TammYoga In Balance

15 04 2012

In Balance

I will be writing a new column entitle, TammYoga In Balance, for Tipp City Record Herald. This first column is a question and answer piece to introduce the column. It was printed on Sunday, April 8, 2012. A new column will be printed every other Sunday. I hope you enjoy following me. Please let me know what you think.

Look for the next column on Sunday, April 22, 2012.


Tammy Shellhaas

Family (spouse and/or kids):

My husband, John, and I have been married for almost 29 years. We have two children: Ben, who graduated from Ohio State University and is currently serving in the National Guard in Afghanistan and Betsy, who is attending Ohio University.


I am an ACE certified personal trainer and yoga instructor at La Bella Viaggio in Troy.

Where you’re from and where you live now:

I grew up in Troy and currently live in Troy.

How you first got interested in health and wellness:

My initial interest in health and wellness began in college. I was overweight and did not eat right and began to educate myself on what I needed to do to make a change for the better. I started jogging and making healthy changes to my diet. When John and I were first married and starting our family, I took exercise classes and worked out at home to exercise TV shows and tapes I rented from the library. When our daughter was a senior in high school and we would soon be empty nesters, I made the decision to become a personal trainer. I knew I would need something to occupy my mind during this stage of my life. Once, I became certified and was training part-time, the transition to becoming a fulltime personal trainer and, eventually, yoga instructor was a natural progression. I enjoyed helping others to achieve their goals and share what I had lived and learned.

The most common fitness or nutritional mistake people make:

The biggest fitness and nutritional mistake I see is when a client makes a drastic change in diet or exercise at the very beginning. It is unrealistic to think that the goals they want to reach will be accomplished quicker if they skip meals or lift too-heavy of weights. I’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t work. And more than likely, they will not stick with it because they cannot do this long term.

The best advice you’ve ever been given:

There is no quick fix. Consistency to a healthy diet and exercise program will help you to achieve your goals so that you can maintain the achieved results. I had to learn this after many trials and errors. It may not be easy or fast, but it is possible and has greater results for success.

Favorite music to listen to when you workout:

I like most genres of music. I listen to oldies (Oldies are now the music I grew up with!), as well as, Adele, Rihanna, Pink, U2, Rolling Stones, and Lady Gaga. I recently downloaded Shazam to my phone, so, when I hear a song playing over the speakers at the mall, I can download it and add it to a Spinning playlist. So, it could be any artist, it just needs to catch my attention.

Future goals:

My future plans are to continue learning from my fellow trainers and clients to challenge myself and be the best that I can be. I feel I am doing what I was meant to do. I enjoy seeing my clients surprise themselves by doing something they never thought possible.


Svadhyaya (Study of the Self Realizatio​n)

17 11 2011

I met a friend (ex-coworker) for lunch today. We have not seen each other since I resigned from my “job” 2 months earlier. We ate, we brought each other up-to-date on our families, and then the conversation landed on the latest situation at the “job”. I put “job” in ” ” because that is what it was to me, a paycheck.

I knew when I took the job, 3 years earlier, it was a mistake. I could feel it in my gut, after I had accepted the position. Looking back I could see the signs. Everyone kept telling me it was a great move. And I listened, thinking they knew what was best for me, more than I knew myself! Sad thing is, I didn’t think I had a choice.

I was miserable. I think I may have even been depressed. I didn’t see a way out. I felt stuck, boxed in. I did my best to suck it up and just accept the fact that this was how it had to be. I consistently looked for other jobs, applied, interviewed, but nothing happened.

Then I decided to make an appointment with a life coach.  I don’t know what I expected from her, but she helped me see my situation outside the box. I started meditating, journaling, seeking for answers. And something clicked. Somewhere, I came up with the idea that I wanted to become a personal trainer! I took a course, joined La Bella Viaggio, and hired a personal trainer/mentor. I developed a plan and worked it.  Me! I do not have an athletic bone in my body. I’m not competitive. Never played sports. But something inside me told me this was right. So, after a year and a half, I passed the test and landed a job at La Bella Viaggio! Since then, I have become a yoga instructor and I am working towards my 200 hour certification.

Two months ago I had the opportunity to turn my new found passion into a ful-time passion. I could not have done it without the love of my husband, John. He has tolerated lousy meals, my odd hours, a not-so-clean home, and a tired wife. Self-doubt crept in many times, but John consistently knew what to say to lift me up and get back on track. He never disappointed me. 

What a turn my life has taken. I never knew a job could be so fulfilling. Everyday my clients give me the opportunity to guide them towards their goals and share my passion. They don’t realize they give me so much in return. I leave the gym feeling fulfilled, energized, and thankful.

Lunch with my friend acknowledged that my leap of faith to follow my passion, at 50+ years old, was clearly what was best for me. I have not looked back, nor questioned my choice. I knew in my gut. I listened this time.

Would it be too far fetched for me to believe that I am beginning to practice yoga off the mat? Is this a study of the self?

Has yoga transformed your thoughts, actions, and beliefs?