Yoga Life Studios from Edmonton, Alberta, interviewed Suzanne before her visit in January 2015.....below are pieces of their conversation:
How did you get your yogic start? Who brought you to your first class, what was that like, and where was it?
A memorable jump into yoga was when I was living in Boston and completing my Master’s Degree . I was a marathon runner. One of my running buddy’s mother recommended I attend a ‘breathing’ (pranayama) and restorative class with her. She took me to an Iyengar instructor where we primarily focused on witnessing & feeling our natural breath, developing a steady Ujjai and relaxing our muscular-skeletal system. All I can remember is I left the class feeling as if I was walking on a different planet embedded with a new atmospheric system. I was so heavily rooted yet incredibly buoyant. My senses were awakened to a point I felt I was smelling, tasting, seeing and experiencing myself and the elegance around me for the first time. I dove into the practices of yoga and all of its components from that day on.
What is your favourite meal to make and share with friends?
I cherish my time in the kitchen. It grounds my family, friends and myself. Preparing food creates an internal and collective cohesion. When the kids and our family unit seem to be scattered, stressed, dense or sad, I immediately pour a focused and loving attention into a curry…usually one that includes tumeric, cumin, mustard & cardamon seeds, ginger, cinnamon and coconut oil & milk. My curries most often utilize lentils or moong beans, served with squash, kale and quinoa (or rice). The mixture of ingredients slowly (at a low heat) metamorphose into aromas which provide a deep anchoring in our beings. The nourishing food enters our systems ~ creating an ignition of our innate fire and energetic centre points, which ultimately cultivate an internal magnetic force, a feeling of ‘wholesomeness’ and a cohesion of all of our fragmented parts. The element associated with smell (or our nose) is ‘EARTH’. The earth element is stable and medicinal, but is also incredibly rich with diversity and strength. Therefore, the aromas bring forth an abundant amount of sensation to experience from a deeply rooted & cohesive stance. The kitchen also serves as a fire place….a space for family and friends to gather and tell stories. This process often stimulates the power of healing, synthesis and even ancestry. Fire is a ceremonial element, inviting alchemy and transformation. The kitchen is my fire ground.
What’s your favourite pose/sequence/area of the body to work on?
My practice prioritizes attention into my legs, hips and pelvis on a daily basis. I open and strengthen my thighs, hamstrings and hips. Mobility of my femur bones allows me to clear the pelvis, (specifically a widening of the pelvis) leading to more freedom in my low back and additional power to broaden my chest and heart. I couple this with a strengthening and activation of pelvic floor and deep core muscles with the aim of directing an energetic force up my center line (as I internalize a divine flame (or deity) rising up to the sacred space of my heart). I find these practices can be incredibly purifying as they tend to assist in eliminating energetic debris, toxins or emotional blockages and ultimately assist in healing wounds. As our channels are cleansed, prana and awareness flow more freely filling in imprints with sprinkles of the most important ingredient of all – LOVE (i.e., bliss).
Who inspires you?
My mother has been the most inspiring being for me. Her ability to serve others and emanate compassion in a reliable and consistent manner is extraordinary. Her energetic system must be incredibly strong in order to hold and direct the amount of light that she does so gracefully. Light is a refined force which vibrates at a high frequency, and my mother exudes this medium as her primary pulse. Yes – she oscillates, as all humans do, but she never grasps on to any of the various energies moving through her. She always traverses back to the middle path, serving out abundant amount of light.