By: Shelly Conlon, Ellis County Business Journal
As a cosmetologist, Lisa Ware strived for clients to find their own beauty. She made the experience personal and the connection honest for each person who sat in her chair, but when the dye faded and she’d see those clients again in 6 weeks, she knew she was looking for something more spiritual.
That’s why after 17 years in cosmetology, she stepped back, put down her scissors and began searching for something more. Well, part of the reason, that is. Now she’s launched a global, mobile yoga teaching certification class to bring individuals together, help individuals find peace and understanding and help others teach more individuals to do the same.
Opened to students worldwide in June 2016, her Yoga 4 Love Advanced Training programs bring global awareness to the traditional Vinyasa yoga teachings through the Yoga 4 Love programs.
When Lisa became pregnant with her son, she started down a path of health and organic eating. That was 1997, a year after she became a vegetarian. She said, “It was the one time I could really control what went into my baby’s body so, I became an advocate for my own body.” Lisa continued, “Before that, I was kind of a junk food vegetarian. You know, you could still be a vegetarian and go to Taco Bell.”
Once her son was born, she spent about three years making organic food for her family. As she was exploring those healthy options, however, a need surfaced to find an even more alternative lifestyle. Lisa’s mother, a survivor of reoccurring breast cancer, was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in 2000.
“I thought, WOW, this could be it. I’ve got to figure out other alternative forms of healing.” Lisa said. She added her mother was often a speaker for Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure and known for her ability to inspire other breast cancer survivors to fight back and continue beyond the illness. “So, I found a healing energy called Reiki, which means universal. It’s a universal life force energy, and it comes straight from our source. However, what people tend to call that source, is often based on however they see God. It’s a laying of hands for your own healing and helps you tap into your own personal connection to the spirit.”
With that understanding in mind, the mother and daughter pair found a Reiki master to help her mother begin to mentally escape some of the pain because she couldn’t get out of her body. As the cancer diminished some, the pair took on the next level in Reiki study.
“You learn a little deeper knowledge about the Reiki and how to send energy to people, plants, water and food, and it just changes everything you do because everything is energy,” said Lisa. “We’re simply a being in a shell called a body, and we’re here for about 100 years, so we are really connected with this energy through training.”
Yet her mother’s cancer returned in full force again. With each surgery, Lisa saw her mother fight and use Reiki to push forward. If doctors said she wasn’t going to be able to something, Lisa’s mother proved them wrong, time and time again. With her mother as an example, that was the moment Lisa knew she had to do something more impactful. By 2007 and another child later, Lisa received her yoga teacher training certification.
As her mother continued to fight breast cancer, she stood by and her side, taking the course work a step at a time, and mostly in weekend modules.
“After my second training, I came back. The training was in Austin, and a few days later, my mom had passed. That very night I had already scheduled a yoga class, and I went ahead and taught my class that night. I didn’t have a way to cancel it. It was a donation based class at a karate studio, and I had no idea how to get a hold of any of these people. What do you do when you mom dies? You feel totally out of control. My sister encouraged me to go teach the class. So, I just went, and it was the most amazing class, and I thought this is what I’m meant to do.”
That class like so many that would follow, helped Lisa get out of her own head. That’s the beauty of yoga, Lisa shared.
“It’s actually critical to our survival, to thrive as humans,” Lisa said. “We have to control our thoughts. So, Yoga teaches postures whose actual purpose is to teach us to control our thoughts or control our mind. It comes from discipline, and the discipline starts with the physical body. By teaching to those people that particular night, it was just a bunch of moms that were there to get out of their own spaces and I was able to get out of my own grief for that hour, just to be there for them. It was definitely a life-changing experience.”
Now, not only does Lisa have a strong clientele base, but she has been a big influence in the community by being one of the coordinators for Dallas Fort Worth’s Free Day of Yoga. She has also developed her own nutrition business as well to keep yoga enthusiasts healthy beyond the classroom, giving them tools and resources to stay healthy and eat healthy on their own. Everything is online, she said, making the classes flexible for those with hectic schedules.
“A lot of changes have happened, and I’ve just been really obedient to what God wants me to do. I just do a lot of meditation and prayer. Meditation is listening and prayer is talking. You have to have both, and I really feel like through that I’m able to discern what belongs in my life and what doesn’t, and bring things across that He wants me to teach,” said Lisa