Susan Elena Esquivel, CIYT, C-IAYT
“You have to create love and affection for your body, for what it can do for you,” Mr Iyengar says. “Love must be incarnated in the smallest pore of the skin, the smallest cell of the body, to make them intelligent so they can collaborate with all the other ones, in the big republic of the body. This love must radiate from you to others. Practitioners of the asanas alone often forget that yoga is for cultivating the head and the heart.”
Susan Elena Esquivel started dancing at age 5 beginning a lifelong fascination with form and alignment as well as the body/mind connection. She has been studying yoga for the past 25 years with a focus on the Iyengar method. She is a Certified Iyengar Teacher (CIYT) at the Intermediate Junior II Level now Level II and a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). She is the director/owner of the Iyengar Yoga Center of Western Massachusetts.
While attending art school. Susan Elena turned to yoga seeking relief from her own back injuries. It was Iyengar yoga, that had a life changing effect on healing her back and providing that same discipline and meditation in movement that dance brings. It was that magical combination that led her to her first teacher training program and a commitment to the Iyengar method.
Susan Elena is very fortunate to have built strong mentoring relationships with some of the most highly respected senior Iyengar teachers. The four senior teachers she is deeply indebted to and influenced by are Elise Browning Miller, Peentz Dubble, Patricia Walden and Gulnaaz Dashti.
She completed Certified Senior Iyengar Teacher Elise Browning Miller‘s Yoga for Scoliosis Teacher Training Program and is a Certified Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer. Her classes are infused with the knowledge of spinal health gained in her ongoing apprenticeship with Elise from whom she learns firsthand the nuances of scoliosis and other spinal disorders. Working with spinal imbalances is one of her main interests and a way she hopes to ease suffering.
“Susan Elena has assisted me with my Yoga for Back Care and Yoga for Scoliosis Workshops for many years. She has become a highly qualified and dedicated Iyengar teacher with a specialty in addressing yoga for scoliosis and other back issues in classes, workshops and with private students. I highly recommend Susan Elena to shed light to students from all walks of life.”
— Elise Browning Miller, January 2018
Susan Elena was a member of the Iyengar faculty at Down Under Yoga in Boston, Massachusetts from 2015 – 2020, where she studied and mentored with Certified Iyengar Teacher and Teacher Trainer Peentz Dubble, whom she credits with instilling in her what it is to be a student and the love of the fine art of teaching yoga.
Currently, she continues her studies and mentorship with Certified Advanced Senior Teacher Patricia Walden, whose guidance has brought enormous depth to Susan Elena’s teaching. She travels to India regularly to study with Gulnaaz Dashti and Prashant Iyengar. She is profoundly grateful to and deeply influenced by Geeta Iyengar.
Susan Elena is a member of INYAUS – Iyengar National Yoga Association of the United States and serves as the Vice President of the New England Iyengar Chapter IYANE. She was honored to be the recipient of the Community Service Project Grant awarded by the Iyengar Association of New England (IYANE) to teach yoga to survivors of domestic violence in 2013 and another grant for pregnant and parenting teens in Western Massachusetts in 2019.
Susan Elena is a nationally recognized sculptor/artist, loves nature, playing the cello and believes yoga is the gateway for her students to reconnect with their bodies and spirits. Through art and yoga, she endeavors to ease suffering and bring her students closer to a fuller, more joyful life. Her teaching is a reflection of her focused practice and studies over many years. She is known for precision while taking a playful approach with skillful sequencing to all levels of study allowing each student to go deeper into the understanding of Iyengar yoga.