"Shira has been one my greatest teachers and inspirations for many years. Working with her has influenced not just what i train, but HOW i train, and the lessons I have learned from her have allowed me to excel beyond the realms of physical discipline. She is patient, kind, and experienced, and she knows how to provide an effective structure for achieving goals. Being her student is one of the smartest decisions that I have made."
- Zach Fischer
“Shira offers clear, concise, humorous, and kind explanations of challenging concepts in dance and athletic movement. She approaches students with a calm and open demeanor that is encouraging to everyone, no matter their background and skill level. Because Shira is herself a master practitioner, her physical demonstrations are top notch. It is clear that she is skilled in a wide variety of styles, from contact improv to capoeira to acrobatics, and thus has insights that teachers with a more narrow practice do not have. Most importantly, when in a class with Shira I felt that she really cared about each student individually and wanted each of us to succeed.”
- Anna Botelho
“I have had the honor of being in Shira's Floor Flow class the last two years at Dance Camp. What I notice first about Shira's approach is how grounded and and easeful I feel in my body after the class. Almost like I just had a massage! She has a natural ability to brake down movement phrases into easy to learn segments. The ergonomic purpose of her class is so important to the longevity of your bodies as movers, dancers, and human beings. I highly recommend her embodied wisdom to Any Body!!”
- Shannon Sahaja
“Shira is fun, witty, well-organized and inspirational. She teaches all sorts of movement, dance and conditioning in a way that allows both beginners and advanced students to find new ways to move and integrate athletics and dance together.”
- David Early
“I have taken many different kinds of movement and acrobatic classes from Shira. Her teaching style is always wonderful mix of technical skill and playfulness. She has a great way of putting beginners at ease and making the movements she's teaching accessible to all levels. She teaches in a way that pushes her students to reach their potential while at the same time always being mindful of each individual's limits and safety. Her classes are lively and fun and filled with enthusiasm and playfulness. I highly recommend Shira as your movement guide – you will have a great time and come away with a much deeper understanding of what your body is capable of that you may not have expected!”
- Dana Arkinzadeh
“Shira Yaziv is a world-class movement coach. She combines deep intuitive body wisdom with years of research, education, and teaching experience to provide students with safe and fun ways to develop their movement skills and take their training and creativity to the next level. Working with Shira has been an invaluable resource to my own development as a dancer, acrobat, and circus performer, and every session has been a joy and inspiration.”
- SAM Luckey
“I recently took the handstand workshop at the Athletic Playground with Shira. I was coming off of a wrist and shoulder injury and had been out of practice for the last five months with my handstands. I was looking to build my confidence, strength and understanding of body alignment through the this four day workshop.
Having taken prior workshops and class for Shira before I knew what an amazing mover and wonderful teacher she is. Her ability to evaluate your skill level and problem areas by watching your movements is always spot on. From there she can give you effective corrective advice and breaks down the progression of development steps that you need to improve. Not only were my expectations of gaining back confidence, strength and understanding of body alignment met but I have also learned effective ways to teach my own students body alignment and progressions to a solid handstands. Shira is simply amazing and commitment to movement and bettering people's lives through movement speaks through her work.”
- Nichole Talbott
"I had the opportunity recently to attend an Introduction to Handstands workshop taught by Shira Yaziv, at the Athletic Playground. Having barely ever attempted a handstand before in life, I was quite amazed to find myself kicking up to my first handstand on the very first day of the workshop, thanks to Shira's help. I felt joyful like a kid being upside down for a few seconds for the first time ever! By the end of the workshop, I was able to kick up to a handstand against the wall by myself a few times. Definitely not what I expected when I walked into the workshop on the first day! Shira was a fantastic instructor and I thoroughly enjoyed her teaching style which I would describe as a nice blend between providing sufficient instruction but also keeping it simple enough and letting students explore on their own. I especially loved the way she handled both complete beginners like myself and more advanced folks in the group equally adeptly, providing individual attention and cues to everyone in the group to learn and progress in a safe manner. Shira is an extremely well rounded mover with a diverse movement background and has a passion for teaching and encouraging movement enthusiasts of all levels. If anyone gets a chance to learn from Shira at one her classes, workshops or events, don't miss the opportunity!"
- Harish Narayan
“As a Hong Kong based expat, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from Shira during my holiday in the Bay Area. I spent a week studying with Shira (taking workshops) and was inspired, challenged, and captivated by her teachings. Shira taught me progressions in new and different patterns of movement / mobility that were accessible to my level of skill, and also helped me refine my handstand practice. She helped me gain confidence playing on my hands and I also became more at ease exploring and moving in my body. I highly recommend studying with her, Shira is a gem!”
- Gloria Day
"I have been taking regular handstand classes with Shira for the past year and I have seen steady progress in my handstands! As a teacher, Shira is knowledgeable and supportive, and she has great drills and creative exercises to keep the process interesting and engaging to student.
Shira moves smoothly between disciplines and it is inspiring to watch her movement, whether handstands, acrobatics or dance. When teaching, she knows how to build skills and sequences gradually and is able to meet the needs of a mixed level class. Her class material combines body awareness, mobility and strength, acrobatics, dance and improvisation in a way that is accessible to movers of all kinds.
