Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soupHello, yoga friends!

It’s cold outside and the perfect time to nourish your body and soothe your soul with my butternut squash soup. Like most of my recipes, this soup can be done three ways:

  • vegan
  • vegetarian
  • friendly animal elements

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • plus 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee (optional)
  • 1/2 onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 5 cups butternut squash, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped – Granny Smith Apple is best
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4-5 cups of vegetable broth (or water) (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp. of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of good quality maple syrup
  • Goat cheese, optional

Heal oil and butter in large soup pot. Add onion & carrot and cook on medium for 5 minutes until they soften. Season with salt & pepper Add butternut squash and apple. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add broth and thyme. Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add maple syrup, starting with 1/8 cup – taste. Add more if needed.

Vegan:

Omit butter. Use vegetable broth or water for base.

Vegetarian:

Use vegetable broth or water for base.

Omnivore:

Use a good quality, organic chicken broth.

Creamier:

Serve with goat cheese as a topping or stir in 1/2 cup of goat cheese at the end for a super tasty, creamy soup!

 

Namaste,

Suzanne

 

 

 

Today I Start My 500 Hour Masters Ayurvedic Nutrition & Digestion Program

suzanne at grand canyonI’m going back to school! Super yay! I’m so excited to start the journey into this 500-hour Masters Ayurvedic Nutrition & Digestive Program. By adding this intense 40 week program into my current yoga and Ayurvedic training, I will be able to run a clinic that specializes in digestive issues, nutrition and weight-loss. I can’t wait to share more of my love of healthy eating, yoga and holistic healing with all of you! I’m just bursting at the seams with love and gratitude and pinch myself everyday saying “Wow, I really get to do this for a living!”.

Thanks for all your love and support.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Yoga in Paradise – Come Join Me In Late April, Early May for a Fabulous Yoga Retreat

from the Petite Suite

from the Petite Suite

Today, I’m announcing a return to our fabulous yoga retreat in Mexico. In March 2014, fifteen participants enjoyed 8 days and 7 nights of wonder. I received rave reviews for the event and hope you’ll join us April 25-May 2, 2015.

Our 2015 retreat will have special training for yoga teachers, so if you are a yoga teacher or a teacher-in-training, you’ll love what I have in store. I’ll teach you how to create your personal brand as a teacher and how to create class plans on the fly. You’ll learn how to make your “weaknesses” your strengths and how to teach with authenticity.

All yogis are welcome though. If you are new to yoga or a casual practitioner, you’ll get support and help no matter what your level.

If you are interested in attending, be sure to secure your spot with a deposit of $400. You’ll find details at the links below:

The details

FAQ

Pics of the fabulous resort

Namaste,

Suzanne

Yoga for Your Dog Workshop – Join Me Saturday September 27 & Sign up Early!

peanut dog and peanut manHi, yoga friends!

I will hold my super-fun, educational Yoga for Your Dog Workshop on September 27, 11 am at Potomac Overlook Park. Olivia, the wonder Whippet will be co-teaching with me.olivia head shotWhat is Yoga for Your Dog, you ask? Well it’s not about shaping your dog into crazy yoga poses. Yoga for Your Dog combines the therapeutic and energetic benefits of yoga with dog psychology and dog behavior. I teach ways to connect with your fur-child/best friend while taming your energy and learning to read your dog’s body language. Details below, but here are a few quick notes:

If you are interested in attending with your dog, PLEASE sign up early. I can accommodate up to 15 dogs (and yes, there can be more than one person per dog, so bring your significant other, child, friend, etc.). I charge $30 per DOG (I don’t count people) for the early-bird registration by September 19th. Registration increases to $35 after Sept. 19 – but do know that this event will sell out early. I only do this event a few times a year.

You can pay here via PayPal.
Please be advised that I cannot offer refunds due to the nature of this event. However, if it rains, our rain date will be Saturday, October 4 at 11 am.

Date: Saturday, September 27 – 11 am – noonish

Where: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road Arlington, VA 22207 (park near the pavilion/paved parking area. Walk thru the metal gate and down the paved path. The event will be on the right in a grassy hollow with a small wooden bandstand.)

Cost: $30 for early-registration until September 19, $35 after

Please register early!

About Yoga for Your Dog Workshops

Bring your favorite four-legged friend to this fun workshop designed to help you build a better connection with your dog. Yoga for Your Dog is a heart-centered practice that focuses on the energetic connection between you and your dog. You’ll learn how your own energy greatly affects your dog’s behavior and how to adjust it. You’ll learn how to soothe your dog and how to be more playful together. You’ll learn yoga techniques such as pranayama (breathing exercises), a few asanas (poses), meditation and lecture that will help you build a stronger relationship with your animal companion.

This workshop is perfect for dogs who:

  • are anxious
  • are too rambunctious and full of energy
  • are shy and afraid
  • bark too much

This workshop is also perfect if your dog is happy, well balanced and well behaved. You’ll learn ways to connect and bond even more with your fabulous fur-child.

No prior experience with yoga necessary.

Unfortunately, due to the limited space, if your dog doesn’t get along with other dogs, you may attend but we ask that you leave your dog at home.

Bring a blanket to sit on. Bring poop bags to scoop poop.

Questions? Email me at suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com

Namaste,

Suzanne

Learning New Things: I’m going backpacking to learn herbology!

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Woo-hoo! I’m headed out early tomorrow morning for a promising long weekend get-away. I’m going backpacking on the Appalachian Trail near Asheville, North Carolina to learn herbology from Ayurvedic expert John Immel of the renowned Joyful Belly. Cool, right?

