About Us

We created our Yoga Shelter community beginning in West Bloomfield in 2004. Since then we have added locations in Royal Oak, Birmingham, Grosse Pointe, Midtown Detroit, Rochester Hills, Southfield, Studio City, CA and Woodland Hills, CA.YS_Photo Edit Eric

At Yoga Shelter, our goal is to create a welcoming place where yoga is accessible and affordable for everyone. We offer an introductory membership to allow new students to get to know us without a large financial obligation. Each class is open to all strength and experience levels, and we offer a variety of affordable class packages to suit your needs.

It is said we are all works in progress; this is only true if we are doing the work! At Yoga Shelter the work is fun, exciting, innovative and inspiring. Our classes will help you create a healthier you because our teachers are experts, friendly and real. Yoga Shelter has changed the face of yoga from rigid, dogmatic and exclusive to flowing, personal, and inclusive. Everyone deserves Shelter and it’s yours for the taking.

Don’t wait another day, start taking classes now! There are over 267 (including all studios) classes to choose from. Enjoy the infinite benefits Yoga Shelter has to offer. There is nothing more important than you being at your best and there is no better place that can help you make that happen than Yoga Shelter… that is why so many people are shouting “Give me Shelter.” We all look forward to meeting you today and helping you in any way we can.

Leadership Team

Eric Paskel – Founder / Owner / Chief Guru

Eric Paskel

“Yoga is not about a pose. Yoga is for people who do not want to pose anymore,” Eric says. “People who come to my classes are not ‘perfect people’. We have issues, as does everyone. So I want to build a relationship with the students as the class begins, making them feel more comfortable with themselves and each other”.

Eric’s classes are not just workouts. His classes also help to work “things” out. Eric Paskel is a licensed marriage, family and child therapist, a certified sports counselor and a certified yoga instructor. He has taught stress management courses for Chrysler Corporation. Eric is a “touring” teacher leading seminars at national and international conferences. He has brought his brand of yoga to Yoga Journal Conferences, Wanderlust Festival, Bhaktifest and to the Kripalu Center. Eric’s “Transformation Train” Teacher Trainings, Retreats and “The Revolution” workshops have made stops across the United States as well as south of the border, India, Andorra and Russia.

Eric, already known as a trendsetter in the yoga world, has added record breaker to his list of accomplishments. Using Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions as his backdrop, he hosted the event, Yoga Rocks Ford Field, breaking the record for the largest indoor yoga class. He also led the longest yoga chain in Estes Park, CO at a Yoga Journal conference in 2012.

Keith Famie, well known documentary producer, featured Eric as an expert on aging, in his 2013 award winning PBS documentary, The Embrace of Aging: the male perspective of growing old. Eric is also one of the inspirations for the book, Real Men Do Yoga.

Eric began a life of introspection in 1986 when he was committed to overcoming his addictions and personal challenges. In 2004, he opened the doors of the first Yoga Shelter in West Bloomfield, Michigan and has continued to open new studios just about every year since, serving more than 1 million students and counting.

Eric is the only western yoga teacher to be blessed to lecture on the Vedanta philosophies by the great Indian philosopher, Swami Parthasarathy. He states, “Eric is one of the rare few in America who has understood the true meaning of yoga. He is an inspired yogi, a whole man. When comes such another!”

“It’s hard to live a life that no one else is living, but even more difficult to be part of the herd,” Eric says. “My aim is to bring people together. To propel them and me to do our best to be our best. I want us to collectively think for ourselves and live the life we want to live”.

Eric can be reached at eric@yogashelter.com

Heidi Cooper – Controller

Heidi-CooperIn 2011, Heidi Cooper joined Yoga Shelter as the Controller. As holder of the purse strings, Heidi is responsible for the oversight of the financial management systems, strategic budgeting and planning, as well as all internal and external reporting. Prior to joining Yoga Shelter, Heidi was a Relationship Manager working with high net worth individuals to manage the fundamental needs of their portfolio. Heidi started her career in public accounting working with mid-sized privately held companies in the personal services and mortgage banking fields. Heidi is a graduate of Western Michigan University.

Heidi can be reached at heidi@yogashelter.com

Michelle Meek – Director of Studio Operations

Michelle MeekMichelle Meek comes to the Yoga Shelter with 30 years of experience in the Health and Fitness Industry. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge both as a manager, business owner and professional as well as a Group Fitness Instructor and Yoga Teacher. Michelle began her journey in the fitness world on the campus of Central Michigan University in1984. She was a collegiate cheerleader for both the football and basketball teams. She has a bachelors in Applied Arts majoring in Health Fitness Programming and Promotion with a minor in nutrition. She began teaching group fitness classes in the basement of her dorm finding that this is what she was born to do. She did her internship with S.C Johnson and Sons in their corporate wellness division. Upon graduation in 1985, she began at Fitness USA as a Group Fitness Instructor/ Sales associate, and quickly rose to the top of the leader board as the number 2 sales rep. From there she went to the Beverly Hills Racquet and Health Club as the Assistant Fitness Director and Group Fitness Instructor. Switching gears in 1986 she was hired at the Washtenaw County Public Health Department as a Health Educator and was there for 13 years – leaving after being promoted 2 times, as Chronic Disease Prevention Director with over site of 4 federally funded Health and Wellness programs. Not wanting to give up teaching Group Fitness, she also began teaching at Vic Tanny, soon to Bally Total Fitness in 1987. In 1999, Michelle decided to stay at home with her children and resigned from Washtenaw County. She then was hired at Life Time Fitness as a part time Group Fitness Instructor. This was the perfect way for her to stay in the industry but be able to stay at home with her 3 children. In 2005 Michelle decided to start her own business and opened Fit Diva, Inc a Brazilian fitness and activewear company. Michelle grew this business on her own in 3 very short years representing several lines of Brazilian fitness clothing. In 2007, due to some life changing events, Michelle re-entered the workforce and began working at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor as the Health Specialist and Wellness Coordinator which was a part time position. She taught yoga, group fitness and was a personal trainer for the hospital fitness program as well as provided community education in collaboration with the medical staff at St. Joes. Needing to be employed full time, in 2009 she became the Group Fitness Department Head for the Shelby Life Time Fitness club and in 2010 transferred to the Novi Life Time Fitness as their Department Head there. Michelle’s passion is leadership, coaching and developing new talent and managing “her people” and of course teaching group fitness and yoga. She also became a Life Time Academy Faculty instructor for the Group Fitness Instructor Training program and Master Instructor Trainer for Life Time. Michelle is thrilled to start a new chapter with the Yoga Shelter as Director of Studio Operations in Michigan! Her plan is to also become an RYT200 Certified Teacher, teach at the Yoga Shelter and assist in the management, growth and development of the Yoga Shelter as a whole.

Michelle can be reached at Michelle@yogashelter.com