4.10.14

What’s not to love about Udaya.com? Between the stunning visuals and the stellar classes, we’re totally hooked on this game-changing hub of all things yogic. World-class teachers and top-notch production come together in this easy-access home alternative to getting up and driving to your favorite studio. Not only does their extensive online library contain every type of class you could ever wish for, they provide members with exclusive access their to acclaimed health and wellness programs – including invites to some of the most truly special retreats in the wellness world.

Known for her uplifting and challenging classes, Ali Owens is someone who makes us want to go with the flow…the Vinyasa flow, that is. Her warm personality and sunny disposition infuse her classes with a breath of positivity as you transition from one pose into the next, encouraging you to live in the moment both on and off the mat. We can’t get enough of Udaya’s eclectic classes, so we were thrilled to see Ali on their all-star lineup of teachers! Filled with forward folds to relieve tight hamstrings, low lunges to lengthen tired quads, and twists to get all that tension out for good, we’re thrilled to have Ali leading us through this 30-minute flow sequence that perfectly compliments our cardio love affair. Whether you run, jog, bike or hike, this creative and flow will take you seamlessly from sneakers to savasana in less than an hour!

Yoga Matters with Ali Owens

Studios:

Power Yoga, Power Yoga East, The Hub, and Yoga Salt, as well as online classes at Udaya.com.

What originally drew me to yoga:

I was a dancer for many years, and while I was training in the World Arts & Cultures Program at UCLA, I took a course in yoga. I thought it would be a nice balance to the long days of rehearsal and training. What I discovered was a deep connection to my breath and a better understanding of my body. Originally, I was drawn to the philosophy of the practice. This course not only focused on alignment and breath, but also the chakras, sutras, history, and stories of the deities. As a mover, I was naturally drawn to the physical practice, but it was really the philosophy that had me hooked.

Biggest inspiration:

My mentor, Mia Togo. And my mom – she is my lifelong inspiration.

When I'm not on the mat, I’m:

Hiking, enjoying the beach, running, cooking, visiting art exhibits and galleries, attending cultural events, concerts, and shows, developing workshops and retreats, traveling, camping, exploring, and spending time with family and friends.

Favorite pose:

Natarajasana, dancer’s pose.

I wish that more people realized that yoga…

Is more than just the physical practice. Yoga is about the connection, the relationship between your mind and body. I heard once that your yoga practice advances when your relationships improve. I love that because as we move through these poses on our mat, we realize that there is more going on than just the physical exercise. It is about the relationship with your self, your friends, family, and community. The practice is a beautiful work of art that weaves into every step of our lives.

Project or cause I am most passionate about:

I am a huge arts advocate. Growing up in the performing arts, I believe it is important for our youth to have a creative outlet. Yoga is a wonderful tool to build self-confidence, worth, and identity. The arts allow you to fly free with your creativity and stimulate new ideas. So I am passionate about both yoga and the arts being available to our youth. (Not to mention us adults taking time to express our creativity as well!)

Biggest lesson yoga has taught me:

How to manage stress. Not only stress in my life with other people, but stress within my own body. After dancing for many years, I carried a lot of injuries and tensions in my body that manifested into my relationships. I had to heal myself internally, so the stressors of my everyday life didn’t affect my state of being. Learning how to practice compassion, quiet the negative chatter in the mind, and listen to my intuition – there are so many lessons to be learned through this practice. One of my favorite ones at the moment is how to shift your perspective. You can see how that translates both on and off the mat. In yoga, you practice tricky arm balances and inversions, postures you probably never thought you could do! Taking that into your life, how can you shift your perspective to see the light and love in every interaction? How can you shift your perspective so the universe is working in your favor, rather than against you? I love lessons in yoga…vfor me there is a lesson in every pose and every transition.

Biggest lesson I hope to teach through yoga:

You have choice. At the end of the day, yoga is about balance and harmony in all areas of your life. What is too much and what is not enough? To practice gratitude and move energy in a way so it flows freely throughout your life. To realize that every day is a choice, and sometimes just recognizing that decision can empower you to make better choices. I hope to empower people to enjoy life and live a life they love.

Most rewarding yoga-related experience:

When I was still working in the corporate world, I was practicing regularly with Dice Iida-Klein and Briohny Smyth. They were planning to host a retreat in Thailand and I desperately wanted to go, but did not have the money to pay for it. In exchange for my assistance during the retreat, they offered to cover the cost! That trip really shifted my perspective, my life, to be of service to others. I discovered that I was passionate about cultivating community through health, wellness, yoga and the arts. I am so grateful for that experience… to get away from the mundane nuances of my corporate life and have space to blossom into whom I truly am. So much gratitude to both of them!

5 things on my Bucket List, personal or professional:

Travel abroad for a full year. Live in a new city. Raise a family. Lead a teacher training. Open a business that brings art and yoga to our youth.

Advice I would give my 16-year-old self:

Build some self confidence and start exploring! On the other side of fear lies freedom. Be willing to take chances, see them as not “risky” but rather as experiences you are meant to have in this life. Trust that it will always work out for the best. Love yourself, fully, without doubt and resistance. These lessons I am so glad to have learned on my mat.

Personal mantra:

The secret to having it all is knowing you already do.

Want to try Udaya (and Ali’s other classes) for yourself? We’ve teamed up with this om-azing brand to give you a sneak peek of everything they have to offer. Use our exclusive promo code at checkout to receive a one-month subscription to Udaya – completely free! Read on to find out how…

UDAYA.COM PROMO FOR CHALKBOARD READERS

What Is It?

One free month-long subscription to Udaya, a revolutionary new site that is taking our home practice to a whole new level.

What You'll Get:

All-access to Udaya’s world renowned fitness programs and wellness challenges: five new yoga classes a week, plus unlimited access to the entire online library. Additional member benefits include free shipping on all products within the continental U.S.A., exclusive access to Udaya Entertainment’s acclaimed health and wellness programs, and invitation-only access to health, wellness, and yoga retreats at some truly special locations worldwide.

How To Get It:

Enter promo code CHALKBOARD at checkout to receive your free month of classes, community, and exclusive content and offers to boot! 


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