Suzie Hanlen

  • Alaska

Suzie got hooked on Ashtanga yoga 15 years ago and completed an Ashtanga teacher training in 2003 with the amazing David Swenson. Ashtanga’s focus on Ujayii breath, the Bandhas, and its challenging dynamic asana sequencing were greatly rewarding; however, a yoga-related injury necessitated a change in practice. She eventually embraced the maxim of “Less is More” and benefitted greatly by slowing down her practice, and learning how to relax surface muscles and engage deeper postural muscles, the basic principles underlying the Critical Alignment Yoga Therapy (CAT) of Gert van Leeuwen. Suzie has studied these principles with various teachers for the previous 10 years and in 2008, she completed a 300-hr teacher training based on CAT yoga. In 2010, she trained as a Critical Alignment Therapist with Gert Van Leeuwen in Calgary, Canada. In recent years, Suzie has delved into the study of Yin yoga, most notably with Biff Mithoefer, and enjoys exploring myofascial release using balls and other tools with Christa Koos. These days, a typical yoga practice for Suzie is a mix between traditional Hatha yoga and CAT principles whereby postures are coordinated with both pranayama and the use of a specialized yoga tool to increase mobility of the spine, particularly in the thoracic region. Suzie has lived for the last decade in Alaska and when not practicing yoga, she can be found romping with dogs in the mountains, building a cabin in the middle of nowhere and, occasionally working either as a wildlife biologist or outdoor guide.

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