Aloha, joy of spirit, is the foundation of Susan's lifestyle and yoga practice, emphasizing yoga as a way of life. Her mission as a yoga instructor is to share the empowering capacity of yoga to be life changing. Aloha Yoga also aims to provide various opportunities to practice yoga as a group. Group or Event Yoga is catered for the goals of the group. The group may want to cultivate team building or maybe relaxation yoga, other groups may want just fun. Aloha Yoga's intention is to enable yoga to organically bond people through group yoga.
Encouraged to practice yoga in 2000 during graduate school to help reduce stress, this yoga journey began with the intention to experience yoga as explained in the The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, as a science of the mind: "The physical yoga or Hatha Yoga, was primarily designed to facilitate the real practice of yoga-namely, the understanding and complete mastery over the mind" (xi).
At this time skateboarding pools and surfing barrelling waves surpassed all other sports Susan played competitively: high level gymnast, high school field hockey and lacrosse captain, tennis, first female soccer player in Wicomico County, record breaking swimmer, basketball and more. Yoga became not only a place to find inner balance, but a path to mending a lifetime of athletic injuries, maintaining balance as she continues today to enjoy surfing, casual skateboard sessions and biking on her beach cruiser.
Certified in 2004 by Ashley Ludman of Seaside Yoga in Wilmington, NC, Susan experienced Ashley's expertise as an occupational therapist, learning to identify how postures benefit aspects of the body, along with her passion for opening our hearts. Although Ashley relocated to Costa Rica, she always makes herself available to mentor Susan's path. Part of this journey required extensive energy healing, cultivating a deep practice that includes prayer and meditation, grounding exercises, walking meditations, chakra work, pranayama (breathing exercises) and tapping into creative spirit.
Like many former gymnasts and dancers, Susan was drawn to the traditional and very disciplined practice of Ashtanga. She began practicing with Larry Hobbs (authorized Ashtanga teacher) in 2004, modifying to meet her changing body.
Susan grew up near Ocean City, MD, moved to the southern beaches of North Carolina in 2001 and then Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks in 2005. She taught at the first yoga studio on the Outer Banks, Outer Banks Yoga, and then opened up Aloha Yoga in 2009. Aloha Yoga focuses on private yoga instruction, beach yoga. wedding yoga, family reunions and event yoga. Susan was the first beach yoga teacher on the Outer Banks. She spent nearly 15 years in Kill Devil Hills and now resides on Hatteras Island.
With a deep personal yoga practice and living the yogi lifestyle for over a decade, Susan draws from Ashtanga and her own unique style to design a yoga practice best suited for you. This "aloha" style is based on individual anatomy and alignment, exploring our energy bodies (how we vibrate/feel/interact), gentle movements for healing and learning to mindfully communicate with our bodies through the breath. Susan's area of expertise is working with athletes to prevent and overcome injury. Education: M.A. English Literature with Art History interdisciplinary, graduated with honors: Salisbury University B.A. Philosophy, graduated Cum Laude: Salisbury University Certified Montessori Teacher 2.5-5 year old Careers: Foster Care Social Worker (Salvation Army), Environmental Education Coordinator (MD Coastal Bays), Fund Development Director (Girl Scout Council Coastal Carolina), Marketing Consultant, (Cumulus Broadcasting), Montessori Teacher (Kitty Hawk)