Lyz Merola

    WHERE WERE YOU BORN/RAISED?
    Changewater, NJ

    TELL A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE
    I started a regular yoga practice while in my first semester of college. My body was used to being active, working outside in the garden. All of the time I was spending at a desk was uncomfortable! At first my intention for yoga was to get fit, but as I got deeper into the practice my breath, mind and body started to change. My outlook on the world shifted.

    TELL A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR TEACHING EXPERIENCE
    I received my certification from Shivakali Yoga in 2017. I started teaching regularly in a studio right after I finished my training. Since then I have taught over 1000 hours in a studio, gyms, private residences, retreats, at Ventura Community College and a Womens Youth Correctional Facility.

    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE YOGA POSE AND WHY?
    Eka Pada Koundinyasa, both A and B. This flying arm balance truly makes me feel like I’m soaring when I am in it. It is a great upper body and core workout, and a stellar confidence boost!

    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE YOGA/SELF HELP/SPIRITUALITY BOOK AND WHY?
    Plant Spirit Medicine by Eliot Cowan. This book dives deep into our spiritual connection to the earth and the spirit realm. Cowan asks a series of questions that examine our relationship to the elements, and how they influence our daily life.

    WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS?
    Drop your expectations. About yoga, about the class, the teacher, the poses, even about your own body and physical ability. Try something new. Give yourself the gift of presence and flow with the experience.

    WHAT DOES COMMUNITY MEAN TO YOU?
    Community grows where love flows! A group of people with similar values that come together to support each other and the greater good of the earth and its inhabitants around us. Community is a chosen family. Love in abundance and no sign of judgement.

    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT VENTURA?
    I love the abundance of avocados and strawberries, Sticky Fingers Baking Company(vegan muffins!!), Channel Islands Juice Co., Harvest Cafe, Beach House Tacos, The Refill Shoppe, Grassroots Yoga!, the bike trail to Ojai, the breweries, and all of the rad collectives and communities that keep these industries thriving.

    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?
    The Ojai Raptor Center. “This non-profit organization is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of birds of prey and other wildlife, and to providing educational programs about wildlife and our shared environment.”