Let's start with what is Yoga...
Yoga is meant to elevate the spirit of every human... not levitate! Yoga is a path for enlightened living where we can become fully human... in this world, at this time.
There are many approaches to Yoga in the Western world, each advancing different concepts and techniques. Most people think of the physical exercises for stretching and stress reduction. This is just one small and recent aspect. I feel that because our lives are more sedentary, the physical aspect has become so important to help us move our bodies, facilitating the relief of the effects of chronic stress and feel strong and healthy.
The physical yoga (hatha) was designed to facilitate the 'real yoga.' The actual meaning of Yoga is mastery over the mind. Yoga is a sacred science that is accesible to anyone who wishes to expereince themselves fully. It is void of culture, race and religion. It is simply a process.
Think about it. Most of us come to class with our minds racing about a million things and our body feeling like a lump. After class, the body feels all its parts and the mind is one. Thats the first step!
And as for 'Ohana Rising? It seems that the story of 'Ohana begins with me- Lisa- and has grown and evolved as a result of our community.
I was an early childhood educator in Asbury Park for 16 years, in addition to studying and sharing Yoga at the same time. I have had the priviledge of working with hundreds of children and to travel and give trainings throughout the US & Mexico both adult Yoga, and Yoga for youth and special needs. In 2013, I organized a project in Soweto and neighboring townships in South Africa to empower youth in conjunction with Global Camps Africa, a mission for an HIV free and violence free generation.
I am still close to the youth leaders and cannot express how they have changed my life. In a world where yoga can feel too hip or cool or saturated, it is easy take a 'downdog' for granted. But there is so much more, friends. We have the power and tools to evolve. The young people reminded me of this. Each moment in this life is extraordinary.
These experiences gave me the courage to be a catalyst for the creation of 'Ohana Rising and step out in my own home.
Yoga has been the singlemost transformational presence in my life next to surfing. I have had times where I have felt strong and times where auto immune illness (MS) had left me almost immobile. Throughout, just like the body, I have learned the Yoga practice is a constant evolution. From strong asana to just yoga nidra and sound healing to the life transforming practices of Kundalini Yoga and Kirtan and all back around again. After several decades, it has started to make sense to me.
Yoga is a living, breathing practice. It comes to life through us. The processes are many but the goal is One.
On our classes page, I go into more depth of the practices and lineages you will experience here. Each one has touched my life and has helped me heal. I am grateful to feel strong, happy and healthy today and look forward to what this journey may be for all of us as we enter a new time and dimension.
Welcome to the New Earth, friends, and the new ways of expanding.
'Ohana was created in the spirit of Aloha. The spirit of Aloha teaches us to see the sacred in one another. That is the essence of living joyfully, present to one another at this time. And I know this is something we are calling out for.
All of our teachers have presented themselves with love and share their amazing talents and passions. This is what brings our community to life.
It is because of everyone- students and teachers- that we offer hikes, outdoor adventures, beach clean up, and more. Our vision is to continue our Seva- service- through community action as part of our conservation efforts. There will be more to come over the next few months on this!
Forever grateful for our community, our teachers, for God, our guides and gurus, all our relations- land, sea, and sky... and especially Stephen, an amazing life partner to share this journey with.
Remember to vibrate the cosmos!
in loving service,
The name ‘Ohana Rising came from a dear friend in our surf community. He was a mentor, leader and known as a true Kahuna. In 2014, he was bravely transitioning from his divine journey in this world into the next. When asked what this community should be called, he gently turned his head and said in a thunderous voice: "RISING 'OHANA!"
In the surf culture, when one of the tribe transitions, we paddle out together, create a circle and send our prayers in the form of flowers, words & song. It is a great tradition. It reminds us of the unbroken circle and the everlasting love from our community. Our 'Ohana.