Another Beautiful Story: Suzanne
सुकथा Sukatha of a Yoga Teacher: Suzanne
Sukatha means beautiful story, meet Suzanne, a recent Yoga Teacher Training grad, this is her sukatha!
In 2008 I decided to take my first yoga class at the YMCA. I was into endurance running at the time and being a personal trainer, I knew what flexibility could do to improve my running. The constant “pounding” the body takes while running is easier to take if you incorporate some “stretching” so as to enhance flexibility. Being a total type “A” personality I had a hard time taking a “slower class” like yoga – meditation time was really hard and I often snuck out of the class before I had to sit still for 10 minutes.
What started out as just a slow “stretching” class ended up being a breakthrough class for me. Yoga is so much more than “stretching” and “flexibility”. I took my first Yoga teacher training class in 2009 (I had never been to a yoga studio, just yoga in a gym setting). After the teacher training I injured my back and had to have surgery. What followed was a 6-month process of no exercise – just slow walking. After recovery, I never pursued teaching yoga in the gym or a studio. I went back to running (pounding, MMA, weights, etc.). At the end of 2009 I reinjured my back and had to have a second surgery. The doctor said that I may want to consider some more gentle exercise in the future to prevent a 3rd surgery (fusion). I gave up running but continued lifting weights and doing more gentle forms of exercise.
In 2016, while following my curiosity, I decided to go to a seminar in California. This seminar (called “The Bliss Project”) was an eye-opening discussion about being vulnerable, connecting with other women, women empowerment and soul searching. We started out each day on the yoga mat and that is where I found my true self again. I started to open up to my inner voice and what she wanted. The emotions and feelings that had been bottled up for years finally came out – I even cried for the first time in public. That permission and freedom the yoga teacher gave me – a safe space to cry and feel, was a turning point in my feelings about yoga. It was no longer a tool to be more flexible, it was a way to get back in touch with myself – who I am, what am I doing, how do I feel. The mat was my safe haven to open up to the feelings and emotions I had shut out from years of survival mode. With the permission to cry and feel again that yoga mat was my safe place to start my healing process.
After getting back from the conference I contacted one of my friends who had just completed teacher training to inquire about what studios to visit in the local area for yoga. I tried several types of yoga (who knew there were more than one?). More and more emotions came out on the mat and I started to really look forward to the quiet time on the mat at the end. I felt a calling to go to teacher training and chatted with my friend about taking a local training in the fall. She had just the right person – Kristen with K10 Yoga.
We started teacher training in the Fall of 2016. I was quite nervous meeting 8 new women. It was the most amazing growth experience I have had in my life. There were so many different women from all walks of life, but we all connected in one common bond – to grow spiritually and intellectually in yoga. I remember thinking to myself before I started the weekend series of training…..what on earth are we going to discuss for that long? Then each weekend we had YTT I couldn’t wait to get to the weekend – to learn, share and grow.
Now that I have graduated in the YTT, I am teaching kids yoga, adult yoga and am coordinating a workshop for girls/women empowerment for 2017. I remember at the beginning of teacher training that I said I didn’t want to teach yoga (I was just doing it for personal growth). By the end of the experience, I couldn’t say that anymore. With the growth that yoga gave me, how could I not share yoga with the world.