By Zoey Angelucci
Sophomore business student, Madison Shick, has found true “Shanti” in her wavering journey from being affected by three concussions to becoming a recently certified yoga instructor.
Throughout her high school career, Shick experienced three, separate concussive episodes caused by gym class, basketball and cheerleading. After her third, she had trouble sleeping for months and lost some physical abilities.
“Yoga has helped me a lot with my balancing and flexibility,” said Shick. “After my third concussion, it was really hard for me to stay as balanced and flexible as I was before. Not to mention how much it has helped me with my everyday stress and anxiety.”
Shick started taking yoga classes about three years ago at Twisted Yoga in Hermitage, Pa., near her hometown of West Middlesex, Pa. She always found a passion for yoga and thought it was time, after some convincing, to obtain her certification.
Her first yoga class was challenging, as it is for most their first time. Because her balance and flexibility were still off, it took Shick time to find her balance and inner self through yoga.
“I’ve been practicing yoga for a long time and always wanted to teach,” said Shick. “So I just bit the bullet.”
Shick was heavily encouraged by her roommate’s sister, Lindsey Bischel. Bischel is a 23-year-old certified yoga instructor and the founder of “Flow with Linds.”
“When Madi approached me about getting certified, I told her about my yoga journey and the impact yoga has had on my life,” said Bischel. “I encouraged her to get her certification to inspire herself and others.”
Bischel has recently fallen back into a relationship with yoga since the pandemic. She founded her practice, “Flow with Linds”, to create a safe environment for physical and mental growth, while also emphasizing the importance of mental health.
After deciding to follow Bischel and other fellow yogis’ advice, Shick started her yoga certification. The process included a 200-hour instructional course, final test, one-hour video of instructional yoga along with two mini videos.
“It was a long process for sure,” said Shick. “But in the end, it was so worth it.”
Shick’s close friend Cameryn Kelly followed Shick through her whole certification and would sometimes join in on some instructional hours.
“Even on days that already dragged on with homework and other responsibilities, Madi, no matter what, made sure to spend time understanding and moving forward with her yoga studies,” said Kelly.
Kelly recalls one day specifically when Shick was not feeling well and had piles of homework to finish. Shick still got herself up and moving to complete her set of instructional yoga hours for the day.
After about a month and a half of instruction, Shick received her yoga certification and is now taking full advantage of her new skillset. She began teaching social-distanced yoga classes around Thanksgiving, near her hometown, in Sharon, Pa.
Her first class went as perfectly as it could’ve, considering all of the COVID-19 struggles and restrictions. With a small crowd and open minds, Shick taught a great group of students for her first class.
“I have been teaching classes as much as I can,” said Shick. “I’ve recently introduced a new set of giveaways to my media pages and followers. (I’ve been doing) Anything you can think of start off my brand!”
She originally had hopes of doing one giveaway for her media page. However, when she partnered with a local candy store, Philadelphia Candies, they suggested doing three mini giveaways and one final, big giveaway. The mini giveaways include items from Philadelphia Candies. While, the big giveaway has multiple, local companies, like Philadelphia Candies, O’Neill’s Coffee and Raelux Boutique, involved.
“I did this to gain attraction to my page since I just started out,” said Shick. “And I wanted to include all of my favorite local businesses from my hometown.”
Because of the holiday break, Shick has started these endeavors back in her hometown with hopes of continuing her yoga career in Pittsburgh once she returns to school. As of now, though, her classes are taking place in Sharon, Pa.
“Madi has really become a great yogi,” said Rachael Bellucci, one of Shick’s yoga students. “Her classes so far have been great considering how new she is. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes her.”
Shick plans to teach yoga for as long as she can. It is something that means a lot to her and gives her joy. She hopes to grow her own community and see where it takes her; maybe even opening a studio of her own someday.
“For anyone interested in yoga, I say go for it!” said Shick. “It seriously is for everyone and is very beneficial to all. For those looking to teach, again, I say go for it! It is an amazing experience and a way to express yourself. You meet so many great people along the way. It’s 100% worth it.”
You can follow Shick and her yoga journey on her Instagram: madsyoga_
Shick demonstrated her favorite basic yoga poses.
Photo: Madison Shick