Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Liz Doyle.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A YOGA TEACHER?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

My inspiration came after about 7 years of practicing, and was the culmination of years of career crisis while working in high tech during the “dot-bomb” era. I was moving to a new job every 3-6 months when the company I worked for filed for bankruptcy and went out of business.
At one point I was working for a guy and I could see the writing on the wall. I went out of town for a weekend for some soul searching and found myself crying on the bank of a river begging God for a sign. No sign came, so after about an hour, I went to a local yoga class. After class, the teacher, who didn’t even know me by name, walked right up to me and said, “You should be a yoga teacher.” She had no idea what had come before and I’m sure was a little shocked when I burst into tears.
When I got home I received a totally bizarre and rather insane phone call from my then-boss. I was already thinking of signing up for Kathleen Hunt’s teacher training at Samadhi Yoga, and after that phone call, I quit my job immediately, and started teacher training two weeks later.

WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU ALWAYS GIVE YOUR STUDENTS?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

Try. Just try it. See what happens.
The yoga room, the meditation seat, the container for the practice- it’s a laboratory for experimentation, and we’re all meant to be mad scientists on the vanguard of discovery and evolution. Without experiments, there can be no discoveries, so we must venture into new territory often, however uncomfortable. Contrary to our instinct, what we find is that action creates confidence – so we try before we feel confident, and wait for the magic.

DESCRIBE YOUR YOGA PHILOSOPHY?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

It is my fundamental belief that yoga is a transformational process for the development and reorganization of one’s consciousness. The beautiful part is that you don’t have to know how it works, you just do the practice – yoga works if you do.
What’s evolved for me over the last year and a half, is that to be truly tapping into one’s spiritual potential, the practice cannot remain something separate from the rest of life. Previously, I had a yoga practice that included asana, pranayama, meditation, kriya yoga, etc, but it was something that wasn’t totally blended into my life. My discovery this last year is how integration of the practice into my daily life in all ways, including how I care for myself, skyrockets my development. As a result of the personal work I’ve been doing with this, I’m now offering a deeply transformational 10 week course to help others experience more lifestyle integrity as a yogi, supercharge their practice and metamorphose their lives.

IF YOU COULD PRACTICE WITH ANYONE DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO WOULD THAT BE AND WHY?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

Krishnamacharya. Just being in his presence would be amazing. Also because I’ve always gotten the impression that he had far more knowledge than he was able to pass on in his lifetime, and it would be interesting to hear his insights.

HOW LUCKY ARE YOU AND WHY?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

Well, I haven’t won the lottery – YET – and still I call myself lucky. I could list the specifics of the life of privilege into which I’ve been born (this country, my family, food to eat, roof over my head, etc.), but the REAL reason I am lucky, is the same reason EVERYONE is lucky. We can determine our own destiny to large extent (some posit 100%).
As Viktor Frankl said, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
This, I find, can be not just the most difficult when the circumstances are not favorable, but the magical key to reducing pain and suffering in the moments I’m able to master it. The lucky part is to have this knowledge and the ability to practice it.

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

IF YOU COULD BE AN ANIMAL OR A PLANT, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

Good question. What came to mind first is a plant because we are already connected to plants. Blood and chlorophyll are so very alike. Chlorophyll contains oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and magnesium, and hemoglobin from blood replaces magnesium with iron. I would want to be a flower, like jasmine, with a fragrance that hangs heavy in the air, especially on moonlit summer nights.

WHAT IS YOUR LATEST FAVORITE THING ABOUT HUMANITY?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

My LATEST favorite and LEAST favorite thing is that everything I witness in humanity is a reflection of things inside of me. So it’s always a reminder to turn my focus inward, examine myself and root out the “least favorite things” in myself, which is much less entertaining than pointing the finger at others. I’m simultaneously inspired and humbled by the generosity, creativity and dedication some humans have helping others. I aspire to that.
Where I live currently, there is a really big affordable housing problem. While I’ve been secretly harboring a faraway dream of building a tiny house village with a day center, I read about a guy in NJ who simply starting building a teeny tiny little shelter (with his own hands) and wheeled it down to a corner where he had seen a homeless person. Now that person has a job and a place to live and the teeny tiny house is helping someone else and the guy has built more of these and just keeps going. This is the guy the song “If I Had a Hammer…” was written about. Oh, and he has a successful donation-based yoga studio. I want to be this guy.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE THE LOCAL YOGA COMMUNITY TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Liz Doyle

Liz Doyle:

I’m SUPER funny. Like, knee-slapping, can’t stop laughing, drooling on yourself kind of funny. But don’t worry, I’ll talk in my yoga voice during class.

Liz Doyle’s Bio: Liz has a unique way of doing things, and a keen eye for subtleties that catapult her students to the next level. If you’re ready for something different and want someone who can uncover your unique strengths, offer you tangible advice to deepen your experience and get real results in your life and as a yogi, you’ve found the right teacher. Learn more at: LizDoyleYoga.com.


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