Lisa Greenbaum – My Story
Growing up a competitive dancer taught me very early on the importance of movement for my physical health but more importantly my mental health. When my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2009, I had also begun the process of deepening my studies as a Yoga teacher which was a lifeline for me through this difficult time. However, it was a moment in 2016 when I truly experienced the profound effects of Yoga for healing. A moment that both changed me and shifted my teachings in a powerful way.
Leading up to this practice, I had been burning the candles at both ends for the past five years. I was the Director of a Yoga teacher training school with 150+ trainings every year across Canada. I was traveling and leading trainings most weekends and spending long hours in the office all week. While I loved my work, I was existing on fumes and not taking care of myself the way I should. At the same time, I was desperate to start a family. The year previously I had miscarried at 13 weeks and had just suffered my second miscarriage that fall. I was devastated and numb and exhausted yet, going through the motions because I didn’t know what else to do.
We were about 6 days in to an 8 day training on trauma-informed Yoga and as we began something felt different. I heard a calling inside saying it’s time to let go, you are safe, it’s time to let go. The practice itself culminated into a psoas release. This recreates the shaking that happens after a moment of high stress, trauma, or fight/flight activation. As the class ended I was met by a thunderous and unexpected wave of tears. I ran out of the room and unleashed that big ugly snot and tears sort of cry that we forever deny ourselves of. When it finally began to abate I felt lighter than I had in years. The stiffness and pain I was carrying in my low back and hips was gone. I felt changed but I also felt more connected to myself than I had in a really long time.
I wish I could say this one practice healed me, but we know life doesn’t work that way. What it did do however is made me realize how far from myself I had come. Over the next two years while trying to take better care of myself I was still overworking in what was also becoming a toxic environment due to ongoing disagreements and impossible demands by the owner. I was also going through the continuous ups and downs of hormones and emotions from fertility treatments that were just going nowhere. I was teaching the most beautiful spiritual aspects of Yoga along with helping people work through their trauma and I was beginning to feel like a fraud. I had daily headaches and chronic pain, ongoing insomnia and had begun to distance myself from my friends. I knew I was making myself sicker but was scared to make any changes.
After 4 years of trying, including a third miscarriage and a failed IVF, it was time to make peace that having children of my own wasn’t going to be part of my life story. And after years of bullying that left me constantly second guessing myself and feeling inadequate no matter how hard I worked, I also left my job. It was time to begin a new chapter it was time to begin the process of healing.
Finally stepping away from the things that were depleting me and focusing on coming back to myself was a very important first step. The second was to pack my bags and go to Bali or essentially the other side of the world and opposite time zone for two months to let myself heal. With my husband who had decided to leave his job at the same time (how very mature and amazing of us!) we created our own version of a retreat with no timeline and no to dos except what we felt like doing in the moment. I slept (I slept!), I stared at the sky, I meditated and journaled and read and talked and practiced Yoga and finally I started to come back to myself.
I distinctly remember the moment, about halfway through the trip I stepped onto Canggu beach as the sun was getting ready to set when the full impact of everything that had happened finally hit me. It was like the culmination of my whole life, every amazing and every shitty thing that ever happened had brought me here. To be standing on this gorgeous beach, connected to the earth and the sky and the ocean and know that I was exactly where I was meant to be. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I vowed that I would never get stuck again. That I would never abandon myself or believe that I wasn’t worthy ever again.
Since that day I have continued to honour that promise. I know that my purpose in life is to empower myself and others so we can collectively raise our vibration. That we are enough as we are and that our self-care is worth it. Creating inspirational experiences founded on authenticity and integrity is my mandate. If this resonates with you please reach out. I offer a number of classes, workshops, courses and retreats all in an effort to help us reconnect to our true Self, the best version of you. I would be honoured to be a part of your journey.
- E-RYT 500
- C-IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist
- YACEP – Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider
- 2018 Delegates Choice, Canadian Presenter of the Year for canfitpro
- Top 100 Health and Fitness Influencers in Canada: OptiMYz Magazine 2017-2020
- Founder: Sangha Wellness Retreats
- Director Healing Arts Institute – Rituals for Recovery
- Editorial Advisory board for OptiMYz magazine 2017-present
- Global Ambassador for Women in Fitness Association (WIFA) 2018-present
- Author: Yoga Corner for OptiMYz magazine + SILVER magazine.
- Active in the Yoga/Fitness industry since 2001
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