A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.-Lao Tzu
Ginny EastShaddock is an ERYT-500 yoga teacher, a certified yoga therapist with IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists), a Reiki Master and a trained Ayurveda Counselor from the Kerala Institute, India and a registered member of the National Ayurveda Medical Association. She has a BA in Business Management from Eckerd College and a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Lesley University. Her extensive background in dance, yoga and the healing arts have helped her create a multi-faceted school with an educational program that combines arts awareness, physical training and mind-body awareness for ever-broadening learning experiences. She is the director of Heartwood Yoga Center and Heartwood Retreat Center, and the founder of the Florida Reiki Association, as well as Yoga for the Balanced Child, a YA certification program designed to qualify teachers to share yoga with children ages 3-teen.
In the area of yoga, Ginny draws from extensive knowledge of Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga styles, and has trained in chair yoga, yin yoga, acu-yoga, and restorative yoga techniques as well. In areas of yoga therapy she has completed Y12SR certification, 5 Embodied Yoga philosophy courses and other specialty work to keep abreast of yoga's ever evolving trends and research. She attends the Yoga Therapy Symposium on Research at Kripalu and the Yoga therapy conference for IAY yearly as well. She founded of the first aerial yoga training program in Sarasota/Bradenton, and has specialized in yoga teacher training courses at both the 200 and 500 level and yoga therapy for 14 years. Ginny, a former professional dancer and choreographer, draws upon her extensive range of movement studies to provide a safe and insightful physical yoga experience that includes proper alignment and structure as well as a gentle, easy to understand presentation of meditation & breathing. She studied at the Institute of Journal Therapy and drawing upon her Masters in Creative writing, encourages students to use journaling and other methods to tap into internal wisdom for stress relief and physical awareness. Her studies of energy transference, shamanism, and organic lifestyle methods, provide a foundation for guiding students into a deeper level of understanding as they discover yoga, journaling, and organic lifestyle choices as a path to self-healing and personal balance.
Before shifting her career to yoga, Ginny was a dance educator. As a dancer, Ginny was a former performer and teacher from NYC, named one of the top ten teachers and choreographers in NY by Dance Pages Magazine in 1989. Among the professional schools in New York she has taught for are Steps, The Broadway Dance Center, Vassar College, New York University, and Raoul Gelebert Studios. She choreographed the off-Broadway hit Tracers at the Joseph Papp Theater in NY and the feature film Whatever It Takes. She has received numerous awards for her innovative choreography and has trained nationally recognized competition winners, with many of her students performing on Broadway, in National tours, with the Rockettes, and in national and/or regional companies, including the Martha Graham Company, Houston Ballet, and others. She spent a year directing Universal Studios in Canada and later became the founder of FLEX Dance Studios in Sarasota, a school that became one of Florida's largest and most established dance schools which she co-directed with Mark Hendry, for 18 years. Ginny has been on the Dance Masters of America national staff, featured at the Kent State University teacher's training school, the Boston Teacher's Training School, and has been a master teacher at over 17 chapters of DMA and for many of their national conventions. She's been a teacher and/or judge for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, Showstoppers Competitions, I Love Dance, Chicago Dance Teacher's Association, and other regional dance teachers associations, conventions, and competitions. She has been a featured master teacher at the Florida Dance Festival and several of her choreographic works were selected for performance there by the West Coast Dance Project, a regional contemporary dance company. She has also choreographed for the Gateway Ballet Company of St. Louis.
As an author, Ginny has won the Royal Palm Literary Award two times, once for historical fiction, and once for memoir. She also won the New Southerner Literary Award and her piece was selected for their yearly anthology. She has written a book, My Million Dollar Donkey, a memoir that explores social issues, education, and personal awareness gained during a period where she attempted to live a simple life in the Georgia Mountains.
Ginny ran a karma yoga/dance project with students with Downs Syndrome for over twenty years and is an advocate others interested in teaching students with challenges She loves sustainable living projects and anything that gets her closer to nature. She is a nature art crafter, writer, and mother of three beautiful adult children. She loves her dog, reading, camping, kayaking, hiking, gardening, art, and learning anything new. Her greatest joy in establishing Heartwood has been the ability to blend all she loves into work that really maters.