February Yogi of the month : Lisa
February is the month filled with love! Hear what Lisa, our lovely February yogi of the month, loves about Live and Breathe Yoga…she loves quite a lot actually!
When and where did you start practicing yoga?
On Magnetic Island, around the year 2000. Since then I’ve been the student of many great teachers and different styles of yoga. Ashtanga was my first practice and I found my way back to the series when I discovered Allison at Live and Breathe Yoga in Townsville several years ago.
Why were you interested in the first place?
A background in dance and human movement attracted me to the physical aspect of the practice . Due to family commitments I was looking for exercise I could practice at home. Over the years I’ve become more and more interested in yoga philosophy. Life is not a gentle walk in the park, and neither is Ashtanga yoga. I find yoga to be a useful tool for good living.
What is it that got you hooked?
Life is better upside down. Yoga is fun! The blissful feeling of relaxation at the end of each practice is addictive. Nothing (other than Harry’s chai) beats relaxation in supine after a challenging practice. Floating away on a cloud of ginger, cardamon, and peaceful calm is the best way to start the weekend. Relaxation becomes magical.
What you love about Live and Breathe yoga?
Practicing with Allison and Harry for almost five years has been ace. The studio is a haven, I’d say it’s my favourite room in Townsville. Allison is an excellent teacher who has helped me to believe that anything is possible. This years birthday party at the studio kicked asana. There is a terrific sense of community at the studio, people are nice to each other. I have made some great friends at Live and Breathe Yoga. Some people bring food to have with chai on Saturdays, Max is often surprising us with a tasty treat. Baby Elsie visits on Saturdays after class which is a highlight, she is our guru. Visiting teachers have taught workshops at the studio which were amazing and very memorable. The studio is beautiful, it’s light and airy, and in the centre of town. Harry’s business Spark, which runs out of the same studio, is also fantastic. Harry teaches marvellous courses in human movement which are fun and make a lot of sense. It’s exciting that Allison and Harry have started running retreats.
“I basically love everything about Live and Breathe yoga.”
What benefits have you felt since practicing Ashtanga yoga?
I am stronger physically and mentally. I am more open, not only in asana but with life in general. I love the Ashtanga vinyasa sequence, primary series is like an old friend. Practice helps me to switch off and immerse myself in the present. I cannot imagine my life without yoga.
How often do you practice yoga in a week?
2-3 classes at the studio, plus home practice. I’m definitely more focused in class and love practicing in the studio, its a perfect space for yoga. During home practice I can become distracted and don’t always follow the sequence as diligently as I do in class. Home practice is fun though, sometimes I incorporate music and dance.
What’s your favourite thing about Ashtanga yoga?
Ashtanga means eight limbs. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga allows you to experience all the limbs of yoga, in one form or another. I recommend reading up on the eight limbs, if you don’t know what they are, it’s interesting stuff.
“The Ashtanga vinyasa sequence flows like a melodic and meditative dance. The breath acts like a divine metronome, an anchor to the present moment. The postures awaken muscles previously dormant. Ashtanga yoga is like a long journey up a mountain. The process begins with a single breath and the summit is too high to see.”
What would you say to someone who is thinking of trying Ashtanga Yoga?
Do it, you won’t regret it.
Be kind to yourself, listen to pain, never force a knee joint.
Do your practice and allow your journey to progress at your own pace.
Use your Drishti (focused gaze point) to ignore what other people in the room are doing, this is difficult.
Don’t think you can hide in the back row, yoga teachers see everything.
Learn to love sweating.
Thank you so much for your beautiful and inspiring words Lisa! I look forward to seeing your smiling face in the studio soon 😉