About Suzy: “Suzy Thompson is a licensed pediatrician, yoga teacher, and co-owner of The Source Yoga in McLean, VA. Suzy has a special interest in yoga for athletes and has been the team yoga instructor for D.C. United, the Major League Soccer team for Washington D.C., since 2013. By fusing together her medical knowledge and yoga skills, Suzy seeks to inspire her students to live healthier and injury-free. Becoming a teacher has allowed Suzy to share her passion for wellness and inspired living with her students.”
Suzy was kind enough to answer a few questions for us in the latest installment of our Featured Yogi series.
1. How did you begin practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga in 1996 when I was a pediatric resident at Children’s National Medical Center. I was stressed, unhealthy, and looking for balance, and I found my way to a yoga class at the local YMCA. That was it - one class and I was hooked! At the time, yoga was a way to stay calm and grounded in my hectic life and through the years my practice has kept me healthy and focused through many life transitions and stages.
2. Why is yoga important to you?
Yoga is way of staying deeply connected to myself, and to others. It’s the daily practice of just showing up, and allowing myself to be with whatever comes up. Yoga reminds me to stay present, compassionate, and forgiving—especially with myself!
3. What made you want to teach yoga?
Yoga has had such a positive impact on my life, I’ve wanted to share that for a long time! I have a particular interest in yoga for athletes, since I spent years in my medical practice seeing adolescents with over-training injuries. I knew that I wanted to combine my medical knowledge with my passion for yoga in a way that would empower my students towards healthier and injury free living. I now feel incredibly blessed to co-own a studio in McLean, The Source Yoga, and to work with numerous local athletes on the high school, collegiate and pro level, including the DC United.
4. Do you have a preferred type of yoga to teach/practice?
I love to teach vinyasa yoga, as well as yin and restorative yoga. I recently developed Athletiflex, a program that I use specifically for the athletes that I work with, which integrates vinyasa yoga with targeted knowledge of anatomy and physiology, with a specific goal to increase flexibility and prevent injury.
5. Describe a yoga class with Suzy. What makes the experience unique?
A class with me will be a blend of accessibility, power and humor. I do like to emphasize alignment and form—that’s years of medical training and Iyengar yoga!—but I believe that compassion and fun are just as important. Most of all, I see yoga as a way for us to connect with ourselves. I will challenge you to take your practice to a deeper level, both physically and spiritually.
6. Do you find that cross training makes you a better yogi? What other forms of exercise do you enjoy?
I think that it’s incredibly important to cross train! I like to swim and lift weights—those have been great adjuncts for my yoga practice and really helpful with my arm balances and inversions. But, I also love to surf and ski—it can’t be all yoga all the time, it’s all about balance!
7. What is your favorite article of yoga-related gear?
I love my Lululemon The Mat. I think I’ve tried every yoga mat out there and this one is hands down my favorite.