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MEET

SUSAN GRACE

A little about me...

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"We are all beautiful stained glass creations.  I work with clients to provide them with the tools that can help them clean their glass (so to speak) so their precious treasure - the light and power of the Beloved Creator - can shine through ever more clearly resulting in a beautiful array of colors signifying the diversity and uniqueness of God's presence in all God's children."

Susan Grace Alonso

Mindful Graces

I was a hard driving type “A” individual that took up jogging to relieve stress from my job as a competitive engineer in a large corporation. A friend invited me to a yoga class. I went hoping it would relieve stiffness and discomfort in my legs and hips. At the end of my first yoga class I experienced a deep peace I had never experienced before. I continue the practice of yoga to this day. It not only helped ground me in that deep peace I first experienced on a yoga mat, but also deepens my faith which helped me weather the challenges of life as a working wife and mother with children and aging parents.  

 

Through death process of my father I began to ask the deeper questions about life, death and the hereafter. After his death no one seemed to have answers to those questions I needed. My Spiritual Director suggested that I look within for answers. I adopted a daily practice of prayer, yoga and meditation seeking answers by listening within for that still, soft voice of God’s grace. At the end of 6 months I wasn’t conscious of any answers to those questions, but something within me must have shifted. Opportunities began to open to me I would never have considered pursuing before. I had an inspiration to teach yoga during a class at a yoga studio. I went to the desk at the studio to inquire about how to become a teacher. Within a month I was certified to teach yoga and was teaching classes at that studio. At about the same time another friend shared how her faith was deepening through her study of spiritual formation practices in her training to become a Spiritual Director. I inquired about the program to find the deadline for applications for admittance to the next year’s class had passed. I felt led to fill out and submit the application anyway. To my delight I was accepted. As I progressed through Spiritual Direction Institute’s 3 year spiritual formation training I began to incorporate what I was learning into my yoga classes.  

 

Praying with scripture in my yoga classes moved my faith from my head to my heart enlivening and maturing my faith. This embodiment of the Living Word in the yoga classes I teach nourishes not only my soul but also my student's souls as we practice Love’s presence in each stretch by being patient and kind, not demanding our own ways. This practice of listening within for guidance from our bodies is the doorway to more easily hearing that still, soft Voice that is always present within each of us.  

 

Upon earning my certificate in Spiritual Direction I began to share yoga as a way of prayer not only through my weekly classes but also in presentations to groups, days of prayer, workshops, and in domestic and international retreats. I continued with my own spiritual formation with continuing education including training by Veriditas to be a Labyrinth facilitator, earning Healing Touch Program certifications for Levels 1-4 and earning a certificate in Trauma informed Yoga Therapy, also becoming a facilitator for the Overcome Anxiety Clinic Workshop. I introduce self-regulation tools in my classes to help my students work with anxiety and found these tools also support spiritual formation through the cultivation of self-awareness and self-compassion both on and off the yoga mat.