Our relaxing sleepwear shoot has just the right easy vibe inspired by Pure Li Yoga's studio in Clunes in hinterland Northern NSW.
We asked Lise the creator of Pure Li yoga what inspired her beautiful yoga studio and school.
1. Please tell us what inspired you to create your own yoga studio
Ah no seriously … it all came about during and after a time of great heartbreak. I have been sharing yoga since 2010, and when I moved up here to Clunes from Sydney, I wanted to have my own yoga space here on the property, seeing as there was room enough.
It’s taken three years all up, and my ideas and plans really grew and changed quite organically, as I was growing and changing. Instagram did help too though, all those beautiful images enlivened my senses, and became a sort of vision-board of sorts, I guess!
2. When did you first start practicing yoga? How did you discover it?
I discovered Yoga in Ireland when I was in my early twenties. I liked how the gentle Hatha practice made me feel - during and after practice, I felt calm and happy - maybe it was noticeable because I was a hot-tempered Irish redhead?!! :)
About 6 years later, I encountered a teacher in Dublin that I found inspiring and fun, and I began practising Ashtanga yoga. I used that practice to help get me through some challenging times - just getting out and having those 90 minutes focusing on myself was really beneficial and helped me get perspective on what was going on in my life at the time.
I soon thereafter, made a really unusual-for-me kind of decision, and moved to Australia on my own, leaving behind all my family, a burgeoning acting career in TV, film and theatre, and all my friends!
It was an intuition that came strongly to me whilst I was on holidays here, and when I went home to finish up the contract on the TV show I was working in, I used my yoga practice to strengthen my mind and my body, sort of steeling myself, affirming as I practised those very difficult postures, that I could do difficult things and survive, that nothing was permanent, and despite the alarming wonderings of my caring friends, who worried about what I was going to do if I didn’t like it - I reminded myself, and them, that I wasn’t leaving on a famine ship, or even a ten pound boat!
That there was no rule saying I’d have to stay, I could and would come home anytime if I didn’t like it. That might seem like an obvious sort of logic, but I think that because Ireland has had such a strong culture of emigration going back centuries, and some of those emigrants left in an act of defiance against the State - against the hardship and poverty that they endured, perhaps their leaving meant also leaving behind family duties.
So those emigrants were not necessarily encouraged to go and find a life for themselves, but rather looked down upon for having notions about ‘bettering' themselves by leaving the country, and as a result, those emigrants were often too proud to come home and say they didn’t ‘make it’ abroad. So I think there was a residue of that in people’s perspective, unconsciously so, when I decided to go! Well not for me!
Between Louise L. Hay and Yoga, I was empowered and probably the most daring and light-hearted I’ve ever been! The fact that it was very out of character for me to do something this daring, made me feel even more strongly about there being something in it!
That was almost two decades ago! I think the yoga that I was committed to practising three times a week, really made me mentally & emotionally strong enough to follow through on my intuition to move here! So it’s funny I ended up becoming a teacher years later, and having my own school here in Clunes! I never envisioned that!
These days, my body is no longer able for Ashtanga Yoga, and I’m not so interested in pretzel poses. So I share a strengthening yet gentle Hatha style incorporating breathing techniques and meditation, as well as my beloved Restorative Yoga, and iRest® Yoga Nidra Meditation.
3. Amazing book you’d recommend for us to read?
This is too excruciating difficult for me to pick one! So I’m going to be greedy!
The book that changed my life, which I came across one day in Dublin, as was my habit to browse bookstores in between Italian classes and drama classes, is You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise L. Hay.
Before that book, I didn’t have any understanding that I could actually choose how I feel. That I could literally, change my mind, and that I could have so much more control over certain things in my life, like my emotions and how I respond to things. I just came across it on the shelf and next thing I knew I had bought it and read it and was practising it’s teachings. It was revelatory for me, I was around 23 years old.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer is a sort of more profound teaching on the same theme, I guess. I would recommend that to everyone, give it a whirl! There may be some things you find a bit radical about it, but for me, it makes perfect logical sense and is a guide in how to use the teachings of Yoga philosophy to ease suffering in your life.
Something a bit lighter maybe? I LOVE LOVE LOVED The Forty Rules Of Love, by the novelist and women’s rights activist Elif Shafak. It’s an enchanting, fictional tale about the life / relationship between Rumi and the Shams of Tabriz. (The author’s own story is quite sensational in itself, and very inspiring!)
4. Your daily mantra
“Go to the belly” … this is one I learned from one of my teachers, Judith Hanson Lasater, a reminder for when things get overwhelming, stressful, challenging, chaotic etc … just the normal run of the mill kinda day for many people right?!
“Go to the belly”, reminds me to take my focus to my breath, to go inward, quieten down, breathe more slowly, consciously, and to use my diaphragm to breathe. This in turn then starts to soothe the nervous system, gives me some tiny space away from whatever the stimulus/trigger is, and makes me feel calmer and more ok about whatever is going on, even if whatever is going on, is not actually ok. This is invaluable.
Due to my longtime regular yoga practice, the simplicity of those four words is all I have to remember, once I say that to myself the rest just follows.
5. All time favourite chill out activity
I LOVE CHILLING!
SO this is hard to share just one! But I will not steal anymore of your time!! After two years of having a swimming pool, I only recently actually "gave myself" the swimming pool!
So at the moment, when the weather is hot, I like to etch out at least a half hour, usually at the end of the day, and I set myself up in a restorative yoga type pose over a blow up ring!!! I then listen to loud and wonderful music and muse, or maybe photograph/video all the sights and sounds that nature sends on any given day! It’s SUCH a treat, and I consider myself very lucky indeed!
6. Anything else you’d like to share with our Lazybones peeps :)
I think I have probably over-shared above already!!!
Find Lise and Pure Li yoga @pureliyoga on instagram
Here's some photos from our shoot... such a stunning peaceful space Lise has created.