Teacher: Lisa Lindstrom
Grew Up: Oak Brook, IL
Teaching Since: 2013
Thursdays @ 9:30 am in Scarsdale (Level 1)
Saturdays @ 12:30 pm in Scarsdale (Level 1):
BK: How and why did you start practicing yoga?
LL: I think I remember my first yoga class which was at a Crunch Gym in the Village in my 20s. Brutal honesty: I tried it because I was bored with all of the other things I was doing to stay fit, and it wasn’t love at first OM. I left before savasana (too much to do to lie on the floor!) and I dipped in and out of classes for a few years. I had three kids in a little over four years and didn’t do much with consistency for a while (I wish I had been clued into prenatal and mommy & me!). Then when my last baby was one I started finding a bit more time. Lying on the floor in savasana started feeling really, really good. And the best part, yoga had staying power for me. I have never been bored in a yoga class. I just got more interested in all of it. Initially I loved that it toned my body without crushing my sensitive knees and I got hooked on that sweet post-class feeling in my body and my brain.
BK: Who was your greatest teacher?
LL: Tricky question. Certainly there are a bunch of wonderful yoga teachers who got me going and who I continue to learn from, and I hope I will know and follow them for a long time. I think life and all it’s curve-balls and blessings is my greatest teacher.
BK: What style do you enjoy teaching/why does this differ from personal practice?
LL: I teach Hatha/Vinyasa, which is most often what I also practice personally, although I love to try new styles. Sometimes I learn something cool from an Iyengar, Jivamukti or Kundalini teacher and even though I would never pretend to know how to teach in those styles, I love to take an interesting little slice from them and bring it to my class when it makes sense.
BK: What are your obstacles to get on the mat?
LL: HA! Yoga has saved my life. Not literally, life and death, but it has helped me to be awake v. asleep; conscious v. autopilot; present v. absent; clear(er) v. muddy-brained – and I don’t mean that I’m done with any of that work, but yoga helped me be aware that I need to do it.
BK: What keeps you from your own practice?
LL: If I’m honest, I think poor planning is what usually keeps me from my practice. I am not as happy when I don’t practice, even if it’s just a few random Sun Salutations in the living room. I think the weeks when I don’t practice enough are the ones where I didn’t plan ahead and schedule some time for myself. I literally have to write YOGA on my calendar and if someone asks me to do something then, I have to say I am busy. Sometimes it’s just 20 minutes to get in a little home practice but that can be enough to get me through until I can do more.
BK: What is your mindset when you get on your mat?
LL: Sometimes I step onto my mat and just the act of beginning a practice makes me more peaceful, happy and tuned in to my soul. And sometimes I spend a good chunk, if not all, of my practice off in another world feeling like I’m on some kind of bad drugs that are taking me out of my body and my mind. And everything in between.
BK: When did you know you wanting to be a teacher?
LL: I really started teacher training just so I could learn how to be a more informed yogi on a personal level, not with the intention of actually teaching. I have a strong aversion to opening my mouth and speaking words in front of more than a few friends. The idea of being in front of a room full of people I don’t know (AND suggesting what they should do!) was not on my bucket list. I think I can say that every time I teach, I do a little bit of centering myself as I’m centering the students. Thankfully, my love of the yoga takes over a few minutes into class and my public speaking fears move to the back of my brain. I don’t exactly know when I knew I wanted to teach, but sometime during the year I was studying to be a teacher I realized that yoga fills so many of my natural loves: health, philosophy/spirituality, anatomy, and as cliche as this sounds, feeling like sometimes I can help people.
BK: Why important to practice yoga for times we live in?
LL: I imagine that it has always been important across the ages to practice yoga. But here in 2017 Stresschester, it may be especially important to help us get out of our daily lives, whatever they are, connect with our bodies, move, be with a warm community, touch base with our souls, turn off our technology, find a little peace in an otherwise hectic environment.
BK: What is the weirdest place you practiced?
LL: I guess I’m not that weird because I think the weirdest place I’ve practiced is probably my tiny kitchen while cooking. One of the most stunning places I’ve practiced was on a paddleboard at sunset. I am in the center and Katie Feinstein is on the left, practicing Urdhva Danurasana, Wheel Pose!