LYW: How/why did you come to Yoga? And when did you join the Live Yoga Wellness community?
SS: I found Yoga in the 1990s when I was diagnosed with Still’s Disease, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. I needed a form of exercise that was mindful and gentle. I loved yoga from the very first class I took. The approach of non violence, aspiring to equanimity, infusing everything with loving kindness… what’s there not to like?! Yoga felt good. It felt good to feel fully embodied in the present moment. It felt good to feel deep gratitude for my body, mind, spirit, as is, with their strengths and weaknesses. Yoga was an expression of radical self acceptance that I needed to face my health issues. It was so impactful that I became a yoga teacher decades later.
I joined LYW in 2011 and taught different classes in the studio, including weekly community classes and evening flow classes. LYW was a beautiful community and space to be a part of, but I moved away in 2016 and am now living in Denver, CO. So it’s a pleasure to be able to be back – virtually!
LYW: How has yoga changed your life?
SS: Yoga gave me a new philosophy and outlook on life. After a very western education, it was eye opening to discover a whole other hemisphere of human thought! The meditative aspects of yoga, the mindfulness of the practice, the eightfold path, and the many teachers I have been introduced to, have all made the biggest impact on me.
LYW: Why do you love teaching yoga?
SS: Yoga has been such a positive force in my life personally. I want to share that with others and for their experience to be positive as well. I teach students to slow down, to notice, to appreciate, to accept, to love their bodies, minds, souls. I teach all this because I am still learning to slow down, to notice, to appreciate, to accept! lol! I am a work in progress!
LYW: How do you take your yoga into the world?
SS: The breath is the way I take yoga into the world. Pranayama is life and the way I breathe affects my body and my mind. It is such a convenient tool to take everywhere (you really can’t leave home without it!). Taking a few deep, conscious breaths before a difficult talk or becoming aware of the breath in the midst of a challenging experience is yoga on the go!
LYW: What is your current practice or a recommendation and why?
SS: My personal practice right now consists of yin stretches and restorative poses. Here in Denver, fall is quickly turning into winter, and my practice is very much influenced by the seasons. As the world around me goes into hibernation, it feels natural to be more introspective and kind to myself. Self care is a theme of my current yoga practice… Self care should always be a theme in yoga practice! I’ll be conveying that message in my virtual classes. Students, get ready for some radical self care!