After suffering from anxiety and using Yoga to relax, Lisa James, decided to start teaching it and has never looked back.
Lisa, aged 44, is a Yoga and Meditation teacher, holding a British Wheel of Yoga Diploma. She teaches Hatha Yoga for stretching and strengthening, relaxation and breathing techniques, and mindfulness meditation, as well as Storytime yoga for children.
She said: “I mostly teach in a group setting within the community but I also do private lessons and teach community groups, such as mental health patients and adults/children with learning difficulties.”
Lisa qualified in 2008, but has been practicing Yoga for nearly 18 years.
She said: “When my two boys, Adam and James, were little I started to suffer with anxiety so I started to do Yoga myself at home using a video tape.
“I have never looked back from then, and knowing the positive effect this had on me, and in turn my children and everyone around me, I decided to become a teacher so that I could give others the positive effects it had given me.
“The main thing about Yoga to me is that it makes everything in life that bit easier.
“We can’t stop the stresses and traumas through life, but we can choose how we deal with them, and Yoga promotes positivity over negativity.
“Previous to qualifying I worked for Notts County Council in a well-paid full time role, where the wage was guaranteed every month and the security was there so I knew I could pay the bills and feed the family so making that jump to self-employment was scary and also a financial struggle for a while. If only one person turns up at class, and that happened a few times in the beginning, then you are working at a loss after paying the room rent and this can be worrying.”
But Lisa truly believes she has found her life path and she says her perserverance has paid off.
She said: “It’s great to choose my own hours and days of work, but the biggest reward is seeing the students walk out of the room at the end of a class, better than they were when they walked in, and seeing the long term physical and mental effects it has on people’s lives.
“I have also met some amazing people along the way and have made some beautiful friends.
“I never even knew what Yoga was when I was at school, I wanted to be a nurse.”
Lisa says her biggest achievements in her person life have to be her two boys, Adam, 26 and James, 22.
She said: “They have made me so proud, overcoming illness after Adam had childhood Leukaemia and personal issues that no child should endure, but it has made them who they are today and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
“Also a massive achievement for me was finding my big brother Mark after 27 years apart due to us being split up as children.
“I also feel proud to have achieved two 10 day silent retreats over the past two years. My students were convinced I wouldn’t be able to not talk for 10 days, but I proved them wrong.
“And of course building my business on my own and sustaining it has been a massive achievement.”
Looking to the future Lisa would love to set up a studio.
She said: “If money was no object, I would love to set up a studio, giving away Yoga and Mindfulness meditation to as many people as possible,
“I would also like to take my teachings abroad to less fortunate people in the world and personally I hope to be healthy and at peace, and that my loved ones are the same.”
When she is not teaching Yoga Lisa still likes to do Yoga and meditation as much as possible.
She said: “I like being in nature, particularly near water, spending time with my boys, and recently being involved in community events and fundraising, I feel the community spirit in Gainsborough is the best I’ve known.”