Susan M

I moved to Miami from Alabama in 1969 to work for an airline for ten years, and then bounced around the state of Florida, finally landing in Port Charlotte in 1983 in time for my two daughters to start school. My girls now live in Nashville and Jacksonville with their amazingly beautiful families. I have five grandchildren.

I was ordained as a minister by Interfaith Seminary in New York and Unity International Ministries in Lee’s Summit Missouri. It is my joy to serve as minister of Unity Church of Peace in Port Charlotte as I have for 15 years. I am now a newlywed, having married a wonderful man and fellow adventurer on this journey of life this past November.

My introduction to yoga was in the 1970s. Books by Ram Dass, Richard Hittleman, and Jess Stern inspired me to want to know more. My practice was erratic and undisciplined at best until I met a wonderful teacher in Port Charlotte in the 1990s who took me under her wing for a few months. Our paths ultimately took us in different directions, but I admire and love her to this day, as one does tend to love and admire their yoga teachers.

Seven years ago my practice became the more disciplined one that I had always desired. I regularly attended classes at the YMCA where I met a beautiful yogi, Monica, who introduced me to The Yoga Sanctuary where I have been practicing for five years. Now I attended classes four days a week as my schedule permits. I enjoy level one, mixed level, and the sunrise classes.

The greatest benefit of yoga for me is that it serves as one of my most powerful spiritual practices. I look at my yoga practice as an opportunity to align body, mind, and spirit as I bring myself into each moment with the breath and set an intention of centeredness for the rest of my day. Also, I see yoga as a wellness program. My health is good and to keep it that way, my intention is to maintain a program of radical self-care in body, mind, and spirit.

I very much enjoy being challenged by a posture, and it’s interesting to watch ego rise up and try to push me into places where I know I may not, on any particular day, be ready to go. It’s a challenge to be honest with one’s self and to stay on one’s own mat. That’s a part of the practice.

I suppose my favorite yoga poses change from day to day depending on what’s going on within body and mind. Some days I think that the standing poses are my favorite, and then I very much enjoy the days when we start on our back. What keeps me coming back to yoga? It’s my touch stone. It keeps me sane. Yoga is truly a sanctuary for me.

Favorite Quote:

“The day will come when, after harnessing the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love; and on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin