• Congratulations Susan Bowen!

      

    Susan has brought a bright new perspective to our community of grace yogis. Her innovative techniques pair yoga and therapy to help students along the road to recovery. We are grateful to take this journey of outreach along side her. We thank Susan for her continual diligence and patience and we are delighted to have her as part of the Grace Yoga family.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Susan.

    Let us dive right in.
     

    What lead you to your current profession and why have you decided to incorporate the practice of yoga in to your therapy?

     
    For many years after college, I worked in the intimate apparel industry as a buyer for a women's specialty store, as a showroom manager for Christian Dior Lingerie in New York, as a national sales manager for a San Francisco manufacturer, and as a shop owner in Burlingame. While this work allowed me many wonderful opportunities, I longed to find a way to work and connect to people on a deeper level.

    I became a volunteer at a crisis center 24 hr helpline following the events at Columbine, and soon after enrolled in a masters program in clinical psychology. At the same time, I began practicing bikram and yin yoga regularly. At a workshop with Peter Levine on healing trauma, I came across a newly published book for sale titled Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. This set the course for the path I have been on professionally and personally ever since.
     
    What inspired you to create a specialty Yoga Class for Recovery at Grace Yoga?

    My personal experiences with addictive behavior and recovery were a result of early childhood trauma. Addicts are traumatized people who are trying to feel better by any means. Too many often are marginalized and criminalized for their behavior. Human connection, to self and others, is the single most important factor in moving beyond addictive behavior and healing. 12 Step programs are an important foundation connecting people with others, and their spirituality.

    However, the steps don't address the disconnection to the body that so many people trapped in habitual behaviors struggle with. Through my personal practice of yoga and mindfulness meditation, I recognized the missing key for wellbeing was the connection with my body, as well as mind and spirit. I also noticed how yoga philosophy and 12 step philosophies are similar in many ways. I began to study with others who recognized this as well. After 15 years of yoga practice and meditation, I studied with Cheri Clampett Borda and Arturo Peal from White Lotus in Santa Barbara, and became certified as a therapeutic yoga therapist.
     
    What improvements can students expect from a regular attendance/practice?
     
    Over time, yoga practice helps you expand your awareness of the mind and body/thoughts and feelings, while on the mat, and out in the world. Mindfulness meditation practice provides tools to pause throughout the day, to slow down, connect with breath, and find clarity in the present moment.
     
    Could you please tell us a little about the Mindful Women Project and why it was created? 

    I founded the Mindful Women Project to inspire emotional intelligence, self compassion, and post traumatic growth through the practice and teaching of mindfulness. I provide mindfulness based psychotherapy, therapeutic yoga, and mindfulness training programs. The next 8 week program Beginning Mindfulness session begins the end of June on Wednesdays from 7:30-9:00 pm.  

     

    It is an honor for me to be selected as Yogacharya of the Month at Grace Yoga. I cannot acknowledge it without a deep sense of gratitude to Dana Kaye for the opportunity to teach therapeutic yoga, offer an 8 week mindfulness training program, and share my practice in connection with others at Grace Yoga.


    Register for one of Susan Bowen's Classes Here