I recently got to sit down with Sue Schmitt, owner of Shakti Studio in Annapolis and ask her some questions about Michael Lee’s first visit to Annapolis and the Pheonix Rising Workshop he’ll be giving at Shakti Studio on November 5th and 6th.

Update: There are still a limited number of tickets available as of the time of this post, but the event is anticipated to sell out.   The weekend workshop consists of three separate workshops.  Tickets can be purchased for the entire 3-part workshop or for individual workshops directly via the following URL.  You can also download a flyer about the event with specific times of the three workshops here.

I’m still pretty new to Yoga compared to a lot of the people I meet.  Can you give me a little background on Michael Lee – who is he is, what he’s known for, etc…

Michael is a very innovative and dynamic individual, but here’s a brief overview of some of this past accomplishments…

  • Michael Lee is the creator of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy – of which there are over 1,050 Certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioners around the world
  • Michael has helped design a number of Holistic Health Programs at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
  • He was the Key Note presenter at the International Yoga Conference at 2001 – I thought it said a lot about Michael, that he thought that was a more significant representation of who he is, since it’s a therapeutic conference and  Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a therapeutic Yoga Style.
  • He’s currently a 5-star author on Amazon.com for his recent book ‘Turning Stress into Bliss: The Proven 8-week Program for Health, Relaxation, Stress Relief’, which just sold out this week on Amazon.com.

Thanks, I can see why you are excited about his visit to your studio.  Would you mind describing Therapeutic Yoga to someone who’s not really familiar with the term?

It’s a bridge between Yoga and psychology – a way for people to understand or bring awareness to our unique life circumstances, our fears, our blocks through using Yoga in a really safe environment … and if something shows up, you have a way of moving though it.

How much Yoga can people expect in the workshop?

The yoga will be very basic / gentle yoga – you don’t need to know advanced poses – everybody can do it, it’s basically accessible to everyone to allow for the most comfortable experience possible.

Do you know how much of a percentage of the workshop will be actually doing Yoga vs. discussions and question and answers?

It’s going to be a combination of Yoga, Asana and Dialog.   Michael’s going to be using his techniques from Pheonix Rising Yoga.  Specific to what he developed back in 1985, using the eight step platform – the same one he wrote about in his recent book, Turning Stress into Bliss.

The title of the three workshops are a little indicative…

  • My body, my teacher – How do you look at your own body, how do you move in your own body , what are your restrictions and what is it trying to tell you – what information is it trying to tell you.
  • My thoughts my feelings –   So what do I think and how does that relate to how my my body acts.  What are my emotions and my feelings telling me and how am I reacting to that.
  • Tune on / Tune in  – With his dialog he’s trying to bring awareness so you can go through what is acceptance, awareness and than hopefully progress.

Can you name a few examples….. some of the types of people he has been able to help using his techniques?

It’s really a wide range, but some specific examples are people who have back conditions, people who have chronic pain, people who have anxiety, people with sleep problems, people who have fear.   And there’s no age bracket – if your 80 years old you can do it, if you are 10 years old you can do it.

Are there any minimum fitness requirements?  No

For people who aren’t too familiar with Yoga, how does that work?

Michael will set up a safe environment with dialogue and yoga, making modifications and offering props as needed (chairs, bolsters, blocks, etc)

Anything else you would like to add about the workshop?

One of the things I want to make sure people understand is that it is also considered a, a professional-level therapeutic workshop so if you’re a body worker or a social worker or a yoga therapist or a yoga teacher you can get continuing education credits through Phoenix Rising Yoga for taking this workshop.

Are there any other types of professionals who could get continuing education credits from this workshop?

Participants will need to consult Pheonix Rising Yoga Association for specific credit approval, so I’m not speaking directly, but, any person that works directly with another person like a nurse or a therapist of any kind, Yoga instructors, body workers, etc.

Can you give me an example of the benefits a professional can get from this workshop?

As a yoga teacher and with my previous experience with nursing is that – if I’m learning something about bodies and reactions and emotions and thoughts and I experience something, in myself, I’m going to also have a relationship with that, with my other people whether it’s in a group setting or an individual setting, and I think I would be more sensitive to working with those people.  How do I touch them?  How am I asking them to get into certain poses?  Um, how I speak to them.  It’s just going to improve my sensitivity level that much higher, making it more therapeutic for my client.

I’m looking here at the third workshop description where it talks about creating a deeper connection to self and making adjustments when needed.  So let’s say I’m not a professional, what are some of the benefits I might have after taking the Pheonix Rising workshop and how can they improve my life?

I think one of the benefits would be that you would understand your own thought patterns and your own reaction patterns better and that you would understand how it relates to your daily life and how you function in your daily life based on what’s going on and can help you find and reduce stress in your body / mind to live more joyfully.

Maybe you just don’t want to be as busy.  Maybe you just want to be less stressed.  Maybe you want to be doing the same, going through your daily routines, going to your work, coming home, but just being happier?

Yes – Being more content, less frustrated, things like that.  So it’s not about solving your deepest problems.  It’s not about a psychological profile or anything like that.  It’s really more about just looking at your day‑to‑day life and trying to reduce stress, live it more happily and more joyfully and more connected to yourself and others, and the rest of it is just if you have an issue and it shows up and you can do something about it, great.

It’s based off of his book Turn Stress Into Bliss, so that’s what I would say the tagline of the workshop is.  Turn your stress into bliss.

Happy, more joyful, That’s what we all want, right?

Definitely.  Thanks again for your time Sue.



Update: There are still a limited number of tickets available as of the time of this post, but the event is anticipated to sell out.   The weekend workshop consists of three separate workshops.  Tickets can be purchased for the entire 3-part workshop or for individual workshops directly via the following URL.  You can also download a flyer about the event with specific times of the three workshops here.

11/5 Update:  Event just about sold out but a few tickets left, contact Sue at 410-353-3743  to reserve one of the final spots.

Interested in more Annapolis Yoga events and free/discounted classes offered by local Yoga studios?

Thanks and Namaste.