We are so excited to share this amazing conversation we had with Lisa - Yoga Teacher and Founder of Wingårdh Wellness.
Lisa's journey; how Yoga has helped her to find inner peace, how she found the courage to leave the corporate world to build a life around Yoga and how she has learnt to listen to hear heart is so inspirational and we hope that you will enjoy this as much as we did!
1. Who is Lisa?
Lisa is my birth name but my spiritual name, which I got from my Yoga guru in India, is Santoshi and it means Light of Contentment. I'm born on the beautiful island Gotland, where I grew up with my amazing dad and siblings. My life has been filled with highs and lows - I suffered with eating disorders, a schizophrenic mother and several years of depression. The only medicine that really seemed to help was Yoga. Today I'm honoured to be a 300h Yoga Teacher and to have my own business - Wingårdh Wellness.
2. How did you find yoga and what has practicing yoga meant to you?
I practised Yoga for my own well-being for over 9 years before becoming a Yoga Teacher. I went to my first Yoga class in Gotland when I was around 12 years old but I started practicing it seriously when I was backpacking in India and Sri Lanka for 6 months when I was 18 years old. A woman on a market asked me if I did Yoga and when I said I didn't, she gave me a small notebook with Yoga Asanas. When I came to Sri Lanka and stayed closed to the Beach I went down to the beach every morning with my notebook and practiced Yoga, always ending with a swim in the sea. That's when I truly fell in love with Yoga. It's always hard for me to put in words to what Yoga has meant to be, because it's almost indescribable. If it wasn't for Yoga and all the wonderful teachers I've had, I wouldn't be even close to where I am in life today. Yoga has helped me find inner peace, to heal the black whole I felt inside from when my mother was hospitalised in Schizophrenia when I was 6 months old and to love my body in ways I didn't think was possible. Yoga has given me the courage to let go of my 5 years career in Finance and start my own business. Yoga has helped me realise that the greatest gift in life is to learn from the challenges in life, and then teach and help others; what you learned.
3. What does following your heart mean to you?
It means that everyday we have a choice: To operate from an anxious mind or to operate from an open heart. Following your heart means to do that thing that your whole soul and body is screaming YES to, and to not listen to the anxious mind when it tries to talk you out of doing it.
4. How did you find the courage to quit your corporate job and career to become a full time yoga teacher?
It really wasn't easy, it took me around 6 months from when the idea was planted in my heart, until I actually handed in my notice. So it's a journey and a big inner reprogramming that needs to happen for anyone to be able to actually do it. What really gave me the courage was that I started to pay attention to signs from the Universe. I did a Meditation where I asked the Universe to guide me, and if this was my path then show me signs and I promise to listen to them. There were just endless signs that I should quit my job and become a Yoga Teacher, so it's a magical thing when you dare to open your heart to the signs that the Universe is giving you.
5. What advice would you give to your 11 year old self?
Wow this question is really personal to me because in 2019 I went to therapy to heal my childhood traumas and my therapist asked me to visualise my Inner Child sitting in my lap, and speak to her as if she was sitting there. I would say "You are only a child, your mothers mental health is not your responsibility. I know you're sad because some people in school are calling you chubby but one day the same people will look up to you and wish that they would have been nicer to you. One day you will love your body in ways that people only can dream of. Remember that you can do, become and be whatever your heart desires and continue to be kind to all the people you meet - regardless of background!"
6. Please give us your best self-care tips?
Say no more! It has taken me years and years to be able to say No to more business opportunities, relationships and events. I used to say yes straight away to everything but since realising that when we say yes to something - we say no to something else, I've started saying No more. Before I say yes to anything now I always ask myself: Does this spark a light or excitement in me? Is this in alignment with my future goals? Is this a step towards my dream life?
We are so grateful for our talk with Lisa and if you're interested in finding out more about Lisa we suggest that you follow her account on Instagram @wingardhwellness
Photographer: Lilian Eriksson Wingårdh & Hanna von