Yoga has become my vise for life. My husband introduced yoga to me in 2006 as a way for us to release stress during his deployments. I dabbled back and forth with the practice for a few years. Yoga became a full time practice when I was diagnosed with Lupus a couple years later and it became my "medicine". I gave up my career as a hair designer and I was able to rehabilitate myself through the asana part of yoga and gained even more strength than I thought my body was capable of.
Through the years I found myself going to a variety of classes that I immersed myself into the physical part of the practice until I found Hippie Yoga in St. Clair Shores, MI.I found space that guided me to a whole new level of mindfulness and much more about the pranayama. The community I found on my mat at Hippie Yoga lead me to my YT-200 training there through Yoga Impact.
My training transformed me and gave me more knowledgeable of the therapeutic side that yoga can offer as well as all the fundamentals to guide those seeking the yoga practice. I find inspiration all around me with my teaching and I find I am just as much a student as I am a teacher. I believe there is a yoga practice for everyone. I like to offer a variety of practices and styles in hopes that I can help people make a connection at their own level and can leave the mat feeling more peace and love for themselves. My favorite to teach is a restorative practice and a core driven practice with a strong focus on the pranayama, the breath. It humbles me to experience and witness those seeking, on their mat, letting go and taking the time for themselves. That is the place where this teacher becomes the student.
In 2007 I began practicing yoga frequently and regularly. I realized yoga was the perfect fit for what my body needed: increased flexibility, strength and balance. The calm and gentle space and the culture of positivity, gratitude, and peacefulness was such a drastic change from gym classes; I savored this difference. The inward focus necessitated by attending to the motion and position of the body as well as the breathing connected to movement was reminiscent of what I loved about dance. More quietly and I think more importantly, yoga taught me how to be present. The quiet demand for my being present was a powerful skill to learn; throughout my day, I had a tool with which to access a greater degree of calmness and clarity of thinking. For this, I am very grateful.
For many years, I had it in the back of my mind that I would love to teach yoga. I had the good fortune to be able to pursue this dream. In 2018, I traveled to Bali and completed my teacher certification through the Awakened Life School of Yoga. I studied under Liz Carey, Joe Miller, Cristi Christensen and Muriel Murphy. With my certification, I hope to help bring yoga into the mainstream of more walks of life. My goal is to teach with clarity of instruction and keenness of observation, thereby enabling students to safely maximize the benefits of each pose. Just as importantly, I hope to nurture in students the love of yoga, the importance of taking care of oneself, and the joy of positivity, gratitude and love.
Yoga has floated in-and-out of my life since 1999, my love for yoga stuck when it helped relieve my chronic migraines and depression/anxiety related to infertility. It served as a lifeline while working on behalf of individuals reentering the community from the criminal justice system. Yoga helped me meet clients where they were at (emotionally, spiritually, energetically) and to just be present with them in that space.
I fell in love with a power hot yoga asana practice. Then, it became more than that, my husband calls me the "Pusherman of Yoga," referencing the Curtis Mayfield song. Yoga is like a drug for me; it started as a love of the postures, then came the breath, now the mind, body, soul...yoga has infiltrated my life. Every day it offers me something new. Whether guiding a class or practicing, I am always grateful for the opportunity to practice asana and meditation with a group of people. Breathing in and breathing out together is a beautiful thing.
I currently live in Gaylord, MI and I am co-owner of Yoga-45, with an amazing friend and partner, Amy Mertz. I was trained at Yen Yoga in Traverse City, in hatha yoga, under two remarkable women, Jenny Lintvedt and Heidi Dietrich. I will always be a student, humbly learning from those around me; always knowing my four greatest teachers in life will be my children and husband.
I first tried yoga because I heard it was very helpful for dealing with stress. Between moving to a new town, new marriage and career, I was looking for an avenue to help with so much change. I took my first yoga class in 2001 at a community class offered at Grayling high school. I was unsure about what I had experienced, but liked the overwhelming calm feeling I felt after class. That class led to a lot of exploration, reading and yoga classes. I developed a passion and love for it, that I know I wanted to share with others. After ten years of practice, I completed the RYT 2oo hour program in September 2011 at Yoga for Peace in Southgate, MI.
My teaching style emphasizes proper alignment and safety through the use of props. I strive to inspire students to use the skills and ideas taught in class to develop a home practice, but also, to use those themes in class and everyday life off the mat. I study the Iyengar method with Mary Reilly, a Senior Iyengar Yoga Instructor in Petoskey, MI.
Yoga has been a part of my life on and off since I was 16. Originally prescribed to me at 16 for depression. I honestly did not enjoy it, but I was also 16. Yoga has helped me through a lot (including but not limited to) Anxiety, Bipolar Depression, Pregnancies, and just day to day life. I decided to pursue my 200 hr Yoga teachers training in 2019 and January of 2020 I attended Blooming Lotus Teacher Training, instructed by Stephanie Lynn. I am happy to say as of May 2021, I have my 200hr YTT Certificate. I have learned so much about yoga and truly believe there is a Yoga Practice for everyone. I hope to bring more knowledge to our community as I grow as a teacher. I just love being able to share this with everyone!!!
Yoga has been a part of my life off and on since the early 1990’s. Yoga became more vital in my life in the early 2000’s to manage stress and the symptoms of the Scleroderma. To further my spiritual practice, I took my first 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2015. I was first introduced to Kundalini at Yoga Fest and had a love-hate relationship with the practice. In 2021 I discovered a trauma informed approach to Kundalini Yoga and fell deeply in love with the practice. I obtained my 200-hour Kundalini Yoga certificate and am currently working toward my 500-hour certification in Kundalini Yoga. My yoga practice keeps me grounded, balanced, flexible and the breath practices help control asthma symptoms. As a lifetime learner I have a Sound Healing diploma, Yoga Nidra and Kundalini Rebirthing training and I am a Usui and Lightarian Reiki Master. I enjoy being out in nature much as possible.
"Yoga has been a part of my life for many years. I went to my first class 45 years ago. I felt I was home, where I belonged, when practicing yoga.
I’ve been living in Arizona and working as a Massage Therapist for the last 20 years. While in Arizona, I took advantage of classes offered at an accredited school (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts) in Tempe, AZ. I’ve studied Yoga Therapy, Chakra Balancing, Energy Work, Reiki, Reflexology, many styles of Yoga, and Meditation. This study inspired me to complete Yoga Teacher Training.
My Yoga Teacher Training afforded me the opportunity to study Yoga under excellent staff members, teachers, and Yogis from all over the world. Having studied multiple styles of yoga, Yin is the one that truly speaks to my heart. Yin is holding a pose (“Asana”) for a little longer. Asanas are an important piece of yoga—the piece that teaches us how to go within, listen to the body, and get to know ourselves.
What I’ve learned in all this study:
-Yoga is a practice intended to make someone wiser.
-Yoga is for everyone.
-Breath is healing.
-Energy is in us, around us, and runs through us every moment.
I love to share all I’ve been given by my instructors with anyone that is curious. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share at Yoga-45."
-Sue Heller Martin