Yogi of the Month
[dropcap]Susie Newson has been in Maui for a year further exploring yoga and has recently returned to the Okanagan with much to share and offer. She has an infectious smile and one leaves her class feeling more grounded then when they came in. She shines from the inside out and will put a smile on your face regardless of what is going on for you. She is a reminder to be the best version of yourself you can be in this moment.[/dropcap]
Yoga is putting life into practice with consciousness. It is a lifestyle and a choice I make everyday. Living in the moment. Connecting with my heart and spirit. Knowing my self. Growing, expanding, evolving. Never underestimating the power of my breath. Being honest, authentic and integral with my self and all those around me. Honouring my morals and values. Trusting in the universe. And most importantly putting LOVE into everything and all that I do.
My first experience with yoga was Yin Yoga. I was a professional ballet dancer looking to open up my hips. What I found was a great stretch at the end of a long day of dancing as well as a connection to my spirit and the power of my breath. I always walked away from class feeling blissed out and I kept coming back for more. After living the injurious lifestyle of a dancer, yoga was a natural progression. It was a way for me to continue following the thread of mind body connection but with a more holistic approach. Movement is my language and I am thankful that yoga found me.
3 Where and with whom did you study?
In 2008 I traveled to Maui where I completed a 200hr Ashtanga Teacher Training with Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini. Since then I have traveled to Maui numerous times as well as hosted Nicki and Eddie here in Kelowna. I have now completed 1000hrs of teacher training with them. My training is also inspired by Jen Weller, Dominique Pandolfi, Sadie Nardini, Sean Corn, Eoin Finn and Mark Whitwell
4 What kept you coming back to the mat and has that changed over time?
This has definitely been an evolution. At first just getting to a class was good enough but over time I found I wanted to make my practice more personal, cater the practice to exactly what my body and spirit need. Now getting on the mat everyday is about taking time to connect with myself. I believe that the strongest relationship you should have is the one with yourself. Like any good relationship that’s not going to happen overnight. The more time and love you give the relationship the stronger the connection, understanding and love you have. I am my own best reason to keep coming back to the mat! It keeps me connected, grounded and centered.
5 What does yoga bring to your life?
Balance, love & connection. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important and I believe that Yoga is a opportunity for a higher consciousness and connection to me. To put it simply, yoga allows me to know and love myself.
6 How has your practice evolved?
At first yoga was this new form of exercise that felt good and a 1 hour class was a lot. Over time yoga has become the gateway to a deeper connection and understanding of myself and that 1 hour class has turned in to 2-4hrs. My personal practice was none existent in the beginning and has now evolved in to part of my daily routine. It’s sort of like brushing your teeth. You just make it a part of your day otherwise there is a sour taste in your mouth. My body certainly notices if I skip my practice. Even if it’s just 7 minutes, at least it’s something and my body, heart, and spirit are always grateful.
I would not be who I am today without yoga. I would most likely be a drama filled mess controlled by anxiety and fear. Through yoga I have grown and transformed in the most amazing ways that I had never imagined for myself. Yoga has given me strength, courage, truth, grace, patience, love, integrity and freedom! I am very grateful for who I have become and will continue to evolve mentally, physically, and spiritually through yoga.
8 What is your “can’t do without” favorite pose?
That’s a tough one. There are so many great poses but if I had to choose just one it would be Adho Muka Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog). There is so much opportunity to focus on foundation and it access every part of the body. In most classes this pose is the transition pose in to everything. As you press in to your hands you extend your arms to reach in to your spine, press back in to your legs and descend your heels. You are able to connect the entire body. Downward Dog is the perfect pose to build a strong foundation for an effective and sustainable practice!
9 Tell us about an asana you struggle with!!
I don’t like to think of this as a struggle, rather a challenge. As a former dancer my purifomis is very strong so Gomukasana is my favourite challenge.
10 You inspire so many, who inspires you?
My husband Rory! He is so supportive and encouraging. He inspires me to walk through life with the highest integrity every day! I would not be the woman I am today without him.
Alignment and foundation are key to a safe and sustainable practice. Like any good foundation, start with the bottom and work your way to the top. Connect with your breath and let it be your guide. Yoga is about the journey and not the destination. Be patient. Love yourself and enjoy the process.
Same principles go for beginner teachers and students.
Alignment and foundation are key to a safe and sustainable practice.
Always teach from the ground up.
No one knows your screwing up unless you tell them;-)
Believe in yourself and what you have to offer!
13 What few steps do you think a yogi can take today to tremendously improve their practice?
One of my favourite yoga challenges was this:
“I invite you to try my 40 day challenge. All is it is 7 mins a day! Get on your mat and do your practice for just 7 mins a day! Your life will change in a positive way and your practice will blossom. It’s totally free and there is a money back guarantee!!!”
Anyone can take 7 mins a day. The idea is that that 7 mins will turn in to more. Its brilliant because even 7 mins is a great place to start! Make the practice about you! Commit to yourself and watch yourself transform.
14 Where are you teaching now and how can we find out more about you?
My website is currently being created. Keep your eyes open for it!
In the mean time, I am available for privates, semi-privates as well as mentoring students and instructors. For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga, Adventure, Lifestyle!
Susie was born and raised in the Comox Valley as fisherman’s daughter. She grew up dancing on the ocean front and frolicking in the rain forests of her back yard. This joyous upbringing instilled a strong appreciation for nature, the ocean and movement. Her parents traveled the world with her as a baby inspiring a love for travel at an early age. Aside from traveling she enjoys the adventure and challenge of kite boarding, skiing, wake boarding, skate boarding, stand up paddle boarding, hiking and mountain biking. She is also very passionate about dancing like nobody’s watching, swimming in the ocean like a mermaid, good food, good wine, friends, family, fun…. and of course YOGA!
Growing up as a dancer, movement became Susie’s language of choice. After living the injurious lifestyle of a professional dancer, yoga was a natural transition and quickly became Susie’s new passion. Yoga was a way to continue to express herself through movement of the body with a more holistic approach. In 2008 Susie traveled to Maui where she began her first of many Maya Yoga Teacher Trainings with the world renown Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini. Over the past 4 years Susie has continued to study yoga with Nicki and Eddie and has most recently completed her 500hr RYT. She has now accomplished 1000hrs of Maya Yoga training. Susie’s training is also inspired by, Jen Sole Weller, Dominique Pandolfi, Sean Corn, Eoin Finn, Sadie Nardini and Mark Whitwell.
Susie is devoted to sharing the gift of yoga with others to help raise consciousness and change the world one yogi at a time. She has been practicing yoga for 7 years and teaching for 4 years. Her approach to yoga is derived from a deep connection to breath, a strong foundation and healthy alignment so we can create a sustainable practice that will support us on and off the mat. She believes that Yoga is more than just a source of physical activity. Yoga is a life support system that enables us all to engage and connect to the mind, body and spirit, which leads us to a brighter, healthier and happier version of ourselves. If we all practiced yoga the world would be a better place.