Contact: Susie McCarthy
Business Name: Inner Balm Yoga
Business Location: Umina Beach on the Central Coast of NSW
Phone: 0402 052724
I enjoy assisting people through yoga therapy, with a focus on breathing, alignment and yoga nidra.
There was a time 20-odd years ago where I felt like nothing more could go wrong with my world. I had 3 wonderful sons who were 8, 10 and 12 – that was the good bit. It was nearly 6 years since our computer business had gone broke and we’d lost our house and all our savings. We’d moved house 5 times in less than 5 years. I’d gone back to work in a corporate role, a job that was well paid but very stressful. My husband had also returned to a corporate job, but wasn’t happy working for someone else and wanted to use the money I was earning towards his next great idea. I decided I’d had enough. It was time to call it quits on my marriage and become one of those “single mothers” who always seemed to struggle, particularly financially.
Once I was on my own, I was a bit surprised to find that life was actually more manageable. I had a whole weekend free once a fortnight and I could plan a whole week alone every school holidays! My free weekends were usually spent doing washing, shopping and maybe going to the movies, but it was great to be able to do those things without someone asking when I would be home.
Although life was smoother in some ways, in others it was pretty challenging. I had to navigate my way through an unpleasant divorce with all that entails. And that well-paid job didn’t get any less stressful. I had no family to help me out when the boys were sick. I was close to drowning in stress.
Just across the road from where I was working was a yoga studio. I decided to go and try a class one day and found it was quite different to the other yoga classes I had been to before. The poses were done quite slowly and deliberately and there was a lot of paying attention to the breath, then the class ended with a long meditation – my first experience of yoga nidra! I found I could walk in stressed out like a wire and walk back out a little over an hour later feeling relaxed and content with the world. I think I would have gone crazy if it wasn’t for this little haven.
I wanted to learn everything I could about this wonderful yoga practice I had discovered, but found that time and money were going to limit how much I could do. For the next 5 years or so my focus really had to be on caring for and providing for my sons and my yoga journey had to take a back seat. However, I kept going to yoga classes and started reading books about yoga whenever I could, on the train, in my lunchtime (when I got one!) and doing some in-depth yoga courses.
Then one day I came across a teacher training course in the style I loved with a teacher who was very knowledgeable and very caring. I really wanted to do this course! I managed to find the time and money (and courage!) to apply to do the course and was accepted. The main parts of the course were over 3-day weekends and I could manage to fit that in using my leave days. I didn’t plan to actually teach yoga, I just wanted to learn more about this thing that had helped me so much.
Surprisingly to me, almost everyone on the course was there with the same intent – just to learn more, not to teach. However, as we learnt and became more knowledgeable and started practising our skills on each other, we almost all ended up teaching yoga. I think the greatest inspiration from our teacher was that as we knew how much yoga had helped us personally, it would be remiss of us not to share that to help others.
And that is how I got started teaching yoga!
I’ve come a long way since then. The main focus of my on-going learning has been how best to assist people with stress and pain management and that has been a focus in my yoga teaching. It would be a very rare occurrence to come to a class of mine that doesn't incorporate yoga nidra as I am a great believer in how much it can help everyone who has a busy lifestyle, is stressed or in pain. I am now a Registered Yoga Therapist with a focus on pain management, stress management and restless legs syndrome.
For a link to Yoga Australia, showing my membership and qualifications please click here.