Lesley Fightmaster changed the world with her free yoga lessons
Photo / Wesley Tingey / Unsplash
Lesley Fightmaster, of San Clemente, CA, touched the lives of thousands with her positive, uplifting yoga videos. As she led us through poses, her bright personality came through strong.
After teaching real-world classes for years, she entered the world of online yoga. Her YouTube channel has 625,000 subscribers, with her most popular videos viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Learning asanas from Lesley was a delight. We found a real person that we could connect to. Even though her skill level was far above ours, the way Lesley coached us through difficult poses gave us hope that we would become more flexible and skilled.
“When you make positive changes, they affect everyone around you, making the world better because of you.” — Lesley Fightmaster
Every video ended with her smile, which touched our hearts and set the tone for the day. Her enthusiastic bright light changed us. It sent waves into the world, as we carried that light out and let it influence our lives. There’s no telling how far she spread through us. Her bright light caused a butterfly effect of yoga and possibility.
When I heard that Lesley Fightmaster had passed away unexpectedly, I was stunned and sad. She was a force for good in the world, and we are diminished without her. It’s truly a great loss.
Although I never met her, she was a dear friend to me. I watched her yoga videos so many times that I knew her better than I know my neighbors in the real world.
My Yoga Journey Started With Lesley Fightmaster
I first found her videos 4 years ago.
As a yoga novice, I didn’t know where to start. I was afraid to join real-world classes. It’s challenging for guys over 40 to just drop in with a bunch of strangers. The fear of being laughed at stopped me cold.
I found Lesley Fightmaster on YouTube and tried a video at random. She connected with me through that video, and I tried another one the next day.
Then I saw that she had the video series Yoga Fix 90. It was a 90-day yoga challenge, where you would follow along with her with a new video for a full 3 months.
I started the challenge the next morning.
I was a complete beginner, so I found the videos quite difficult to keep up with. But Lesley cheered me on with her attitude. Because of her spirit and happiness as she recorded these videos, I kept going.
The personal touches can’t be faked. Most of the videos were outdoors, on a beach or at a park. Whether it was her comments about something that appeared in the background by accident or a reference to how cold she was on the mat that morning outside, I always felt the connection.
“I would describe my teaching style as an infusion of meditative and flowing Vinyasa classes with yoga philosophy, concise technical alignment, and some heartfelt humor.” — Lesley Fightmaster
In one video she let on that she was worried a seagull was getting too close. In another one of her children passed by in the background at a distance. A kayaker paddled by as she went through her routine. All of these little details made me feel like yoga was something real people like me could do.
I still haven’t pulled off that Bird of Paradise pose, but her example gives me hope!
Lesley Fightmaster Led Me Back to Health
Before I met her in her videos, I was in rough shape. Through years of construction work and lack of proper stretching, my neck and back were a mess. I was taking a lot of pills for back pain, and visiting chiropractors, but nothing helped.
I couldn’t touch my toes. Even the idea of crouching down was painful. I had given up on ever feeling good again because I thought my body was worn out. She taught me that recovery was possible.
Within weeks, Lesley had me feeling like I could take on the world. By spending a half-hour each day with her, I went from a middle-aged physical wreck to someone who saw light at the end of the pain tunnel.
“I believe that the transformational gift of yoga should be available to as many people as possible.” — Lesley Fightmaster
It wasn’t instantaneous. It took work, and daily exercise. Lesley Fightmaster coached me through it and made it simple to keep going.
After I finished her 90-day challenge, I took a month to try some other yoga options. Then I started her challenge again and went through each video anew.
The changes I saw in my body were drastic. I was in so much better shape. My core was stronger. I was even getting the cardio exercise that I needed. I was a new man.
Because of her, I live pain-free. This means I’m happy instead of grumpy. I give smiles throughout my daily journey. I spread the news that there is a way to live a better life by working on our bodies and souls, instead of accepting pain and broken body parts.
I carry her light and I can send it out now too. She made me into her ambassador of positive self-improvement through yoga.
Goodbye, Lesley Fightmaster
Lesley Fightmaster changed my life. I owe her a debt of gratitude, along with all of her other online students who benefited from her teaching.
My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. If she touched complete strangers like me, then the loss for those who knew her in the real world will be unimaginable.
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.” — James O’Barr
Lesley, your gifts of laughter, yoga, and strength that you gave me will last my entire life. I am so glad that I found you when I did. Goodbye, and thank you. I will do my best to pay it forward.