Getting To Know Susan Sellers!
Rozanne: Rock ‘n’ Roll Vinyasa is such a unique type of class! What inspired you to create this type of flow? How is it different from a regular vinyasa?
Susan: A long time ago I received some fantastic advice; “Teach the class that you always wanted to take!” I have held onto that for a long time. I love music. I love all kinds of music. Sometimes while taking yoga classes my mind wanders and I constantly have a soundtrack running in my head. You would be surprised how often “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor plays in my mind, especially in a Warrior 3. Teaching and practicing to Rock n Roll keeps me challenged and sometimes I even get an air guitar solo. I think it is very similar to a regular vinyasa class, however, I do think that sometimes, the music makes it even more challenging. Seriously, with Billy Idol asking you for a Rebel Yell, it can be hard to maintain balance. I also believe that Yoga should be FUN! I hope that when people leave class they have laughed a little, and that they feel amazing about themselves and the incredible things our bodies can do.
Rozanne: It’s incredible that you get so many people up and at ‘em at 730am on Sundays! How do you customize this class to such a unique time slot?
Susan: For many years I taught this class at 8:30am. After my daughter was born, there had been some changes and I decided to try an earlier time slot. It worked. It also worked for Morgan’s feeding and sleep schedule. I am still astounded that people show up. I try and touch base with our students and find out what artists they enjoy and incorporate them into the playlists. When you are practicing your favorite poses and your favorite jam is on, you can totally feel like a Rock Star!
Rozanne: Not only are you an amazing yoga instructor, but you’re also an incredible mother! How do you balance motherhood and your yoga practice?
Susan: I would never say incredible. I think that some days I barely hold it together. Having an incredible tribe is important, as well as having a sense of humor. I laugh all day long. Besides the physical practice of Yoga, it has also taught me to be in the moment. We try to have a plan or a schedule, but sometimes it all goes sideways. I do practice with my Daughter. She has been practicing since Day 2 and she makes everything look so easy. She honors her body and teaches me new things all time. However, I do enjoy heading out to class for some me time.
Rozanne: You worked in the corporate world for Disney for several years. Can you tell us a bit about what that was like?
Susan: I had one of the best jobs on the planet, besides Yoga Instructor. I was very fortunate to have been a leader at The Disneyland Resort for 15 years. I worked in Store Operations, Theme Park Operations and Entertainment. I opened theme parks, traveled the world, and hung out with some of the best characters. You may even see a familiar Princess or two in class. I had been practicing yoga the entire time I worked there and when I made the decision to go to teacher training, my team really worked with me to ensure that I had the time that I needed to get to all of my classes. Some of my Cast Members even changed their schedules so they could attend classes with me. When I left the Resort to stay at home with Morgan, a Senior Vice President created an opportunity for me to teach yoga monthly to the Cast. (I didn’t get to keep any of my benefits, so I can’t sign anyone in, but I do get to teach and hang out with friends a few times a month.) I think my time at the Resort prepared me for Parenthood as well as teaching Yoga. Thinking fast, having a strong network, and knowing who to partner with to find answers have worked in a lot of situations.
Rozanne: Your students are such loyal followers of your Rock ‘n’ Roll Vinyasa class, and they have created such a warm and friendly environment! Can you talk about how their closeness effects your class?
Susan: When I started teaching, I worked Sunday Mornings because that is what I could commit to. Then I added Tuesday and Thursday nights and even an occasional Friday night. Between Disneyland and dating (I hadn’t met my husband yet), Yoga was not just a practice, but it was a little bit of therapy. Some of my loyal students have been with me from the very beginning and some have joined us last week. The students that have gathered are amazing. They are leaders in industry, educators, medical professionals, lawyers, characters, actors, musicians, students, stay at home parents, etc. They are incredible and I learn from them every class. They are welcoming, accepting to all, and even forgiving to my many mistakes (although they may still be asleep). I hope that I create an environment that allows people to ask questions, to have fun, to celebrate and to walk out feeling strong and powerful. On Sunday Mornings there is a wonderful group of people who come to their mats to practice and between the sweat (and maybe the tears) there are friendships that have forged and I am so blessed to be the guide.
Thank you so much, Susan. Keep on rockin’!