I’m a nature buff, but I’ve never been backpacking. Car camping yes, but backpacking no. I hike often, but it’s a thrill to learn a lot of new things. I hope to learn skills that allow me to go backpacking with my dog, Olivia. I will be learning how to find and identify common herbs and learn their healing benefits. (I hope to share those healing benefits with my yoga students.) I’ll learn how to  prepare wildfood and I will be doing a weekend detox with twelve strangers.

I’ve bought a super cool tent, a small shovel for proper pooping in the woods and a water filter. My borrowed large backpack is packed and ready to go!

After the weekend on the Trail, I’ll be staying in Asheville which is said to have lots of wonderful vegetarian restaurants and yoga studios.

Wish me luck! I’ll report back at the end of the trip.

Namaste,

Suzanne

get your yoga for free

meditatingToday, one of my yoga students asked me for a receipt for recent classes because her workplace will reimburse her for yoga and other health-boosting investments. Great right? Check with your place of work to see if they offer the same. I am happy to give you a receipt to help you with your self-care. If you have a HSA account, you may be eligible for tax savings. Also, you may be eligible to write off (all or part) specific training such as my upcoming Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive program (starts August 22) on your taxes. Note: Your accountant can advise you regarding this. I am not an accountant, so I can’t advise you specifically. Check it out folks! Namaste, Suzanne

how to make homemade dog food

ipad 3 12 2014 381If you know me, it’s likely you also know my gentle, sweet Whippet Olivia. She’s my best friend, constant companion and fur-child rolled all into one. As such, I want to give her the best in life, including the best food. She was on a great quality raw food diet, but the food was really expensive, so I decided to cook my own. I find great JOY in cooking for Olivia and I save a lot of money too.

olivia head shotHere’s how:

I start with a proprietary blend of vitamins and minerals from JustFoodForDogs.com. Just Food For Dogs has do-it-yourself recipes that I tested and then modified according to Ms. O’s preferences. (No, blueberries and cranberries don’t work. A big YES to liver, but not so much for pasta or rice. She picks out carrots and drops them on the floor, but she loves sweet potatoes.)

I start with the veggies and cook in olive oil until soft. I add the liver and meat and cook until pink. Once the mixture has cooled, I add the vitamin mix, stir and then scoop a day’s worth (2 cups for a dog Olivia’s size) each into containers. If I’m making a big batch – more than 4 days worth, I freeze some of the food and then thaw when I need it.

The recipe below provides about 10 day’s worth of food.

Homemade Dog Food

  • 1 head of broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 large zucchini, , finely chopped
  • 1 apple, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cups of green beans, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of calf liver, chopped
  • 2 pounds of sustainably raised ground meat (turkey, chicken, lamb and/or beef)

Oh, and let’s not leave cats out (pun intended). If you are looking for homemade cat food, see my friend Anne J’s website, www.catnutrition.org. She has done an amazing job of creating DIY recipes for cats.

Be well, my yoga friends!

Namaste,

Suzanne

NEW! Suzanne’s Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

curried chicken salad wrapsYoga friends: I’ve been working on this recipe for a few weeks and just got it right. Try this for lunch. You’re going to love it!

Namaste,

Suzanne

Suzanne’s Curried Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • ¼ cup diced sweet onion (Vidalia, Wala Wala, etc.) or shallots
  • ½ cup of roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup of grapes, sliced in half
  • ½ tsp – 1 tsp of curry powder (or more if you love curry)
  • 2 T of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of coconut milk or mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Kale leaves, butter lettuce or other broad lettuce leaves

Directions:

Simply mix together. Serve on lettuce leaves for a nice, healthy treat. Or go decadent by serving on a butter croissant. A side of grapes is nice.

Yoga Awakenings: the yoga training that will change your life

butterfly turquoiseFor a 24 page PDF that details my Yoga Awakenings 200-hour Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive click on the butterfly.

 

 

The way I feel about yoga could be summed up by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous line in Sonnet 43 “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Yoga has literally changed my life. From my twenties to early thirties I had constant, nagging low-grade pain from scoliosis. Yoga healed the pain and I wanted to give that gift to others. Becoming a yoga teacher has been the gift that keeps giving. What I got back will sound like a promotional ad for yoga:

My concentration improved greatly allowing me to focus fully on my work and my life.

I became a much nicer person. I wasn’t a bad or unkind person before. But I certainly spend less time thinking about myself than I used to. I become softer, more authentic, courageous and powerful each year by practicing and teaching. The more I allow me to be me, the more I allow you to be you.

I have become more vulnerable, hence my relationships have deepened and expanded.

I can’t even describe the changes in how I manage stress. I’m free from that constant tension in the eyes and the belly. And the constant worry.

My faith is richer, my friends closer, my relationships steady.

I feel good in my body.

And that’s just a few ways in which I’ve benefited.

If you’ve experienced one or more benefits of yoga and would like to enrich your life or the lives of others, come and join my 200-hour Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive. It starts August 22. I am accepting applications now. Join me on the beautiful path.

Namaste,

Suzanne

Meditations On Life: A truckload of dung

wheelbarrowI read the following story, A Truckload of Dung, in my yoga class this week. I just love it.   It’s from Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung by Ajahn Brahm.

Namaste,

Suzanne

UNPLEASANT THINGS, like becoming last in our class, happen in life. They happen to everyone. The only difference between a happy person and one who gets depressed is how they respond to disasters.

