Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shree Expert Teacher Focus: Alison Simpson

Alison Simpson, RYT 200 

Alison was first introduced to yoga after a move from her home country of Scotland to Australia. She immediately felt the great benefits of practice and a sense of connection with others in her new surroundings. When Alison moved to the US and began practicing at Shree she fell in love with the alignment principles and heart centered themes offered in Anusara yoga. Jumping in, Alison completed 3 Anusara immersions before taking her yoga teacher training in 2013-2014 with Chaya Spencer. In her teaching Alison aims to encourage her students to find a deeper sense of connection with their mind, body, and spirit. Alison's classes incorporate asana practice with meditation to help students gain a deeper awareness of the light within them and leave class with a sense of wholeness. Below Alison shares a deeper look at her practice, inspirations and self care both on and off the mat!

How do you maintain your regularity of practice/devotion to practice when times are tough?

My yoga practice supports me through good times and tougher times. No matter how I feel, when I roll out my mat, come to my breath and start to move with the breath through my practice the worries and concerns slip away and my mind becomes more open, more clear. Yoga offers so much wisdom, in particular to listen to what my body needs day to day. There is always a practice to support me whether it's a faster paced flow, a slow and calming restorative practice or meditation practice. Each one brings me back to center and I roll my mat back up feeling uplifted. 

What have you read, heard, seen recently that inspires you? How?

I am currently reading "the teacher appears" by Brian Leaf. It is full of contemplations, inspirations and fun exercises to know yourself more fully. Today's inspiration was: Forgive the tightness in your hamstring and it will ease....try this now. 

Who inspires you? Why?

I am constantly inspired by the teachers and students at Shree. The teachers for sharing their skill and knowledge and the students of all ages who show up on their mats week after week willing and open to practice. 

Any special self care that you are currently practicing? What? Why?

Since starting to teach a restorative class at Shree I have been practicing one restorative pose each night before bed. My favorite is Legs up the Wall or Viparita Karani. Restorative yoga postures can be very effective in preparing the body for deep, restful sleep. Taking 10-15 minutes to relax and breath has really changed the quality of my sleep. 

What type of diet do you find is most health supportive/optimal for your body? Why?

I follow the Clean Diet. Not 100 percent but as closely as I can. Susan Walsh introduced me to this way of eating through a group cleanse that she ran. Cutting out gluten, dairy and acidic foods has given me more energy and clarity. Having a 12 hour period of fasting between dinner and breakfast has made the biggest difference- it has stopped the snacking which I had a tendency to do while unwinding in the evenings. I have gradually introduced this way of eating to my family and slowly but surely we are feeling the benefits. 

Join Alison on Thursday's 12:15 to 1:30 pm for Restorative Yoga. And, join her for an evening introduction to yoga with a gorgeous Scottish accent to top it all off.  Pre-registration required.  Begins this coming Monday.

4 Week Evening Intro to Yoga

With Alison Simpson, March 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 7:30-8:45 PM
Ever wanted to try yoga but didn’t know where to start? This is the perfect introductory series created for the brand new beginner. During this 4 week series, we will learn the ABC’s of Yoga.  There will be basic instruction in the fundamental poses, anatomy, breathing, meditation and some simple philosophy. This series will give you a strong foundation for a yoga practice and can provide greater confidence for you to  join a regular class and start you on your way to experiencing the many benefits of yoga ranging from stress relief to improved health and well-being.  Feel the difference and consider making yoga an integral part of your life. For those new to yoga or to yoga at Shree in particular.  All are welcome.  Advance registration required.  There are no make-ups for missed classes in this series.