My Yoga Story
I first really found yoga through chance - at a gym I was attending for salsa classes. Perhaps it was the universe’s comic/cosmic intentions that it was actually my yoga path waiting for me.
Over time attending and experiencing the benefits that yoga brought me, (complete body stretching and strengthening, a stillness in the mind, better breathing, the list goes on), somehow the idea was planted in my mind that I could train to become a yoga teacher myself. I had already been teaching English for many years and knew this skill was transferable. It’s one thing to be ‘amazing at yoga’ (whatever that means) but quite another to lead others to find their enjoyment and benefit from it, and I wanted to take on that challenge.
I chose to study in London, on a year-long course with Yoga London, and I have since taken numerous trainings and workshops with some of the most highly-regarded and inspiring teachers out there, including: Richard Freeman, Max Strom, John Stirk, Claire Missingham, Mimi Kuo-Deemer, David Kam, Eleonora Ramsby Herrera, Dan Peppiatt, Mollie McClelland Morris and more.
My philosophy is that yoga can and should be a fluid but powerful presence, without too many rules or restrictions, more a constant yet fluctuating path. Kind of like life..!
Read below for more on my ‘yoga philosophy’..
My Yoga Philosophy
It’s really easy to define.
It makes you bendy.
You have to be flexible to do it.
It’s a religion.
Everyone who does it is really blissed out.
It makes you turn vegan.
You can’t do it if you’re overweight.
It’s not for men.
If you can breathe, you can do it.
Only one of these statements is true. (Hopefully it’s obvious but just in case – it’s the last one!)
This really is the truth – if you can breathe, you can do yoga. In fact, you might already have done it without realising; if you’ve ever managed to breathe deeply, maybe close your eyes and then switch off even for a moment or two, that’s more or less the aim of yoga.
In fact, the more you do it, the harder it is to define.
Yes, it can become addictive, and finding other like-minded people (women and men!) who do it regularly could persuade you it’s almost a ‘religious’ commitment.
Yes, it will bring awareness and hopefully a clarity and appreciation for others and the world around you. This may include a consideration about how you treat them and indeed how you treat your own body and what food you put in it.
Yes, a pleasant side-effect is that your physical body will become healthier, stronger, maybe more flexible. But you may practise for months or years and still not be able to do a full Lotus position. That doesn’t matter.
And speaking of the physical, don’t be fooled into thinking that only young, thin, Lycra-clad women can do yoga. If your body is human-shaped, you can do it too.
Lastly, blissed-out? Well, the ultimate aim may be to clear the mind and find inner stillness but you do still remain a person, a person who on some days might feel tired, angry, frustrated or any number of negative emotions.
All I can say with certainty is that, with regular practice, once you start your own ‘path’ of yoga you will be on your way to finding focus, calm and a deeper contentment.
What people say
Exhausted bodies on the floor, legs resting up on the wall, breath slowing down, candles burning, intriguing music in the background. Sue’s soothing voice makes all your work and life anxieties disappear – you are totally at ease. This is how her sessions start, with complete relaxation. Then you work your way up to more sophisticated and restorative poses.
Sue’s yoga classes are very well measured and logical, she is one of the rare yoga instructors who always completes full sequences of poses for the left and right side of your body. Each session is different, some more dynamic, some more stretchy – all of them perfectly planned and executed.
Sue teaches across various levels of flexibility, offering appropriate options or just letting you choose how far you want to go on the day. She is also a great trainer for individual sessions, as she is able to break down the poses into key elements, carry out necessary adjustments, and explain some of the magic of yoga.
Sue's creative approach to her yoga classes is something you will rarely find anywhere else in London. She's really perceptive, and tunes the intensity of the practice to our mood, which creates a great personalised atmosphere. Doing yoga with her calms you down and fills you with positive energy from within.
I’ve done yoga with Sue for a long time. Her classes are very well-structured but never repetitive. There is always a lot of hard work in her classes but mostly with smiles! Her choice of music is always good, and Sue is one of the nicest, most well-balanced people I know.