Imagine you have just had a wonderful afternoon at the beach with a friend. When you return home, you find a huge truckload of dung has been dumped right in front of your door. There are three things to know about this truckload of dung:

1. You did not order it. It’s not your fault.
2. You’re stuck with it. No one saw who dumped it, so you cannot call anyone to take it away.
3. It is filthy and offensive, and its stench fills your whole house. It is almost impossible to endure.

In this metaphor, the truckload of dung in front of the house stands for the traumatic experiences that are dumped on us in life. As with the truckload of dung, there are three things to know about tragedy in our life:
1. We did not order it. We say ‘Why me?’
2. We’re stuck with it. No one, not even the ones who love us most dearly can take it away (though they may try).
3. It is so awful, such a destroyer of our happiness, and its pain fills our whole life. It is almost impossible to endure.

There are two ways of responding to being stuck with a truckload of dung. The first way is to carry the dung around with us. We put some in our pockets, some in our bags, and some up our shirts. We even put some down our pants. We find when we carry dung around, we lose a lot of friends! Even best friends don’t seem to be around so often.

“Carrying around the dung” is a metaphor for sinking into depression, negativity, or anger. It is a natural and understandable response to adversity. But we lose a lot of friends, because it is also natural and understandable that our friends don’t like being around us when we’re so depressed. Moreover, the pile of dung gets no less, but the smell gets worse as it ripens.

Fortunately, there’s a second way. When a truckload of dung is dumped in front of our house, we heave a sigh and then get down to work. Out come the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade. We fork the dung into the barrow, wheel it around the back of the house, and dig it into the garden. This is tiring and difficult work, but we know there’s no other useful option.

Sometimes, all we can manage is half a barrow a day. But even so, we’re doing something about the problem, rather than complaining our way into depression. Day after day we dig in the dung. Day after day, the pile gets smaller. Sometimes it takes several years, but the morning does come when we see that the dung in front of our house is all gone. Furthermore, a miracle has happened in another part of our house. The flowers in our garden are bursting out in a richness of color all over the place. Their fragrance wafts down the street so that the neighbors, and even passers-by, smile in delight. Then the fruit tree in the corner is nearly falling over, it’s so heavy with fruit. And the fruit is so sweet; you can’t buy anything like it. There’s so much of it that we are able to share it with our neighbors. Even passers-by get a delicious taste of the miracle fruit.

“Digging in the dung” is a metaphor for welcoming the tragedies as fertilizer for life. It is work that we have to do alone: no one can help us here. But by digging it into the garden of our heart, day by day, the pile of pain gets less.

It may take us several years, but the morning does come when we see no more pain in our life and, in our heart, a miracle has happened. Flowers of kindness are bursting out all over the place, and the fragrance of love wafts way down our street, to our neighbors, to our relations, and even to passers-by. Then our wisdom tree in the corner is bending down to us, loaded with sweet insights into the nature of life. We share those delicious fruits freely, even with the passers-by, without ever planning to.

When we have known tragic pain, learned its lesson, and grown our garden, then we can put our arms around another in deep tragedy and say, softly, ‘I know.’ They realize we do understand. Compassion begins. We show them the wheelbarrow, the fork, and the spade, and boundless encouragement. If we haven’t grown our own garden yet, this can’t be done.

I have known many monks who are skilled in meditation, who are peaceful, composed and serene in adversity. But only a few have become great teachers. I often wondered why.

It seems to me now that those monks who had a relatively easy time of it, who had little dung to dig in, were the ones who didn’t become teachers. It was the monks who had the enormous difficulties, dug them in quietly, and came through with a rich garden that became great teachers.

They all had wisdom, serenity and compassion; but those with more dung had more to share with the world. My teacher, Ajahn Chah, who for me was the pinnacle of all teachers, must have had a whole trucking company line up with their dung at his door, in his early life.

Perhaps the moral of this story is that if you want to be of service to the world, if you wish to follow the path of compassion, then the next time a tragedy occurs in your life, you may say, “Whoopee! More fertilizer for my garden!”

Help Me Celebrate! My Yoga Awakenings 200-Hour Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive Sails Through Yoga Alliance’s Rigorous Standards

 

S01-YA-SCHOOL-RYS-200

Hi, my yoga friends!

I am so thrilled and honored that my upcoming Teacher Training & Yoga Intensive sailed through Yoga Alliance’s standards. I now have a Registered Yoga School (RYS) that meets and exceeds the rigorous standards set by yoga’s leading association and registry, Yoga Alliance. Help me celebrate by doing one or more of the following:

  • Get crazy – do a headstand, handstand or your favorite yoga pose!
  • Reflect on how yoga has changed your life.
  • Share the love. Know anyone who would like to deepen their knowledge and practice of yoga. Send them to the Yoga Awakenings Program Overview and Detailed Course Descriptions. Our program starts August 22, 2014.

And a huge heart-felt THANK YOU to my students, yoga friends and followers. You inspire me!

Big love + Namaste,

Suzanne

 

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training and Yoga Intensive is a 200-hr Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. At completion of the program, graduates are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Yoga Awakenings Teacher Training Program and Yoga Intensive will help you more deeply connect with your body, tame your mind and let your spirit soar. This program offers practical solutions both for those seeking to teach yoga and for others who simply want to deepen their yoga practice. Learn tangible therapeutic, energetic, yoga skills to help yourself or others who suffer from illness and pain, stress or a mind that won’t seem to quiet.

This 200 hour program is firmly grounded in yoga philosophy. It offers very practical applications for how to teach yoga and therapeutics for healing the body. It will help you build confidence that you can apply to all areas of your life. Living and teaching from a place of authenticity and love is the heart of this program. It’s a passionate playground where awareness, inspired action and wellness skip hand-in-hand. Come and join me on the playground. You’ll laugh – I promise.

