YOGI OF THE MONTH
December 2017 - Susan Whitlow
What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?
I went to my first yoga class in the ‘70s when yoga in the US was new and exotic. The class was in the instructor’s home and we used towels, not mats. After a long hiatus for work, marriage, and child-rearing, I began again in 2000 and have practiced more or less consistently since then in studios in Ashland and Richmond, VA, Morehead City, NC, and here.
What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?
My intention is different at each practice, but overall my goal is to work toward balance of body and spirit. I try to be aware of how each of the three parts of the physical practice – strength, balance, and flexibility – aid one another, and to be aware of my breath so that I can be mindful and not be distracted by random thoughts.
What is your favorite pose and why?
I think my favorite is down dog. It remains a go-to pose for both rest and challenge.
What is your favorite class at InsideOut Yoga?
How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?
It has made me more aware of my body, so that I can make adjustments throughout the day. And when stressful moments come up, I can go inward and do some yogic breathing to re-set my attitude.
What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?
It is your practice. Everybody is different and every body is different Even your own body on different days, or on different sides. No judgment.
What is your occupation?
Even though my education was in music (Mary Washington and UVA) and I have taught piano lessons and been a church musician for most of my adult life, I always had a “day job.” I retired in 2011 from a staff position at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond.
What activities do you enjoy?
Playing with our two grandchildren. Three-year-old Grace is in Annandale, VA and two-year-old Ollie is in Brooklyn, NY. (They live with their parents, whom we visit, too!)
What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck or Middle Peninsula?
As a “from here” and a “come back here,” I like connecting with old friends and making new ones.
Is there anything you want to add?
I think the pace or rhythm of a group practice is critical. Susan always keeps the structure of the hour so that we can be mindful of the moment.