My name is Susan Davis. If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say I am a perfectionist! My vision for my yoga classes is for every student to feel safe, to be challenged (sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, or both), and to enjoy the act of physical movement. I prefer a vinyasa flow class, and I’m terrified of inversions! I do like to sweat, but I prefer to work up body heat by using breathing techniques and vinyasa. Because I was a professional educator for 31 years, people are often surprised to learn that I am EXTREMELY shy. I still get nervous before every single yoga class (I just hope it doesn’t always show)! I am sometimes embarrassed about being one of the oldest (if not the oldest) yoga teacher at the YSOCC, and worry that students won’t want to attend the class taught by an old lady. I seriously strive to make yogis in my classes feel that they got a good work out, released some tension, and enjoyed the physical movement. I’m not big on lots of physical adjustments, but give extremely specific verbal cues as well as doing the asanas with my students, and will definitely make adjustments if I see a student doing something that could cause an injury. While I wish I had free-flowing cash at hand at all times, I do not, and therefore, I am not the teacher with the most trainings or certifications under my belt! However, I am empathetic, perfectionistic, enthusiastic, and concerned about my students, and I feel responsible for every one of them having a good experience in my classes.
I have been teaching yoga since completing my 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification in 2011. I took my first yoga class at the Yoga Studio of Corpus Christi in 2006 and only dabbled with a practice for awhile until I fell in love with the Ashtanga class and began attending several classes a week at the studio. While taking teacher training, literally one day I just felt like God was telling me to take a leap of faith, and I decided to retire from being a classroom educator! Believe me, that was not a typical move for this Type A personality, for sure! I was scared to death about the change because I had one child graduating, one still in college, and a house that wasn’t paid off yet! Other educators thought I was crazy, but I just had that feeling that everything would be alright, and Michelle offered me a class to teach even before the training was finished. I felt that if Michelle trusted me enough to do it, I wanted to honor her trust by teaching at her studio. I’ve been doing it ever since then, and have always felt extremely blessed to have come into this profession this way. I know from my own experience that we can’t always control what’s best for us. Being a typical Type A, that’s what I always try to do, but when I followed my heart, a perfect place was provided for me, and I’m very blessed by that.
Of course, I have always been inspired by Michelle, whose confidence in her students and willingness to help us grow as yogis always warms my heart. I learned more than I can even say from Christina Sell and refer to my notes from her on at least a weekly basis. I remember Christina asking me during the training what one personal trait which was considered a negative in my other job would I find beneficial as a yoga teacher, and I knew immediately that was my attention to details. I had a principal once tell me that I needed to only look at the “big picture” when to me, details are what make things perfect! Turns out that those details are often extremely important in a yoga practice, as they keep people safe, comfortable, and happy in their practices. I’m glad that this strength of mine can benefit students in my classes! Another huge inspiration in my life is Renee Jasso. Her classes were always one of my standard go-to’s, and she continues to be a trusted, grounded, and generous guru. The joy that Armando Ramirez and Lindy Burns shared with me in their yoga classes back in my early days has always provided inspiration and motivation to me.
My suggestions for yogis who would be most comfortable in my classes would be people who are fit but not necessarily experienced in yoga. However, being fit is not a necessity, as long as you are willing to modify to suit your own level of fitness until you gain strength and confidence. The class I teach at YSOCC is fairly physically demanding: Power Flow. If you just want to stretch and chill, this is not the class for you! I also teach some classes in Portland – Monday nights at Anytime Fitness, Tuesday and Thursday mornings at CrossFitXLR8 at 6:15, and Tuesday morning at bFIT Studio at 9:30am. Anybody can attend classes at those gyms; membership is not required. I encourage ALL people to try yoga. You do not have to be thin or limber to come to a yoga class. Not being limber is a reason you should definitely try it! If you like to sweat, laugh at corny jokes, laugh at me and/or yourself, please try one of my classes. I would love to see you there!