Yoga instructor Susan Barber’s journey comes full circle | Economic news


When Steve Watkins heard that his former yoga instructor, Susan Barber, was returning to Fredericksburg, he was elated.

“I can’t say enough about how knowledgeable she is – she has studied with some of the greatest enlighteners in the yoga world, and still does,” Watkins said. “She considers herself an eternal student, continuing to learn, regardless of her experience.”

The emeritus Mary Washington University English professor and prolific author is also a yoga teacher, who took over Barber’s classes when she moved from the area about 20 years ago. He is co-founder of Dragonfly Yoga Studio and the Yoga Foundation of Fredericksburg.

Now that Barber is back, Watkins predicts his classes will overflow.

“Which is wonderful,” he said. “We all support and respect each other, we are not a competition in the true sense of the commercial term. We each have a different approach. We learn from each other, but each of us is unique and we connect with our students in unique ways.

After starting to practice yoga in Richmond in the 1990s and teaching yoga at the Rappahannock YMCA in Fredericksburg, Barber moved to Singapore, where her husband, employed by the Danish shipping company Maersk, was transferred.

Subsequently, the barbers, their son and daughter moved to Bahrain, then to Germany and later to New York, and finally, now, back to Virginia. In each of these locations, Barber practiced and taught yoga, managing to make an extended visit to India, the birthplace of yoga, along the way.