Overall Learning Objectives

At completion of this program, you will (1) have practical knowledge to enable you to start teaching beginner and all-level yoga; (2) have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of yoga therapy; (3) have learned the history and basic philosophy of yoga. You’ll learn how to begin to teach these fundamental principles in a yoga class and/or how to apply it to your life; (4) learn specific skills on how to become an effective and ethical yoga teacher; (5) become a more adept yoga practitioner having learned different tools, styles and energetic practices to open the body and calm the mind.

If you have benefited from yoga and would like to share the gift, consider joining me on this spectacular journey. I welcome all inquiries and will not discriminate based on your age, weight or current profession.

This is a foundational course that is meant to help you deepen your own practice so that you can share the love (in a classroom of your own someday or in the supermarket) with others. If you are interested, please sign up today! Program starts August 22, 2014.

Suzanne Morgan

703-626-8349

suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com

“Yoga Awakenings” 200 Hour Teacher Training & Mentoring Program Starts in August – Sign up NOW!

butterfly

“Yoga believes in transforming the individual before transforming the world. Whatever change we want to happen outside should happen within. If you walk in peace and express that peace in your very life, others will see you and learn something.” – Sri Swami Satchidananda

 

“We can only give to others what we already have. Give yourself the gift of love, equanimity and balance. Come; join me on the yogic path.” – Suzanne Morgan

Hello, my yoga friends!

I hope this note finds you happy, healthy and inspired. Speaking of inspired, today I’m launching a life changing program, my Yoga Awakenings 200 Hour Teacher Training & Mentoring Program. If you have benefited from yoga and would like to share the gift, consider joining me on this spectacular journey. I welcome all inquiries and will not discriminate based on your age, weight or current profession. This is a foundational course that is meant to help you deepen your own practice so that you can share the love (in a classroom of your own someday or in the supermarket) with others. If you are interested, please sign up today!

Namaste,

Suzanne

About Yoga Awakenings 200 Hour Teacher Training & Mentoring Program:

  • There is a strong therapeutic focus in my teacher training program. The educational content focuses on practical solutions on how participants can live a healthy, balanced life and how to offer yoga solutions to others.
  • This is a loved infused program. If the word “love” seems super icky to you, you may want to pass on this program. If love (and in particular, self-love) seems a little scary, but you are ready to gently open your heart, mind and body to yoga then you are in the right place. If your heart is already wide-open and you can’t wait to share the benefits with others, then sign up right away!
  • This program is a wonderful foundation to help you teach yoga at a paid or service level. However, many if not most who seek certification do not intend to teach yoga. This course is perfect for those who simply want to deeply enrich their own practice and live a yogic life.

What you will receive:

  • An abundance of nurturing, mentoring and support to help you live a happy, healthy life
  • A teacher training program infused with love helping you make your “weaknesses” your strengths and helping you live and/or teach with authenticity
  • 180 hours of contact with me as your advanced yoga teacher/leader which provides consistency and full knowledge of what you can expect
  • Direct one-on-one mentoring
  • Hasta Mudras for Health & Healing, Suzanne Morgan
  • Simple * Healthy * Comfort Food, Suzanne Morgan
  • You will receive an extensive course manual (over 250 pages) that will help you organize and prepare for your training sessions. You will also be given a resource guide on how to extend your training beyond the scope of this program.
  • After completion of the program, you will receive a 200 hour teacher training certification.
  • This program will meet Yoga Alliance’s Standards for a 200 Hour Teacher Training Program. We are currently applying with Yoga Alliance and expect to be accepted as a Registered Yoga School (RYS) by commencement of the program. If we are accepted as a Registered Yoga School, which I fully believe we will, then you can apply as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) once you’ve completed my program. The following is a brief outline of Yoga Alliance’s Standards:

o   Techniques, Training & Practice – 100 hours

o   Teaching Methodology – 25 hours

o   Anatomy & Physiology – 20 hours

o   Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers – 30 hours

o   Practicum – 10 hours

Will you be accepted into the program? Prerequisites:

  • Strong desire for growth and self-love
  • A desire to share the benefits with others and be of service
  • Willingness to create and maintain a personal meditation and asana practice
  • Have practiced yoga for 6 months or more

 Required texts:

  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sri Swami Satchidananda
  • The Key Muscles of Yoga: Scientific Keys, Volume 1, Ray Long
  • Hasta Mudras for Health & Healing, Suzanne Morgan * (do not purchase; this will be given to you)
  • Simple * Healthy * Comfort Food, Suzanne Morgan * (do not purchase; this will be given to you)

Note: For the required texts, I would recommend printed copies of these books, as opposed to the kindle version. You can look for used versions on Amazon to save money. Also, for the required books, you don’t need to purchase these books right away. I will give you advance notice for when we will be using the books in our training.

We will reference many other books in our extensive training. I will provide plenty of additional book recommendations for the specific topics that we cover, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed by all the options. You’ll find that you will be drawn to further exploration of some topics as opposed to others.

Don’t go out and buy a bunch of books (unless you have the strong desire and plenty of money to spend!). I will make personal recommendations to you on other helpful books, videos and resources based on your personal goals and your development in the program. You will be given a resource guide on how to extend your training beyond the scope of this program.

Requirements for participation:

  • At least 6 months of yoga
  • There is a lot of content to cover in nine months, so it is important that you show up on time for all meetings. It’s also important to stay to the end of the meeting as testing will commence at the end of most sessions.
  • Take a minimum of one yoga class with Suzanne Morgan each week (for a total of 30 classes over the period of the training). 30 classes are included with your payment.

