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EP 1.03: Shakti Sue Friston – “The Real Work is in the Stillness”.

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.

EP 1.02: Elizabeth Rees – From Party Girl to Yoga Teacher

Welcome to Episode 2 of the No Ordinary Yogi podcast.  I recently had the pleasure of speaking to my friend and former yoga student Elizabeth Rees.  As you will hear in this episode, Elizabeth is now a yoga teacher herself.

Elizabeth brings a beautiful, fresh, young energy to the podcast and I was really grateful to have her as my very first guest.  I think I was more nervous than she was!  We talk about surviving university and doing a year-long teacher training all in the same year.  We also cover finding a sustainable personal yoga practice, self-care in the form of wild swimming, sports bra malfunctions and everything else in between!  And she spills a bit of tea about working at triyoga in London

About Elizabeth Rees

Elizabeth is a former student of Kat and now a 200 hour Yoga Alliance UK registered yoga teacher specialising in Vinyasa Flow.  She is currently based in Snowdonia in Wales.

She has recently completed a Masters degree and is awaiting news about PhD applications.  For now, she’s enjoying hanging out in the mountains of Snowdonia, wild swimming and walking with her dogs.

You can find more information about her yoga classes around Betws-y-Coed on her website or find her Instagram here.

Things mentioned in the podcast:

Yoga with Keren podcast

Freya Sports Bras

EP 1.01- Katherine Biggs: Introducing the No Ordinary Yogi podcast

In this very first episode of the No Ordinary Yogi podcast, your host Katherine Biggs talks about the reasons she decided to start creating conversations about yoga. If you want to find out more, please listen to the episode. It’s only short!

Show Notes Episode 1

 This first episode is short, but full of love.  I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for listening.  I hope you feel as excited about this podcast as I do!  I love connecting with other people, so if you feel inspired or have any questions, connect with me over on Instagram or use the contact form on this website.

 And if you are interested in becoming part of the magical Great Malvern Yoga community, please visit our website.

About Your Host

Katherine Biggs has been a yoga teacher for seven years, and five years ago she founded Great Malvern Yoga, a dedicated yoga space in the heart of Great Malvern in Worcestershire.  An old boss once said to her that if you cut her in half, you would find the word “yoga” running through the middle.  This is not too far from the truth.  Her mission is to bring yoga to everyone, regardless of physical condition, so they can start living a more conscious and mindful life.

Kat lives in the beautiful Malvern Hills in the UK, where she can often be found drinking coffee and stroking her four cats.  She believes that if everyone does more yoga, we can all learn to live a life full of love. 

Credits & love for this episode: Chris Morley (for the technical help & teaching me how to use Gimp), Linda Biggs (for listening to endless takes of this first episode) and Helen Rebello (for the encouragement and belief that I could do it).


Lazy Afternoon by Zac Nelson from

Coming soon!

Hello, and welcome to the No Ordinary Yogi podcast. The podcast is not quite ready for the world yet, but it will be here in the very near future.

What’s it about?

I believe there is No Ordinary Yogi.  Every yogi is a beautiful, unique human with their own story to tell.

  • Are you interested in hearing about real-life yogis talking about real-life yoga?
  • Are you interested in yoga but never quite made it onto a yoga mat?
  • Do you have some preconceptions about yoga and you think it’s all navel-gazing and trying to hold in a fart?

In the No Ordinary Yogi podcast, you can listen to yoga students and yoga teachers talk about our practices.  What gets us on the mat?  What keeps us on the mat?  And how has yoga helped us navigate the twists and turns in our lives? Every week I talk to ordinary folk who do yoga.  We share our stories and our experiences both on and off the mat, in the hope we will inspire you to start or continue your yoga practice. It’s also possible we’ll end up talking about farts.