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Lisa Bermudez Shares How To Find Balance

This week, we got together with Lisa Bermudez, who teaches yoga at Equinox, Yogamaya, Stanton Street Yoga, and Yoga On The Rocks in the Rockaways. Lisa inspired us with her incredible energy and enthusiasm. Take one of her classes and you will walk away with a bit of the gratitude and happiness that she brings to any room. You can catch Lisa on our Instagram account (@urbanwellnessclinic) this week, where she’ll be showing how yoga is more than a practice – it’s a way of life.

Balance Yoga Poses by Lisa Bermudez

How did you first discover yoga?

I had been dancing since I was about three years old, so I was always passionate about movement and staying healthy.  I actually thought I would eventually major in dance when I started college at CUNY Hunter, but it was around that time that I realized it wasn’t the path for me and instead, I took lots of classes for fun and to stay strong, which is how I ended up finding yoga.

We have the choice to keep our spirit nourished by watching where our mind goes.

How did you decide to make the jump and become a teacher?

 When I was in graduate school at Adelphi University working on my MFA in Creative Writing, I was also taking tons of yoga classes. I’d thought about possibly doing a teacher training, but I had no idea where I’d even get the money or find the time to wholeheartedly commit to it. I was part of Adelphi’s first MFA program and they had arranged for two of us to receive fellowships.  Since I was doing a focus in poetry and playwriting, I was so psyched when I heard I was awarded the poetry fellowship and that I’d receive $6,000 and work with the poet Edward Hirsch.  Unfortunately, this never happened.  Since the program was so new, it was also a bit unorganized and because I had taken out student loans, I wasn’t able to receive the $6,000 and I never even got to exchange an email with Edward Hirsch.  I had to fight a long, hard battle with the school only to eventually receive less than half of the money.  At that point, I was frustrated, questioning the world of writing and academia, and I was just generally angry with the world.  So I used the money I did get to do my 200-hour teacher training at Laughing Lotus in New York.  The schedule coincided with my last semester, where I only had to meet with my mentor once a month to work on my thesis.  I graduated from my Yoga Teacher Training and from Graduate School in the same month and I put an equal amount of energy into seeing which career path would take off.  The path of yoga obviously worked out!

Yoga Training with Lisa Bermudez

How do you take care of and nourish your body, mind, and spirit while balancing a busy life in New York City?

 I take care of my body by doing by best to eat healthy and stay active and balanced.  We’re so fortunate in NYC because there are so many local, organic, healthy options everywhere and it’s so easy to take advantage of that!  I try to take a yoga class at least 4 times a week at one of the awesome studios I teach at and I also love going to Barry’s Bootcamp.  It’s important for me to head out to the beach or upstate to the woods pretty often to connect with nature.

The spirit is affected by the mind because we experience things with our senses, then our mind turns those experiences into something that we can turn into reason, and from there something happens to our spirit.  We have the choice to keep our spirit nourished by watching where our mind goes.  It’s one thing to have a clean, healthy, balanced body, but the mind is tricky.  We can’t just act one way and think another because the quality of our thoughts feeds into the quality of our lives.  To keep all of this in check, I try to meditate, study and read yogic texts and study with scholars who can unpack all of it in a sweet way.  I also do my best to associate with people who can lift me higher! I often take classes and go to kirtans at The Bhakti Center for all of this.

Inspiration is everywhere, where did it strike you recently?

I’m also deeply inspired by my parents.  I was blessed to have them with me while I was growing up and I’m beyond grateful to still have them in my life.  They’re two of the sweetest, most selfless souls I’ve ever known and they’ve always been the most supportive people in my life.  It’s always inspiring to see them and just be together and to see their interaction interact with everyone else in our family. I’m also so inspired by my sister!  She’s actually a zumba teacher in New Jersey and she’s also an amazing mother of 3, a wonderful wife, and one of the most energetic, positive, helpful people I’ve ever known.

Stay tuned for part 2 next week, where Lisa shares her philosophy and vision for the future of her practice and teaching.

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