A local yoga teacher will be launching Jersey’s first 200-hour training school for yoga teachers, which she hopes will attract people to the island.
Lisa McCabe is a Yoga Medicine Therapeutic Specialist as well as a Registered Yoga Alliance Senior teacher and has been teaching yoga in the island for 15 years at Omshanti Yoga Living Jersey, which she founded.
In addition, Lisa owns Optimal Health and Wellbeing, a company which provides health assessments and presentations as well as health check days in local businesses. She has also recently launched a private studio to work with clients.
Lisa’s passion for yoga started when she was just 17, under the “fantastic” teaching of Jeffrey. “He gave classes at the Madison Night Club, where the Hotel de France medical centre is now, I used to go on a Saturday morning, and he was very inspiring,” Lisa recalls.
Pictured: Lisa has been teaching yoga for 15 years.
As she approached her 20s, Lisa went travelling and started learning about bikram, she then went to Torquay where she spent 18 months doing “a lot of written work and practical work” on yoga.
She then carried on training with several teachers and became “more obsessed and interested in the human body”.
Six years ago, Lisa qualified as a Senior Yoga Medicine Teacher and Therapeutic Specialist under the direction of renowned teacher Tiffany Cruikshank. Since then, she has been working with individuals who have been recommended yoga to help with injuries, among other things.
Over the years, Lisa says she has met many students who had attended yoga teacher trainings and felt let down by what they had been taught.
“On more than one occasion, I have had to tell them to redo their training, because there are big gaps in terms of quality,” Lisa said.
Two years ago, Lisa decided it was time to create her own syllabus and apply to the Yoga Alliance - a non-profit association that represents the yoga community and uphold teaching standards - to register her yoga business as Jersey’s first school.
Having spent 23 years travelling around the world to “get the standard that she wanted to achieve”, she said she knew how expensive training could be.
“I have always aspired to wanting to run my own chain,” Lisa said. “I want to pass on the 23 years of training that I have done and that am still doing, I will be training throughout my whole career, I spend a lot of time studying and researching because it’s constantly changing.”
Lisa’s syllabus will involve a 200-hour contact course, which she designed drawing from scribbled notes from the numerous classes she took, with additional hours during which students will be required to observe classes. It will be spread over five months to make it accessible to people who work full-time.
“It takes a lot of education for people to teach yoga,” Lisa said. “People see it as a luxury or a glamorous job but it’s not, it’s one of the hardest jobs you can do. You are responsible for people’s wellbeing; you have to give a lot of energy to do it well and I don’t think people realise that."
Pictured: “I want to try and create a retreat experience where people can switch off," Lisa said.
Through her registration with the Yoga Alliance, Lisa’s course will be marketed globally, and she hopes it will attract people to the island and put Jersey on the map as somewhere you can go to for professional training.
She also hopes to raise awareness of yoga and its benefits especially among medical professionals who might refer patients for yoga while also working with the local wellbeing community to share knowledge, uphold the standards and showcase the island.
The course, which will launch in October, will be set in an hospitality venue with only 16 participants and local yoga teachers acting as Teaching Assistants.
“I want to try and create a retreat experience where people can switch off and give support to an area that has been really affected by the pandemic,” Lisa said.
“I want to have a very small, very intimate and interactive course and to spend time with each of the students.
“I want to really use what we have in the island and showcase what we have. I have nice relationships with the ladies who have the two studios in the island and there will be there to talk about teaching culture."
While many might flinch at the idea of launching a new venture in the middle of a pandemic, Lisa has already done it once and remains positive.
“I bought a business at the beginning of March last year as it was sort of rippling through,” she said. “If I can do that and survive this will be ok. I hope that by October, we will be home and dry and our most vulnerable will be vaccinated.”
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