EP 1.03: Shakti Sue Friston – “The Real Work is in the Stillness”.
In today’s episode Katherine Biggs is speaking to her wonderful wise friend, Shakti Sue Friston. As you will hear, Shakti has been teaching yoga for over 30 years and we talk about how she found yoga in the first place and its importance in her life. We talk about some of the less explored yogic practices – yes, we did talk about drinking urine! We cover presence and fear of the present moment and the truth about our meditation practices. There are a lot of golden nuggets in this podcast, so you’ll just have to listen in to find out what else we talk about!
About Shakti Sue Friston
Like many people Sue came to yoga during a personal crisis. In 1986, she left her office job in Malvern and the massage training she’d begun, to live at the Wexford Yoga Centre under the tutelage of Swami Satyamurti. She says, “When he told me to return to England and start teaching a weekly yoga class, it did not occur to me to refuse”. A term of classes under her belt, she returned to Wexford for the month long intensive Teacher Training Course in the summer of 1986.
“Questioning what I thought of as a pretentious affectation of taking on sanskrit name I asked what my sanskrit name might be. ‘Shakti’ said Swami Satyamurti. A name given either because of the energy with which I rode my 400-4 Honda and took any opportunity to wield a power tool, or to counteract my tendency to procrastination and avoidance of mornings. Both could be true. Either way, I happily became Shakti.”
The year 2000 was eventful: her dad died, her husband left and began gender reassignment, and she was initiated into Jignasu Sanyas. Swami Niranjananda extended her name to Shaktiroopa, the embodiment of feminine energy. “I still won’t wear a skirt though – and not just because the ex took them all with him”.
Shakti has taught mixed ability classes in rural Gloucestershire, worked for some years at a rehab centre, taught in prisons, and a residential care home for the elderly. She has contributed Anatomy and Physiology sessions to Satyananda yoga teacher training courses in Birmingham and London, and supported the development of the Central Yoga Circle in Ledbury, Herefordshire.
Shakti’s mum was diagnosed with dementia in 2014 and she moved home to support and care for her mum. Since the death of her mother, she has travelled to Australia and Canada, but is now living back home in Herefordshire again. To get in touch with Shakti, please visit her Facebook page Slow Yoga Malvern.
She also facilitates the local Death Café here in Malvern which you can find out more about on the Malvern Death Café Facebook page.