Sue and Etowah Valley Yoga have been such an inspiration, refuge, and education at so many different times in my life. It is a real joy to see Sue’s continued and growing success as well as to know that all the benefits of yoga and having a welcoming, fun, and supportive space to come to your mat are spreading throughout gorgeous North Georgia. In addition to being a student, I had the immense pleasure of working for Sue as a yoga teacher twice in my life, during critical, transitional times: first after college and then upon returning home after living abroad for nearly four years. Sue’s faith and encouragement along with Etowah Valley Yoga’s incredible, dedicated students provided me an incredible opportunity to share my yoga teaching training while learning from them each and every class. Every time I go to the mat, I think of the misty sunrises before each early morning class, Sue helping me to finally achieve a headstand, and the calm, open, relaxed atmosphere of the studio. To this day, Sue and the South Erwin Street studio are my gold standard whenever and wherever I look for a new studio to continue my practice. While life continues to pull me in different directions and while my yoga practice will forever and always be a work in progress, it is such a comfort to know that there is a place I can always call my yoga home.
- Sara Blankenship
Bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Physical and mental capabilities vary in ways too numerous to count. Yet, every mind, body and spirit can find a happy, calming and safe environment to become healthier at Etowah Valley Yoga. I was referred by my doctor for a personal evaluation with Sue. She has an incredible understanding of body mechanics and welcomed this novice with open arms. After our first meeting, I knew I wanted to at least give Yoga and Qi Gong a try. Being overweight and with limited range of motion due to back issues, I was skeptical of fitting in and uncertain if I could do the work. I have learned so much!! During my first Qi Gong class with Grace, I learned that with an inner smile and conscious intention, the body will follow the mind. This lesson has become part of my daily life. Through yoga with Sue, I have strengthened my body within my “pain free” range of motion. It is truly amazing. I may come to class feeling tight or in pain and leave class feeling renewed. When I started I could not cross my right leg. After only a few months, now I can. Each class I am excited to see what I can achieve. Even if it is not as huge an accomplishment as the first time I crossed my leg, there is always something I feel proud of myself for doing. I get satisfaction and acclamation from yoga like no form of exercise I have tried. The movements are easy to incorporate into my daily life and I find myself doing some of them throughout the day, without designating a specific length of time at home for exercise. I save that for class. I have taken classes from Sue, Grace, Lisa and Chelsea. They are all wonderful and caring. All of the instructors bring their own style to the classes they teach. However, they all share a knowledge and passion that is contagious. They use their skills to teach, not just lead a class so they get in their practice for the day. They make sure you are doing everything correctly. They use descriptive phrases that are easy to understand and follow; and will tweak your position to insure you are getting the most out of your experience. If you are looking for a way to become healthier, this is it. The only weight you lift is your own. Yoga mats and other equipment are provided. You do not have to buy equipment or a new wardrobe to participate. Students are focused on themselves during class, so there is a non-competitive atmosphere. Most people don’t even know what the person beside them is doing. This is not like going to a gym of pretty people. This is a place for beautiful people, as we are all a gift and we are all beautiful. Etowah Valley Yoga develops that belief in ourselves and reminds us to share with others. That is my intention in writing this. To share my experience and encourage the reader to participate. It is never, never too late to improve yourself. Etowah Valley Yoga brings out the best and the beauty in all of us. We are extremely fortunate to have this caliber of studio in our backyard! Thank you EVY! You have changed my life!
- Rita Lusk
Joined May 2013
I remember the first class that I took with Sue on the top floor of Antonino’s Restaurant (now closed)…she was so welcoming! Even though I had been doing yoga for a couple of years with another instructor, I was impressed with the thoroughness and the way that she moved in and out and adjusted postures so that it made my practice even better. I have since taken classes with other instructors and have found that each one brings special talent to the classes…I will not live without doing yoga, and I am grateful that I’ve found Etowah Valley Yoga and Yoga, Etc.! My life is enriched!
