Meet the Teachers

Sue Hodgkinson: Yoga teacher at The Life Centre North

Sue has been teaching yoga full time since 2011, teaching hot yoga, vinyasa flow, yin and more. Sue is a 500 hr teacher with over a 1000hr teaching experience, qualified hypnotherapist, qualified in Thai yoga massage, diploma in yoga theory, studied at Salford University doing a H.N.D in media performance and a BA hons in performing arts. Other training includes; Claire Missingham adjustments Vinyasa TT immersion, workshop with David Sye, Ray Long anatomy, Roger Cole anatomy, Jiva Mukti with Durga Devi, freestyle yoga and immersion with Dharma Mittra soon to be doing 5oohr TT in New York with Dharma Mittra. In an interview with Sue she talks about what inspired her to take up yoga and how her journey is unfolding so far……

When did you realise you first wanted to teach yoga?
I was a dancer for 17 years, later in my dance career I started to get injuries, aches and pains more often. I went to a yoga class at Bykram and felt the physical benefits straight away I became quite obsessed with my physical practice. When the time was right I started to explore other types of yoga staying with Ashtanga for a couple of years. I began to realise there was so much more to yoga. I had come from quite a crazy hectic lifestyle I hadn’t noticed this constant feeling of anxiety I think I had grown used to it until I went on to do my hypnotherapy training, through a process of working with each other I began to get rashes my emotions were literally bubbling to the surface I was feeling very lost looking for direction. Under hypnosis my higher consciousness was asked what do I need to release the emotions that are causing theses rashes….I replied I need a new job, when asked what this should be my reply was a yoga teacher. Not long after I retired from dance and trained in Morocco to teach yoga, it wasn’t until a few years later I bumped into a friend I had trained with in hypnotherapy and he asked about my rashes that I realised they had gone as soon as I decided to teach yoga. I found an inner peace and spirituality I had been missing the best thing I ever did.

What do you think makes a good teacher?
Caring, I find my classes don’t end at Namaste I have tried to guide and support my students through the many ups and downs of their lives. Having empathy, non-judgement and a sense of humour has been my gift as a teacher. Also knowing that I am not for everyone I think there is a teacher and a style of yoga for everyone. In asana practice I try to be supportive by never underestimating my students I gently encourage them to be fearless but safe of course and that’s at any level. On my part I have a constant self-practice I like to know how what I’m teaching feels for my student.

What is your favourite style of yoga and why?
My favourite style is vinyasa flow now as this is very similar to dance. I love that anything goes, I get to be creative in my sequencing and moving with the breath gives it that fluidity I really enjoy. I am also partial to the odd arm balance and inversion.

What is your favourite asana?
I have to say ardho mukha vrksasana I love being upside down it brings out the inner child In me. In that moment of being upside down you cannot think about anything else you are truly in the moment this is yogash chitta vritti nirodhah the removal of the fluctuations of the mind.

Where might we find you on your days off?
Probably doing yoga haha! I do enjoy what I teach. Or on my bike or running my meditation is in the form of running sometimes.

Where has yoga taken you and what is still to come?
Yoga has taken me to many places around the world, I trained in Morrocco, I got to spend a month in India training in vinyasa style yoga. That was an experience! We practiced in an ashram on the top of a hill 139 steps away, we took these steps 6 times a day practicing and learning theory from 6.30am until 8.30pm with only one day off for study. An intense and pleasurable experience. It was lovely to train in the home of yoga and learn from local teachers as well as teachers from around the world. The cows were a surprising sight too, they are everywhere, often on the beach, I had a cow walk up to me and lean in for a stroke haha! The cows are sacred animals there and treated very well. Being in India helped me to develop my spiritual practice as I had focused on the Asana much more before.

Next I will be assisting Andrea Everingham on her teacher training in Fueta Ventura. In September I take part in another 500hr TT in New York with Dharma Mittra who made a big impression on me when I did his immersion in London. I’m excited about my first part of the training I have booked into a hostel that gives all proceeds to the homeless and I will be helping to give out food to the homeless on my last day before I leave really looking forward to helping.

For now though I am healing after being hit by a bus on my bike, I broke my collarbone getting off quite lightly, I feel lucky and blessed to have walked away and have been using this time to meditate and study. I cannot wait to get back on my mat and see my lovely students again, who have been so supportive sending me beautiful messages, cards and gifts.

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