Here at Neal's Yard Remedies, we are firm believers than when we feel good on the inside, it radiates through our skin and allows us to be our most beautiful on the inside. The opportunities to seek this inner wellness are endless—spending quality time with your children, melting into a warm bath, hiking in the mountains, mastering the perfect green smoothie recipe.
Amongst other things, practicing yoga is a well known way to achieve inner wellness. It allows us to slow down, breathe, reflect. And, if you're like us, achallenge your body a little bit! Or, perhaps, a lot.
We were so excited to be able to sit down with Lisa Tierney, who is the Community & Communications Manager at Yoga Santosha in Calgary. This vibrant studio (which is just down the street from our store on 4th Street) has been an integral part of the community for the past 10 years. The studio offers over 20 yoga styles, and allows students to trust the heartbeat of deep experience to focus your practice, grow your spirit, and guide your fire.
Lisa is a valued member of the Santosha team, as both a teacher and as part of the management team. Originally starting at the studio as a student, her role has evolved and she's been a part of the Santosha family for several years. To her, the studio is her second home.
We sat down with Lisa to discuss her journey into a yoga lifestyle, how it contributes to her own wellness, and how we can all benefit from practicing. We hope you enjoy!
Thank you so much for interviewing with us, Lisa! We absolutely love Yoga Santosha; you are such a vital part of our community. First things first—could you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you first got into yoga?
My Yogini sister introduced me to yoga. She suggested we take a class together, and I fell in love. At first it was a very physical love affair. It took me time to uncover and dive into all the different aspects of yoga. Over the years my practice has changed substantially. My approach is much softer and more meditative now. I still receive incredible physical benefits of course!
One of the things I love about yoga is that you receive from it what you need—if you come to your mat needing space, you receive that. If you come needing to take deeper breaths, you receive that. If you come to increase flexibility in your hamstrings and find stronger quadriceps, then you receive that as well. Everyone can find their own yoga.
We absolutely love attending classes at Yoga Santosha, as we’re sure is the case with everyone who practices there. But for readers who are new to the studio, can you put into your own words what makes it such a special place?
Connection and community. Yoga Santosha is a sacred space and you can feel that the moment you walk through the doors. The owners Alastair and Candace Cooke have created a foundation that is based on acceptance and on honoring. Alastair built the studio and it is infused with this energy. Going to Santosha is like going home. We are welcomed to our mat to be ourselves. We are welcomed to explore our body, breath, mind, and spirit. We are held to do all this in an inclusive and safe space.
We believe that there are strong connections between inner health and outer beauty. Do you find this especially true when you practice yoga?
When you feel good from the skin-in you exude that on the outside. We are energy beings and what you do on the inside will always affect the outside. So yes when you breathe, take time, move, feel, heal and express, it will be noticed on the outside. We are all beautiful beings and we all have a light that shines. It simply shines brighter the better we feel and the healthier we are.
What makes a great day for you?
Connection...with myself, with my family, with my friends, and with nature.
Deep breaths. A yoga practice. A walk. A warm meal. Listening to music. Cuddling on the couch.
They are not always days but often precious moments. Like that moment when you look into the eyes of someone you love, or take a gratifying inhale/exhale, or catch the laughter of your Momma, or see the mountains on a clear day, or feel the grass under your feet, or have a heart to heart with your sister and feel seen. Those moments where I am reminded of our interconnection and of our wholeness.
If you weren’t teaching yoga or working with the studio, what would you be doing?
Most of my days involve walks, parks, or play dates with my 15 month old son, Denan. He's my greatest gift and my greatest teacher these days. Watching him grow and the world unfold through his eyes is precious and continually fills my heart. My family is everything and I am blessed to have a 10 and 12 year old in my life as well as a genuine, funny, loving, kind, and dedicated partner.
If anyone reading this is like me, then they know how intimidating it can be to go into a yoga studio as a first-timer. What realistic advice would you tell someone trying your studio for the first time?
Choose what fits for you and what will give you space to grow. If this is all new you can start at the beginning and take our registered beginners class. Over the course of 6 classes you learn the foundation of the practice and then you can branch out from there.
We also have some great suggestions on our website under New to Yoga that includes class suggestions, etiquette and FAQs.
The truth for most of us is that the first step is the hardest. Make it easier by honouring what you need. Recognise too that it’s normal to fell a bit shy. I still feel a bit intimidated when I walk into a new studio!
What are your best tips for taking lessons learned in the yoga studio and applying them to everyday wellbeing?
I feel like everything you do on your mat is a reflection of what you do off your mat and vice versa. When we greet ourselves from a place of honesty, compassion, devotion, health, and love then we automatically greet our wellness and wholeness. When we show up for ourselves we learn to show up for all aspects of our lives. When we honour ourselves, we honour all those around us. When we choose health and well being as a priority it will ripple into all areas of our lives.
Do you have any favourite natural remedies you enjoy treating yourself to after a day at the studio?
The last time we partnered with Neal's Yard Remedies, I treated myself to both the Rejuventating Frankincense Refining Cleanser as well as the Frankincense Hydrating Cream. Cleansing. Refreshing. Healing. From the skin in 😊
Thank you so much, Lisa! To learn more about Yoga Santosha and to book a class, please visit their website here. Neal's Yard Remedies' customers can receive a free Yoga Santosha class by presenting their receipt at the studio until January 31, 2018.
Tell us... does practicing yoga contribute to your own wellness? Or do you have other preferred ways to seek inner beauty? Let us know in the comments below!