Shalmali Pal has been a student of Iyengar yoga for nearly two decades. In addition to a myriad of physical benefits, Shalmali firmly believes that her yoga practice prevents her from giving into road rage, consuming excessive amounts of chocolate, watching too many hours of cooking shows, and indulging in countless tubes of lip gloss.
Shalmali began practicing yoga while living in San Francisco. She attended a class at a dance studio located less than five minutes from her attic apartment in an elegant Victorian home (Yes, that’s right, at one point in her life, Shalmali was the crazy lady in the attic).
About a year into this rather casual yoga practice, a new studio opened up by Shalmali’s work place and, in the words of her esteemed father, a “yoga buff” was born! For nearly four years, Shalmali studied with many wonderful teachers nearly every day, including Leslie Howard, her most beloved teacher and friend. It was from Leslie that Shalmali learnt that humor is just as effective a teacher as hard work.
Shalmali completed 200 hours of Yoga Alliance certification in 2005 under the tutelage of the inestimable Tony Briggs. With Tony, Shalmali gleaned the art and philosophy of teaching yoga: Each class is a journey, and it’s the responsiblity of the teacher to guide students on their journey and then return them safely home. Shalmali taught public and private classes at various venues in the Bay Area. The one class she did not teach was naked yoga and she is forever grateful for that.