Lisa Fit, Founder
San Diego, CA
Tell us about yourself, where you are from, currently reside, practice, etc.
I am an Asian American 47 year old, single mother of three teenagers who owns a personal training studio. I grew up in Orange County, Southern California and live in San Diego, CA now. I practice yoga wherever there is ground below me. I rarely attend classes. I prefer to put on a custom playlist, move myself into various yoga poses as my body navigates me and allowing my breath to be the true rhythm. It really is the epitome of a “yoga flow”. My ideal classroom is nature - no walls, no ceilings, no mirrors.
How and why did you start yoga?
I had to meet a certain amount of college credits to be considered a full time student so that I could continue getting health insurance under my parents. I was 1.5 credits short so I signed up for an Iyengar Yoga class. I had no idea what Iyengar Yoga was and had never done a yoga class in my life.
Who was your great mentor/teacher?
A YMCA instructor who was a retired physical therapist named Pat. She wore matching Hanes sweatpants and sweatshirt, white athletic shoes and kept the room fluorescent light bright with no music. She had a tremendous understanding of body alignment, movement in different planes of space and usage of energy “vectors”. I could hold a posture for minutes and feel different sensations because of how she “cued” me to focus on random parts of my body. It was amazing, like she knew what I was feeling and how to help me feel more - experience more.
Tell us your practice style and how did you choose your yoga method?
I contribute a lot of my style to Iyengar and Pat because anatomy makes sense to me and patterns come natural to me. I focus on alignment, posture, patterns in the joints, weight transfer / balance, symmetry and breath rhythms. I also weave in strong understandings of the connection between what happens on the mat to what happens off the mat. I teach more than the physical space that people mostly exist on. I ask people to go deeper, to quiet down their thoughts and slow down their reactions. I challenge people without making the class harder - I challenge their yoga practice not their yoga poses.
What obstacles has yoga helped you overcome?
It has helped me through my father’s death - grief effects the breath but yoga teaches us to focus on the breath, to keep breathing even in uncomfortable places and to use the breath to manage and unify the body, mind, soul and spirit. Yoga was a tremendous aide in my divorce and feeling like I was giving up or failing but yoga teaches us to let go what no longer serves us. The practice allows me to accept where I am in, in the present state versus what I used to be or what I am going to be. Yoga always gives me the opportunity to see things in a different perspective especially when I go upside down doing inversions.
What is your mind set when you step onto the mat?
As soon as I step onto a mat, I am a super hero. I have the power to be calm amongst chaos. I have the power to see no one in a room full of people. I have the power to focus on love instead of fear. I have the power to own my reactions and actions. I feel as if anything is possible and nothing is holding me back. I am a super hero when I am on the mat.
When did you understand you wanted to be a yoga teacher?
When my father died and I had to work on finding my own peace around his death, accepting the loss and what that did to my family. I struggled with a plethora of emotions that caused me to spiral into a dark place. I needed quiet and calm. I relied heavily on still meditation, laying in corpse pose / savasana and moving meditation, one breath - one movement. It was life changing. I wanted to share this power that people can have over their reactions to life and in life. I wanted to spread the feeling of equanimity and invite others to explore a new alternative to existing that is much healthier than what I imagined most people were doing.
What is the most rewarding part of being a yoga teacher?
Seeing a person have an “A Ha” moment when they realize yoga is more than just physical postures. When a person can align their physical being to their mental being and even connect it to their emotional being, it’s their “A Ha” moment. I know at that moment, they will forever be student of yoga.
Why is yoga so important for the times we’re living in?
Yoga teaches us that we are all connected, The light in me, shines and sees the light in you. We are all just lights connected through our shine. It is our responsibility to keep our light shining and to acknowledge the light in other. There is no concrete border where that light ends or begins or any possible way to measure how much we shine. Once we can accept that we are all connected by this brightness, somehow intertwined with one another like strands of lights then I do believe most of our darkness, evil and hate would dissipate.
Your favorite quote?
I say this at the end of each yoga class, “If we can quiet all the external chatter, chaos and noise then we can clearly hear our internal guidance.” and “We bow down to earth, she who feeds us, grounds us and supports us."
Anything else you want to share?
I encourage people to read, Meditation from the Mat by Rolfe Gates - I would quote him but that would be the entire book. Its a book that you can read over and over, front to back or pick a random page and reflect. It is a book that invites stillness.
Where we can we find you?
Instagram - Lisayeefit
Website - www.lisafit.com