I met Ally through Jason, where I meet a lot of my quality wellness friends actually. She has this amazing sense of ease about her that I actually incorporate in our 'guiding' at Strala. We're about 'finding the ease' whether the pose, situation, or movement is challenging or easy. If you can find the ease in yoga you'll find the ease in life, as how you are in yoga is how you are in life, and vice versa.
Ally is the embodiment of the values, attention, clarity, ease, and grace that I'd want in a yoga teacher, and a friend.
TS: When I first took your class, you had us building into forearm stand in lotus (which I hadn’t tried before). But with your careful instruction, I folded right into it without tension or stress. You have such a great way of guiding people inward. Do you have any secrets you can share on how you embody this sense of ease while remaining strong?
AH: As far as trying to balance the strength with the ease when it comes to the asana practice (or life ;-)), I have just found that the more relaxed I am, the more likely I am to find some balance. It's easy to get attached to a particular outcome (balancing in an inversion or arm balance, or trying to direct a relationship without letting it flow), but the more we grip, the less we breathe, the less we open. So when I'm teaching, I'm always trying to create an environment that feeds curiosity, and that allows people to just explore. I think it helps to remember that the poses are tools we use to examine the kind of relationship we're having with ourselves, to notice the way we show up in a challenging moment, and to hopefully use the opportunities on the mat to train the mind to be more loving and compassionate. If you have to face-plant over and over again to understand that, then that's just part of the path :)