Jiva's Yoga Studio's Founder Suzanne Vian

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I was born and raised in Southern California, where I worked in the beauty and fashion industries prior to starting my career as a yoga teacher, moving onto becoming a busy studio owner in 2003 (Saigon Yoga).

I have always been drawn to philosophy, art and design. I began practicing yoga in the early 90's and self inquiry in my teens. When I started practicing, I was looking for ways to balance myself out. Yoga, meditation and self inquiry teach me to have more compassion towards myself and others. 

Yoga is not only a physical practice which feels great, it is a self reflective practice where we can learn more about ourselves if we pay attention. Yoga and meditation help us cultivate self understanding, patience, and the skill of letting go of what we don't need to hold on to (in our minds and lives), while testing our strength and limits. Yoga makes our bodies healthier and teaches us to breathe properly. 

I teach mainly in an effort to support humanity. However, teaching has been an incredible journey of learning and growth for me. Like everyone, I make mistakes but am able to forgive myself much easier and to let go of fighting, to soften myself more to life and have more patience in the world. Our minds are so powerful and our thoughts can be soothing or not. I am still learning and am happy to be on the path right alongside the students I teach. Humility is strength. You may wonder, what does yoga have to do with any of this? Well, our mats are a good place to learn self understanding and what kind of habits we exhibit off the mat, and to observe our inner dialogue. We start to notice when we are being lazy, want to give up, are pushing too hard, and are not focusing- and we can strengthen our weaknesses and feel our strength when we practice. Being on my mat literally makes me smile often times. It feels so good. 

My main focus at this stage is on training others to teach, in the hopes of making this world a better place. It's incredible to see how fast and far the practice has spread in the world and continues to grow rapidly. When I was young, my yogi friends and I used to dream of the world practicing and what an impact it would have on humanity. It's happening. I am in awe. 

I feel excited to share powerful practices for personal transformation not only for adults, but for children, as well (I started teaching kids yoga in 2004). It is exciting to watch yoga and mindfulness spread into schools for children. If I would have had these practices from youth, I would have had a different experience as a kid. I wish I had been given tools to help me manage my emotions and navigate through life's challenges better.

Yoga is so personal and people practice for many different reasons. I welcome you to come and learn. Yoga is something you do "for yourself".  It is non competitive and will help you open your body, release stress and find your way to your "center".  We need great mental and physical stamina to navigate each day's challenges.

Mindful practices are such blessings.

All my best,

Suzanne