Fiona Sutherland: I wanted to get it ‘done’

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Today's Meet the Graduate interviewee is Fiona Sutherland:

She's an Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist with a diverse working background including international clinical work, private practice, sports nutrition, corporate consultancy, research & working extensively in Dietetic training. 

Fiona is one of Australia’s leading specialists in Mindful Eating and the Non Diet Approach (read more about it HERE) & supports eating in an individually tailored way that supports every person’s unique needs, in alignment with the HAES (Health At Every Size) (R) paradigm.  I have a long working relationship with her business partner from Body Positive Australia, Sarah Harry, and to say I love what these ladies are about is an UNDERSTATEMENT.

But here's the weird thing: Fiona didn't know I'd been working with Sarah when she applied to this training! The world works in strange ways sometimes.

What attracted you to this teacher training?

I had signed up for the Yoga in Melbourne newsletter for a while before my idea to pursue teacher training became more than an idea. As a health professional, I always really found the communication from Nadine and Karen not only informative but also compassionate and thoughtful. 

Why did you choose this training over an intensive training (locally or abroad)?

I'll admit that yes, there was a part of me that wanted to "get it done" so I can understand why intensives are so attractive, but I honestly don't think yoga teacher training is something to be done quickly. In theory yes, but in practice, I really believe that being a "wise" teacher (rather than someone who can teach) requires plenty of time and reflection. Having the opportunity to come together and learn, then go and practice (and attend other people's classes) offered me a valuable opportunity to absorb and integrate the training.  Additionally, fostering a sense of patience, resilience and persistence during the course really provided an incredible opportunity for me to bring that into my classes now as a teacher.

What was your favourite thing(s) about this teacher training?

I loved the opportunities to explore the many aspects of yoga, particularly that beyond asana such as the experience and diversity of course participants, yoga philosophy and just everyday practical challenges such as running a business and time management. I really appreciated Nadine and Karen's openness to each course participants experience, and the way they were so respectful and welcoming to our different personalities, interests and strengths. I really appreciated the way feedback was offered in a very authentic, warm and genuine way which encouraged us all to learn, reflect and grown without being discouraged. It's a steep learning curve but with Nadine and Karen, I always felt 100% supported even when I was taking risks or doing things for the first time.

What was the most challenging thing for you in this training?

As a parent and health professional, my life was already very very full so it was a lot of juggling for me to attend each training weekend. I appreciated the compassion, support and guidance of Nadine and Karen throughout the course. Making, and taking the time between training weekends was also tricky at times but I always felt supported to do the best I could from month to month which meant that when I could do more, I was able to, and other times when life was busier I was able to just do what I could.