20 Questions with Mayor Shelby

#1 Do most people call you Mayor Shelby or just Shelby?

My friends call me Shelby. Others call me Mayor or Mayor Shelby.

#2 How long have you been practicing yoga?

I took my first class in 1997. Though I had tried it a couple years earlier, it didn’t really stick until I took an Iyengar class which formed the basis of my practice for many years. I took my first hot vinyassa and Bikram classes in 2013 and have been hooked on hot ever since.

#3 How would Sandpoint be different if everyone practiced yoga?

That would be quite a cultural shift. Far greater health, vitality, and mindfulness would be the norm and everyone world wide would be wondering, "What’s in the water over there?"

#4 What's something you love about being mayor?

I know its cliché but I love working to make Sandpoint a better place to live. As change inevitably happens we can be creative and work together to adapt, maintain our quality of life, and find opportunities to make it better. It’s fun when people come together to make positive change in their community and I love being part of that.

#5 You got married last summer...how did you and Katie meet?

We met at Northwest Yoga Feast in 2016. If you haven’t been, it’s an incredible yoga festival at the Eureka Center in Sagle. We fell in love under the wisdom tree and I spent the next several months working to convince her of that.

#6 Why do you practice yoga?

It improves my overall health, flexibility, vitality, strength, and endurance. It keeps my mind sharp and focused, improves my breathing, relaxation, comfort in my body. I always feel good throughout the day after a good practice, particularly at WE 😉

#7 If you were stuck on a deserted island for a year and you could only listen to 5 musical artists, which 5 would you choose?

Mason, Bonobo, Axel Thesleff, Bob Marley, and one mystery artist.

#8 Of all the yoga poses, which is your least favorite?

The ones I can’t do: sugarcane and bird of paradise.

#9 How long is your ideal savasana?

Very loooooooong. Maybe five minutes. I never actually time it so it's hard to say. Last year I started practicing a breath meditation to increase oxygen in the body. It takes about 10 minutes and I add it to the beginning or end of my savasana.

#10 Did you play sports growing up?

I like to play all sports. In terms of organized sports, I played soccer, basketball and golf. I also downhill skied throughout my youth.

#11 Have you ever been given a piece of advice that changed your life?

Yes, practicing yoga was definitely one. Meditation was another. I listened to a speaker one time who advocated for these things as well as radical education, juicing & fasting, and medicine circling as a recipe for an amazing life. I’ve used those tools as best I can over the last 10 years.

#12 If you could spend an afternoon with anyone famous, alive or dead, who would it be (and why)?

Either Tesla because he was such a brilliant scientist and visionary and probably kinda fun to be around or Benjamin Franklin because he was also a brilliant visionary, politician and probably knew how to have a great time.

#13 You used to own a bookstore in town- what are some of your favorite books?

I read to get informed, not for entertainment normally. The last book I ready was Pete Buttigieg’s ‘The Shortest Way Home.’

#14 What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Depends on the morning. But typically I take care of business, kids, pets and go straight to WE YOGA.

#15 Which show have you most recently binge-watched?

‘Game of Thrones’ (what a terrible ending) and I offered Katie support when she watched ‘Big Little Lies.’

#16 If you were a dog, which breed would you be?

A mutt.

#17 What are three things about you that your wife likes most?

I had to interview Katie for this one. Katie says, “It’s very difficult to narrow it down to 3 things!… (1) Shelby’s default setting is loving kindness. His love for the world shows up in everything he does. (2) Shelby is just as jazzed about yoga, meditation, and healthy eating as I am. I love that we roll up our yoga mats together, meditate together, and take good care of each other. (3) Shelby is a wonderfully dedicated father to our two beautiful children. Some of my favorite moments include watching him play board games with the kids in the living room.”

#18 What are three things about you that drives your wife a bit bonkers?

She continues…”I love Shelby 99%, and only 1% drives me nuts….sooo (1) How he farts in yoga class: I have to work very hard not to laugh out loud because that would make him laugh and then the whole class would start laughing. (2) When he answers with ‘huh’ after I pour my heart out to him. We find balance as I encourage him to explore his feelings and he encourages me to be succinct. (3) Shelby micro-manages me in the kitchen (Shelby challenges that one). Mansplaining how to chop an onion is not sexy y’all. To be fair, he did own a restaurant and I secretly love that he is a fabulous cook.”

#19 Do you meditate?

Yes, I try to meditate for 20+ minutes/day. I started practicing vipassana meditation in 2003 and was hooked. I’ve sat a handful of 10 day courses over the years and Katie and I are planning another one this spring.

#20 Would you rather be liked or right?

Right for sure. I used to like being liked. As a politician, most people don’t like you regardless, so you might as well be right.


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