Hi, I'm Shannon.
I help folks use their movement, meditation, and ritual practices to reconnect to their whole selves. I am a fat, white, non-binary, and neurodivergent sociologist, yoga educator, and activist.
I am currently living and working in Toronto on Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Haudenosaunee, Mississauga, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation land.
Hi! I'm Shannon Kaneshige.
I help folks use their movement, meditation, and ritual practices to reconnect to their whole selves.
I spent years trying to make myself smaller in so many ways--my body, my personality, my dreams--because I believed the lies that society told me about who I needed to be in order to be successful, accepted, and happy. Truthfully I can't tell you exactly what changed, other than I was tired of feeling alone and broken. I was homesick for myself.
It started with slowly accepting my body as it was, reconnecting through movement, self-study, and self-compassion. I began to take up the space around me unapologetically. Then it became easier to take up space with my ideas and words, and I realized I could have big dreams and tell big truths. I could feel myself becoming more whole--more ME.
The more space I took up and the more I shared my experience, the more realized I wasn't alone. This is when Fringe(ish) began, a space for those of us who had been pushed to the margins, who were told we weren't enough, or were too much. We all deserve to be our whole selves and find community that accepts us as we are.
Now I help others take up space through movement, self-study, and ritual.
Why I Teach Yoga
The first time I practiced yoga I was six years old and watching Yoga with Lilas on PBS with my mom. We would catch it sporadically on Saturday mornings and I remember thinking it felt clear and smooth (how my six year old brain processed mindfulness), when the rest of the time I felt jumbled and ragged. It was that "clear and smooth" feeling that would keep bringing me back to the mat over the next 3 decades.
I would step away for years at a time, but I would eventually find myself standing in front of the fitness section of Blockbuster (aging myself) looking for a yoga VHS tape to take home while my brother searched through the cartoons. Always in search of that feeling of calmness that came with the movement and focus of a practice.
As I got older my body changed and I gained weight. I couldn't make the same shapes I did before. I thought I just wasn't good enough. I didn't practice enough, I must be doing something wrong if I couldn't do what the folks in the videos did. I figured I wasn't dedicated enough.
I tried to go to a studio, thinking that a teacher might be able to help me learn how to "do it right." But, when I finally got up the nerve to walk into the studio, the person at the front desk stared at me. They asked me if I was waiting for someone and I turned around and walked out. The message was clear, I didn't belong there.
When I finally was able to practice with a fat teacher, the wonderful Shanèl Dear, for the first time it was mind-blowing. She offered variations that accounted for my belly and thighs. She welcomed me as I was and encouraged me to respect where my body was in the moment. Shanèl also introduced me to yoga philosophy in her classes, which opened up a whole new world. My practice began to deepen and it was then I realized that I wanted to help other folks feel the way Shanèl made me feel when I walked into her class, welcome and accepted as I was.
Yoga is much more than movement, and in itself is a practice in self-study and stilling the mind in an effort to embody our nature within the universal consciousness (very simply and inexpertly put). And I definitely feel that my own self-study, ritual, and movement practices are all a part of my yoga. I create separation only because yoga is a cultural practice of its own, and while it is part of my larger practice and has the same goal, some of the methods I use are outside of that cultural practice. I feel this is an important distinction to make, as Western yoga practitioners have already appropriated and misrepresented so much of the practice.
Need my bio?
Shannon Kaneshige is a yoga practitioner, educator, fat activist, and sociologist. As a 500 RYT, they have become known for their expertise in teaching diverse body types and creating options for folks of all mobility levels. Shannon helps folks use their movement, meditation, and ritual practices to reconnect with their whole selves.
Shannon lives in what is now known as Toronto with their partner and child. They hold a master's degree in sociology from Roosevelt University and are a registered yoga teacher, teaching public classes and other teachers. You can find them at fringeish.com.
Education & Training
Training (15 hours+)
The Path to Yoga, Justice and Equity 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Dianne Bondy (2022)
Accessible Yoga Training with Jivana Heyman & Amber Karnes, Virtual (2020)
Yoga For All Training with Dianne Bondy & Amber Karnes, Virtual (2020)
Social Justice & Equity in Yoga with Tobias Wiggans, Yogaspace, Toronto (2020)
200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Kathryn Beet, Hali Schwartz, and Jessica Ullathorne, Yogaspace, Toronto (2019)
Master of Arts, Sociology, Roosevelt University, Chicago (2011)
Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Minor: African American Studies, Roosevelt University, Chicago (2010)
Accessible Yoga Ambassador
Yoga for All Certified Teacher
Yoga and Body Image Coalition- Community Partner