Lisa Ash Drackert is the owner and Curriculum Director of Westport Yoga KC.
What do I do best?
I teach. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do and it’s what I am undeniably called to do in this world. For me, teaching is the best thing in the entire world because my words open doors of wisdom, inspiration, healing and empowerment that students didn’t even know were closed inside their hearts. I’m a complete word nerd and I live for metaphor. Teaching, to me, is about discovering and conveying the perfect imagery to use with a student that knocks their socks off in epiphany. Teaching is about being brave enough to be the conduit for Divine Healing in the classroom and celebrating with hugs and laughs and cheers when a student uncovers a Truth that is waiting for them, whether it’s the perfect yoga pose, reading in English for the first time or realizing they need to quit a job.
Right now, I am a teacher of yoga, meditation and spiritual practices. I’ve also been a teacher of tap dancing, cardio-fusion, first grade reading (very successfully), first grade math (rather unsuccessfully, I must admit), English as a second language, and curriculum development. I can’t even imagine what I’ll get to teach when I’m 80!
I’m a pretty great crock-pot user, cookie baker and dog kisser, too.
What makes me the best version of myself?
The best version of me is indecently positive, overbearingly talkative and unbearably honest. I’m annoyingly curious: I want to know everything about everyone, because the people I meet are so interesting. I can talk to anyone and I share just about anything. It’s easy for people to feel welcomed, listened to, valued and treasured in my presence. Because of this, creating community comes naturally and the Little Light inside my heart tends to fan the flame of inspiration in the people I meet and am blessed to teach. This isn’t a performance, it’s a natural outpouring of Love and a deep-seated trust in these two beliefs:
a) the universe is always conspiring for my highest good
b) people truly want to help me and each other when given the opportunity
Also, I am tenacious. When I make up my mind about something, I do not stop until I have it accomplished. (Child-like faith and a reliance on my day planner have their perks.)
What are my aspirations?
My greatest personal aspiration right now is this: to remember, always, that creation needs me for my love. Despite my general exuberance and overall positivity, moments of existential crises are fairly routine. I get wrapped up in the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ and ‘is all this work really worth it?’(I’ve heard this it’s a universal exploit for business owners everywhere to break-down weekly, throw their hands up and cry: ‘No one gets me!! I don’t know what I’m doing!! Why I am doing this!?”) And at that point, I like to step back and remember my motto: I’m here, as we all are, because creation needs me for my love. And however I choose to show that love, at this time, in this place, is all that matters.
My second personal aspiration is: until further notice, celebrate everything! This hardly needs explanation: my life is beautiful and fragile and beautifully fragile. My health, my husband, my Whoodle Russell Clive, my home, my yoga studio, my collection of Harry Potter Books, my little herb garden and my Pyrex dishes are all a gift and should be celebrated daily.
Also on my to-do list: dance my heart out at a Justin Timberlake Concert, take a 3 day backpacking trip in a Grand Teton National Park, spend two weeks in Spain, buy a house in the mountains, eat a meal in every U.S. State and raise chickens/also children.
By some combination of Divine Grace and coffee, my biggest business aspirations are already manifesting: to mentor and support yoga teachers by owning a quality yoga studio where every student feels valued, safe, welcomed and challenged. My students know that I care about them and they often use the phrase, “My yoga teacher says…” To teach yoga as a tool for self-healing in my community and be recognized as an expert in teaching contemplative practices and meditation. To write about my experiences with yoga, to transmit the Yoga Philosophy in an approachable way to Spiritual Seekers through this writing that will, one day, fingers crossed, become a book.
Also on my list: publish my first children’s book, which is a handbook for teaching children how to use pranayama techniques to mitigate stress, work for Yoga Medicine (founded by my teacher Tiffany Cruikshank), complete my study to become an Ayurveda Specialist Consultant and finally learn why people feel the need to wear toeless socks to yoga class. They can’t, (I mean, CAN’T) be comfortable.
My Biggest Success?
I’m incredibly proud of my work organizing school boards, training primary school teachers and building libraries in 3 Zambian Community schools through my job as Program Coordinator and Teacher Mentor with HealthEd Connect. I’m really incredibly proud that I acclimated back into American culture after living in Zambia (not an easy task) still believing in hope, God, humanity and happiness. I learned that small things—holding hands, making meals together, teaching one child how to manage their anger, showing Love to even one person—is incredibly meaningful. And perhaps it’s the most important work there is.
