We believe that it is your right to be healthy and strong in your mind & body & free in your soul! Our commitment is to teach you how to be versatile and productive in your choice of life. Sushumna Yoga and Mindfulness aids everyone in living a cleaner, kinder and more rewarding life.
Sonja - ERYT500, YACEP, PPNCT started her journey in yoga 20 years ago with the late Shri K Pattabhi Jois from Mysore, learning the authentic Mysore self practice of Ashtanga Vinyasa. She is certified by the 'British School of Yoga' in Hatha & Meditation & also certified as a 'Vibrant Living Teacher' in Hatha Flow and a pre + post natal, children + teens teacher with Santosha Yoga in Bali.
Having studied intensely, mainly in London, India and Bali she believes that 'living yoga' in it's essence helps to impart her knowledge better and more succinctly.
Many do not understand the concept of yoga. Some think it is just physical exercise for health, some think it is a religion, and some think it is a psychological system. All this is based on a misunderstanding of yoga. Yoga is simply a relationship that harmonises our mind, body and souls. The word yoga originated from the root word in Sanskrit yuj, and also comes from the biblical word, yoke. Both mean joining together or to unite. Yoga is the union of an individual consciousness with Infinite Consciousness. A yogi or yogini is a person who leans completely on the Supreme Consciousness, God, or Universal Energy, until they have merged their individual self with the Infinite Self.
Yoga is a technology that expands one’s awareness. It begins with the reality that every human mind has both Infinite and Creative potential. However, this unlimited potential can be limited according to one’s level of awareness. Awareness varies and gives one a variety of choices. To break the unconscious limits one needs a technology.
This technology must expand the calibre and capacity of the mind to establish equilibrium, to control the physical structure and experience the Infinite Self. The techniques of Kundalini and Hatha Yoga; with its various off-shoots i.e. Ashtanga, Iyengar, Sushumna Yoga etc, create an owner’s manual for Human Consciousness. It explores your dimensions, depth, nature, and potential as a human. This is all that yoga means.
According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the classical text on yoga, ‘the purpose of yoga is to lead to a silence of the mind’ (1.2). This silence is the prerequisite for the mind to be able to accurately reflect objective reality without its own subjective distortions. Yoga does not create this reality, which is above the mind, but only prepares the mind to apprehend it, by assisting in the transformation of the mind, full of noise (like an army of frenzied and drunken monkeys) to a still, serene mind.
I could honestly write a whole lot about my experience during my Sushumna YTT. It completely changed me as a practitioner and gave me the knowledge & confidence to go on to teach. But I will sum it up by saying, if you've been thinking of doing it... do it!! The training is very well put together so you have time to really get to grips with each part of the syllabus. The morning practice really teaches you about dedication & Sonja is the most grounded & knowledgeable yoga teacher I have ever came across & she is so true to her practice, just an amazing teacher to be taught by. I especially found the silent fast days extremely mind changing, they allow you to go inwards and truly reflect on what you've been learning & the path you're on. I think we always like to keep our minds busy, whether that's by talking or thinking. But during a silent fast day my mind became so much quieter & I went on an incredible journey to the core of myself to discover myself. I think this wouldn't have been as incredible if there were no silent fast days, so I really gained a lot from them. Also the juice fast days were an incredible part of the training for me, it made me rethink my whole relationship with food & energy. I experienced how the body needs a detox & for the digestive system to have a break. I wasn't hungry at all & I had such an energetic practice the following morning. It aids you To practice ahimsa further by having the juice days also. Overall the training more than exceeded my expectations & I will go back to Sushumna yoga in the future to further my training. To immerse yourself in a YTT can be such a big decision but Sushumna yoga training allows you to see the best version of yourself and truly become it. Thank you to Sonja & the rest of the Sushumna teachers for an incredible training. I am eternally grateful for all that it has given me. Love and light
