"I’ve always walked a dual path, as a musician and performing artist
and as a teacher, therapist, coach, and guide.
What weaves all my work together is an unwavering faith in the mystery of creative process and the unifying power of love."
A gifted musician and healer with roots in western classical, improvisation, and the avant- garde, Suzin was one of the early voices of the American Yoga and Kirtan scene. Her chant-based albums Hearts on Fire (2000) and Devi Demo (2001) are genre classics and her recently released albums, Daughter of the Mountain and Mantras of the Sun, have been praised as groundbreaking albums in the field of yoga music. Suzin is also a pioneer in the Expressive Arts Therapy movement. She developed a multi-arts approach to teaching music to children in the '80s, which morphed into the meditation and mantra-based therapies for adults and teens that she offers today.
Suzin’s insight, wisdom, and get-down-dirty approach to life and spirituality have won her a loyal following and her powerful yogic chanting has touched countless people worldwide. She first stepped onto the yogic path in 1977 when she attended a Siddha Yoga retreat with Swami Muktananda. Her sense of homecoming was profound and the discovery of yogic chant forever changed her life.
“Muktananda was a great proponent of chanting and I took to it like a fish to water. I’d long intuited deep connections between sound and healing and here was the treasure trove of knowledge and the spiritual teacher I’d been seeking.”
For the next seventeen years she was a devoted student of Siddha Yoga, spending as much time as possible in her guru’s presence. Towards the end of this nearly two-decades however, Suzin began questioning the paradigm of guru yoga. Although the system promised liberation, she saw patterns of domination and control that struck her as the antithesis of what Yoga (union with the Self), is about. After a period of intensive soul-searching, she returned to graduate school, earned a counseling degree in Art & Consciousness Studies and moved on from the guru-centric path she’d followed for so many years.
Devi Yoga, her real-life application of yogic philosophy, western psychology, and the arts was born from this journey. As Suzin has grown and evolved, so has Devi Yoga.
“I once bought into traditional yogic ideals of purity and asceticism, believing that by cutting my ties to worldly pursuits, applying myself to intensive practice, and eating a strict vegetarian diet, I would achieve mastery of life. From the outside I looked like a perfect yogini. On the inside however, I was all tied up in knots.
I slowly came to see it wasn’t about cutting my ties to the world. It was about cutting those inner ties. Withdrawing from the world and losing myself in spiritual practice just hardened the wounding/wounded places inside of me. I realized the real challenge was stepping fully into myself and making friends with all the messy stuff inside.
It was about seeing myself as I was, in all my human imperfection. I came to understand that if I wanted to move through life with real power and grace, it had to start from a fierce and fearless embrace of myself and the world.”
Today Suzin maintains a private practice offering life coaching and transformational healing. She also teaches chanting and meditation classes, leads workshops and retreats, and performs mantra and kirtan concerts.
When she’s not working or touring, you can usually find Suzin with a mug of chai in hand, hanging out with her cats Sukie and Lily. Actually, even when she’s on the road or working, she’s also drinking her fresh-brewed chai (those who know her well lovingly refer to her as Chai Ma). Click here for Suzin’s recipe for this Ayurvedic elixir. She’s brewed a fresh pot every morning for over thirty years. Ask her and she’ll tell you hands down that if you’re looking for the fountain of youth, all it takes is a daily dose of chanting and a few mugs of honey-sweetened chai…