Lisa Heidemanns, Yoga Teacher

1 May 2017

One Sunday morning I climbed out of bed at 8am to attend a class that a few people have been raving about, taken by a yoga teacher called Lisa Heidemanns. As I walked in to the very gorgeous Fulham studio known as the Power Yoga Company (Check them out here) I saw Lisa's smiling face welcoming me which instantly made it worth opening my eyes at that time on a Sunday morning! Her class lived up to the expectations, it was fun and challenging in all the right places with a wonderful freestyle section at the end for handstands or any other inversions which you are working on in your own practice. 

After the class I caught up with Lisa to find out how she got into yoga, it was fascinating to hear how she juggled a full time job with teaching yoga, showing that really anything is possible when you love yoga and want to share it with others.  

When was the moment when you decided you wanted to become a yoga instructor? 

Honestly it probably came as a surprise to me too to find myself teaching yoga! I first came to yoga from a purely physical side and as a means to work out... I remember my first ashtanga class at a gym which was super challenging for me, both mentally and physically (yep, couldn't touch my toes), but I quickly became hooked! I loved how yoga helped me build more strength, flexibility and endurance, but eventually realised that the biggest lesson was the meditation and what I could "take off the mat". So after a few years of trying out different styles, I decided to complete a teacher training here in London, simply to deepen my own practice and understand a little more about this ancient tradition.

During the training, I came to love teaching, and would leap at every opportunity to share what I had just learned once I finished the training (my boyfriend patiently came to all of my classes...). I think I also love it because it's just different to my corporate job as a project manager, but it actually proves complementary and brings a nice balance. My colleagues joke that I'm always very "zen" in any situation - I'm pretty sure it's thanks to the yoga!

To people who don't already know what is power yoga? How is it different from other styles?

Power yoga is derived from traditional ashtanga yoga and borrows many of its elements but doesn't follow a set sequence. It's considered a physically rigorous practice - you'll work up a sweat! - but I also enjoy weaving in some yoga philosophy and there's always time for deep relaxation towards the end. I find it both invigorating for the body and calming for the mind!

What is your favourite yoga position? 

Ahhh too many to choose from! I'm not naturally flexible, especially not in my shoulders or hip flexors so really enjoy focusing on those areas in my home practice. I love staying in a puppy stretch for a little while to open up my "desk shoulders", or watch an episode of Homeland whilst in a malasana squat (ok, not the whole episode!). Also, nothing better than a long, restful savasana, right? :-)

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start teaching yoga? 

I haven't taught for very long, and have endless things to learn still! I would say during your teacher training and once you fully qualify, practice teaching on your friends and ask for some honest feedback. It's important to be yourself, find your own style and teach what you believe in. Have fun along the way, don't take yourself too seriously and never stop learning so you can provide a fun and safe environment for your students.

Where do you sweat, shop and eat in London? 

I love practicing at the Power Yoga Company in Fulham, where I also teach on Sundays. Such a lovely, warm and welcoming space. Evolve Wellness in South Kensington is also a great little gem. Besides yoga, I try to work out a few times a week (so I can catch anyone falling out of their handstand ;)) and really like Lomax as it has a boutique feel to it. Shopping? I don't remember what the last non-yoga item was that I bought! I love hunting for quirky leggings (who doesn't!) and am an addict to the usual brands whilst also discovering some nichey ones. Eating... I cook a lot at home, but will venture out for Sunday brunch at Kensington Square Kitchen or Oree, and consume turmeric lattes from Squirrel by the litre ;)

Five items you can't live without? 

A pair of leggings (obviously), a big scarf to wrap up in (pretty much year round in London), my phone (should learn to live without), Nutella (won't learn to live without) and my passport (stamp collector)!

Join one of Lisa's classes here:

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