I had the transformative experience of spending a week in Crestone, at Annie Pace’s Shakti Sharanam Ashtanga Yoga Shala. It was an honor to be studying with one of the most accomplished Ashtanga vinyasa practitioners on the planet. Annie’s depth of experience and devotional practices come through in every instruction, smile or gesture. Part of my experience in assimilating the weeklong teachings, was noticing the effects of the advanced practice, the energy and depth of intention that mark Annie’s spirit. This directly informs her communication with her students, giving it the impact of direct experiential transmission.
Annie’s teaching style is a complex mixture of heart, precision and discipline. Her decades of experience seem to allow her to connect with students at any level, and directly transmit the inner workings of the practice no matter what one’s physical ability. I observed her working with the same clarity of focus with an elder student with real mobility issues, as well as an advanced series practitioner, both working and being guided with equal connection and equal intensity, in the same class. I personally received many detailed corrections which took the parts of the practice I do with ease to a different level, and on point instruction on how to approach the areas where I am challenged. Classes are small so everyone receives individualized attention. And, the best part… there is usually a feast once a week!
I practiced yoga for over 15 years before I walked into Shakti Sharanam Yoga Shala in Crestone. There, I learned more about “true” yoga in 1.5 hrs. than I had learned in my entire life. Even after traveling throughout Asia for approximately two years, learning from other masters, I have returned to Annie, knowing she is the best teacher I’ve ever had. Her wisdom and teachings have positively touched all aspects of my life, inside and out. I simply would not be the person I am today without her influence, and for that I’m grateful.
Attending class with Annie Pace has been on my mind for a long time. The Ashtanga teachers that have been certified by Pattabi Jois are rare jewels in this yoga crazy era. So when Annie began teaching us it was very special. She explained some basic principles in the Ashtanga tradition. She had gone so deeply in the practice as to make it clear that yoga is about the whole being wanting to unite with the divine. That said we did a little practice. Its rare you meet a yoga teacher whose knowledge is so engrained in them that when you practice with them they transmit that incredible connection to the breath that makes the yoga much deeper. I was only able to stay a day and do two classes but her personal understanding of each of our needs was very apparent. And I liked how she gave us insight into adapting the practice to times when we are weak or disabled in some way. She is a fiery angel with a charismatic enthusiasm that makes being in her class warm, fun and personal. Thank you Annie.
Annie is one of the most highly skilled and effective teachers I’ve ever met. Warm, welcoming and immaculate with her word and coaching, she is a teacher’s teacher and a beacon for her student’s. Highly present and embodied, any time spent with Annie has deepened mypractice and understanding of yoga.
An extraordinary gift in my life has been the opportunity to practice yoga with Annie Pace for over 20 years. In the early years, although Annie had a reputation as a ‘fierce’ and dogmatic teacher, it took merely a second glance to realize her intensity represented her devotion to the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga and her own dear teacher Pattabhi Jois. Annie’s commitment to detail, and her ability to help a student begin to understand the relationship of the eight limbs of yoga, is a remarkable gift she readily shares with humility and grace. Annie’s deep devotion to teaching is thankfully always delivered with her lighthearted and genuine sense of humor, and profound compassion for each and every one of her students.
Annie resonates a pure, authentic, and invigorating energy which attracts people from all walks of life, whom she teaches with a strong, caring and refreshing presence. The light in her eyes makes one curious for life and everything that’s inside and out. She lives yoga in a vivid and inspiring way, fully grounded in the clay yet receptive for the sky. Her expansive and connective thoughts expressed in the teachings make you realize again that you’re part of a bigger whole, a whole we may or may not be able to comprehend, but it’s right here and it’s weird and exciting. All that is taught, breathes respect for the Ashtanga lineage, anchoring us in old, old tradition. I’ve felt encouraged and safe to surrender and deconstruct my practice, to face the menagerie of feelings that travels through the body, and to build a foundation with intention. I’m grateful for Annie’s light as a great teacher and true human.
Annie has an empowering and truly refreshing presence as a teacher. I’ve witnessed her nurture a childlike curiosity in her students that allows for a deeper relationship to inhabiting yoga. Coming from a background of studio-yoga classes in Washington D.C., I found her dedication to the original teachings and technology of Ashtanga to be a much needed contribution to yoga in the west. Her ability to connect and empower students with a variety of backgrounds, body types, and perceived limitations inspires me both as a healing artist and community member. Annie’s personal commitment to a sattvic and yogic lifestyle was exactly what I was curious to explore when she first introduced me to Ashtanga yoga and she continues to provide a road map of inspiration for how to embrace Ayurvedic healing sciences. She is a constant reminder of the diversity of ways that Ashtanga yoga can weave its way into ones life and I am so incredibly grateful for all her generous teachings.
I have found Annie Pace to be a truly exceptional teacher of Ashtanga Yoga. Her presence is potent and concentrated. Through her impeccable eye and generosity, she has been able to help me to advance my practice in ways that no other teacher has been able to before. She has been able to answer every question that I have asked, and she helps to take me above and beyond what I perceive to be my limits every time that we meet. I have taken many of my Ashtanga students to Crestone to study with her. Again and again it becomes clear that it is absolutely effortless for her to advance the practice of every person who chooses to accept her instruction. My prayer is to be able to study with Annie for many, many years to come! She is an answer to a call of my soul.
Annie Pace is a true TREASURE. Throughout my years of yoga practice, I have looked to her for the most authentic instruction an American teacher has to offer. Her heartfelt wisdom of YOGA as a practice and way of life are inspiring and leave the student richer with a knowledge and understanding far beyond asana. I highly recommend visiting Shakti Sharanam in Crestone for the full experience.
Annie brings such beauty and energy that is nothing short of contagious. She instills a depth, breadth of “parampara” that permeates your soul. Annie brings forth the energy, soul and passion that Guruji Sri K. Pattabhi Jois shared. From the design of her shala, Shakti Sharanam, to the peaceful surroundings in Crestone one’s spirit is recharged. I come away with a depth of understanding of the Ashtanga yoga method and depth to my practice that might otherwise only be found in Mysore, India.
Annie is a wonderful spiritual friend and a wonderful guide on this truly beautiful journey. She is filled with a light of loving energy that feeds the soul. I came to Annie over 12 years ago, a very lost soul. Looking for something, not knowing what I was looking for. Annie has pointed me in the direction of my true home. I am still on that journey, and I have seen glimpses that are glorious and beautiful along the way. I do not believe I would have found them without my dear friend. I thank Annie for showing me the light.