INSPIRING EASE IN BREATH, MOVEMENT, STILLNESS
Susan began her yoga practice some 30 years ago as a means to alleviate pain from her professional sports and dance life-style. (she was a member of Canada’s National Lightweight Women’s Rowing team from 1982-85) Having completed a BA from UBC she went on to study modern dance, supplementing her studies with income as a personal coach/ trainer. She completed her Yoga Teachers training with Godfrey Devereux in Ibiza, Spain. She completed her E-500RYT in Meditation, Mindfulness and Yoga with Janice Gates, Jill Sattersfield and Anne Cushman in San Francisco,CA and with Spirit Rock Meditation Center. Susan has taught in Hawaii, Marin County, CA,Vancouver, BC, Salt Spring Island at her studio Satya Yoga and presently, Palm Desert,CA.
Regular yoga practice promotes a deeper connection to the physical body, (greater flexibility, strength, joint mobility, muscular tone, bone density, heart and better organ function, increase in immune function…) Beyond physical exercise, yoga practice is a process of anchoring the mind in the body and with the breath; pausing or turning off the minds “automatic pilot”, creating a connection to ease in stillness, or an opening of the heart to one’s deeper intentions and to core values. This practice of mindfulness supports our ability to live and be present in the moment to moment of our life unfolding. It is her belief that the regular practice of yoga with mindfulness truly supports our ability to meet with the various challenges that we all face in life whether mental or physical.
Susan has had the good fortune to learn from many varied and wonderful teachers both in Vancouver, the U.S. and Europe: Godfrey Devereux, John Friend, Martin Kirk, Richard Miller, Tias Little, Frank Jude-Boccio, Jill Satersfield, Anne Cushman, Janice Gates and Jill Sattersfield. Buddhist teachers, Jack Kornfield, Howie Cohn, Heather Martin, Donald Rothberg, Anna Douglas, Mark Coleman and Phillip Moffitt. She is also blessed and inspired by her many students. She teaches classes of yoga and mindfulness at secondary schools, corporations, seniors care facilities, medical and family service settings, office 's, private homes and colleges to seniors, teens and adults of all ages and abilities. She has been able to resolve and support those dealing with chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, MS and osteoarthritis. As well, she has been asked to develop athletic based and mindfulness-based programs for pre-teen and teens in the school system. She maintains a private practice of yoga therapy, massage and mindfulness based mentoring both in the private and public (speaker at conferences) sphere. She has completed Spirit Rock Meditations Centers 18 month Yoga and Mindfulness Training Program and has completed a Masters Degree in Integral Counseling Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies.She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist working with transitional age youth (16-26yrs) in Palm Desert and in private practice. Susan is a registered Yoga Alliance member at the E-500hr RYT in Mindful Yoga and Meditation.
What Susan's students say about yoga:
Having attended your Friday
morning classes for nearly five years, I learned so much. I was
saddened when you left. but happy you are pursuing a new challenge in
your life and I wanted to tell you
how important you were to mine. As you know, my son died in a car
accident 10 years ago and it has been an
incredibly hard journey to find joy in life again. I am not a
religious person, nor spiritual, but practicing yoga with you has helped me
live so much better with my loss. I miss your voice especially and your
gentle urgings to improve postures and be mindful in all things. I really
believe yoga and your instruction has helped me integrate mind and body and
spirit and find more compassion and tolerance and acceptance. For that, I
truly thank you. TC
just wanted to let you know how much I love your class. I was a teacher
for 39 years and I can recognize the great effort you put into everyone
of our practices. You observe us very carefully to see that we are
using good technique and at the same time offer words which encourage
our efforts even reminding us to breath. I wouldn’t know what goes on
in other yoga classes but I feel blessed to have an instructor who helps
me think about my body’s health through her well chosen words. I find
yoga to be very meditative. I’ve enjoyed the poetry, music, even the use
of scents. I leave each of our practices with a sense of well being and
that our short time together as a group was very well spent. Thank you
so much for all your help. Bruce Palm Desert,Ca
"I first came to yoga after many years of marathon running that had left my body battered. My doctor told me that I needed to find a lower impact workout or I would require knee and hip replacement surgery. I was 26 years old and petrified. I knew that I had been training hard, but didn't understand how my body couldn't handle it at such a young age. Not knowing where to turn, my physiotherapist recommended yoga. I went, not really knowing what to expect. And in the end, I got more than I could have ever dreamed of. Yoga taught me to respect my body after years of learning to push it beyond its limits. Yoga taught me to listen to my body, to respect what it needs, and learn the connection between my mind and my body. Slowly I saw myself getting stronger. And with that came my mental and emotional well-being as well. Yoga taught me to love myself for the journey that I'm on now, and to be patient with myself and others. It taught me to celebrate my successes, and the successes of others, in a society that generally pushes for competition, jealousy and resentment. It taught me to breathe at the moments when your mind and body are telling you not to, and to take risks and have fun. Although these are all the lessons of yoga, we are encouraged to take these lessons "beyond the mat" and to the world outside. In the past three years I have noticed I can handle stress better and am more at peace. "
Tracey Dempster, teacher, actor
" I have known Susan Alexander as a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher for over 3 years. My regular yoga practice started several years before meeting Susan as I wanted to improve my limitations of movement due to degenerative arthritis affecting my spine, pelvis, hips, and shoulders. Observing my difficulties in achieving and holding postures in regular yoga classes, Susan offered me private weekly sessions of specific yoga instruction and yoga therapy/massage to improve my joint mobility. Within one year of her working with me I have regained back most of the function of the affected joints and further improved my flexibility. Susan is a great teacher and instructor. She fully understands the anatomy and function of the skeletal muscular systems of the human body and can apply her knowledge to the healing at the point when classical medical treatment can offer no help. "
D. Kalousek, MD, FRCP, FCMG Professor Emeritus, UBC
MINI PRACTICE: STOP ; SIT, MOVE, BREATH, NOTICE WHATS TRUE and ALIVE
REST, NOTICE YOUR BODY, ANY EFFECTS AND STAY WITH YOUR BREATH
CONSCIOUS REST, FULL AWARENESS