My Most Challenging Moment?
In April 2017 I purchased Westport Yoga KC, the yoga studio in Kansas City where I’d been the lead teacher and manager for three years prior. This was an extremely quick merger (11 days from the first meeting with the previous owner to signing the closing papers) but it was a decision I’d been praying about for three months. Two days after we closed the deal, the previous owner and my mentor took her own life.
Juggling the discordant emotions of thrill (I finally own my own yoga studio!) and overwhelming grief (my mentor won’t be around to see me through it!) was devastating. I’d assumed the role of leader in a community of Yoga students and yoga teachers in order to keep our doors open (our yoga community is really close-knit!) and now had to deal with the aftermath of suicide and all the unhealed wounds it brings to light. Many, many people who knew Kate and who didn’t know Kate were extremely vocal (hello, Facebook slander!) of the way I dealt with her death and I was the target of extreme social media anger.
Because I’m a minister, my mentor’s husband asked me to preside over her memorial service and hold the service at Westport Yoga. Of course, I said yes; it was healing experience of closure for our community and for Kate’s family.
The experience taught me that when I say ‘Yes’ to Serve, I don’t get to decide when and where. It also taught me to become very, very selective about the voices I listen to: turns out, people will have opinions, critiques and criticisms about almost every single decision I make as a business owner, and I only have to listen to those voices who are helpful, supportive and want more Love in this world. I grew a thick skin quickly (with help from my therapist) and today I am proud to be more resilient, more confident, more sure of who I am and what my dharma is.
“Stay Curious, Strive for Greatness, Practice Self-Care and Never Stop Exploring.”
See, Question 3.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
People who are masters of their craft are my biggest inspirations:
• Anne Lammott, the genius writer who is hilarious and poignant and faithful and heretical all in one sentence.
• Justin Timberlake, my future boyfriend, who is serious about his art and is always pushing boundaries of expertise (and handsomeness).
• Angela Mbotoe, my host mother when I lived and worked in rural Zambia, who started a community school to teach, clothe and feed an influx of AIDS orphans in her town of ZamTam and who is the most serene and gracious person I know.
• Richard Rohr who is an excellent teacher and writer of the Perennial Tradition and who inspires me to keep sharing what I know to be True about Faith and Christianity and Love.
• Michael Drackert, my Ironman, who is a masterful planner, an incredible athlete, a loyal husband and who can carry my heavy backpack up a snow-covered trail in Peruvian Andes while I’m vomiting off the side of the mountain for three days. He is my true hero and the best person ever invented.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Last summer my husband and I discovered the most magical place on the face of the planet, tucked inside a tiny Canadian National Park. I hesitate to even reveal the name of the lake, since its immaculate landscape is due partly to its relative virgin status— and Parks Canada sells a limited number of passes to hikers each day. (It rhymes with YOLO and it’s in the Canadian Rockies.) We spent one night in its Backcountry campground and took the most unforgettable hike; the alpine lake was sapphire, the trails were rough, the air was crisp, the marmots were plentiful and every moment felt like coming home.
And of course, the traditional Travel Faves: The Cascade Mountains, Berkeley, California, Au’lani Resort on the island of Oahu and Whole Foods.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Right now I’m obsessed with my Nasya Oil, which I truly believe is keeping me healthy and my sinuses un-infected. I’m also over-the-moon excited about the complete, I mean, COMPLETE box set of all the Harry Potter DVD’s that I just got for my birthday from my mom. It contains ALL of the special features FROM ALL OF THE MOVIES. So. Great.
In my everyday life, I’m enamored with my dog Russell Clive who is my best friend in the world, my husband’s guacamole, a scented candle called “Group Hug!” and my Lululemon “Namastay” Yoga Mat.
My Current Passions?
My current passion is becoming the best boss in the world. I’m not new to leadership, but I’m new to the art of being THE BOSS and I want to create a Yoga School where I’m serving as the best Principal anyone can imagine. My dream is to one day earn a Michael Scott coffee mug that says, “World’s Best Boss.”
My second current passion is trail running, which I’m not great at, but it feeds my Soul. Every time I step on to a wooded trail, my whole Being breathes a sigh of relief.
My future passion is raising chickens in my backyard. I know basically nothing about this, except that chicken coops stink to high heaven, as I remember from my toddler days and my Mimi’s chicken coop at Lazy Acres. But I really want fresh chicken eggs and baby chicks make me die.