Precious time off the mat with one of our most loved and experienced yoga teachers, Suzanne...
RYB: What was your first yoga class like?
SSG: It was fast and furious, and I think I lost students at the first sun salutation.
Luckily my husband was front and center with a big smile holding me up through my nervous chatter of language. I remember pulling everyone back together and ending on a sweet note with mantra & chanting.
RYB: How would you describe your yoga classes/style of teaching?
SSG: My classes are alignment based with a balance of strength and flexibility, and invite students to practice yoga off the mat. My classes also include restorative postures and subtle body practices, including meditation, pranayama and mantra.
You have been teaching for over 10 years...
RYB: How has your teaching evolved?
SSG: My teaching has evolved to be much more purposeful. My classes are therapeutic in that they focus on physiological or bio-mechanical processes, muscular-skeletal actions, and psycho-emotional matters which apply to our modern day humanity.
My teaching has also moved closer to an intuitive approach. I am more attuned to the needs of the students. I simplified and diversified the way I teach so that more people can access the teachings.
RYB: Why teach yoga, what makes it so meaningful?
SSG: Yoga continues to invite more ease and clarity within my ordinary day-to-day experiences, and I have witnessed yoga do the same for many others over the years. I feel compelled to share the teachings so people can begin to experience the pockets of comfort and joy…. before life passes by, because life is happening right now in front of our own eyes.
You are co-founder at One Yoga in Vancouver, Canada...
RYB: What is one of the greatest gifts of being a part of a studio community?
SSG: It has been a true gift to be a one of the initial threads of One Yoga for the People in Vancouver, which is a colorful and strong network that is constantly beating and changing everyday. Being part of a studio community lends me purpose and strength. The ever-evolving and dynamic network of the studio requires me to grow and to be more resilient in order to be a member. I can’t ask for a better present.
RYB: What have you learned through owning a studio?
SSG: I have learned that each of us is born with an innate unique intelligences. These skills are given to us in order for us to live out our purpose. Yes, it is important to refine some of our weaker capacities, but I feel it is essential for us to recognize our innate gifts and place ourselves within roles and responsibilities that allow these capacities to be exercised. In the beginning, I took on responsibilities and roles that required skills that were not my forte. I made many mistakes, and it was incredibly humbling. I realized that collaboration was the answer, and I partnered with people with diverse skill-sets and HUGE hearts. I am blessed with intelligent business partners who I consider like family.
You have three gorgeous cubs...
RYB: What is the best part of being a mom?
SSG: I feel the best part of motherhood is the level of love that is generated and expressed between my children and I. I never knew I could love like this nor receive in this manner. And the crazy thing is that the love continues to grow – it is completely prolific. I feel some of my deepest and heaviest barriers have softened by the way my children look at me, or hold me or need me. This softening unfolded me and created a great deal of sensitivity – a vulnerability, which feels very uncomfortable at times. Yet, I feel I have been given access to a source of strength that is incredibly resourceful, and subtle, as a tool to move through it all. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is full of fatigue, constant negotiations and high demands, but the love seems to hold me up from collapsing. Indeed, people have the potential to experience all of this outside of parenthood.
RYB: What do you hope to pass on to your kids?
SSG: I truly hope to pass on the teachings of yoga. The yoga teachings will provide them with techniques in order to expand their hearts and open their awareness. The teachings will invite them to feel more sweetness and creativity and to experience more laughter. I feel my children will need to be very creative in how they navigate in the future on this planet. I feel life will continue to become more challenging, and difficulty is paralleled with what feels uncomfortable. The skills gained from the yoga practices could help them intelligently traverse through that territory. The yoga teachings can also assist my children in accessing their inner flame, and this flame will help them find their way when they get lost. I also hope to entrust my children with qualities from their grandparents and ancestors, all of which embody faith, fortitude and leadership.
RYB: How has motherhood shifted your practice?
SSG: Due to the greater sensitivity motherhood often requires, I feel my practice has become much more intuitive. I have become much more aware of the steps and milestones required along the long journey toward the heart. Therefore, everything is very purposeful, M y practice is constantly adapting to my needs in any given moment; e.g., a practice to help with fatigue or insomnia. Motherhood has invited me to simplify and diversify my practices so that different parts of me can access the teachings. Once as I can access the refined and subtle teachings, I invite them to descend within me. Then they awaken over time inside.
RYB: What are 3 things currently inspiring your practice:
· My subtle body practices at sunrise, including pranayama, mantra and meditation
· Mother Nature
· My various roles and responsibilities
RYB: How would you like to impact the world through yoga?
SSG: I hope the yoga invites people to be more conscious and aware of their moment-to-moment experiences. Through this knowledge I hope for students to become more accountable for their actions, behaviors and speech. In addition, through a greater awareness I hope for people to have more access to their inner light and shed their light and love with others.