“Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now…"
About Essential Journey Yoga
Hello! And thank you so much for visiting
my Essential Journey Yoga website!
My name is Sharon Gaughan, and I’ve been an educator of one sort or another for most of my adult life. Although born and raised in Chicago, I've spent much of my adult life living, learning, and teaching in a variety of settings and locations throughout the country and abroad. Work and family brought me back to northern Illinois, and I currently live and work in scenic Lake County.
While the specific focus of my teaching has changed through the years, the underlying spirit of my teaching has always been about living a full, but gentle life – and about living gently upon this earth.
My introduction to yoga took place during my undergrad years at the University of Montana in the mid-1980s. I’ve been a student of yoga ever since. The idea of becoming a yoga instructor floated in and out of my consciousness for years, and – when the time was right – the opportunity to craft that idea into a reality presented itself. As a yoga instructor, I teach yoga classes for adults (inspired primarily by Vinyasa Flow) – but I also specialize in teaching gentle yoga for seniors – connecting with a wide spectrum of students along the yoga journey path.
My introduction to organic farming and gardening happened by accident in the mid-1990s, while I was working on my masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State. To satisfy this new and growing interest, I later moved to the west coast to complete a 6-month apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. From these experiences, my gardening grew to include native plants, vegetables, and fruit (mostly berries) – but, from the start, my greatest joy has always come from growing and using herbs.
My introduction to essential oils naturally followed my interest in herb gardening – and after exploring various essential oils and oil companies, I became an independent distributor for Young Living Essential Oils several years ago. When appropriate to the theme of my yoga classes, I’ll often share an essential oil – and sometimes even the associated herb – with my yoga students. Engaging the olfactory sense adds yet another dimension to the yoga experience.
Essential Journey Yoga combines these three passions – yoga, herbs, and essential oils – providing me with a platform from which to share my passions and to educate others.
Thank you for joining me on this Essential Journey! Namaste!
Photos by Cecilia Austin ()
Recent Reviews from Yoga Students...
Mat Classes (Yoga Basics & Gentle Yoga)
“Sharon brings new and innovative ways to practice yoga to her classes. She is always studying/taking classes in different areas of yoga to bring new poses to her classes.” (Paul S.)
“Being over 50 and new to yoga, I came into my first class feeling self-conscious and intimidated. After the first few minutes, my concerns were gone. Sharon’s teaching style is very relaxed and easy to follow, and she offers many alternative poses for those of us who have physical limitations. I enjoy the fact that each class focuses on a specific area of the body. Also, Sharon incorporates other elements, such as readings and essential oils, which enhance the experience.” (Linda M.)
“Sharon's class helps me relax and has a soothing effect on me. I leave the sessions feeling relaxed and grounded. It has also increased my strength and stamina, as well as gives me better focus. Breathing techniques and my balance have improved considerably.” (Jerry K.)
“Sharon gives many different options for poses – helpful when one side of your body is weaker than the other. When you have special issues in your life, Sharon can and will help you find yoga poses/classes that deal with those issues. Love that Sharon includes essential oils that fit particular yoga practices.” (Jan S.)
“I like that [Sharon] is very serious about yoga, but her teaching method is so relaxed. If I do a pose incorrectly, she will help me in a very kind and gentle way. I love her laid back, gentle nature. She’s very easy to talk with and a great pleasure to watch and learn from. She always puts in a lot of time and preparation into each and every [class]. Always well thought out! Also, I like the music, various props and the use of oils.” (Marilyn S.)
“Sharon is so relaxed and friendly that she makes following her instructions fun. Before the class begins, she tells us when, where, and how today’s class will be good for us. Even though most of the people in Sharon’s class are 70 years old or more, she encourages everyone to participate as best they can.” (Natalie B.)
“Sharon’s class is very organized. She explains each position and demonstrates for us. She varies the classes, working on a particular spot on the body.” (Anne F.)
“I enjoy the clarity of Sharon’s instructions. I also enjoy her focus on a specific area of the body each class. [She makes] sure everyone in the class works at their own comfort level.” (Doris M.)
“Sharon is always pleasant and makes all feel comfortable in her class. She lets us smell [essential oils that] we rub on our hands, and she explains the health benefits. Sharon is just a wonderful person to be around and would do anything to help you stay healthy.” (Margaret M.)
“[Chair yoga] keeps my body more flexible. I like the way the different poses are explained.” (Patsy S.)
“Sharon teaches chair yoga that is individually flexible while being enjoyable and producing health benefits that yoga can provide. Highest rating!” (Ray H.)
“I enjoy the peaceful feelings in my body and mind.” (Harold A.)
“I really like the explanation about every movement and the benefits of what that movement will do for me. I love how relaxed and invigorated I feel after class.” (Roz G.)
“Sharon teaches her chair yoga classes in a relaxed, friendly manner. There is a lot of laughter and good humor in the class. Her explanations of the exercises are clear and her demonstrations are easily followed. Her readings at the end of the class are especially helpful and provide a good ending.” (Kettee B.)