Meet Your Coach Mondays - Alyssa

When and why did you start practicing yoga?

I started practicing yoga on and off with my mom when I was 6 and came back to it a little over 5 years ago. At the time, I held a job that was very stressful and although I had always exercised by running and lifting weights, the idea of slowing down was presented to me by one of my colleagues (I was a little intense) and it turns out it was life changing. 

You teach Hatha yoga with us.  How is Hatha different from Vinyasa?

Hatha is a practice which cultivates a balance between mind, breath and body. Although Vinyasa can be a form of Hatha, Vinyasa is typically connecting breath and movement as more of a flow. 

You made the move from New York to Seattle.  What inspired that decision?

I decided to leave my corporate job and the NY lifestyle to explore my yoga practice and service.

As someone who used to work in fashion, what is your favorite yoga outfit?

Honestly, I wonder if anyone would know that I worked in fashion by looking at me now :). I prefer to practice in loose roomy clothing and to wear all black (a nod to my NY roots), but in an effort to step out I sometimes try to add color to my clothes with my pants and my earrings.

You work with Yoga behind Bars.  Tell us a little about that experience.

Yoga Behind Bars is a nonprofit in Washington state dedicated to bringing yoga and meditation instruction to prisons, jails and detention centers. Their programs promote rehabilitation, help to build safer communities and contribute to reform of the prison system. I have never felt so lucky as to be asked to volunteer and then hired to work at YBB. I work in their office as a Development Coordinator and teach at a juvenile detention hall in Tacoma; to create and hold space in an environment where there is no space is pretty powerful; it proves that anything is possible. I highly recommend it.

By Vishal Punj

Vishal Punj is the owner of Aatma Fitness Studios, a full service boutique health and fitness club in the Center Of The Universe, Seattle.

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