- Michele Ross
Yoga has been a God send for me! It helps to keep me moving and stretching. During classes, the instructors come around and make sure that you get the benefit of each pose. They happily get you props and adjust you if necessary to help with your comfort level! Several Etowah Valley Yoga instructors have also personally given me poses to do outside of class, to help me with tight neck and shoulders, as well as knee issues that I have. I strongly recommend Etowah Valley Yoga to everyone. They can help you get started as well as continue a life long yoga practice!
I am so grateful to Sue and the entire staff at Etowah Valley Yoga for providing such a great space for trainings to further my yoga education. It’s not just the physical space but the atmosphere of community that evolved that was so important in my 500 hour and Yoga Therapy training. We fellow teachers learn so much from each other in addition to Sue’s vast knowledge as well as the other excellent instructors she attracts to assist in teaching these trainings. Feel so fortunate and blessed to have taken my training at EVY!
- Susan Polk
I have been taking classes at Yoga Etc for over a year. I try to take at least 4 classes a week, sometimes more. It has helped some of my health issues, especially my pain and strength. The adaptive class is what has been so helpful. Thank you, SUe, Grace and Lisa. Yoga Etc is very helpful for seniors, men and women with all kinds of limitations. The teachers are will trained and knowledgable. I would probably not be mobile is I didn’t have my classes. The instructors make adjustments for each student and their needs. I am 73 and wish I had started sooner, but it is never too late. Thank you, Etowah Valley Yoga, your classes are a blessing!
The teachers at Etowah Valley Yoga and Yoga Etc are inspired and inspiring. The range of talents and interests of each teacher is wide. The diversity of class offerings makes this studio a wonderful place to practice- and to learn. As both a student in yoga classes and Qigong classes at EVY, and a graduate of Sue Hopkins 500 hour teacher training program (and soon the 600 hour PYT program!), I say without reservation that I get a solid and grounded education each time I walk through the door.
I enjoy the range of classes from yoga for seniors to Ashtanga and Mindful Yoga, taught by one of my favorite teachers, Chelsea. I appreciate the fact that classes are offered in the day and the evenings so that if I want a Yin class at night I can drop in for one, or if I want to wind down from the week, I can join the TGIF class. I regularly attend the gentle yoga and the level 2 that Sue Hopkins, owner and yoga therapist teaches. If my back is feeling out of sorts, the Back Care class guarantees relief. Both studios are lovely, and when I bring visiting friends and family to EVY, they each express delight at this hidden jewel of a studio in Cartersville, GA.
Above all, the atmosphere of EVY creates a warm and caring community of teachers and practitioners. All are made welcome and yoga is made accessible to people of all abilities and disabilities. It’s my studio and I am proud of it. I always purchase the unlimited yoga for a year package and get so much more than my money’s worth. The past four years are just the beginning of my relationship with EVY. I am grateful to belong to such a community. I am grateful for my health and well-being and the joy I find daily in my yoga and meditation practice at Etowah Valley Yoga.
- Dede Yow, Ph.D, RYT 500
Two important questions about my yoga practice are: “Why did I start coming to the Yoga Center and why do I keep coming back?”
I’ve have consistently practiced yoga with Sue now for about two years and doubt that I would have lasted this long were it not for her style and skill as a teacher. I initially came to the Yoga Center seeking relief from health related problems, yet I kept coming back not only for the strength and flexibility that have resulted, but also for the calmness of mind and spirit that are just as empowering. Sue teaches in such a way that is very affirming, even while she challenges you in your practice. She encourages acceptance of one’s unique body characteristics and oftentimes reminds us to “work with the body you brought with you today”. That’s why I’ve persisted in my yoga practice and that’s why I’ll keep coming back.
- D. Morgan, MS.Ed, LPC
Parent, Teacher, Yoga Student
I’ve been studying with Sue for five years and there’s always new learning. Sue has the ability to bring in pearls from traditional yoga teachings, poetry, and health & wellness studies, just to name a few sources, each of which enhances the experience in her classes. Always enthusiastic, Sue’s warmth, interest and genuineness bring out the best in everyone she teaches. Her flexibility allows each student to practice at their own pace in their own way. If you take a class with Sue, you will never be disappointed.
