and forth about 8 years total, going on a solid 6

Tell us about your childhood: I spent most of my time outside or submerged in water, a creek, my grandparents pool or a bathtub. I was either always Ariel or Pocahontas and I remember being in my  head a lot.

Do you have a nickname? To my grandmother I’m “ladybug”, to my mother “LM”, and to the guys in the kitchen of the bar I worked in for too long, I’m “Champ”

When were you introduced to Yoga? I found yoga at 17 at a gym in my hometown and immediately became obsessed. We had an on again/off again relationship until we became inseparable about 6(ish) years ago.

How do yoga and the community play a role in your life? Yoga, as a science, has allowed me to deepen my awareness of the different levels of the body and taught me that the magic lies within the

breath. Yoga, as a practice, has allowed me the freedom and wisdom to process life’s experiences as they are happening, allowing me to stay present and enjoy what I’m given, while recognizing that everything is temporary.

What pose do you love the most and why? Bird of Paradise! Though not always very good at it, makes me feel very strong and empowered. And any heart openers!! Beautiful counter motion to my massage therapy practice, and the energetic shift that happens within is so powerful!

What is your favorite quote?“So remember, if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something-something of the soul.”

“The Wolf Woman” from the book “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes