Soul Stories: Tales of Connection & Community
One of our resolutions this year is to celebrate our wonderful MoreYoga community. We know how many incredible stories happen around us, and it’d be selfish not to share them with the world. We’ll be talking to our community about what makes them tick, and what they’ve discovered along the way.
We are passionate about yoga and wellness because we know how much joy and transformation it can bring into people’s lives, that’s why we thought it’d be appropriate to begin this series with stories from our wellness facilitators: our community of teachers.
When you have 34 yoga studios across London and over 300 teachers teaching in them, intimacy and closeness become harder. And if you throw a pandemic in the mix, the disconnection could’ve got even worse. We’ve found that in so many ways it has brought our community together in new ways – and Susana’s story is one of those stories of connection.
But without the effort and dedication of our instructors, this pandemic would’ve been impossible to endure. So we want to put our instructors centre stage so we can all give them a standing ovation.
For our first soul story, we talked to Susana Luz, one of our beloved Pilates instructors.
Susana has been teaching with us since 2018. Her humbleness, honesty and lighthearted energy make her a magnet to people. Lockdown changed her lifestyle dramatically. Used to running around London and a crazy hectic schedule, Susana was forced to stop and stay at home.
With her unmistakable brutal honesty, she told us how lockdown really took a toll on her mental health. Even though she had her dog Gwyn’s support, she didn’t want to exercise and didn’t know how to take care of herself. And, like in all hero movies, everything gets worse before it gets better. Susana went through a transformation that, in her opinion, made her a better teacher.
Speaking the same language
Because she became more sedentary she was able to understand where students were feeling, after all, she was now too staying long hours sitting and moving much less. She noticed that she was struggling with the same things her students struggled with. Understanding how the students felt, she was able to speak the ‘same language’. She noticed that her cues changed, she was clearer and more even more approachable. And students really appreciated feeling that they were all on the same page!
Filling your own cup first
Being an instructor in London is a really stressful lifestyle. Even though she lived for that energy exchange, holding space for so many students means you neglect yourself. Susana struggled with her mental health. However, when she was forced to slow down, she then understood she hadn’t been taking care of herself. She took the time to relearn how to make herself a priority and nourish her soul and put her wellbeing at the top of the list. When she started teaching on zoom, she realised her teaching came from a more compassionate place. She was even more approachable and was able to make her students feel supported during these difficult times.
Honesty & Collaboration
Part of what makes Susana so refreshing is her honesty. Because classes are now held online, and people feel a bit more confident behind the screen, she’s got really helpful feedback from her students. From postural corrections to killer core routine, she’s been able to use feedback to tailor her classes to fit students better. She really appreciates getting honest reviews because serving her community is a privilege and she really wants to nail it!
We love Susana’s story because it shows a huge transformation and learning from our experiences from the past year. Her dedication to teaching is commendable and her energy, contagious.
We’re forever grateful to you, Susana for sharing your story so openly. Thank you for being part of our team.
About Anna De Sousa