This May, the Flow Blog welcomes one of our most beloved teachers, and what’s more, a true Loudoun local, Susan Martin. But rather than us giving her some big build-up, we’ll keep it short and sweet: please read on, you’re going to love her as much as we do!
FB: Hi, thanks for joining us. For starters, what’s your background? Where did you grow up and have you always lived in Loudoun?
S: Thanks for having me! I am actually a local girl…born and raised. I grew up in the same house my mom did in Leesburg and we both went to Loudoun County High School. My mom and I actually had one of the same high school teachers. Crazy, right? I am very close with my Mom and think family is very important.
FB: How did you first learn about Flow and how did you progress towards becoming a teacher here?
S: A friend of mine encouraged me to come take a yoga class with her at the then DownTown Yoga back in 2005 or 2006. I had been practicing yoga for years and years in gyms or with DVDs at home but I was new to a true studio yoga class. After about 3 classes, I was hooked. I then signed up for Prana Flow Teacher Training with Maria Garre in 2007 at Flow Yoga’s “new” location in Market Station. I’m so happy I did! Practicing yoga allowed me to finally connect to my body and soul. And teacher training took it even further. Through yoga, I was able to become comfortable in my own skin and find a sense of grounding that I had been yearning for all my life.
FB: You’ve obviously studied and practiced with some fantastic teachers. Please tell us a little more about your experiences with some of these amazing instructors.
S: I feel very fortunate that I was able to study with Maria Garre and Shiva Rea for my 200-hr. They both helped me connect to Prana Flow yoga in slightly different ways through their amazing gifts and talents. Shiva and Maria exude this radiant beam of light. I love learning about energetic alignment, yogic philosophy and Ayurveda (to name a few)! The education I received from them is priceless. I’m hoping to embark on my 500-hr training in the near future with Maria. Cora Wen helped me to realize where strength and weakness reside in my own body…what I needed to work more on opening or strengthening. Taking the foundational kids yoga training with Shana Meyerson was also a lot of fun! It definitely showcased the challenges and the rewards for putting together an effective & well-received kids’ yoga class. I remember bringing my little cousins on the last day of the training to partake in the class we created. They had so much fun and still ask me about it 8-9 years later.
FB: What about the time you spent with Tari Prinster in New York City?
S: That was the single most humbling and amazing experience I was granted in my life. Being surrounded by an amazing group of women and to hear everyone’s stories was incredible. It was powerful and liberating. Tari’s yoga4cancer classes and teacher training program are creating so much good in the world for survivors as well as a healing community. It would be so awesome to have Tari come to Flow! Basking in her light was such an honor. I can’t wait for all the offerings Flow will have come Autumn supporting women who have survived, or are suffering from, breast or ovarian cancer.
FB: Walking away after taking a class with you, what do you hope students are feeling?
S: I had a special student tell me recently that my classes were healing and those words were so moving. That is exactly what I would love for students to feel when leaving one of my classes. I would love for them to feel healed as that is one of the greatest gifts yoga can give. I want them to feel strong, grounded and balanced as well. I really encourage being present and surrendering to the breath. Mindful movement with the breath is key in my classes. I want you to feel challenged but also very connected to your own energy. I would hope that along with feeling balanced and healed, each student would walk away from my class feeling fulfilled and rewarded for their practice. I try to create a very warm and loving environment as well as a safe space to journey on your mat. It is about breathing, accomplishing what you thought you couldn’t, and tapping into the energy that connects us to the entire universe. And most importantly, I hope students walk away from my class feeling love(d).
FB: What about your family? Do they practice yoga? What do they think of it?
S: My husband would surprise me at some classes I used to teach over the years before he had back surgery. Every once in a while we will have a yoga session at home but our schedules are so crazy it doesn’t happen as often as I would like. Even my stepson will join in and we just have a great time. My mom was practicing yoga for a while and I loved it. It was so good for her. I have some good friends who practice with me. My friends and family are very supportive. The ones who have been in my life the longest have noticed the transformation in me and how peaceful I am now. I encourage pretty much anyone I meet to try yoga. There is a style of yoga out there for everyone!
FB: Any pets?
S: I love animals! When I moved home to help my mom, I moved back with 3 cats (Zeus, Thomas and Duchess). My mom fell in love with them so when I moved out, they stayed. Hahaha. It was hard but I knew they were loved.
FB: Outside of yoga, what’s been going on lately?
S: Right now, I am actually in school Full-Time finishing my final 600 hours to receive my Master Esthetician license. Hoping to take my State Board exams for my Master license in July. I finished my first 600 hours in December and passed my State Board exams in January so I am a licensed Esthetician. I would love to start my own business on the side while working for a spa or medical practice too. Starting a business has always been a dream of mine…Specializing in Holistic skin care and incorporating yoga, reiki, other energy work, crystals and aromatherapy. I would love to also study Ayurvedic skin treatments and integrate them with my other skin care modalities! I definitely feel like I was put on this earth to be a healer. I’m also a reiki practitioner level 2 and look forward to completing my master reiki training eventually. I’m hoping to teach more yoga when my crazy schedule goes back to normal after I finish school. I feel like for the first time in my life I am on the “correct” career path and the risk was so worth it! I finally found my purpose.
Side note, I am also in the process of legally changing my last name. I’ve been married for 3 years and still have my maiden name! Hahaha…better late than never I suppose! I shall soon officially be Susan Greene.
FB: What’s your favorite color and why?
S: Blue! I love blue especially turquoise. The color blue reminds me of the ocean and the sky. Two of my favorite things. It just makes me so happy…sitting on a beach looking/listening to the waves crashing where the ocean meets the beautiful blue sky. What a sense of calm and peace.
FB: Do you have a favorite pose, and if so, what is it and why?
S: I love hip openers and poses that incorporate hip opening. My hips, hamstrings and glutes are works in progress…hahaha. So I like to teach what I am working on at home.
FB: What makes a truly extraordinary yoga playlist, and what types of music are you into right now?
S: I love music that evokes a feeling…whether thru the lyrics or the actual vibe of the song. I try to create a playlist that is inspiring and refreshing but most importantly helps you settle into that sacred space you hold on your mat. I love when I am taking a class or practicing at home and am breathing into a pose then the BEST song comes on…I get a little rush and just melt deeper into my practice.
FB: Thanks for sitting down with us!
S: My pleasure!