Teacher Feature - Susan Kain

When asked to look back on the journey that brought me to this point, I see I've always been a teacher in one form or another.

In the 1980s, I was teaching health-related classes during the day, and going to fitness classes at night. When I "retired" from full-time employment following the birth of my children, I was asked to substitute and then teach those same exercise classes. Little did I know I had been practicing variations of yoga poses all those years!

I went on to become a personal trainer and weight management consultant, opening a fitness center in 1997. Still, something seemed to be missing. What was all of this talk in the industry about yoga and Pilates? Not thinking I'd necessarily benefit, but more how could these "New-Age" modalities benefit my clientele, I began teacher training for both.

Joseph Pilates said, "In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 you'll see the difference, and in 30 you'll have a whole new body." He was correct in that regard.

Pilates did know how to reshape a body by engaging the mind through awareness, but he had drawn so many of his exercises from yoga, a discipline developed thousands of years earlier.

Initially, my yoga practice led me to study Ashtanga or Power Yoga. At the time, that style was a good fit having come from the fitness industry. Later, I studied Iyengar yoga, with its props and modifications, thinking it the best style for teaching newcomers. With thanks and gratitude to David Swenson, Bob Glickstein, the Yogaville ashram and so many other gifted instructors, I've been on this journey for almost 15 years.

So what have I discovered? Yoga is so much more than physical poses. It's an opportunity to deepen our connection to ourselves, each other and our planet. It's a reminder to slow down, experience more and allow our practice to unfold enjoying each precious moment.

I'm honored to teach Crawlers, Toddlers, Preschoolers, Children, Teens, Yogalates, Pilates with Props and Beginner Mini-sessions through the Yoga Center of Columbia.