Instigator of Collaborative Joy: Singer/Teacher/Co-founder Off The Mat, Into the World
Suzanne Sterling is a dedicated musician, yogi, activist and social innovator who has been performing and teaching transformational workshops for over 20 years. She is a leading expert in sound and consciousness, and a co-founder of Off the Mat Into the World.
An award winning musician, she has released numerous albums. Her life work is dedicated to inspiring others to find their unique voice and to use self-expression as a tool for community building and conscious evolution.
My personal practice is…
A daily nearly non-negotiable yoga practice that includes some form of intense cardio-vascular training ending in meditation. I am very clear that it keeps me mobile and sane especially due to my hectic traveling schedule. It is a thread that runs through everything I do and is a way for me to release tension and stress by reconnecting with source, focus and inspiration.
How did you discover your practice?
I have spent many years with a daily movement practice, either dance or yoga and have studied with some incredible teachers but at a certain point I decided to take ownership of it, that is to say I get on the mat everyday, listen deeply to the information coming from my body and soul and change the sequence based on what is needed each day.
Why do you practice?
Or at the very least seriously unhappy…this is why it is non-negotiable. Because I spend my life creating transformational experiences for others, it is important for me to stay current by cleansing my body of physical/emotional blocks, nurturing my authentic life force and renewing my connection with Source. If I did not do this, it would be hypocritical for me to ask others to do so. I believe that we must practice so that we have an understanding of the intensity and subtlety of our own prana or energy as it moves through and in us.
How frequently and for how long do you practice?
Almost daily, at least an hour.
What’s something that gets in the way of your practice and how to you move through it?
The changing time zones are very challenging to manage due to my travel schedule or if I don’t get to the practice in the morning before 11am I can get stuck. How do I get through that? Sometimes I will push myself and other times I will rest.
What supports you in staying committed to your practice?
I am truly committed to my work in the world as a musician and activist and leader of transformational workshops. For all of that I need to be strong, healthy, awake, sensitive and sustainable. The practice is one thing I have found that gives me a long-term sense of empowerment in this way.
What role does your practice play in your work?
I am constantly pushing people past their limits and deeper into their purpose, both emotional, physical and spiritual, and so I would be disingenuous if I wasn’t also pushing myself and deepening my purpose on a daily basis.
Describe someone you know whose practice inspires you.
One person I think of often is Sting whom I have heard learns new music everyday to strengthen his mind and learn new skills. Physically, Suzanne Farrell, a prima ballerina, in the way she is described as a big cat who can move with grace and power. I aspire to these things. Gabrielle Roth inspired me with her movement for the soul. Many of my colleagues in the yoga world inspire me with their practice. And anyone who is both engaging in the world and also creating a spiritual foundation for that work is inspiring to me.
A practice I’d like to explore is….
I’d love to learn a new musical instrument and practice that daily. Anything else you’d like to share about practice. In these current times it is important for all of us to see that almost every choice we make can become part of our spiritual practice. We can remove ourselves from the trance of consumption and drop into a life where we are passionately growing, passionately playing or passionately resting and all of that can be practicing a conscious presence in the world. Life is PRACTICE.