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Irish Invasion

By Danny Burke

This year’s Convention got a special infusion of international energy when Tanya Fitzpatrick and Lisa Petersen, both from Ireland, decided to crash the party. Tanya and Lisa are longtime friends, having met through their Yoga training. Together, they used to train yoga instructors in Ireland before becoming world travelers, running Yoga retreats in Canada, Vancouver, New Zealand, USA and Germany. Between 2004-2008, they trained with Brian Ingle (Siddhartha), H.S.E.® Certified Practitioner, to become Clinical Somatic Educators. They found there was a real demand for Somatics, resulting in very busy schedules teaching classes, seeing clients, and training Somatic Exercise Coaches.

Eventually, they decided to separate their businesses and work on their own. Both decided to partner with a psychotherapy practice. Lisa teaches Somatics in Dublin, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Spain and parts of the UK. Tanya teaches in the UK and Australia.

As their businesses grew in popularity, Tanya began to yearn for a connection with the Novato Institute. She called Lisa and the two of them immediately joined the AHSE as Associate Members and decided to “book on” as enrollees for the 2016 Annual Convention. We caught up with Tanya at the convention and she said, “We decided to come in with eyes wide open—no expectations.” Lisa chimed in, “I loved the inclusiveness of the group. Integrity teamed with humor and heart is always a winner for me.”  She also added, “I was truly inspired by Laura Gates’ presentations, by the deep wellspring of her embodied knowledge and her ability to communicate clearly.”

Given the Irish ladies knowledge, enthusiasm for the work, their openness and eagerness to learn, and their Irish wit, it didn’t take long for them to win over other attendees at the convention. When asked if anything surprised them at the convention, Lisa said, “How good the food was… it was the best I ever had on retreat, and yes, I’ll be back next year!” Their contributions greatly enhanced everyone’s experience overall. As the convention concluded, Tanya mentioned she achieved her goals for attending the conference: “We felt welcomed and now feel more like part of the community.”