Spotlight on Susan Browne: Teaching to Learn

Like many yoga teachers, I did not pursue certification in order to teach; I had the simple intention of “getting better” at my asana/pranayama practice. I also felt strongly compelled to study the Classical Yoga teachings, and to better understand the human body and the ineffable experience of finding oneself actually living in one. But sitting in front of a room full of students? It struck me as being about as desirable a pursuit as going through a tax audit. Of course, regardless of my personal intentions, no certification would be given without a demonstration of a candidate’s teaching ability. I specifically remember the first time I led a class (a simple ‘practice teach’ for my fellow trainees) as part of my Kundalini training more than 15 years ago. I tuned in, chanting the “Ong Namo” mantra, and got the students breathing and moving. I knew what to do; how exhilarating to pull off such a feat! But suddenly I froze; the magic had somehow worn off! In a haze of panic, embarrassment and failure, I looked to my teacher and said, “I can’t.” I’ll never forget his response–he gazed at me with calm, non-judgmental knowingness and said simply, “You can.” In spite of my doubts, I believed him, and I went on. And so I’ve continued to go on, through trainings and extensive studies in various styles of yoga practice (the aforementioned Kundalini, along with Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Anusara, yoga therapy–the list goes on!), as well as the ancient texts. The experience taught me that if I could do what I never thought I could do (in this case, teaching yoga) and it could bring such a sense of profound joy and accomplishment, then others, too, if guided, could exceed their own expectations in some aspect of life meaningful to them. My teacher had demonstrated his belief in me, and showed me that as a teacher, a simple, genuine faith in others can help facilitate achievements otherwise unimaginable. He taught me the value of exploring possibilities, allowing vulnerability, riding out discomfort in order to realize untapped potential. That’s what yoga does!
While I expect my list of continuing eduction pursuits will grow even longer over time, these days my students have become my teachers; I learn from them and am inspired by them continuously. They are mirrors of my own struggles with physical and mental limitations, self-discipline, and misguided expectations or attachment to outcome.

While I daily draw on my years of study and training, if I have anything to offer students at all it is my desire and commitment to guide them in the yoga so that it may reveal to them that they are already in possession of what is most important. Everything they need to know to live comfortably, blissfully, in themselves and in the world, every pose they are capable of expressing, is already inside them. We keep unlocking the door to a world of possibilities with the key of yoga. As a teacher, I just keep handing students that key.
My classes lately offer students an opportunity to experience the demystification of the asanas while losing oneself in the mysterious Pranic flow.

The practice focuses on dissolving perceived boundaries; students develop and engage muscular strength and stability and marry it with a cultivation of expansiveness and freedom of movement. There is clear guidance and assistance, and lots of options for variations and modifications in both of the class styles I teach: Mellow Yoga (level 1), and Slow Flow (level 2). The Mellow classes are non-vigorous and offer a deep stretch for students at any level, from beginners with no experience, to advanced practitioners or athletes looking to dial down the intensity on the physical level. Slow Flow presents an opportunity to work harder and learn or practice more advanced poses, within the context of a continuous energetic flow. In all classes, there is the firm assertion that there is no one particular way to look in a pose, there is instead an encouragement toward the practice of simply being present, feeling truly alive in one’s self to all accompanying sensation in any given pose, on a multitude of levels.

To quote Erich Schiffman, “the goal is not to tie ourselves in knots…we’re already tied in knots. The aim is to untie the knots in our hearts. The aim is to unite with the ultimate, loving, and peaceful power in the universe.”
Sat nam, and Namaste!
Susan

 

Sadhana with the Sanga

Sadhana with the Sanga

Candlelight Restorative Flow

Candlelight Restorative Flow

Viva La Chaturanga

Viva La Chaturanga

Learning to Breathe

Learning to Breathe with Jessica Jenkins

Partner Yoga with Bettina & Clay

Partner Yoga with Bettina & Clay

Satya Vinyasa: Truth in Motion

Satya Vinyasa: Truth In Motion

The Art of Attention with Elena Brower: August 1st and 2nd, 2014

Art of Attention with Elena Brower

Art of Attention with Elena Brower

 

 

StudioLiveTV

Introducing our NEW online classes!

 

The Yoga Room + StudioLiveTV = BLISS: your favorite TYR classes available where ever, when ever. 

While nothing can ever replace showing up to class in person, StudioLiveTV provides the next best thing – a way for you to stay on top of your routine and remain engaged with your instructor and classmates, even when your schedule prevents you from coming to the studio. StudioLiveTV brings your class to you, via the internet device you choose – iPad, iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, personal computer, etc. – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This service is completely secure – accessible only to members and friends of The Yoga Room who have their own login and password. Click here for more details.

Online packages and subscriptions are available – pick the one that is right for you after login!

A NOTE ABOUT ONLINE VIDEOS:

The Yoga Room has partnered with StudioLiveTV to provide you with dynamic, un-canned footage of Nantucket Yoga Room studio classes. If your screen is dark, you see an empty room or you hear static, move forward 45 seconds or so, and your class should begin. We do not charge you for the first 20 minutes, so find the one that works for you. All of these classes are taped live. We are presenting them to you raw and unedited, bringing you into a very “real” and authentic Yoga Room class experience.

As our teachers adjust to the live taping of classes, we hope to continue to improve our online offerings. Please be patient as we build our library of videos, and check back frequently for updated content. Currently there are limited classes up for viewing.  That will soon change, and the service will hopefully be a wonderful addition to your Yoga Practice!

Begin experiencing The Yoga Room in the comfort of your own home or office by logging in here:

Special Rainy Saturday Afternoon Flow Class with Pat!

Feeling restless in the grey?Come move the body, steady the mind and soothe the soul in this specially scheduled class on Saturday, June 30th

4-5:15pm!  Sign up or drop in!