Milwaukee Edition

Yoga Instructor Empowers People to Live Healthier Lives

Shelley Carpenter

Shelley Carpenter

Shelley Carpenter, founder of Pure Energy Yoga, discovered the benefits of yoga after she injured her back in 1999. Yoga not only helped relieve her pain, but she was also captivated by how it brought the mind, body and spirit into harmony. Carpenter wanted to share the gift of yoga with others, and she used her training in physical therapy to create her own unique programs that make yoga approachable for everyone.

Carpenter is from Little Chute, Wisconsin, near Appleton, and she had considered several professions that involved helping people. She felt drawn to physical therapy and attended Marquette University, where she earned her Bachelor of Physical Therapy degree in 1992.

After college, Carpenter began a rewarding career as a physical therapist. “I was able to help empower people in their own healing process,” she says. While pregnant with her second child, Carpenter injured her back, misaligning the sacroiliac joint, and she endured recurring pain. A friend, who was also a physical therapist, suggested yoga.

Carpenter began watching some yoga videos but found certain movements to be too advanced. “I was concerned about the possibility of reinjuring my back, so I created modified versions of the poses. As a physical therapist, I knew how to do that,” she explains. In addition to pain relief, Carpenter’s regular practice of yoga gave her increased energy, an elevated mood and a calm mind.

Pure Energy YogaWhen Carpenter’s patients began asking questions about how they could get started with yoga, she decided to help others experience the physical and mental healing benefits of yoga. She attended yoga teacher training classes at Kanyakumari Ayurveda & Yoga Wellness Center, in Glendale, and, in 2006, she became a registered yoga teacher and formed Pure Energy Yoga. During Carpenter’s yoga teacher training at Kanyakumari, she was introduced to the concept of prana, the life energy that flows through the body. This eventually led her to learn Reiki energy healing.

Carpenter’s specialty is a gentle form of hatha yoga, which focuses on movement and breath. She incorporates her physical therapy training into her classes and uses props like chairs for balance; blankets; yoga blocks; and straps to help clients keep their bodies aligned.

Carpenter observes how yoga empowers individuals to notice things about the body that they hadn’t noticed before. “Once we are paying attention to what our bodies are feeling, we learn to work with our bodies instead of pushing or forcing beyond our capabilities, which often causes injury. We let go of judging ourselves and instead, honor the wisdom of our bodies,” she explains. “When we truly honor and respect the body, it starts to let go of the guarding and protecting. The body is able to soften and release in a deeper way, knowing that we won’t push too far, or cause injury and harm.”

She holds two classes at Ommani Center for Integrative Medicine, in Pewaukee, for beginner and intermediate levels. She also works one-on-one with individuals, and offers Reiki healing sessions. Additionally, Carpenter teaches a beginner’s class at Heritage Presbyterian Church, in Muskego; a Gentle Healing Yoga class at YogAsana, in Muskego; and the Beat Cancer Yoga class through ProHealth Care, where she still works as a physical therapist two days a week.

"The Beat Cancer Yoga is for cancer survivors, their caregivers, families and friends, or anyone that wants a gentle class,” Carpenter says. She notes how within the last couple of years she’s getting more calls from people whose doctors are recommending yoga to complement their treatments.

Carpenter says she occasionally hears misconceptions from people who are intimidated by yoga because they think they lack flexibility. She believes that is the precise reason people should give it a try. “It’s very focused on alignment and honoring inner wisdom, focusing on breath and meditative practice,” she says. While there are many classes for young and fit people, Carpenter stresses that she offers gentle yoga classes for all ages.

"It’s been a wonderful experience,” Carpenter says of her journey. “I’m so grateful to have these tools to promote my own healing and to share with others, including those dealing with major illness or chronic pain.”

For more information about Pure Energy Yoga, call 414-217-4185 or visit PureEnergyYoga.com.

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

School of Sound and Healing Names New Co-Education Director

Music therapist and sound teacher Kathryn Rambo was named co-education director for the School of Sound and Healing, at Angel Light.

New Classes Begin in October at Sacred Sound Yoga

Starting the week of October 15, Sacred Sound Yoga will offer several classes that blend the healing power of yoga with sound.

Out of the Darkness Community Walk for Suicide Prevention

The Wisconsin chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will hold the annual Milwaukee Out of the Darkness community walk on Sunday, October 14, at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood.

Explore Healthy Horizons at the Wellness Body, Mind, & Spirit Expo

Those seeking the latest approaches to natural wellness can explore 40 eclectic exhibits, demonstrations and presentations in holistic and alternative health at the Wellness Body, Mind & Spirit Expo.

Book Launch and Psychic Fair Celebrates Life and Love

Author Susan Lukas will release her new book, Abiding Flame, at a book launch and psychic fair from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Sunday, October 7, at New Berlin Ale House.

Fall Reiki Specials Can Help Facilitate Positive Change

During October and November, Cindy Carlson Reiki and Energy Healing is offering a special $45 one-hour reiki session.

Shorewood Health & Wellness Open Doors Event

Health & Wellness Open Doors takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 13, in the Shorewood Business District along Oakland Avenue and Capitol Drive.

Building Personalized 
Connections After Breast 
Cancer Diagnosis

Since 1999, Milwaukee-based After Breast Cancer Diagnosis has offered comfort and encouragement through a nationwide network of mentors.

Ananda Healing Collective to Celebrate New Name, Mission

Ananda Acupuncture & Healing Center is rebranding as Ananda Healing Collective and will focus on divine feminine healing and collaborative energy within their clinic.

Letter from Publisher

“Game Changers,” one of Natural Awakenings’ themes for October, focuses on the youth of our nation taking the reins to make a difference in social and environmental areas.

Healing Our Kids

An estimated quarter to half of American children have a diagnosed chronic condition such as autism or allergies, but an integrative approach to healing can have profound effects.

Farewell to a Beloved Pet

Innovative options now exist that honor a pet’s remains in an earth-friendly, biodegradable fashion using alkaline water, seeded pods or a manmade ocean reef.