Today we’re getting to know one of our newest instructors, Ali Owens! You’ll see her smiling face at The Green Yogi in Manhattan Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM.
Where are you from?
What are your classes like? What’s your teaching style?
My classes are based on a strong foundation in alignment, mixed in with my background as a dancer and desire to make the practice accessible to everyone in the room. The sequences are fun, yet challenging and will get you to work up a sweat while staying grounded through mindful movement. I use music in my classes as a way to engage and create an environment where students feel safe to let go of negative energy or thoughts that are holding them back from living a life they truly love. Classes are normally taught in a Vinyasa flow, movement with the breath in a continual sequence, unless it is a Yin or Restorative class where we focus on relaxation and seated/supine postures.
What’s your favorite quote?
The secret to having it all, is knowing you already do.
How did you get started with yoga?
I was a dancer in the World Arts and Cultures Program at UCLA, when I decided to sign up for a Yoga class as one of our extracurricular course options. The class was a fully integrated immersion into the practice that not only included asana but also philosophy, history and spirituality. After the course, I began practicing outside of UCLA at YogaWorks and Lululemon. After graduating, I found my teacher and decided to sign up for a teacher training program simply to deepen my knowledge of the practice. I originally went to Yoga to shed any stress from my day, flow (because I wasn’t able to make it to dance classes with my school and work schedule), and meet new people! When I became more and more interested in the practice, it soon thereafter swept me up by it’s wings and I’ve been teaching full time ever since.
What are your hobbies?
I love to hike, run, walk along the beach, travel, organize events, cook, spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and family. After college, I worked in Marketing for the Greek Theatre so I love to listen to music and see what’s going on in Los Angeles to participate in the diverse events this city has to offer.
What pose was most challenging for you to learn?
Handstand. I worked that pose for so many years and my weak arms would not support my body for more than a second. There was a very kind gentlemen by the name of Peter who would spot me in Dice’s class at Black Dog Yoga and simply told me “use your fingertips, those are your breaks!” and I’ve held onto that cue ever since. Probably the most awakening pose for me was, and still is, Warrior 3. I had learned through dance to always turn out and Warrior 3 forces me to find stability through neutral rotation in the hips…and that’s only the beginning. The practice is a beautiful challenge where we can learn something new from the poses each and every day.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by others and my practice. When I see the positive work people are doing in the world, I am inspired to follow the path towards change and helping others lead the most fulfilled lives as possible. I am inspired through movement, so my personal practice keeps my mind and body at ease while moving through difficult transitions in life.
Do you have any inspiring stories/moments from your teaching or practice?
Perhaps the most life-transforming event took place on my first Yoga retreat to Thailand with Briohny and Dice Iida-Klein. At the time, I was the Marketing Manager for the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and I was excited to get out of the office for a few days to practice on the beautiful beaches of Koh Samui with my teachers. After seeing the community they were able to cultivate on the retreat and assisting them in a few of the classes, I was inspired to pursue teaching full time. Since then, I’ve been able to travel around the world teaching Yoga and while I am inspired every day by my students here in LA, there is something magical about meeting someone for the first time in a foreign country (when sometimes you don’t speak the same language) and relating to them through the language of Yoga. It’s like nothing else I’ve discovered. To meet and connect with so many other like minded people through a common interest and life path.