Hi, I'm Susan...
I’m a certified yoga therapist and I’m passionate about helping people find a sense of balance and ease, especially people who have experienced trauma or who have anxiety, PTSD, or other kinds of nervous system dysregulation. If you are looking to get out of your head and into a relaxed body and balanced mind; feel more grounded, peaceful, and calm; find relief from chronic worry or anxiety; be more resilient and live with an overall sense of well-being, I can help. I have also begun Somatic Experiencing® training, a technique for processing trauma, that will complement this work in this area.
This kind of work can also be a real lifeline for family caregivers who are struggling with the emotional stress, physical exhaustion, and sense of grief that comes with that role; a role that I am familiar with, having recently accompanied my husband through his cancer journey and end-of-life.
I also have special training to work with people who have osteoporosis (that includes me!) or osteopenia (low bone density). If you are already a yoga practitioner who has just learned you have osteoporosis and you want to continue doing yoga, I’m the person who can show you how you can safely enjoy it for years to come. If you are new to yoga, I will introduce you to it in a way that is safe and will contribute to your overall health.
A snapshot of my training...
I’m well-equipped to assist you on your healing journey. And the learning always continues!
2009, 200-hour yoga teaching certification, Atlantic Yoga Teacher Training,
2017, Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy certification, Sundara Yoga Therapy,
2017, licensed facilitator, Overcome! program, Sundara Yoga Therapy,
2020, professional yoga therapy, Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy,
2020, certified yoga therapist, International Association of Yoga Therapists,
2021, Basic Bone Fit™, Osteoporosis Canada, and
2022 (ongoing) Somatic Experiencing (Beginner Level).
I’ve always been interested in helping people feel better. My 25-year career in health policy and planning (my undergrad is in Business Administration, and I have a master’s degree in health services administration) gave me a solid understanding of how Canada’s overarching health system works. Now I’m putting my passion to work at the opposite end of the spectrum. Working one-on-one with people who have very specific health needs and seeing firsthand the positive outcomes of the holistic and integrative approach of yoga therapy is very rewarding!
I am a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT).
And a bit of my back story...
It was the fall of 2001. I was working full time and alone with our infant. My husband, a Naval Officer, was on his second long deployment in two years; this one because of 9/11. In a nutshell, I was tired and scared. It was then that I went to my first yoga class - in a chapel that had incredibly beautiful and incredibly tall stained-glass windows. What a setting! I told my new yoga teacher that I was facing a lot of fear and unknowns. She gave me a hug. So, for me, yoga is a safe space. It's like the safety and security of that hug.
Fast-forward twenty years, and I experienced the profound loss of my husband to cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic. I am constantly managing the emotions that come with that experience. I'm learning, moment by moment, how to move forward in a life that looks very different than I have ever previously imagined. I’m grateful for all my yoga tools. They - along with close family and friends - help me weather the ups and downs that come with this territory.
Although I don’t currently live on the east coast, I am a born and raised Canadian Maritimer. I’ve been Ottawa-based now for 13 years and having (mostly) raised my son here it also feels like home. I was a “band geek” growing up. I was most comfortable in front of people when I was playing an instrument and making music. I love fabrics (their textures and colours) and the sense of accomplishment that comes with creating an article of clothing or other handmade items.
Outside of yoga, you can find me walking my dog, taking photos of my cat, baking, enjoying a flat white, cross-country skiing or on a nature trail with friends, strength-training (a necessity, not a passion!), or cycling. Oh, and I love the ocean!