Student Spotlight

Susan Conaway
September 2014

  Wow! It is an honor and a privilege to open my heart in a different way to all of you at Inner Fire Yoga. You may not know me, but may have seen me in the yoga studio standing on my ‘sunshine’ mat, wearing my favorite purple top, and, most likely, in a hot spot as I begin my practice of the 26 postures. Depending on the day, I may be serious and quiet, smiley and inviting, high energy and sweating buckets, or simply open hearted and focused on my breath. Most of all, as I begin each class, I am grateful to be present among all of the amazing mentors who have guided and encouraged me to unfold a new path of self-healing and self-awareness: body, mind, and spirit.
  I came to Inner Fire Yoga in May 2009. A friend wanted to celebrate my college graduation and the beginning of a new career with me. She thought we could begin our day with hot yoga, have lunch on Monroe street, and then browse some of the fun shops! That celebration was the beginning of this beautiful journey.
  Inner Fire Yoga was recommended to me in 2007 by my naturopathic doctor (‘Dr. Jill’ in Janesville where I currently live and work). She had written a prescription for yoga to be a part of a suggested course of healing while I was working in a high stress management position, attending school and snacking on diet coke and jelly beans. She said, “Go to Marit’s Inner Fire Yoga studio on University Avenue. It will be your alchemy!”

  Finally, with my friend, I showed up on my yoga mat. The heat was crazy! I looked at my friend and said, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this.” She replied, “Lay down on your mat and just breathe!” Dar was my teacher that day with her lovingly sarcastic welcome and beautiful smile. I had read her bio and was excited because our ages were just a few years apart. She had been instructing and practicing yoga for many years and was one of Bikram’s early students. I had a few concerns with that first yoga practice. I knew I was not ‘bendy,’ but felt comfortable knowing that this was a beginner’s class. It was a challenge to look into the mirrors for 90 minutes, but I knew that this could be a means to practice kindness to myself. Finally, after years of competitive athletics, my knees were in need of healing. This first hot yoga class was the beginning of a beautiful adventure for me.
  After practicing hot yoga for five years at Inner Fire Yoga and traveling to various Bikram studios in my spare time, this journey has continued to unfold. To those that do not practice yoga, I tell them that I have lost body fat, improved how I feed my body, increased strength, increased flexibility, improved balance, decreased negative attitudes, increased kindness, and learned how to live a calm, low stress, and joyful life. To my fellow yogis and amazing instructors, I do not have to explain the benefits of a consistent yoga practice. We show up on our mats, breathe in harmony, and enjoy the playful present moment. YOGI’S JUST KNOW!

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