“I’m trying to create a safe space where you can be free and find a sense of liberty” – A sit down with Liberty Suares
Her name perfectly fits her persona. It was meant to be, like destiny, something you would only see on TV. Her parents picked her name while watching TV. They heard “Libby” and fell in love instantly. The task at hand was to find a name that could rhyme with “Libby”. The choices were Elizabeth or Liberty. Guess who won?
From a very young age she believed she had to do what was expected. Go to school get a job, build a future. In the fourth grade, she made a commitment to herself, to become an architect. As she grew older she kept her promise and studied architecture in The Netherlands where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree. Her goal was met and the next natural step was to continue her path; a Masters degree. She felt accomplished and proud, but something within her whispered, “there has to be more to life?”.
Always inspired by nature, because nature is pure life according to her, she decided to do something different during college, other than just hitting the books. She needed inspiration, something of her own, not the expected. This led to running on a daily basis which led to stretching more often and before she knew it, she stumbled upon Yoga.
When did you start Yoga?
I started in 2013 during college. I did not know what yoga was so I looked online and it sparked my interest. I started at home with five-minute sessions and it increased during a period of 10 months. I was scared of actually attending a yoga studio with 10 to 15 complete strangers. I have always been insecure which held me back from a lot of things, and admitting it gives me power, strength. I guess the saying that things happen for a reason is true, because at the time there was a new studio that just opened. So, I thought if there is a new place, new people, new teacher, then it’s not so bad, no judgements will be passed. So, I took a chance and attended my first class and never looked back.
Why the switch from architecture to teaching Yoga?
After my Bachelor’s I could have immediately started with my Masters. I was good at it, my designs were solid, but selling the end result, was something I struggled with. I had stage fright and tried different methods to be comfortable in what I was selling, but nothing worked, it just didn’t come natural to me.
Plus, I wanted to explore other things. I started with Yoga, but never had the time. I was focused on finishing school. So, I had this crazy idea to take 6 months off and explore, hoping this would boost my confidence before starting my Masters.
My teachers insisted in getting my Yoga teacher certification. Me? A teacher? How am I going to do that if I fear public speaking? Who would listen to me? It’s not about becoming a teacher they said, it’s a process which allows you to know yourself better and how your mind and body works. Completing the course did not mean I had to teach, but the entire process would benefit me as an individual, and that is exactly what I was searching for.
So, I made a choice. I went to Thailand for my teacher training. On my first day, there was a welcome circle and this was my pitch.
“My name is Liberty, an island girl born and raised in Curacao, I live in Holland, just finished my Bachelor’s and I’m taking a break before starting my Masters”. Fast forward 2 days into the course…..
‘What Masters?” This is it! I felt freedom like never before. That bond I felt with complete strangers, all coming from different backgrounds, and yet the only thing that connected us, was Yoga was indescribable. That feeling was pure ecstasy and that’s how my teaching journey began.
Yoga heals my soul, my wounds and insecurities. It’s so personal to me that I want to share it with everyone. Why? Because if it helped me it might help others too.
So, I create a space where everyone can be themselves, whether you practice an hour and sweat or you simply stretch, it’s up to you. I instruct with different variations. You start here and if you want to go further you can. Do what your body wants and needs. I’m trying to create a safe space where you can be free and find a sense of liberty.
During class, I start off by asking “how’s everyone feeling?” I feel the vibe, I trust my instinct, I ask “how can I be of service?” and that’s how I teach, no labels, no judgement.
I’m not traditional. I respect and admire tradition and I use aspects from traditional Yoga, but I simply like to adapt them to my style. It has to feel liberating. Move your body and discover your own progress. To me the movements have to be natural and fun! I’ll play pop, or just meditation music it all depends on the group.
Now I’m doing this, but who knows what’s next? We are always evolving and exploring. Yes, I teach Yoga, but I learned that there are no restrictions to our liberty in this journey we call life.
Liberty-Yoga at Santa Barbara Resort and Hofi Cas Cora
Dushi SUP Yoga (Stand Up Paddling Board Yoga) at Klein Knip and Caracasbaai.
For more info go to:
Instagram: @Libertysuares and @dushisup
Photography by Donovan Lieuw-A-Len