Location of Training

Unless otherwise specified, all intensive weekends will be held at my pretty home yoga studio at 2100 N. Potomac Street, Arlington, VA 22205. For your weekly class with me, see my class schedule here.

Cost of the Program

Application fee: There is no application fee.

Program fee: $3,000 – includes class card for 30 classes ($360 value), two books provided ($30 value), 10 hours of personal mentoring ($700 value)

Save 10%. Pay in full by July 15 and the course costs $2,700

Payment plans: $300 initial payment, then $270 each month for 10 months. Payments are due promptly on the first of each month starting in August.

Purchase of required books: approximately $35 (or save money by sharing books with your fellow teacher trainers)

Make checks payable to: Suzanne Morgan Yoga and mail to 2100 N. Potomac Street, Arlington, VA 22205

Payments can be made via PayPal, but you will be responsible for the processing fee for credit card payments.

Unfortunately, once the program starts no refunds can be given. This program depends on group participation. If you need to drop out, or go on sabbatical, you will be issued credits based on your attendance at the time.

 

Registration Process:

Schedule & Training dates:

9 monthly intensive weekends (15 hours one weekend a month intensive): = 135 hours

  • Friday 6:30-8:30 pm
  • Saturday 10 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday 11 am – 5 pm

 o   August 22-24, 2014

o   September 12-14, 2014

o   October 17-19, 2014

o   November 7-9, 2014

o   December 5-7, 2014

o   January 9-11, 2015

o   February 6-8, 2015

o   March 6-8, 2015

o   April 17-19, 2015

  •  Plus 3 hours per month on meet-ups with other program participants to practice teaching, discussion of materials. Each meet-up will be led by Suzanne Morgan. The monthly meet ups will be scheduled with input from the group. = 27 hours
  • 2 to 3 hours of personal mentoring each month –These mentoring sessions will be tailored to you meet your personal goals. Some of the things you might like to work on might include: alignment in your poses, setting up your yoga business, or a personal therapeutic issue such as addiction recovery, physical ailment, etc. = 25 hours
  • 15 hours over the course of the program (approximately 2.5 hours per month) for electives, assistance teaching, workshops from other approved teachers, or reading/studying on your own = 15 hours

Topics & What You’ll Learn:

Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle & Ethics for Yoga Teachers

  • History of Yoga & Introduction to Yoga Philosophy
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika
  • Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita
  • Yamas & Niyamas
  • The Eight Limbs of Yoga
  • Lifestyle of a Yogi
  • Nutrition/Ayurveda
  • Ethics for Yoga Teachers
  • Seva – Serving Others
  • Dharma & Samskaras

Anatomy & Physiology

  • Basic Anatomy for Understanding Yoga Poses (A) Muscles
  • Basic Anatomy for Understanding Yoga Poses (B) Bones
  • The Energetic Body – Chakras
  • Subtle Energy – Prana, Nadis, Bandhas, Gunas, Doshas, the Five Sheaths
  • Observing the Difference in Students Bodies
  • Organs of the Body

Teaching Methodology

  • How to Use Touch Appropriately
  • How to Structure a Yoga Class
  • Hands On Adjustments
  • Using Voice & Verbal Cues to Assist Students
  • How to Start Teaching – Business Basics
  • How to Handle Yourself in the Classroom
  • Teaching Beginner Students
  • Teaching Intermediate Students
  • Teaching Advanced Students
  • Keeping Students Safe

Techniques, Training & Practice

  • Styles of Yoga
  • 50 Key Yoga Poses
  • Keys to Proper Alignment of Poses
  • Visualization & Savasana
  • The Use of Props
  • General Categories of Poses
  • Mudras for Health & Healing
  • Vinyasa/Flow Yoga
  • Yin Yoga
  • Pranamaya
  • Meditation Techniques and How to Incorporate Meditation Into Your Life and Your Classes
  • Classroom Etiquette & Creating a Sacred Space
  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Restoratives and Yoga Nidra
  • Therapeutic Focus – Common Injuries/Ailments
  • Therapeutic Focus – Structural Limitations
  • Therapeutic Focus – Depression, Anxiety & Stress
  • Teaching Standing Poses
  • Teaching Core Poses
  • Teaching Backbends Poses
  • Teaching Forward Folds
  • Teaching Hip Openers
  • Teaching Inversions
  • Teaching Savasana
  • Teaching Seated Poses
  • Teaching Twists
  • Practice Teaching with Fellow Teacher Trainers

Practicum

  • Practice teaching as the lead instructor
  • Participants are required to take my yoga class once a week for 30 weeks (included in certification cost)
  • Observing lead teacher
  • Assisting lead teacher

Your Instructor:

Over 95% of the program will be taught by senior teacher, Suzanne Morgan. Suzanne may choose to bring in expert teachers for a few segments of the training, such as pre-natal.

sand snowman

Suzanne Morgan & sand snowman

About Suzanne Morgan

The roar of laughter is often heard inside Suzanne’s yoga classes. Suzanne works with her students on the qualities of joyfulness, peace, self-acceptance and love. Her styles of vinyasa flow and hatha yoga is sometimes challenging, but she doesn’t ask her students to do well, she asks that they be well.

Suzanne teaches full-time throughout the Metro DC area. She has a 700 hr. yoga certification and has been teaching for eleven years. She also has E-YRT-500, the highest teaching designation from Yoga Alliance, demonstrating that she has taught over 2,000 hours as a yoga teacher. She has taught over 3,000 hours of yoga classes and workshops.

