Finding Her Path
The determination of a runner and cyclist is apparent in Sue McKee. A native of the Ottawa Valley who moved when she was 25 to Ottawa with her daughter, Sue enjoys life with her husband and two teenage boys, and spending time with her daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren. Sue found Namaste Yoga while working to recover and strengthen her feet from the painful condition, plantar fasciitis. She foundNamaste Yoga's shared, online episode, and began practicing the sequence.
"I was looking for something that wasn't the usual aerobics-type stuff that would be gentle, but keep me in shape or compliment my running and cycling for the winter," Sue recalls. "I was drawn to the Namaste TV series because I could see easily the placement of the body in the young women on the video, so I could learn the poses easily without going to a class first."
Sue purchased the first season DVD as abirthday gift to herselfand began moving through the series, one sequence at a time. Once she was comfortable with the poses in one episode, she would then move on to begin practicing the next. Sue was motivated to deepen her practice, and exploredKate Potter’swebsitein hopes of finding a way to connect more personally.
"I found out there was a retreat booked for early June in Montreal," Sue shares. "I immediately signed up. Other than once when I was working, I've never gone away for a weekend and was very excited!"
Unfortunately, Sue did not make that retreat. A serious cycling accident, just two months before the event, left her with a severe concussion, memory loss, broken ribs and soft tissue damage. "I don't know what happened and the neurologist said I won't likely ever remember." Recovery would take many weeks, and emotional recovery longer than that.
"My friend met me in the trauma room at the hospital and the first thing I remember saying to her was something like, 'I hope I can still go to the retreat!' When I was able to sit up and get on a computer again, I e-mailed Kate to let her know how disappointed I was I wouldn't be meeting her and why."
For Sue, Kate was as one would expect Kate is: gentle, patient, calming, nurturing. She recalls the messages Kate sent her during her time of healing. Sue says that time of recovery solidified her resolve to expand her yoga practice.
"[Kate] said 'SO this is your practice now... believing in yourself, your patience, your care and every single thought in your head being positive... the ones that are not must be dissolved quickly, okay?' She was instrumental in my recovery — especially my emotional recovery."
Sue's previous work experience entailed the annual coordination of a national conference for 60. She realized she had more than enough knowledge and experience to set up a Namaste Yoga retreat. She made the suggestion to Kate, who was happy to oblige. At the time of this interview, Sue was looking forward to sharing her yoga journey with friends and new acquaintances.
"I wanted my friends to be so fortunate as I, being touched by Kate Potter, and so this retreat came to be." Sue explains. "I love that people are coming from the U.S. and Canada. Close to half have been to a workshop before with Kate and the other half are friends and neighbours, one or two haven't done yoga before."
Sue chose LaGrange Yoga Studio because of its placement in a natural setting and well-lit yoga studio. The site is very close to one of Sue's favourite locations,Wakefield, QC, which offers many attractions, and Canada's capital city,Ottawa. With just a few bookings remaining, this Namaste Yoga retreat is shaping up to be wonderful weekend for all who attend. Sue recounts a quote she came across from retreat attendee, Rodney Sharman, the Composer-in-Residence for the Victoria Symphony:
"Kate Potter has an extraordinary ability to create a collective consciousness in her classes. As her student, I receive what my body and spirit needs in pose after pose, as if she were reading me."
We can feel this in the digital realm; and were honoured to experience the truth of this at Wakefield Retreat with Sue. Our sincere thanks to a most inspiring woman for hosting this wonderful retreat.