This month we chat to Yoga On Tay student Susan Perkinton who regularly attends Julie's Monday evening Level 1/2 class.
Find out how her Monday evening class attendance has become a key part of her weekly routine and how Iyengar Yoga has helped her shoulders and maintain her guitar playing.
Jo: Welcome everyone my name is Jo Mitchell and I am a teacher at Yoga on Tay and today we have Susan Perkinton with us who is a Yoga on Tay student. She is our Yogi of the month for April. So welcome Susan could you just start by telling us a little bit about yourself and the yoga that you do?
Susan: OK I've been going along to a weekly class with Julie since I started yoga in 2015. I had to check up on that one because it seems like a long time ago! I first of all went along to Julie's class at the White Rooms in Dundee which was before she'd progressed on to owning Yoga on Tay.
So it's been quite a number of years I've been doing yoga. I did have about a year away from yoga at one point. I was just really watching the pennies after I'd had a big holiday! I was so glad to get back to it so. It's that's quite a big part of my weekly routine. In the last year I've been going along to the Monday evening class. I say I've been going along to, I've been doing it online. It's been absolutely fantastic just to to be able to keep it up on a weekly basis and part of my weekly routine still.
Jo; One of the benefits I guess of having yoga on zoom hasn't it? It's the fact that it's become so much more convenient a lot of us. I know a lot of students who travel quite far to get to Yoga on Tay. Actually having it on Zoom, it's a bit of a luxury and also I think others like you are finding that their attendance is far more regular.
So what is it then that yoga gives to you or why do you practice yoga?
Susan: So that's a difficult one. It gives me a nice sense of routine, to have it there every week. This seems like a lesser thing to say but I think. My weekend from my music teaching is on a Sunday and a Monday . My yoga class gives me a nice start to the week. It makes me feel quite centered and there's maybe a little bit of a wee bit of inner peace at the start of the week. I think when you're practicing yoga, without it being any sort of meditation but I think that you're drawn in towards yourself and you're really just focused on the moment when you're in the class and you're thinking about the actions that you're doing. Julie said has great guidance within her class as well and it's just she's very trustworthy. Yes she's a safe safe pair of hands. Yeah she certainly is so I really enjoy the class. Also my shoulders I've had shoulder issues over the years. I play guitar and I teach guitar and I'm not saying it's exactly the guitar playing that's caused injuries but just various daft things I've done over the years. I've carried guitars around on my back walking for miles I had to get from one guitar lesson to the next and injured my shoulders over the years. But in the last number of years whilst doing yoga, I feel that my shoulders are a lot freer. Also I'm told by Julie I'm sure she's still very very right , that I store my tension in my shoulders any stresses and worries so so it's really great just to loosen off your shoulders and just have a bit of movement within the yoga class.
Jo: yeah. I get that! That whole oh!
Susan: So many times in person over the years that Julie's asked the class, you know, relax your shoulders and she just come round and just give me that wde tap on either shoulder and I go oh right that's it!
Jo: Can you tell us anything do you remember your first class? Can you tell us anything about it or is it it's a you mentioned you found Julie at the White Rooms, you attended classes there?
Susan: Yeah a friend of mine had gone along to Julie's class and to be honest she didn't stick with the class but I was! I took the opportunity to go along with someone I knew for the first class and that encouraged me to go along and as I've been saying that as soon as I went along I realized I was in very safe hands but it was the attendance of the class was quite low and so Julie was still to pick up her momentum but you could tell that she was a great teacher so often it was quite a small class in those times.
Yes a lot of people have when she was new she moved here and was then looking you know to build up a customer base or a group of students and a lot of those people that she taught in that small class environment they've all stuck with that because it would have been so amazing I think as you say, to get that quality of teaching in such a undiluted environment. You've talked then about how you got started with yoga and I think, nice to go along with a friend as it can often be quite daunting I think going along to your first class. Is there anything that you would say to other people that are like 'oh I just don't know!' 1. go along with a friend. 2. any other tips about your first class?
