LISA and her sister LOTTA are founders of YOGASHALA STOCKHOLM 

1 As a woman, a mother and a yoga practitioner, tell me what do you find the most important teaching you’ve discovered from this practice and what would you share to those who are on this path?

The first things that comes up are presence, acceptance and boundaries. I feel that this practice has taught me, as a woman, to be more patiently present in my self and more loving and caring in accepting my body and soul as they are, thru all the changes and challenges that life brings.  This practice is teaching me, little by little everyday, that I’m good enough – just the way I am, and it helps me to deal with anxiety. Boundaries in the form of learning to know and love myself enough to dare to say no and to follow my heart, even though some people around me might not always understand my choices. As a woman in this world it’s so easy to get lost in high expectations and all the pressure we are facing everyday. We are expected (and we quite often demand of ourselves) to be successful at work, good mothers, partners… and to find time to take care of ourselves – all at the same time. When I started this practice almost 20 years ago I quickly realized that by giving myself that time to check in with myself on the mat regularly made me a much more present and content mother to my two sons. It has also been very important for me, as a mother, to show my children that it is a good thing to dare to follow your heart and your path in life, if you find it – something that this practice has really taught me!  I see so many women, coming to my Shala, struggling so hard with trying to hold the life-puzzle together everyday and to cope with so much stress and feelings of not being good enough. It’s a blessing and honor to be able to watch how this beautiful practice is such a good help for them to deal with it all. To be able to truly give to others, I think we really have to see to that we nourish ourselves first. I think a very important thing to realize is if we want to make this practice life-long we have to try to go to the mat gently, with an open mind and no expectations, one way or the other. And sometimes the best practice is to make an aware choice not to do the physical practice and be present with our children, family or friends who might need us more in that moment – to remember that the practice is so much more than asanas.

2 What is Feminism to you? How do you feel women can support each other? 

Feminism to me is to be supportive and show solidarity with other women.  It is to continue to work towards equanimity between all humans always and everywhere. It is to continue to fight for all women’s right to their own bodies. To early educate young girls and boys that we are all equal and that we should all have the same right to exist on this planet – no matter if you are female, male, transgender, non-binary or what color of skin you have. …It is also  to care about animals, nature and our environment. I have really thought a lot about what a huge responsibility it is to raise two boys to become good human beings, with good values. I have been really worried sometimes about weather I was up to the task, especially since I raised my sons more or less by myself for many years…Today they are 26 and 23 years old and they turned out to become two really responsible, loving and caring adults often helping me to become aware when I have preconceptions about something or someone! I’m not taking all the credit for this my self – they grew up with a lot of other good loving adults as role models around them as well..I´m so proud of them and so very grateful that they choose me as their mother. The love I feel for them is endless and they are my best teachers in life. What an honor it has been and still is, to follow their growth! 

3 In ashtanga practice, how do you feel we can keep the community strong and supportive for one another?  

There is a lot of change going on in our community at the moment. Change can be hard but quite often it leads to something good that we might not be able to see or understand at first. I think it is important that we try not to judge other people, that we listen to our hearts and that we stay with this beautiful practice (if we believe in the practice and feels that it works for us). The ones of us who runs Shalas and teaches this practice, must always make sure that we create an open and safe environment for the students to practice in. It is also very important to communicate that yoga is for everyone who wants it and to always be welcoming and inclusive. 


4 With this practice we are constantly challenging ourselves  both mind and body. This requires a lot of self discipline, focus and consistency in our daily routine. In this moments we are opening ourselves up, we are vulnerable and  processing whatever emotions that rises. What would be your advice in these situations? What did you find helpful to you?

For me it has been and still is to remember to go slow , step by step, and to try to be compassionate with myself. It is a good thing when things comes up – but sometimes very difficult and painful. To dare to gently look in to that pain can help us to create the changes we need in life to feel better about ourselves and to evolve as human beings. For me it is very important, to have a good teacher with compassion, experience and knowledge who can help and guide me. I´m forever grateful for Sharathji and his wonderful teachings. 


5 In this modern world we are surrounded by distractions, whether it’s the constant stream of negative news, social media and the perfectly manufactured image of how to liveness life, our appearance and body shaming. It has the power to knock us off balance. How do we nourish ourselves? How do we find acceptance?

I think this is why this practice is so important – it’s the opposite to all that. It is all about the journey inside, to learn how to stay focused within for longer periods of times so that we stay away from constantly being distracted and out of balance. If we stick with this practice it will, sooner or later, gently force us to take a serious look at where we are truly at with ourselves and in our relationship to others. 

6 Who are the women that inspire you, who are the women that you admire?

Pippi Longstocking and the amazing woman who wrote the books about her, Astrid Lindgren and my Grandmother, who passed away quite many years ago, but have had a huge influence on me, my mother and my three sisters – all off them brave and amazingly strong women who dares to follow their hearts.

7 What are your daily rituals and routines that you feel ground you?

First of all it is my practice. To meet myself with my breath on the ma everyday really helps me to connect, to feel more peaceful and to be more present.  But to be perfectly honest – one of my most important daily routines is also my morning coffee! To get up early and teach my wonderful students this beautiful practice is also very grounding. And I love to be in the nature and to bake cookies and cakes! 

8 What makes you feel safe and secure?  

To be on the mat when changes and difficult things happens in life helps me to remind me that my ”home” is always there within me. To have routines in life helps me to feel safe, and my children, my loving partner and the people around me that I love and trust. 

9 Which element of nature do you feel most connected to? 

The forrest with all the trees and the ocean.  So I guess earth and water! 

10 Our energy is always shifting in our monthly practice, as female practitioners when we receive our ladies holiday, whether its a seasonal change or when we travel to different climates. How can we find a balance and a grounding when we feel these changes happen? 

I think it is important to respect and try to listen to the body thru all changes in life.To take rest regularly and to adjust the practice so that we can make our energy increase every time we practice, rather than to drain us. For me personally I have to take it very easy the days before Ladies holiday and to take my rest days during. When I travel I often feel the urge to get back on the mat as soon as possible to ”land” myself in the new environment but very gently. 


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