Following my YTT in Cumbria, England, in September 2016, I would like to write to thank you for the experience and give my reflections after several months of teaching. I was very nervous about completing my training, I considered my physical practice to be of a suitable level to attend this training but had no idea about how my interpretation of the other aspects of yoga would fit into the training and what would be expected of me physically. I need not have worried at all; Sonja led us to explore and appreciate our unique offering to the world through the ever compassionate lens of yoga, setting out the teachings in a palatable format for our Western paradigm but not disrespecting the and ancient and traditional teachings and delivering them so authentically. Assessment was entirely personalised and a relaxed way to put you at the most ease possible; please don't be scared! Sonja's way of life is yoga and she inspired me deeply, a goddess incarnate. A particularly challenging aspect of the training was dealing with an injury to my knee in the more intensive last few days of training when my teaching was to be filmed for critique. Sonja helped me understand the opportunity that presented itself through my injury, how I could learn to modify my practice to accommodate this injury, really listen to my body and use the support around me to realise my potential, even with limitations; indeed the case became that I reached a new level because of my injury. Continuing my physical practice actually meant my recovery was quicker and I am so grateful for this experience. The inspiration this continues to provide through my own practice and teaching is invaluable. Not only have I learned a deeper compassion for myself and others, but I was able to appreciate the importance of developing all aspects of yoga so they are available to support you when the universe sends challenges to your physical practice. My learning was put to good use when working with a client dying from Motor Neurone Disease, watching them lose the control of their body but still be able to practice yoga was incredibly healing for both of us; a true gift. If you want an authentic yoga experience, whatever level you are at with your practice, I implore you to take this with Sonja at Sushumna Yoga. You will feel confident you have experienced yoga teaching in it's purest form, allowing you to develop your practice with a solid grounding in all aspects of yoga, providing the space for you to become the current highest form of yourself personally and/or as a teacher. Thank you :)
I completed my 200 hour Teacher Training with Sonja in Carlisle in 2016. When I embarked on the training my intention was to learn more about yoga, philosophy and to further my own practice and expand my knowledge. I felt I achieved all of these things and so much more. It was one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences. Over the three weeks I learnt so much about myself alongside gaining valuable knowledge into the art of teaching, yoga philosophy, pranayama and meditation and furthering my practice in a supportive, nurturing and disciplined environment. Throughout the training we were given support and guidance from such knowledgeable and inspiring teachers allowing us all to blossom and realize our true self. I personally really gained confidence in myself and my abilities, I discovered my voice to be able to confidently teach a class of students, something I previously could never have achieved. My intention at the beginning of the training wasn’t to teach, however I felt inspired to share my passion with others, it felt like a natural progression and the support and guidance I have received has allowed me to achieve this. The teacher training for me was most definitely so much more than a teaching course, it was a truly life changing experience which has had such positive effects on so many aspects of my life. I can highly recommend Sonja and Sushumna Yoga.
I was a participant in the 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training taught by Sonja Appel in Carlisle in 2016. It was truly one of the most single life changing events that I have ever participated in. Be under no illusion. It is hard work and tiring. However it is so rewarding. I had heard reference made previously to the phrase “Practice and all is coming” accredited to Sonja’s late Guruji S.R. Pattabhi Jois. However, it was on this course that this phrase really came home to me as did the phrase “my yoga practice”. What I learned most succinctly was that it does not matter where you are in your yoga practice at any given moment in time; it is where your yoga practice has the potential to take you if you dedicate yourself to it. Attending classes is all well and good but it is that daily practice that makes all of the difference. Always striving to be better or to master to the best of your ability in that challenging asana. Asanas are not what this course is all about. Yogic philosophy, anatomy, asanas, pranayama, meditation are all part of the course. However Sonja goes the extra mile in teaching what true yoga is all about. Sonja instilled that discipline of yoga practice each and every day and the importance of daily pranayama and meditation. Yoga is a way of life. Sonja is an amazing teacher and so inspirational. She aims to get the best out of each and every student. I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed in this lifetime.