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Using yoga for the better good

[caption id="attachment_15565" align="alignnone" width="794"]yoga Shannon Reilly received her yoga training in Rishikesh, India. Photo courtesey of Shannon Reilly.[/caption] Shannon Reilly is a junior at Seton Hall and an internationally certified yoga instructor who enjoys art, and nonprofit work with children. Reilly started yoga at the age of 12 around the time she was diagnosed with scoliosis. What started out as a way to improve her posture quickly became an ally off the mats too. Reilly decided to do her training in Rishikesh, India, the yoga capital of the world, in an effort to learn the ancient roots of yoga and the theory and philosophy behind the lifestyle. This began her journey into becoming an internationally certified yoga instructor. Seton Hall was a place where she could continue her passion. She said her professors helped her gain confidence in her writing, and decide to major in liberal studies with a double minor in anthropology and archaeology, as well as introduce her to daily meditation practices. Throughout these classes and the adventures that came with them, she met like-minded people and expanded her connections with others and learned more about herself. “Yoga can better the lives of others mentally, physically and spiritually,” Reilly said. “Yoga helps prevent the onset of mental conditions, increase flexibility and bring people closer to who they are.” Reilly first became interested in working with children when she and her mom volunteered at a summer camp in Ambergris Caye, Belize, teaching kids how to make “eco-art” with objects available on the island. Reilly is also a member of the nonprofit “Let’s Imagine.” She was offered a chance to be a Karma Yoga Instructor and will be teaching during the nonprofit’s next big project in Tanzania, where they plan to mix their mission to inspire youth and promote emotional well-being through yoga, meditation and creative expression. Reilly is assisting in the writing of the nonprofit’s volunteer manual, as well as drawing the various yoga postures that will be published in the resource manual. Reilly’s goal is to make the nonprofit a globally recognized and respected organization. In 2018, she plans to move to Ambergris Caye and start an after school program for kids teaching them yoga and art. Senior accounting major and fellow yogi, Veronica Szarka, said that yoga also encourages her to be open hearted, patient and nonjudgmental. “It reminds me to look upon everyone, including myself, with love and kindness,” Szarka said. Seton Hall alumni and secretary of registrar operations, Sandra Merant said “yoga gives people an opportunity to challenge themselves in ways they never imagined both mentally and physically.” Rhania Kamel can be reached at


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