Modern urban life, with its distractions, tensions, and packed schedules made it hard to for me to slow down. I wanted to feel better, while I ran on hard core, type-A energy, always driving myself in high gear, with a “no pain, no gain” mentality.
I wonder if that sounds familiar to you as you juggle the desires and demands of your life?
~ Lisa Klein
Registered Yoga Teacher
Hi, I’m Lisa. Dolphin Tales Yoga is in service of your yoga journey home to yourself. I teach yoga to serve you in creating and exploring the path you choose to walk and dance in your life - integrating your body, mind, and heart. The yoga I practice and teach is extension of my years of exploration, personal practice and trainings with teachers and mentors. Yoga practice is a journey to experience more spacious being and dynamic energy, increased flexibility and strength, deeper self-acceptance, and pulsing connection to the life of the present moment. I’d like to share my personal story of stumbling and skipping first steps into my yoga practice, in the hopes of encouraging you on your own yoga path.
MY YOGA JOURNEY
I think that all journeys, including yoga, start from where you are in your life and in your world. When I began my yoga journey in 1992, I was in Northern California with a schedule packed fuller than a can of sardines traveling at the speed of light. I was a student in graduate school; a struggling theatre artist, a clown, and an artist/educator in schools and theaters. I had no idea that yoga would become a transformational experience for me –a humbling, intimate and amazing journey. At the time, I just wanted something physical to squeeze in between dance classes, work, and auditions; something to help me with flexibility and focus.
Modern urban life, with its distractions, tensions, and packed schedules made it hard to for me to slow down. I wanted to feel better, while I ran on hard core, type-A energy, always driving myself in high gear, with a “no pain, no gain” mentality. I wonder if that sounds familiar to you as you juggle the desires and demands of your life?
I honestly hadn’t realized there was a distinction between working hard and working smart. My internal settings ranged from 'try hard' to 'try harder'. My life was good, yet my internal landscape was full of perfectionism, self-doubt and profound uneasiness with my body.
YOGA MEETS YOU WHERE YOU ARE
When I came into my first yoga class, I wasn’t aware that a deep spacious ground of being could be cultivated with a yoga practice and that such an awareness could be woven into an ordinary life. My body, mind and spirit certainly weren’t dancing together, yet I left that first class feeling better, a little more grounded and peaceful in the moment at hand. That feeling lasted as long as my next double expresso. But yoga meets you where you are and you begin from that place.
I was intrigued by the blend of movement, breath, stillness and spirit. At first, flowing through a sequence of yoga poses felt like a mysterious kind of dance that was way out of my reach. My experiences as a dancer, theatre artist and horsewoman had taught me that mystery and mastery unfold over time - one secret is to practice consistently. As Woody Allen said “80% of life is showing up!” So, I kept showing up on my yoga mat to practice in different yoga classes whenever I could fit a class in. Many classes resonated and inspired me; some were eye-rollers; so many were humbling as I learned to work within my limitations and to be fully in the process rather than constantly judging my progress. Some of the back-of-the-book poses seemed like science fiction, and often the calm stillness my teachers spoke of seemed unattainable.
HOW YOGA CHANGED ME
But with patience, commitment, curiosity, and a sense of humor, I witnessed myself change both internally and externally. Folding into yoga poses, I began to unfold myself. I sensed a direction within, as if a north star had melted into the plastic rectangle and was guiding me inward towards home, towards self, in the most expanded sense of the word self. I started breathing and bringing that way of being into my other relationships, my work and the world.
I could come to my practice just as I was, in any state, and usually leave practice feeling better, more integrated. Moving through classes over time, I noticed that I began to feel friendlier towards myself, more at ease in my own skin. The yoga process invited me to come as I was – energetic, tired, excited, dull, anxious, confused, creative, ambitious, apathetic, at peace – the yoga mat met me there so I could move from that place. Observation, transformation, relaxation. I could begin to sense what my breath was doing, observe my emotional and physical responses to the yoga, and to discern whether I was really present in the moment at hand or checked out. I started seeing choices in reactivity and response. I could even find stillness sometimes and a deep sense of contentment. Transformation of body, mind, spirit could happen. Or not, and that was okay, too. This profound sense of aliveness, connection, empowerment and wholeness spilled beyond the boundaries of the mat.
For me, teaching yoga is a way to share the practice, process and gifts of yoga that I’ve found so profound and helpful on my own journey. I teach in a variety of contexts, both private and public. In teaching, I’ve drawn on the wisdom and questions created by my own ongoing experience - the learning never stops. I invite you to try it out with me.