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Lisa Bermudez Shares Her Inspirations

One of our favorite NYC yoga instructors, Lisa Bermudez, took over our Instagram account for a week and now shares more on her daily practice, powerful mantras, and yoga philosophy.

Take us through a day in your life!

 My morning ritual starts a bit Ayurvedic-inspired by using a tongue scraper, brushing my teeth, using nasya oil, and then drinking a lot of water.  I have coffee (not so Ayurveda-inspired), make a smoothie, and try to have a silent, seated meditation for at least 5 minutes before heading out to teach my first class.  Depending on the day, I will usually try to get to a yoga or cardio-inspired class to recharge before I teach again, then have some lunch and teach 1-2 more classes before heading home.  Every day is different, which is why I love what I do so much!

Yoga Instructor Lisa Bermudez

We believe you are what you eat and your food is your medicine. What’s your philosophy around food:

Everything that we put into and onto our bodies has an effect on our bodies in some way. I believe in making conscious decisions about what I put into my body and I also try to be as cruelty-free as possible!  I try to know exactly what’s in the food that I’m eating and I just wish everything could be organic!

It doesn’t get easier, it gets better.

We believe movement is medicine; how and where do you get moving daily?

I move around a lot – I walk to the train, and take a few different trains each day.  I live a few minutes away from Rockaway Beach, so I often head out there for walks.  The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is also minutes away from my home, so I visit there whenever I can as well.  Aside from yoga, I try to take advantage of the different classes that are offered at the Equinox gyms I teach at and Barry’s Bootcamp, which is directly beneath one of my yoga studios, Yogamaya. I need to have fun though. I need someone to inspire me in a class with their words and their awesome music, or I need to head out somewhere in nature!

What tools or mantras get you through tough times?

I’ve become really connected to the Maha Mantra, the Hare Krishna Mantra.  It’s been said that listening to and chanting the mantra can help purify our hearts and it’s one of the tools that we can use to keep us connected to something higher in this age that we’re living in right now.  It’s said this age we live in is called Kali Yuga and it’s the most difficult time for us to be alive.  There is so much focus on material items, money, getting ahead at the expense of others, and thinking that our desires and we are the most important thing in the world. The Hare Krishna mantra helps us stay connected to our truth, which is based in love and helping those around us.  It helps us realize that greed is never the answer and it helps me to also try to understand the actions of difficult people.

Your yoga philosophy is…?

It doesn’t get easier, it gets better.  Once we start something that we know is good for us, it’s not always the easiest thing, but if we keep with it, it’ll get better and more accessible.  I also like to use the word ritual instead of routine.  When something is a ritual, you know it’s something you come back to no matter what state your mind might be in.  Routines get interrupted and it’s easy to make up an excuse to not stick with one, but a ritual can become a sweet part of our day.

Our clients inspire us and push us to make us better at what we do; any particular recent inspirations?

 I’m always inspired by my regular students.  By regular, I mean the ones who are in one or more of my classes each week at the exact same time.  There are definitely days when I wake up and I’m not in the best mood and there have been days when I was going through some personal issues and I didn’t know how I would pull it together to teach, but then just thinking about those regular students made me move through whatever I was going through to move forward.  Dedication is inspiring.

 Yoga Poses by Instructor Lisa Bermudez

Your vision or dream for your teaching is…?

This makes me think of this line from Naomi Shihab Nye‘s poem “Famous”: “I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.” My vision/dream it to never forget the path that I’m on and to stay connected to everything that’s kept me on it.  It’s easy to doubt yourself and get caught up in negative, unhelpful feedback from people, so I just want to always remember why I keep coming back to what I love to do.

What books are on your must read now list? Any oldies but goodies?

I’m always reading Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith; I’ve been endlessly inspired by A Man’s Life: Dispatches from Dangerous Places by Mark Jenkins; I can reread Crush by Richard Siken anytime, and my oldie but goodie will forever be Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.

What one sentence would you tell beginners to the practice?

 Yoga is a doorway and a pathway.

We were inspired by you because we feel that you walk your talk. How do you embody the words that you speak and the actions you teach?

I like to think any teacher is empowering those who empower and inspire others.  I try to always find something positive in someone, or at least something that I can learn from to keep moving others and myself forward.  One of my pet peeves is when teachers talk about other teachers in a super negative way. It’s one thing to say that they don’t agree with a certain style or approach to teaching, but I just think it doesn’t do anyone any good to say “that class sucked” or “that teacher sucks.” I’ll admit I’ve taken some “interesting” classes before, but a while ago, I decided that I’d try to condition my brain to take whatever happened in those “interesting” classes and try to learn from them.  I think it works out most of the time!

 When in your life did you feel most in touch with your calling?

 Right now!  😉

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