About Me

My Story

I came to yoga at a very stressful time. My husband, a naval officer at the time, was about to leave on a second long deployment in less than two years; this time for an unknown amount of time and to a theatre of war (post-September 11, 2001). Our son was 18 months old. The world had changed. I was afraid.

 

Luckily for me, I had just started my first-ever yoga classes. I told the yoga teacher that I was facing a lot of fear and unknowns and that I was thankful I had found yoga as I knew it would help me through this situation. She asked if she could give me a hug. It was the most wonderful thing. For me, yoga is a safe space. It's like that hug. 

My Training

In 2009, I obtained my 200-hour yoga teacher certification in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Atlantic Yoga Teacher Training. Soon after, my family relocated to Ottawa where I began teaching from my small home studio. Over time, I developed an interest in how yoga could help with specific health conditions, so I began Integrative Yoga Therapy's professional yoga therapist program. In 2016, I obtained a 500-hour advanced teacher of therapeutic yoga certificate and in 2017, I became a trauma-informed yoga teacher and licensed facilitator of the Overcome Anxiety Clinic™. Today, I continue my studies with the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy. I hope to obtain my professional yoga therapy certification in 2020. 

 

I have almost 25 years of health policy and planning experience with provincial departments of health, regional and district health authorities, and health-related national not-for-profit organizations. I have a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Health Services Administration.

 

I am a member of the Canadian Yoga Alliance, the Kripalu Yoga and Ayurveda Association and the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). 

My Approach

Yoga is an amazing tool for transformation, and for achieving physical and mental balance, health, and healing. For those who have specific health challenges, therapeutic yoga is a valuable instrument for optimizing one’s wellness and finding a sense of ease. The integrative yoga therapy approach - the approach I use - sees and works with the whole person at the five koshas (sheaths or layers) of our being. These layers include our physical body, our breath or energy body, our mental-emotional body, our intellectual and intuitive body, and finally, our bliss or spiritual body where we experience true health and happiness.

 

I believe in meeting clients where they are in relation to their state of mind and their health; starting gently, introducing the various tools of yoga in a way that is not overwhelming, but provides a sense of safety even while challenging them to move, think or feel outside of their normal comfort zone. I believe that therapeutic yoga can and should complement the medical, rehabilitative or alternative treatment or therapies that a person is receiving. I believe that using yoga therapy research evidence, where it exists, is also key to developing an effective program of therapeutic yoga. 

 

If this sounds like an approach that appeals to you, please contact me.

 

- Namaste

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Susan Anderson Yoga, Ottawa, Canada