Michael J. Stewart is a teacher, nomad and creator of Shanta Vira Yoga. Born in Karachi to an Assamese mother and a Scottish-Irish father, he developed an early interest in a broad sense of humanity. His first initiation in to spirituality and esoteric practices came from his maternal grandmother, a healer who was deeply connected to her Hindu roots and as much, a counter-cultural rebel. Being raised by his athletic and disciplinarian father, he spent his youth building a relationship with the physical body through boxing, competitive powerlifting and bodybuilding. Michael has since lived, studied and traveled in over 30 countries.
While in theater school in Chicago, he was introduced to Yoga as a way of calming the mind and exploring subtle aspects of expression. Once this deep, familiar acquaintance was made, his life took a turn away from theater and fully toward his life as a yogi, seeking and deeply delving in to all aspects of spiritual life.
His religious studies during all of these explorations brought him as well to Buddhism, Christianity and Sufism. He developed a daily practice of Mindfulness and Mantra.
His journey continues on this path today.
Alongside his profound constancy with a spiritual life of Yoga, Michael has been involved in civil disobedience protests and activism. He is touched when unheard voices of society find a platform to be heard. He is empowered when through unification, impossibilities become possible. He is blown away that even with the chance of loss, humans place themselves at risk in order to create change, growth and betterment.
This life is from where Shanta Vira Yoga took root and grows.
Michael J. Stewart offers workshops, trainings and retreats around the world for guiding people to make wellness, art and community.