Yoga In The Dark: Ashley Shapiro's Light Filled World
Aug 31, 2011 11:33AM
By Helen Hennessy
Indianapolis yoga teacher Ashley Shapiro was just two years old when she began practicing yoga and experienced its ability to transport her to a realm of wonder and delight. Her mother was a student of Indra Devi, the first Western woman to study yoga in India, and as a result of her exposure to Devi’s teachings, Shapiro grew up with the belief that they contributed profoundly to the magic of life.
Later, as a painter and young mother living in Evansville, Shapiro would travel to upstate New York to be with her own renowned teacher, Indian guru Baba Muktananda, founder of Siddha Yoga.
She and her husband Larry Shapiro, currently professor of violin and artist in residence at Butler University as well as concertmaster for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, both studied in Muktananda’s ashrams for 14 years. When they moved to other cities, the two ran Siddha Yoga Meditation Centers there for Muktananda.
After Muktananda’s death in 1982, Shapiro developed a new way to present hatha yoga using a system revealed to her in dreams. It’s called Yoga In The Dark and is performed in a room illuminated solely by candlelight. Designed for students of all levels, the class features gentle, meditative movements, many of which are performed under the soothing comfort of a blanket. The class “relaxes the body to the deepest levels and rejuvenates the cells,” Shapiro says. “Many people allow the minutiae of the world to destroy their happiness. This class helps them to enter a spiritual, light-filled world.”
In addition, Shapiro and her husband teach a class called Yoga and Classical Music in venues throughout the country.