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Susan and her daughter, Caroline Lilly

Susan wore traditional garb from India at her Ayurveda graduation

When were you introduced to CSL?

I was introduced in 1997 by my friend Liz Fackler, a long-time member of the Center who now lives in Fresno. Being a seeker of spiritual truth, I appreciated the structure of study to learn spiritual principles. I enjoyed the music and friendly people.


How long have you worked for CSL Visalia?

I began in 2004 as office administrator. I began the bookkeeper position in January 2017.


Why did you decide to become a practitioner?

I wanted to continue my studies in the Science of Mind teaching, which then led me to dive deeper into the practice of Yoga and Ayurveda lifestyle medicine.


What is Ayurveda? 

Ayurveda is a natural, sustainable method of prevention and health maintenance which teaches us to align with the cycles of nature, understand our individual body constitution, and create harmony in our body and life. Through modifications of our diet and lifestyle routines, Ayurveda guides us to a more balanced state of being. An Ayurvedic health counselor is someone who carefully listens and observes to determine a person’s constitutional nature and makes specific recommendations to promote physical and mental health.

What is the relationship between Ayurveda and Yoga? 

Both systems originate from the Indian subcontinent and have been proven to reduce pain, maintain health and restore balance. Both systems approach the individual as a microcosm considering all aspects of their being.

Why did you decide to study Ayurveda?

Ayurveda was introduced in my Yoga teacher studies. I started seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner and learned so much about myself that helped me to stay balanced and heal some long-standing health concerns. As I continued to study Yoga and complete the 200 and 500 hour Yoga teacher trainings, I became more and more interested in Ayurveda. I experienced firsthand healing of my own wellbeing, and I wanted to learn more about it and share it with others.

Where did you study and how long did it take you?

I studied Yoga at the Mount Madonna Center of Creative Arts and Sciences in Watsonville, Calif. from 2011 to 2015. I studied Ayurveda health counselor at the Mount Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda from January 2016 through March 2017. I just received my Ayurveda Health Counselor certificate April 30.  

As part of the requirements for Ayurveda health counselor, I had to complete an externship with 10 clients under the supervision of a mentor. I’m so grateful to the women who offered to be my clients. I learned so much from each of them.

Now you have exciting new plans!

I plan to practice as an Ayurveda health counselor and Yoga instructor. I will meet with clients at Valley Yoga Studio or in my home. For appointments call 559 802-2626 or email lillysusan61@gmail.com.

Susan teaches Yoga at the Center on Saturday mornings: breathing and meditation from 8:30-9:10 a.m. and gentle Yoga postures from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. She also teaches gentle Yoga at Valley Yoga Studio on Tuesdays from 4-5:15 p.m.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Ann Arbor, Mich. I moved to California in 1987.

Who are the members of your family? 

Husband Chuck Cornelison; son Joey Lilly; daughter Caroline Lilly; Thomas Jones Lilly (dog); Jestin & Liz Cornelison, stepson and daughter-in-law; Jennifer and Alex Dias, stepdaughter and son; and three Cornelison grandchildren.  Also my parents from Ann Arbor, Mich., three sisters, four nieces, and two nephews.

Comments from Susan’s externship clients:

I enjoy treatment from Susan because it is a holistic healing process that treats my entire body, so that everything works together in harmony. Treatment is not invasive but complements what works for me. I feel stronger and healthier as a result.--Sharon Banister

I received a personalized evaluation and recommendations based on my dosha [bio-elements] and several follow up sessions to review my progress. I have used Ayurveda principles in my lifestyle for years, and having access to a knowledgeable certified practitioner has really enhanced my life.--Quita Payne

Susan offered several ideas for practices to improve functional health.The one I appreciated most is avoiding snacks after dinner by drinking a cup of warm "golden milk" at bedtime. Yummy!  --Carole Greening

I feel more centered. I'm able to relax more and when I follow the food suggestions, I feel much better physically. It was definitely a benefit and I plan to continue working with Susan.--Linda Cooney