She is the author of the yoga book, Hasta Mudras for Health & Healing and the cookbook, Simple * Healthy * Comfort Food. She developed a unique Yoga for Your Dog program that focuses on the energetic connection between a dog and her person.

Suzanne lives in Arlington, VA with her Whippet Olivia and rescue kitty Simone.

 

Evaluating a teacher training program:

  • Make sure that the primary teacher (s) in the program you are considering resonates with you. Do you want something that this teacher has? Do you see the teacher (s) leading you in the direction you’d like to go?
  • Look at all the costs of the program. Compare the costs of required texts and books. You only need to purchase two books for our training program.
  • Compare the costs of ongoing classes or workshops held by outside teachers that are required for certification. Weekly classes and required workshops from outside teachers could add an additional $1,000 or more to the total cost of certification. In my program, you get 30 yoga classes included. There are no additional required costs with one exception. If you miss classes, and it requires my time, an additional $50 an hour will be charged if necessary.
  • Compare the testing and evaluation process. A big stumbling block to getting certified is taking the final test and additional requirements such as a paper or project. When I took my initial teacher training program (then a 300 hour course), the open-book test took me 30 hours to complete. Many, many participants get stumped by the final examinations. I offer testing as you go tailored to simplify, demystify and expedite the training program. At the end of each training session, you will take a mini-test that counts as a segment of the final completion. You will see immediate results. At the end of the training, you will take a practicum with Suzanne Morgan, in a full-supported, helpful environment.
  • Compare the payment plans. I can accommodate a monthly payment plan if you need it.

 

 

 

would you like to become a yoga teacher?

national harbor 018

a yoga class I taught at National Harbor last summer

Hello, my dear Yoga Friends!

Two items are on my mind today. Perhaps you can help?:

I am strongly considering offering a 200-hour teacher training certification. This certification would offer yoga geeks, yoga geeks-to-be and yoga teachers-to-be solid, practical, organized education on how to teach yoga, anatomy/physiology, yoga life-style, teaching methodology, philosophy, etc.

If you have a desire to become a yoga teacher or simply want to expand your knowledge of yoga and are interested in exploring the possibilities, please let me know as soon as possible. I am looking for a minimum of eight participants. The training would start in the Fall. Classes would be held on the weekends.
I am looking for additional space to teach more yoga classes. Do you know of any space? Arlington Community Church has been very good to me and I will continue those classes. I’m looking for a similar type facility that will allow me to use the space for a small fee.

I’m also looking to expand my classes by offering more corporate yoga – going into an organization and teaching yoga to employees. Would your company be interested in paying for something like this?

Email me at suzannemorganyoga@yahoo.com or call me with questions at 703-626-8349.

Namaste + love,

Suzanne

P.S. Be sure to practice yoga and meditation today. You’ll be glad you did!

Announcing 2nd Annual Yoga In Paradise Retreat – Book Now!

 

from the Petite Suite

from the Petite Suite

Today, I’m announcing a return to our fabulous yoga retreat in Mexico. In March 2014, fifteen participants enjoyed 8 days and 7 nights of wonder. I received rave reviews for the event and hope you’ll join us April 25-May 2, 2015.

Our 2015 retreat will have special training for yoga teachers, so if you are a yoga teacher or a teacher-in-training, you’ll love what I have in store. I’ll teach you how to create your personal brand as a teacher and how to create class plans on the fly. You’ll learn how to make your “weaknesses” your strengths and how to teach with authenticity.

All yogis are welcome though. If you are new to yoga or a casual practitioner, you’ll get support and help no matter what your level.

If you are interested in attending, be sure to secure your spot with a deposit of $500. You’ll find details at the links below:

The details

FAQ

Pics of the fabulous resort

Namaste,

Suzanne

do yoga outside – Sunset Yoga starts this Thursday!

tree pose at C&O canal, WV while hiking with my sister Margaret & her husband, Dan

Tree pose at C&O Canal, WV while hiking with my sister Margaret & her husband, Dan on Easter Sunday

Welcome to Day 21 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Today is a recap of our April  Challenge with the suggestion that yoga and meditation are accessible at anytime, anywhere. I always like to put my favorite things together, such as taking an impromptu yoga pose while enjoying Nature. And that’s why I’m so thrilled to announce my new Sunset Yoga class that starts this Thursday, April 24th and goes until the end of October. If you live in the Washington, DC area, come and join me on Thursday nights at 7 pm at Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Get your yoga fix and Nature fix at the same time. Come and meet Olivia the dog on select dates.

Find out more about my classes and details about Sunset Yoga here.

Okay, now for our 21 Day Yoga Challenge recap. How did you do? Did you practice yoga and meditation most days? (Any day?) Don’t worry if you missed some of the challenge. The idea is to simply build healthy habits, one day at a time. If you meditated or practiced yoga one day more than what you normally would do, then you were successful. Let’s keep it going!

Here are the suggestions I offered during this challenge:

  1. Welcome Spring! Welcome New You!
  2. Today’s meditation: connecting with your power animal
  3. Good morning, Sunshine! muffins
  4. Short yoga sequences
  5. Tiny chia seeds pack big health punch
  6. gossip
  7. the go-to yoga pose for tranquility and renewal

  8. Joyous belly “I feel great” salad
  9. Yoga for back pain
  10. labyrinths: forward movement toward self-realization

  11. It’s not about you
  12. yoga posture for the throat: relief for colds, speaking your truth, excessive talking
  13. Yin yoga, part 1
  14. Yin yoga, part 2
  15. Salve for a bad day
  16. Yoga for healthy joints
  17. Soothing chime meditation
  18. Mango salsa, brighten your day
  19. The outside world is a reflection of your inside
  20. eyes open meditation: color
  21. do yoga outside

I wish you light and love!

