Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Lisa Ostler, RN, BSN, NC-BC
Nurse Finds Her Passion in Yoga and Coaching
Many people see yoga as a great way to stretch and relax. But for #healthynurse Lisa Ostler, RN, BSN, NC-BC, yoga is so much more. It helped her shift her mindset, find her passion, and launch a business. She feels happier and more fulfilled than ever, and now she’s helping nurses worldwide find that same feeling.
“I’m giving nurses a space to let go. And we don’t always feel like we have that right,” Lisa says. “We’re so focused on healing others that we don’t look after ourselves. But coaching nurses to look inward has become my passion.”
Lisa didn’t discover holistic healing or start coaching nurses until 20 years into her nursing career. A self-described “adrenaline seeker,” Lisa loved working as a flight nurse and in an ER. It wasn’t until she lost her way that she found a new path.
Looking Beyond Burnout
According to an American Nurses Foundation survey of more than 7,000 nurses, more than 50% experience burnout to some degree. Lisa was no exception.
“I thought I was healthy and happy. I was good at my job, and working nights never seemed to affect me,” Lisa says. But when burnout started to creep in, a friend recommended trying nurse coaching. “Taking that nurse coaching program opened my eyes and changed my trajectory.”
The nurse coaching taught Lisa how stress settles in the body and can trickle down to all areas of life. She learned how to cultivate self-care and self-compassion. Through it all, she began to understand and appreciate the power of holistic health.
“It showed me a different way of healing from what I’d known in the ER,” Lisa says. The experience put her on a new path — toward nurse coaching grounded in yoga.
Realizing the Power of Yoga
Lisa practiced yoga for years before she went through nurse coaching. It made her feel better, but she never really grasped the mind-body connection or the impact yoga could have.
Lisa learned that yoga can be a powerful mental and physical tool. In addition to the physical practice, yoga can help you transform:
- How you show up to the world, helping you define the ethics and rules that guide your everyday actions — similar to the Code of Ethics for Nurses
- How you show up for yourself, guiding you to speak kindly to yourself and embrace your life and the moment you are living
- Your breathing, teaching breathwork to help you manage your body’s stress response
“I was astounded at how I had been moving through the world with no idea of what was going on within me,” Lisa says. “I now know what stress feels like in my body and that I am an anxious person. Yoga helps me recognize those emotions and feelings and provides me with the tools I need to move through them.”
Coaching Nurses With Yoga
Lisa’s new path has led her to help other nurses find their balance and passion — incorporating yoga whenever possible. She works with nurses in several ways:
Private nurse coaching
Lisa provides guidance and a holistic health approach to both nurses and non-nurses. She specializes in:
- Mentoring nurses, working with them to determine goals and identify the appropriate path forward
- Functional medicine, using her education to help clients with nutrition and health issues
- Women’s health, focusing on menstruation and hormonal health, so clients are more aware of their cycles and bodies
“I incorporate yoga into my coaching,” Lisa says. “I teach nurses how to use it to find balance, and I use it as a tool for healing. If someone is having digestion issues, for example, I’ll work with their nutrition, and I’ll teach them yoga poses that ignite and help with digestion.”
Teaching yoga for nurses
Lisa offers free weekly online yoga classes for nurses. She also teaches a virtual 10-week Yoga for Nurses program as a faculty member of the Integrative Nurse Coach Academy, part of the International Nurse Coach Association. The course, which provides continuing education credits (CEUs), teaches nurses from around the world how to incorporate the mental and physical practice of yoga into their daily lives.
The course includes:
- Live virtual yoga sessions
- Mindfulness practices
- Online forum discussions
- Weekly videos
“We talk a lot about ethics and how we show up to the world and for ourselves,” Lisa says. “If we show up angry, distracted, or hating our job and don’t do anything to change how we feel, those emotions can dictate how our day goes. But yoga can help us shift that mindset and show more compassion for ourselves, our coworkers, and our patients. This course also gives nurses a space to connect, share, and let go of whatever they are holding.”
Nurse renewal retreats
Lisa works with a local organization as a co-facilitator for their 2-day nurse renewal retreats.
“The retreat helps nurses work through trauma and burnout,” Lisa says. “We provide a time and place where nurses can step back, process what they’ve been through, and heal from any mental and emotional trauma.”
The facilitators are registered nurses, primarily integrative nurse coaches. They teach tools, such as mindfulness and yoga, for emotional self-care.
Lisa says people seem amazed that she can work a full-time nursing job and coach nurses on so many levels.
“It all feeds my soul,” Lisa says. “I get to witness nurses have those ‘aha’ moments and learn ways to combat their trauma and stress. There’s nothing more rewarding than that.”
Lisa Ostler, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is an integrative nurse health coach, yoga teacher, and child fatality review coordinator/violence & injury prevention nurse for the county where she resides.
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