YOGIS OF THE MONTH
January 2014 - Susan and Bob Wayland
What first brought you to yoga and how long have you been practicing?
Susan: We have been practicing about a year. We started in the summer of 2012, but I was sidelined by a broken toe for 8 weeks (injury not yoga related!) so didn't start in earnest until last fall.
Bob: We got interested when our niece in Birmingham, AL started teaching yoga. We bought lessons with Susan Johnson at an auction to benefit the Northern Neck Family YMCA.
What is/are your intention(s) for your yoga practice?
Bob: To maintain, and hopefully increase, flexibility and balance now that we are well into our 6th decade!
Susan: I agree with Bob – flexibility and balance are my primary objectives. And I really feel the difference!
What is your favorite pose and why?
Bob: I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to maintain tree pose! There are a lot of T-shirts on the market that say “I’m Just Here for the Savasana” but following a class there is a wonderful feeling of peace and satisfaction that I feel while in that pose!
Susan: I'm more of a fan of the “child’s pose.” It feels so good!
Who or what inspires your practice at InsideOut Yoga?
Bob: Susan Johnson’s sessions are always positive and encouraging, and she demonstrates how much more we might be able to achieve as we continue to practice.
Susan: As Bob says, Susan Johnson is a great motivator! Although my body will never approach her skill level, she is terrific at providing encouragement for beginners, and emphasizing that this is not a competition – you do what you can do, and gradually improve over time.
How has the practice of yoga influenced your life?
Susan: I am able to put the principles of yoga to use in my everyday life, especially when I get super busy (and correspondingly stressed!) I sit myself down, put my hands on my knees, close my eyes and concentrate on breathing. Everything is better right away!
Bob: Yoga has brought me an additional measure of tranquility.
What advice would you have for a beginning yoga student?
Susan: The most important thing is to give yourself the time to understand and practice the poses and be patient. It's like learning to do anything new...you start with baby steps and build confidence through practice and regular lessons.
Bob: Have the patience to allow your body to adjust to the poses – don’t expect overnight changes and don’t try to push too hard. With patience you will enjoy your practice and improve as your body allows.
What is your occupation?
Susan: I spent over 30 years in the Federal Government working primarily with the Environmental Protection Agency, dealing in particular with issues of pesticide and chemical safety. After leaving the EPA, I established the DC Office of the College of William and Mary at DuPont Circle. I'm now happily retired on the Northern Neck and loving the beauty, the people and the serenity.
Bob: I retired from Capitol Hill (8 years), the National Transportation Safety Board (2 years) and the EPA (28 years). My last dozen years at the EPA were jobs protecting wetlands, oceans, estuaries, rivers and lakes.
What activities do you enjoy?
Bob: Sailing, volunteering, travel, reading and cooking!
Susan: DITTO!!! No wonder we get along so well!
What is your favorite thing about living in the Northern Neck?
Bob: The relaxed pace of living, the proximity to the water, and the variety of rewarding volunteer opportunities are all terrific!
Susan: It’s hard to pick a favorite thing. Like Bob, I love the water, the wildlife, the great people who also live here, and the peace of this gorgeous place. Yoga is a natural extension of this wonderful environment.
Is there anything you want to add?
Susan: If anyone is considering starting to learn yoga, call Susan Johnson! She is a great teacher, inspiring, and encouraging. She makes everyone feel like a winner (like she is!!!)