Suzanne

eyes open meditation: color

 

 

Happy Easter! Welcome to Day 20 of my 21 Day Yoga Challenge.

This past Friday I spent the afternoon plant shopping at nurseries with my sister Anne. This is hands-down one of my favorite things to do – and it is made many times more enjoyable in Anne’s company. She and I share the same of love of plants, organic fruits and vegetables, nature and animals. You should have seen us at the nurseries. For hours, we laughed with utter delight and looked with amazement at the colors and shapes of the plants. We saw stunning parrots, ponds full of fish and row after row of flowers, herbs and shrubs. And the colors! The colors of nature simply fill my heart.

The beginning of Spring is a wonderful time to reflect on the colors in nature. Spend some time today really focusing, really noticing and meditating on various colors in Nature. Ponder the beauty of a flower – not just for a few seconds – but for several minutes. Notice the color of the sky. Meditate on the brilliant design of an animal.

Namaste and love,

Suzanne

the outside world is a reflection of your inside

tulipsWelcome to Day 19 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge.

In your reflection/meditation today, you might consider that everything that you experience in the outside world can be a reflection of what you are experiencing in your inside world – your attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and emotions.

Do you repeatedly see war, violence and anger in others? Then ask yourself, at what times I am at war with myself? How am I self-destructive? How can I release the anger that I’ve turned inward?

Do you find that people always take advantage of you? Have your repetitively been stolen from? Do you abhor people who are greedy? Then you might consider your own greed and whether your own desires lead you to cling. Consider how you can be more generous, perhaps first with yourself. 

See how this works?

This reflection also works to bring awareness to the qualities that serve us well. You may have a day where a certain positive message keeps showing up in your life. Let’s say that today your interactions with family, friends or strangers have been uplifting and loving. You might consider how you have manifested love in your own heart.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It’s a great way to see our own patterns and choices.

I wish you light and love,

Namaste,

Suzanne

 

mango salsa, brighten your day

mango salsaHoly Yummo! You are really going to love my recipe for mango salsa. Bring some love to your mouth and try this with healthy chips, with grilled fish, fish tacos or as a side to your eggs in the morning. It’s Day 18 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Enjoy! – Suzanne

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup of finely diced red onion
  • juice of one juicy lime, or two not so juicy limes
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients together. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes before serving.

soothing chime meditation

meditating

Welcome to Day 17 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge! I hope that you are making time in your schedule for at least 10 minutes of yoga and at least 10 minutes of meditation a day.

Here’s an audio meditation that I created using my chimes. There are no words – just the sound of the chimes. It’s so relaxing. If you enjoy this, please let me know by “liking” this post or sending me a comment.

I wish you peace, light and love.

Namaste,

Suzanne

yoga for healthy joints

skelton joint2Welcome to Day 16 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Today, we’ll consider the benefits of yoga for healthy joints. There are approximately 230 to 360 joints in the human body.

You ask: “Well is it 230 or is it closer to 360?”.

Me: Good question. It depends on how you classify a joint. If you do the research like I did, you’ll find there is no definitive answer. For example, some references include the approximately 86 joints in the skull as part of the classification. Others don’t. And by the way, babies are born with many more joints, some of which eventually fuse together as the baby develops.

You ask: “Start at the beginning, what exactly is a joint?”

Me: A joint is where the bones meet each other, or articulate. Some types of joints include:

  • Ball and Socket Joints (shoulders and hips)
  • Hinge Joints (knees and ulna of the elbows)
  • Condyloid Joints (jaw and fingers)
  • Gliding Joints (spine, wrists and ankles)
  • Pivot Joints (neck and radius of elbows)
  • Saddle Joints (thumbs)

You can think about joints based on the anatomical area of the body:

  • Articulation Joints of the Hands
  • Wrist Joints
  • Elbow Joints
  • Axillary Shoulder Joints (Glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints)
  • Sternoclavicular Joints
  • Vertebral Articulatory Joints
  • Sacroiliac Joint of the pelvis
  • Temporomandibular Joint of the jaw
  • Articulation Joints of the Feet
  • Hip Joints
  • Knee Joints

You: “What does this have to do with yoga and healthy living?”

Me: Thanks for asking! Yoga is a fabulous practice to maintain healthy joints. Yoga can help to reduce joint pain and stiffness. It improves joint flexibility and function. It circulates the synovial fluid inside the joints.

You: “I’ve always heard that joints should not be stressed.”

Me: Well, that’s actually a medical myth. To maintain healthy joints, one needs to provide mindful stress upon the joints. If you never had any stress on the joints, you’d probably be lying flat on your back all the time – and that’s not good!

The key is to have movement in the body that is safe and unforced. This helps the healing process by circulating blood to the surrounding ligaments, tendons and muscles. You create a moderate challenge for the joints, but never, ever cause pain. Most of us think of doing more is well…more. But pain is an important tool to monitor when you need to back off. If you don’t back off, you can cause more inflammation around the joints and potentially create damage to the ligaments, tendons and/or muscles.

Yoga that is practiced mindfully, consciously can lead to healthy joints and a healthy life.

 

Here’s a poem for your reflection/meditation today:

Don’t go outside your house to see the flowers.

My friend, don’t bother with that excursion.

Inside your body there are flowers.

One flower has a thousand petals.

That will do for a place to sit.

Sitting there you will have a glimpse of beauty

inside the body and out of it,

before gardens and after gardens.

