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40 Over 40 Features | 2021

Shoshana Treichel – Forty Over Forty 2021

Photo by Devin Ford

The diverse and massive array of achievements accomplished by Shoshana Treichel almost require a book-length description and can certainly be attributed to both her living experiences in places such as India, Israel, Spain, and NY, and her educational background in institutions such as Tel Aviv University, Salamanca University, Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and Harvard University. 

A force to be reckoned with, Shoshana holds numerous certifications in yoga from years of training in the US and India and is not only a gifted trainer but a nationally recognized one as well. During the pandemic, she also received certification in halo-therapy (a method that uses pharmaceutical salt to enhance physical and emotional health), and now, along with her established yoga studio, she has also opened the first himalayan salt cave in Mobile–Above and Beyond Yoga and Salt Therapy. Shoshana is also a nutritionist and served as head coach of the Special Olympics for 13 years with various world titles under her belt. She is also a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter, and has gained certification in Krav Maga (Israeli hand-to-hand combat), an achievement that led her to serve as a hyper-realistic role player with the Navy Seals on San Clemente Island (which is the training unit that helped capture Osama Bin Laden). Shoshana’s lifelong work in all of these different arenas evidences her passion for and commitment to strengthening the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of her community. Shoshana and her husband are proud to call Mobile home. 

Tell us why you chose your profession, the value it brings to you and/or the community: 

For the last 5 years, I’ve transitioned more into yoga. I feel that anyone can go anywhere for a “work-out” but our studio is the only place one can come to “work-in.” The longest journey we will ever make is the journey into understanding ourselves, and I want to help everyone make that journey. Yoga is also very much about self-acceptance rather than self-improvement. 

Being a lifelong athlete and pro-bodybuilder, I have always been very competitive. As I began to age, I began to accept where I am today, and I felt that I had the insight to help others learn to accept themselves no matter where they are in life’s journey. Mark Twain said, “the two most important days in our life are the day we are born, and the day we understand why.” I want to be present to help people find out the “why.” I also offer kids yoga, and we have been able to help children with the death of their parents, debilitating illness, and family upheaval. It has been so rewarding to see children go from shy and awkward to holding lead roles in their school plays.

What is your vision or hope for women in the Mobile and Gulf Coast communities?

That women have the same opportunities as men, that they are a voice rather than an echo. I hope that all women know that none of us is alone and that we all have the universe within us.

Photo by Devin Ford

What advice or suggestions can you give to women walking the path of empowerment or struggling with self doubt?

To come to yoga, learn to meditate, reach out to someone, go out in nature, and know that feelings are just visitors: we need to let them come but also let them go. We teach a lot of yoga philosophy at our studio, and one of the primary lessons is that if compassion doesn’t include you, it’s incomplete. We cannot take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves. 

Was there a moment for you that was a game changer and can you tell us about it? 

Oh boy, this is the whopper I was waiting for. I came from Israel (where my father was with the embassy) to NYC. Very soon, after starting college, I was assaulted (I’d rather not go into the horrific details) and left in a phone booth. I was robbed and victimized, and alone. It was the day that I knew I had to become one of the world’s strongest women and never fall victim again. And I did just that and ended up breaking world records. 

How important are relationships/networking to your personal and professional life?

As a woman who has always lived far from my family, I have found, we create our family. I love to network with other small business owners (especially women). We are all in this together. With the pandemic came Zoom; every one of our classes is now offered online. We have students joining us from Kazakhstan, Germany, England, India, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, all over the country, and it’s been wonderful to connect in that way.

Photo by Devin Ford

Do you have a mentor? Who are they and how have they helped you? 

My mother, who was blind and raised 4 children. She went on to receive an MA. I was 10, and she would read all her books on talking cassettes, and then we donated them to the National Library of the Blind. She was a force to be reckoned with–active in the civil rights movement, education for women, and the reason women were able to sit on a jury for the first time in Laredo, Texas. Also, Judy Meer, my surrogate mom, who taught me blood is not thicker than water, who has been there for many major events for me personally as well as my husband and daughter. She taught me that we can always do what we set our minds to, and to never be afraid to start over. Often, we are offered a chance to build something better this time.

“The longest journey we will ever make is the journey into understanding ourselves, and I want to help everyone make that journey.”
Shoshana Treichel

You seem to really love what you do, tell us why: 

It’s life changing. One of the best things about being a yoga instructor is watching your students grow and transcend into a higher self. To become enlightened by their own abilities and the miracles of their amazing bodies. They learn to discover a lot about themselves and gain a great deal of humility. When all this radiates from themselves, they put peace into their lives and into the lives of everyone around them. If everyone did yoga, there would not be such a divide. 

What/who inspires you? 

My mom, MLK, Anne Frank, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah, Golda Meir, my husband, Jake (and many more). The what is: to help, to be empathetic, to teach, to love, to learn and persevere, and to believe in something you can’t see. To believe in beauty, goodness, grace, peace, and world change and to fight for it with all you’ve got.

 What’s the hardest part about being a working mom/wife/single mom? 

My daughter is 30, and I will say the hardest part at this stage is owning a business and trying to divide my time to help my daughter as she navigates life with small babies and being a military wife.

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