I have long wanted a guest post from Shree Yoga’s
“other” owner, Suki Dalury
, who happens to be a gifted writer (and gardener) along with being one of the most sought after Yoga Teachers in Taos.
Suki is one of the most special young women I know. She is bright, beautiful, compassionate and wise beyond her years. All great attributes for a Yoga Teacher. She is also very good at wriggling out of things she doesn’t want to do.
It finally occurred to me after many twists and clever turns right out of the picture, by Suki, that perhaps I should email her a short list of questions and save her and myself a little time.
It worked! And I got a couple of great shots to boot. The others I stole from her Facebook page. I’m sure no one will mind.
1) What was your inspiration for becoming a Yogini?
Yoga has been a part of my world from the outset, thanks to my parents and their commitment to the ancient healing arts. I am always becoming a yogini, and playing with all of the other things I am becoming as well. In my opinion, all that it means to practice yoga is to commit to looking at what arises when attention is settled and focused. In the paradox of stillness and calm, everything rises to the surface. In a way, the yoga we are all practicing in the modern, western world is a new and wild interpretation of the many thousands of years of teachings. I hesitate to say that modern yoga is, because of its newness, not “yoga”, but am constantly delighted to find fresh modern flavor stirred into an ancient wisdom teaching. I believe that if a mindful practice is helping to alleviate suffering, in body, mind, or soul, and doesn’t directly harm another, then it is yoga. Simple as that.
2) How do you perceive Shree’s evolution and its meaning/value to the community it serves?
Shree is in and of itself an entity that emits deep currents of healing into our community. I am humbled to be a part of the web of support and inspiration that the studio offers to so many people. Everyone comes to the mat for a different reason, but there is always a reason. This underlying thread founds all the practice and study that happens at Shree, like an unspoken agreement that all is in process. It is at the core of this agreement that people are able to come as they are, and be present with their body and mind, opening the gates to spirit in a safe place. The work that is undertaken at the studio holds a special power for being witnessed in community, rather than in secret, in shame, or in solitude. Shree holds the container for yoga to move and happen.
3) Shree includes a small retail section. How do you choose/decide what to include for sale in the studio .
Our retail space is in no way the focus or highlight of our business, but it feels important to provide quality yoga props and apparel for our community, as well as local products whose businesses are in alignment with our mission of cultivating health, well-being, and joy. The faraway-based companies we retail share a passion for quality products and the environment, and are pleasant to work with. Local products range from: beautifully crafted teas; skin care products; hand-stitched meditation cushions, yoga mat bags, and eye pillows; and raw honey coming soon. The shelves are open for beautiful and well crafted products that support a yoga practice, and enhance quality of life.
4) You are not only a teacher and practitioner of yoga, but also run the studio and attend to the nuts and bolts of the business. How do you balance the two?
Years ago, a wise teacher of mine offered the praxis of self practice for as many hours as one is leading practice. I liked the idea, and began to commit to carving enough time for my personal exploration to make the scales settle. Albeit an arbitrary measure of time, this act of balancing has enriched the process of preparing and sharing my practice (teaching). Holding space at Shree as an administrator is a different process entirely and at first I tried to strike a similar balance of limiting the hours I applied to managerial work. I was committed to doing the work to support my yoga teaching and had felt the effect of good time management as a professional yoga instructor, but this work was an entirely new skill set that needed more attention. Having accepted the role more fully, I can see that administrative work is a discipline that cultivates feelings of fullness, order, and joy, all on its own. Now, I apply myself to a noticing practice when in the administrator role, and the work has become much more organic, and over time, organized. I take great pleasure in working in an environment so well-prepared for practice, and it’s a group project, forsooth, that relies on our team of teachers and students alike to respect and uphold a clear and open sanctuary space.
5) Shree hosts a lot of events, one of these I find most interesting are the workshops you host with writer Diana Rico
. Could you elaborate just a little on these.
Shree is a community studio and our doors are open for any and all respectful humans, groups, and events as long as they promise not to wear shoes. One of our regular seasonal events at the studio is a playshop series called the Nectar at the Heart of Fear, where Diana Rico and I combine our paths of practice in an invitation to the depth of creative blocks. Diana’s expertise and wisdom as a writer has tended a bounty of practices that lead a charge to the core of a blocked creative. Meditation, visualization, and respectful address of the fear that keeps any one human from expressing their soul brings the process home. As the body holds memory of all that has come before, my offering is one of seeking and breathing into the points of blocked energy in the body. This untangling of muscular memory and gentle movement is yoga asana. Whether the holding patterns are loud (pain, injury, tightness), or more silent and covered over, our process is the same in the body and on the page: deep inquiry and forging love and acceptance for our creative selves.
Caveat: It is because of Suki that her business partner and co-founder of Shree, Genevieve Oswald
became a Yoga Teacher as well. Suki has been a force in so many lives, it’s difficult to keep count.
For more information on Shree Yoga Taos, please visit their site linked below this post.
Photograph of Suki doing yoga by the one and only Zoe Zimmerman
Black and white photo of Suki in the studio with her Shree Yoga Taos co-founder and partner, Genevieve, by Derek Hart.
Colour pic of Suki (and her partner Orion) with Genevieve by Anicca Cox
Shots of Suki’s garden by Suki Dalury