Kabir

Namaste,

Suzanne

salve for a bad day

lotus pose

Welcome to Day 15 of my 21 Day Yoga Challenge!

Having a tough day? Are you cranky, irritable or discontent? Here’s a quick way to shift your energy. Take a few moments to write down seven things that made you smile this week. You might consider listing small, anecdotal things as opposed to things that you may always be grateful for (family, friends, pets). That keeps it fresh and helps you look for more small wonders in your life.

Here’s my top 7 list:

  1. Driving in my neighborhood, I drove past a group of young children selling lemonade for 25 cents a glass. As I passed them, a young girl called out to me: “Buy one, get one free!” (priceless)
  2. Watching my magnificent pink Magnolia tree bloom.
  3. Hiking with my dog in the warmest, sweetest Spring weather.
  4. Unpacking all my warm-weather clothes. Storing all my Winter clothes.
  5. Running into my best pal, Karen, while walking on the bike path. Having an impromptu girlfriend get-together.
  6. While teaching a semi-private yoga class, I asked my students if they’d like me to do the “cat-walk-up-the back” massage on them and having them respond with utter glee.
  7. Guilty pleasure: Watching an old ’80s movie that I adore. (Masquerade)

Share one or more of your Top 7 List. I’d love to learn what made you smile.

Namaste,

Suzanne

yin yoga, part 2

Welcome to Day 14 of our 21 Day Yoga Challenge.

Today’s video offers three yin yoga poses. This is part 2. Each pose is meant to be held for several minutes – one to three minutes for newer yogis or five or more minutes for advanced yogis.

Enjoy your life!

Suzanne

yoga posture for the throat: relief for colds, speaking your truth, excessive talking

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This photo is the Shankh Mudra, one of the many hand postures that heal the body.

Meaning/Benefit:

This wonderful hasta (hand) mudra is for chakra five, the area of the throat. This gorgeous mudra takes the shape of a conch shell. It activates and relieves problems connected to the throat area, such as colds and excessive talking. It helps us speak our truth. It also has a calming effect and is used in prayer or meditation to show reverence and connection to the Universe or the Divine.

How to form the mudra:

The center of the right palm encircles the left thumb. The left fingers wrap around the right fist, with the tip of the left index and middle fingers touching the right thumb.

For your meditation today

Use this hasta mudra to reflect on one or more of the following:

  • In what areas of my life am I not communicating how I really feel? With whom?
  • How can I speak my truth freely without harming another?
  • Do I often cut off others in their speech? Am I often excessive in the length of time I talk? Do I use too many words to express myself?
  • How can I balance active listening with sharing my feelings, stories and thoughts?

(This is taken from my book, Hasta Mudras for Health & Healing. To purchase my book or for more information on hasta mudras, go here.)

About Hasta Mudras

A hasta mudra is a gesture or positioning of the hands to channel and direct energy in the body. Mudras come from the over three thousand-year old tradition of yoga originating in India. Hasta means “hand” in Sanskrit and “mudra” comes from the Sanskrit word “mud”, meaning to delight. A mudra is a seal as in sealing your connection with the Divine or sealing energy in the body. There are many forms of mudras, such as with the eyes and the tongue.

Yoga is a spiritual practice and offers practical healing applications that benefit even those who aren’t spiritually oriented. Hasta mudras work in a way that can be compared to acupuncture or reflexology. By activating parts of the hand, a hasta mudra opens up channels of energy and sends messages to the brain.

Try the mudra above today. If you are sensitive energetically, you may receive immediate results. But if the benefit doesn’t come quickly, be patient and consistent in your practice. Keep in mind though that while hasta mudras can offer great healing, no mudra is a substitute for medication or medical attention.

Since hasta mudras work to change the energy in the body and spirit, it’s best if you incorporate conscious breathing with your practice. Breathe full and free on the inhale and exhale the breath out completely. Find a rhythm with the breath. Try to make the inhale and exhale the same length.

It also helps to set a positive intention as you form a hasta mudra and concentrate on this intention during the practice.

it’s not about you

my beloved Magnolia tree

my beloved pink Magnolia tree

Day 12 of 21 Day Yoga Challenge. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and acknowledge that most of our problems are so minor, first-world problems really. For instance, today I put myself in a fool mood because it was my third day of having a cold. I was irritated that I was spending my “day-off” doing all the things that I didn’t get done when I was sick. That, of course, made every task seem much more onerous than it really was. I saw a friend when I was out walking my dog and then I finally got my head back on straight. The act of vocalizing my frustrations and then listening to how minor they are helped me back on the path of gratitude.

Cooking does that for me too. I love to cook. To me, it’s a moving meditation that eases me away from all my “should-dos” and “should-have-dones”. I get to appreciate the abundance of food that I am preparing and enjoy the creative process.

But what happens when someone hurts us? A few days ago I was walking my dog along a busy street, smiling to myself and enjoying the day. As a car passed by, a man I don’t know leaned out the window and yelled at me: “Bitch!”.

It would be easy to take on someone’s fury and ask “why me?”. It’s hard to give it over – to truly allow the stranger to have his own experience without being affected by it. But that is what I did.

In today’s reflection you might consider whether you are more affected when the person is a stranger or someone that you are entangled with? Do you feel a need to understand or intellectualize someone’s strong emotions? Do you often feel responsible for the feelings of others? Do others’ outbursts unsettle you? When? Can you let go of trying to control what others think of you? Can you be dispassionately aware of when someone’s reaction is about you and when it isn’t? (Hint: Most of the time, it’s not about you.)

Enjoy the flowers. Enjoy your life.

Namaste,

Suzanne