I highly recommend Shira as a teacher and plan to attend her first Movement Exploration Retreat in Costa Rica in 2017!"
- Mira Barakat
“Shira is an inspiring teacher. I took a four day handstand workshop with her, and I felt that she met each student where they were at the moment and took us to were we could be, while still pointing us to a path ahead. Shira guided us through really hard exercises maintaining a joyful atmosphere. After her classes. I went home with sore muscles, strong confidence, and a bigger skill set. I look forward to new opportunities to learn from Shira.”
- Beatriz M.
“I came to work with Shira on my Capoeira acrobatics 8 years ago, & within the 1st 45 minutes of a one on one session, I was doing a backhand spring on the floor.. I had not ever previously trained it. She has a gift for empowering her students with the confidence to do complex movements. She can break things down into just the right challenge, and add to it as a person is ready. Over the past 8 years, I have learned to move gracefully through acrobatics I never thought possible for me. I look to her as a source inspiration; for the command she has over her body as a dancer and martial artist, and because she is always exploring and integrating new forms of physical fitness and dance into her self.
She is a one-of-a-kind teacher!”
- Ben Williams
"Shira is as clear and thoughtful and kind a teacher as one could want -- especially when one is pushing into her edges. Shira's love for body as a pleasurable playground is contagious. Her relaxed nature provides a steady place to rest.
If you wish to expand your movement vocabulary in a warm, loving container, spend time studying with Shira."
- Deborah Bry
“Hidden gem among movement giants.
A few years ago, I took my first workshop from Shira. I had been going to the Athletic Playground (a place that she co-founded and is amazing) for about a year and wanted to explore more in the area of acrobatics. I signed up for her floor acrobatics workshop, not really having any idea what that was or what I would be learning. It became very clear from the start, that everyone else there was a more experienced movers and had been exposed to floor acrobatics before. Despite my complete cluelessness and stepping way out of my comfort zone, Shira was able to teach the whole group including me in a very positive and supportive way. As I have witnessed several time since, she was also able to seamlessly meet everyone where they were and then challenged them to reach the next level. She did this by laying out a well thought out and individualized progressions. At the end of the workshop, she even let people video the progression that we had worked on. Since I was so new to this type of movement and I did not yet have the required strength or body awareness for some of the moves, she created a progression just for me. I walked away with several new movement tools and a strong desire to learn more. Since that first workshop, I have taken several other classes and workshops and have always walked away having learned so much and feeling more confident, energized and inspired to continue to build my movement practice. In my most recent handstand workshop with Shira, I really noticed how she tailored the workshop toward each of the participants. Many instructors have a set way of teaching and do not deviate from their lesson plan. However, Shira's depth of knowledge, skills and teaching style are more fluid which translates to quicker results because she is so good at zeroing in on what one needs to improve. I look forward to taking many more workshops and classes from Shira as I know she genuinely wants to provide a supportive and challenging environment to grow in.”
- Melissa Sackett
“I came to Shira having had a fairly diverse background in sports and fitness. For the last 20 years, I have been involved in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CrossFit, weight training and general physical fitness. So I know a good bit about fitness and what I want and need with regards to my trainin. However, I had become not only bored, but I realized that the way that I was pursuing fitness was not increasing my capacity to move and perform well, and it actually was proving to be counterproductive. Being over forty years old, I found that I could get stronger, but in order to function, as I wanted to as a human creature, I needed to be able to learn use my strength effectively and to be able to move more comfortably, smoothly, and efficiently. I noticed that I was losing range of motion, various activities were becoming more uncomfortable, and I simply was becoming less athletic and capable. Then, I met Shira.
Shira has shown me a new way of approaching fitness. She has helped make fitness and training fun again! Her tutelage and guidance have helped me pursue not only specific goals, but have helped me to work toward my overarching goal of improving my movement, fitness, and capacity! Before Shira, training was becoming boring. Now, when I see Shira, she always has fun activities, movements, etc. for me that are challenging, help me to work toward my goals, and physically make me a better, more capable human. As an older athlete, she challenges me for sure, but she makes the challenge interesting and fun, something that most fitness pursuits miss. With the skills that Shira has me working toward, I know that I always will have a great deal of material to work on and toward. I also know that with her help, such skills will be attainable thanks to her fantastic ability to find my problem areas and the appropriate points of emphasis. Further, the skills she has me working on are multi-dimensional in nature. This is almost always lacking in other avenues of fitness. Her teaching addresses a huge spectrum of physical attributes including; balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, and suppleness.
In summary, for a person my age, actually a person of any age, from child to the elderly, Shira’s teaching and approach to fitness are ideal. It is extremely effective in various domains, it is fun, it is challenging, and will make you a more able and capable person and athlete. Whether you are looking to become a better athlete, trying to address physical issues, learn new, exciting skills, or trying to increase strength and balance to age more gracefully and safely, I can’t think of a better teacher than Shira! Writing all of this has me realizing that I can’t wait for my next lesson!”
- Patrick Johnson
“Learning and discovering with Shira is like understanding the beauty of body language through acrobatics, and other movements only Shira can teach you!Its pleasant and also improves self awareness, coordination, and makes you focus in the present. Like on a cliff, like on a floor."
- Jean Claude Poilevey