A poet, teacher, and yogini, Susan Somers-Willett specializes in body-appropriate movement, relaxation, and helping students through physical and emotional transition. She encourages her students to pursue a diverse and inward practice that balances challenge with restoration, and her Hatha-based flow and yin classes emphasize alignment and modification based on individual anatomy.
For many years, Susan was an intermittent practitioner, only going to yoga classes for the occasional stretch—but always feeling better after each class. It wasn’t until Susan faced some major transitions life, including pregnancy in 2007 and a thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2011, that she realized the benefits of a daily yoga practice. Since using yoga as a way to recover from cancer, she has been passionate about encouraging others to discover their own regular practice that meets them where they are in ability and need.
A graduate of Yoga Yoga teacher training, Susan is an 200-RYT and PYRT. Her teachers and mentors include David Swenson, Douglas Brooks, Sadie Nardini, Judith Lasater, and Libby Cox, and she is currently completing her 500-RYT training with an emphasis on Tantric philosophy and pre- and post-natal practices. She also holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from The University of Texas at Austin and has taught poetry and creative writing at The University of Illinois, Carnegie Mellon University, Montclair State University, and UT Austin.
Susan’s own practice ranges widely from Ashtanga to flow to restorative classes, and she believes that if a yoga practice is to be sustainable throughout one’s life, self-awareness and compassion—not the dictates of any one style of yoga—should guide a student’s asana practice. Her enthusiasm for incorporating different approaches to yoga shows in her instruction, which ranges from slow and lyrical flow to deep relaxation.
The author of several books of poetry and criticism, Susan enjoys bringing poetry and yogic readings to class as a way to explore the interior practice of yoga. In addition to her Hatha and Hatha flow students, she is inspired by beginners and families sharing their practice; you will often find her practicing with her young daughter Libby, who is also a yogini.