Judith Tutin, Ph.D.
Life Coaching and Psychotherapy
I can’t tell you how much yoga has done for me. I had never been an athletic person, getting my exercise from walking, gardening, etc. But, since starting yoga several years ago, my balance, strength, and flexibility have increased dramatically. Even more important, at least to me, I find yoga to be an island of tranquility in a sometimes frustrating world. It is truly a meditation in motion! Add to all this the fact that, in Sue, you will have the warmest and most patient of teachers, and how can you not give it a try?
- Jane Dysart
I have made yoga a part of my daily life for the past three years, and chose Sue’s classes because of her well‐rounded approach and because of the way she exhibits respect for each student’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve learned to both cherish and challenge my body during the sessions with Sue’s guidance, grace and at times even humor. When at home I practice the techniques taught in class and adapt them to my day. Yoga is much more than just postures ‐ it calms the mind and renews the body and spirit.
- Nery Diaz
Knowing that Yoga would be a lifelong study/practice of mine, I was pleasantly surprised to find that working on my 200 hour certification as a Yoga instructor with Sue Hopkins would be so enjoyable and provide so much growth. I believe I was lucky to take this course at Etowah Valley Yoga. Sue embodies yoga. She has the knowledge and presence to teach and share Yoga fully.
“Honor for those who embody noble qualities”, can begin to describe, and is fitting for a Yoga teacher such as Sue.
- Lisa Browning
LMT, Yoga and Pilates instructor
The Etowah Valley Teacher Training has been a great program for me. I have gained a tremendous depth of knowledge beyond the learning the yoga poses. And Sue is one of the very best in teaching safe adjustments to the poses. I am currently teaching yoga, and I find myself using what I have learned from Sue everyday in the yoga classes I teach. I highly recommend the program
- John Reiners
Seeking an exercise program to meet my needs, I have tried over the years many different forms. But, due to a long history of arthritis, even the simplest forms produced more pain than gain. Two and a half years ago my son presented me with a Christmas gift of eight yoga classes and it has truly been a gift that has kept on giving. Starting with one class a week, I was amazed at what a difference that one class had made in how I felt. So, I figured if one had made that much difference, why not try another. Ideally, I try to make it to class three times a week, and if I don’t, I do my own practice at home. What a difference yoga has made in the quality of my life! I am stronger, more flexible and pain free.
The quality of the instruction has certainly been the key to my addiction to the practice. Sue is an excellent instructor; she models every pose, describes in detail the benefits of each and encourages every student to engage at the level where they are comfortable. I leave each session feeling refreshed and relaxed. I encourage everyone I know to give it a try.
- Nettie Hot
Guided Yoga Practice with Sue Hopkins has been a life saver! I am only a beginner but yoga is my relief from the stresses of everyday life. Everybody’s schedule has those days when it is too hectic even for “me” time. Having Sue Hopkin’s “Guided Yoga Practice” CDs makes it so I don’t have to go without it.
On the CD she is incredibly descriptive, easy to follow, and as always patient. I can’t thank her enough for coming out with the CD and even though I have it, I look forward to the nest class at the studio.
- Danielle Manry
I am very new to yoga. I just starting ‘practicing” with Sue at Etowah Valley Yoga in January 2009; and in just 6 months, I’ve attended 100 classes! I’ve needed some sort of exercise in my life for a long time, and Sue and her gentle spirit have been the perfect fit for me. I was hooked in the first week and attend an average of 4 classes per week.The benefits I’ve received from Sue and her approach to yoga are almost too many to mention, however my total “body awareness” has reached beyond the classes and I find that yoga is with me all the time now! Sue suggested recently, “If you never laughed or cries in a yoga class, ask yourself why.” Well, I can say that I have laughed and yes, there have been tears as well, but don’t misunderstand – the laughter is there close to the surface (because I think it is better to laugh at ourselves and not take things too seriously) and the tears are from gratitude for what I feel is one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself!
Sue Hopkins and Etowah Valley Yoga have saved my life – or at least made my life infinitely better!
- Lisa Davis Siniard
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