Allison English is a certified Forrest Yoga Instructor and a Teacher Trainer at Pure Yoga. We are thrilled to have Allison as a new member of the Circle of Grace and for you to get to know her better through this interview. Allison’s focus is on “connecting to the strength of the core, deepening the flow and energy of the breath, and realizing the power of a yoga practice to transform in mind, body and Spirit”. Continuing to advance her teaching skills and intensify her personal practice, Allison regularly travels around the United States to attend workshops, teacher trainings, and intensive practices. For Allison’s class schedule click here.
Zobha: How did you start your yoga journey and what does yoga mean to you?
Allison English: I started yoga because of a serious back injury from figure skating. It was the only thing that alleviated my pain, both my physical, mental and emotional pain. I was fascinated by why it was working and asking questions led me to delve deeper and become a teacher. Yoga to me is a personal expression of Spirit, of the path of healing by coming to know oneself better and better. Yoga is a practice of moving deeper into the many layers that make up our self and enjoying the mystery of reading those layers as they arise. I knew from the moment I started teaching yoga that I had found my life path. At the time I was an anthropologist considering going back to school for an advanced degree, and nothing made me as happy as the few classes I taught. I knew there was something to that feeling, and I have never looked back at my choice to be a yoga instructor full time. It is the most rewarding career I have ever had and something deep inside me stirs every time I get the opportunity to teach yoga, talk about yoga or help someone else.
Zobha: What style of yoga do you practice and what drew you to that particular style?
Allison English: I practice Forrest Yoga. I was drawn to Forrest Yoga because of its strong emphasis on healing, spirit and intentionality. As a style it helps you deal with what is going on for you individually. I never felt that I had to do what everyone else was doing. I could be on my own path during practice and it was respected. Forrest Yoga also pushed my buttons, it made feel everything at a time when I didn’t want to feel anything. It is empowering, sweaty and fun and was the only yoga style that reached me at a level deeper than my external body. I really credit my outlook on life and my development as a person to my daily Forrest Yoga practice. It has given me the tools to grow in ways I never imagined.
Zobha: What is your favorite Yoga Pose and why?
Allison English: This is a hard one! I love so many! I have two: handstand and wheel pose for two completely different reasons. Handstand reminds me of my strength, exhilarates my spirit, and reminds me that I can soar through my day. Wheel pose took me many years to even attempt because of my injuries and reminds me that transformation takes time. It is a constant way I connect to my healing path and it opens my heart to the knowledge that change is always possible.
Zobha: What do you do in your free time when you don’t teach yoga?
Allison English: I am an avid reader and writer in my free time. I love watching movies when I get that much free time in one chunk! I enjoy cooking new dishes from new cuisines and baking. I follow a gluten free and dairy free diet, so experimenting with new things I can eat is endlessly fun when I’m not teaching. I also enjoy dinners out with friends, taking other teacher’s yoga classes and learning different movement modalities – from hip hop dance classes to martial arts.
Zobha: What is your favorite Zobha piece?
Allison English: I am obsessed with all the pants Zobha makes. They are supremely comfortable, fit like they were made for me and make my legs look great. They never lose shape no matter how much I sweat or wash them and they always come in cute colors.
Zobha: Where can we attend your classes?
Allison English: I teach at Equinox in Chicago and at workshops, conferences and festivals around the country.