Susan: Well I think going along to Julie's class she often has a lot of different options for people who are at various different levels and also different abilities and different ages and she very much takes into account if people have back problems or if they've had an injury, particularly when I went along to the Gentle class on the Thursday but throughout all of her classes. She takes into account different abilities also with it being an Iyengar Yoga you have props, blocks, bricks and bolsters and all sorts of things that you can adapt into your poses to make them a whole lot more accessible. You'll very much know yourself Jo, there's always a slightly easier option if you feel that you're not as advanced as other people that have been along to the class for possibly many years. Yes so yeah so I think there's easier ways around things or there's a more difficult route if you want to push yourself.
Jo: So yeah depending on how you're feeling that day I know it does, you can get lots of different levels of student in every class. Now is there a particular have you got any poses that you really enjoy your favourite pose or poses? or anything that you're like yeah that's that works for me for my body it's fun!
Susan: okay and I sound a very lazy one I like Supta Baddha Konasana which is a restorative pose so not the most difficult of them. I also like Warrior 2 for some reason I can't quite put my finger on. I do like standing poses that have some movement in them. I have done on a daily basis for for many years is just to to catch my hand and even with a belt to help and to catch my fingers behind my back in both directions. I do that on a daily basis and that really helps to free up my shoulders a little bit. Just give myself a bit of a stretch early in the day
Jo: That's good that's fantastic and it's a great pose isn't it because the Gomukasana you get and it's asymmetrical so you can do it on both sides and it's quite revealing, what's going on in your shoulders how it feels isn't it?
Susan: I do have to admit so I'm not much of a practicer so I love my weekly class but the whole week just seems to run run so quickly that I do have the intention that I'll get a little set up for the corner of the house.
Jo: AAAAh you say that but then the daily Gomukasana still you know speaking to Sean, he was the yogi of the month in February and and actually Lindsay too in January. They've both helped me practice more because they're rather than going like you know she say corner of the room here's my yoga mat, 'I'm gonna do some yoga' yeah they're like just get on the mat lower your expectations and just wait and see for inspiration to hit or to just go and start moving and then and then 30 minutes have gone by you know rather than with the intention of doing 30 minutes yeah I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that! I'm really taking that on board actually.
Ok least favourite poses?
Susan: I don't know occasionally in the class actually it happened on Monday night in the class, there was a there was a pose and I thought I'm not sure the name of it but I thought I can't do that and I'll sit here for a little while and I'll mull this over and then I thought I'll give it a go and actually it was fine! I didn't manage it for long but just for a little length of time.
The difference there between zoom and being in class when you're going hmm
Susan Yeah but I was quite impressed with myself because I tried but yeah there are there are some poses actually even just child pose I find quite difficult. Everyone's bodies are made differently but I just can't seem to get back down to the to the floor when I'm in that and that pose and my ankles seem to be a little bit inflexible for certain things as well but sometimes that can be remedied by using a block or a brick and sometimes it's just that you can't stay in the pose for too long, you just go to and just give it a go for a while
Jo: so yeah and every practice being different every day. What do you enjoy about coming to class? as well at the moment you know we're not in the studio.
Susan: I certainly enjoy the routine of the class and I do really look forward to being back in person in class as much as as much as the skype is very convenient it's nice to have the social aspect to come along to class and the the knowledge that Julie's there in the room and you can go 'please can I have a little help you know? It's nice of that more sort of hands-on even if it's in a in a socially- distance environment, the way things are at the moment but yeah very much look forward to being in person and so yeah I think I think that should happen soon
Jo: yes it should we've got it's all planned you know I think it will be well I can't remember the 26th of may I think we're hoping to be back classes back yeah Julie's really looking forward to that too yeah yeah so that's great Susan well I think we've covered all our Yogi of the Month questions so thank you very much for your time, lovely talking to you.
Susan: yeah it certainly was for me as well Jo and i look forward to seeing you in a class at some point.
Jo: I know that'll be good
Susan: thanks very much.
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