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Yogi Tones Podcast Episode 78 With Lisa Samuels – Building A Community

Lisa Samuels is a registered dietitian and 200hr RYT from Queens, New York.  She has been practicing yoga for 10 years and teaching Hatha and restorative yoga for three.  Lisa truly sees how important and beneficial yoga is for the body,mind, and spirit.  However, she felt something was missing from the yoga world- a sense of community that not only loves, but embraces and welcomes everyone with open arms.  With that mission in mind, Lisa decided to open The Happie House, a community wellness center.  There, the aim is to free the body, mind, and spirit of toxic thoughts and behaviors, especially fear, through a vast offering of yoga classes, nutrition lectures and counseling sessions, and social gatherings.  The Happie House will be opening soon, and Lisa cannot wait to experience it with all of you!  Namaste! 

Instagram: @the_happie_house
Facebook: TheHappieHouse/

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

Special thanks to Lisa for joining me on the episode. Until next time!

Yogi Tones Featured Teacher – Joyce Slaughter

What type of yoga do you teach?

Hatha

Do you teach at a studio?

Fitness Club

Which studio/s?

Rockfit Fitness Center in Rockford, MI ( and sub at other locations)

Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

On my yoga mat 😉

What do you like the most about practicing there?

The act of stepping onto my mat is an act of reverence for me. Whether I can practice for 3 minutes or 90, taking a seat on my mat changes my energy. Calms me, centers me.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

The first time I was introduced to the yamas and niyamas, I was smitten. This set of “rules” that can be applied broad or narrow to any given situation. I loved them more than I loved the asana. (And I really love the asana). 

Meditation. It’s my force shield. I am still working on having a daily practice. I see immediate results in all aspects of my life when I practice. Yet somehow this has been the most difficult for me to instill and maintain as a daily ritual.

The world ends tomorrow. What would you indulge in tonight?

All the things. Doritos, cheese, cheesecake, pizza, milkshakes. Or maybe a green smoothie. It could really be anything that sounds good that day.

What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?

A friend I met at my TT studio offered space at her studio and arranged for some of her students to attend class with me so I could finish my practicums for certification. I had taught demos before and even a few classes, but this was the first time non-friends rolled out their mat and looked to me for guidance.

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

I looked up a history of covers and the ones that spoke to me the most were the peaceful ones – sukasana, virasana. meditative.

What inspires you to teach yoga?

The memory of how I felt the first time I stepped on the mat inspires me to hopefully give that gift to others. 

I was blessed to have my first teacher be an absolutely amazing teacher. Her patience and grace was exactly what I needed at the time. I truly believe that very few other teachers would have connected me with yoga the way she did.

If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A cozy quaint little studio with a tight knit kula. I love the sound when the community has practiced together enough times that their breath becomes one as they move in unison. Or maybe some tropical island somewhere warm 😉

What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?

As a teacher? The dreaded forgotten second side. I think we’ve all been there? 

As a practitioner, when a teacher hollered at me from across the room in a studio with very defined cliques…. everyone turned and stared. Her behavior was unprofessional and rude. But it was also a great lesson.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?

I usually ask them why they haven’t tried a class yet. When I know what their hesitation is, I can help remove that obstacle

What music are you jamming to right now?

Deva Premal. Cheesy, I know. Danielle LaPorte recommended all things Deva a few years ago and I got hooked. Imagine Dragons, my kiddo recently discovered them so of course we jam them all the time now. Johnny Cash. My hubby’s favorite. And at the time I write this, it’s Christmas so we are jamming all the bouncy Christmas sounds.

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?

Seeing the person who was new to yoga when they walked into the class leave with a big smile and knowing that they will be back on the mat soon.

Where else can we find you?

Just yoga: @driftseedyoga on Facebook and Instagram (website coming soon) 

Just me: @driftseed on Instagram and Twitter

Everything else ~ MosaicStarfish.com – More content coming in 2018 about all things. 

Starfishwarriors.wordpress.com – Where I talk about food, fitness, and life with Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune of the thyroid) 

I’m on Google+ and a few other places, as well but I don’t regularly update them.

Yogi Tones Featured Teacher – Lisa Samuels

 What type of yoga do you teach?

Hatha, Restorative

Do you teach at a studio?

Not currently because I am in the process of opening a studio!

What is the studio called?

The Happie House!

Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

Right now, I love practicing at home.

What do you like the most about practicing there?

I have big windows that let me feel like I’m in the trees. I feel as though I can also move deeper into my practice when I’m left to explore my strengths and weaknesses on my own.

How do you practice yoga off the mat?

I try to have a smile and/or a kind greeting for everyone I meet. I think yoga makes us more aware of the world around us and the other beings that surround us. We don’t know each other on a surface level, but we are all connected, and so I try to keep in mind that everyone has their own story and is going through different things. You never know how much one smile or one kind “hello” can mean to a stranger.

What was your first experience as a yoga teacher?

I started doing private chair yoga sessions with an elderly woman who was 94. I was so nervous that one wrong move or adjustment would cause permanent damage, but she was great. She was mostly sedentary, so she always told me she enjoyed our lessons because she felt open and more limber afterwards.

Imagine you’re on the cover of Yoga Journal. What pose would you strike?

Natarajasana- Lord of the Dance Pose!

What inspires you to teach yoga?

I’m driven by the world’s desperate need for a kind, peaceful community. There is a lot of hate in the world, but there is also a lot of love, and I think as teachers, it’s part of our responsibility to cultivate environments that reflect that. Everyone in the world deserves kindness and respect.

If you could teach yoga anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I could be happy teaching anywhere!

What has been your most embarrassing yoga moment as a teacher or practitioner?

I was demonstrating a pose once, and my pants ripped! I had to finish out the class with a huge split down the center of my pants lol.

What would you say to someone who is on the fence about practicing yoga?

I try to remind everyone that there is no such thing as being “good” at yoga. The whole point of going to a class is to improve our health, musculature, and state of mind. Wherever you are right now is not good, it’s GREAT.

What music are you jamming to right now?

My favorite bands are 311 and Slightly Stoopid– I am always jamming to them!

What has been the most rewarding thing about being a teaching yoga?

I love when my students tell me after class that they felt so zen, centered, and relaxed. That is my only goal as a teacher, to help my students realize that turning off the noise from their daily lives is not only important, but it is necessary for their wellbeing.

Where else can we find you?

Instagram: @the_happie_house

Anything else you could add about yoga?

I think a lot of people are intimidated by yoga, especially because it seems to be a tight-knit, closed-off community accessible to the few who can balance on one finger or stand on their head. While I have respect for the traditional aspects of yoga, it’s become my mission to expand yoga’s meaning into one that goes far beyond that. I think it needs to be shown that you can still be who you are and be a fantastic yogi, even if you don’t necessarily “follow all the rules” or turn into a flexi-straw.