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Teacher Spotlight: Alissa Marguerite Yoga

Welcome to the
Teacher Spotlight

Every month, we’ll highlight a Flex & Flow teacher so we can all get to know each other even better. We hope you learn something new, laugh a little, and hop on the mat with every single one of our amazing instructors.

And what better day to start this email series than on International Day of Yoga. P.S. Did you know all of our classes are FREE today?!

This month, Alissa is in the spotlight! Alissa has been a teacher at Flex & Flow since day one and she continues to light up the space with the most creative yoga flows that make all of our muscles burn. The way she weaves a thought or yoga philosophy into her classes helps us focus on the mat, and helps us melt even more into Savasana. There’s no chance you won’t float out of her class.

Keep scrolling to learn more about this lovely yogi.

Yoga with Alissa

Where it all began…

I was introduced to yoga in high school; but it wasn’t until after college in 2008 when I found a traditional yoga studio that I felt significant change in my personal life beyond the mat. What got me was the mental clearing and sharp focus, and also learning HOW to actually breathe (why aren’t we taught how to breathe in grade school?!?). My life was significantly shifting and my panic attacks that had increased from 2005 – 2008 were starting to fade as I gained control of my body, breath, and mind. I trusted that something bigger was happening beyond my physical form, something that would help me cope with the waves of life. My yoga home became Inner Strength Studios in Watertown MA, and it is where I ended up training for my 200 Hour YTT in 2013.

For the love of yoga

My favorite pose at the moment is Parivrtta Baddha Anjaneyasana: Bound Revolved Crescent Lunge. There is so much happening during those pose for me, and currently, I enjoy the sensation of depth in the twist while resisting gravity’s pull towards the floor. It makes me feel strong due to the energetic exchange between the legs, and keeps my brain firing while exploring a bind that feels foreign. It is challenging and humbling. Collapsing after releasing it is also my favorite.

Mantra is a large part of my personal practice, I chant often and it brings me great peace. Sometimes I will pick one chant and use it for an entire day, or I will pick one to sit with for at a week straight and see what manifests. Mantras are wonderful tools for pointed focus; and if one has trouble being still, mantra can help clear all the rest of the mind chatter away and leave simply the power of the words or sounds instead to permeate the being and open the mind. Also, mantra does not have to be Sanskrit or super mystical; something as simple as ‘today I will speak only kindness’ can shift a whole course of one’s day.
Lately, I keep returning to the mantra below, singing it out loud at home, in the car, or in my head:
Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Rung
Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Rung
It’s a mouth full, but it’s beautiful. It translates to The Infinite Totality is here and everywhere. The creativity of God is here and everywhere. Essentially it says that all is whole and infinite. It reminds me to think big, burn away doubt and to trust that I can access the creativity of the Universe because it is within me and it is a part of me. I am no different than ‘it’. I find that to be a really powerful reminder of the scale of life and beyond.

The good and the weird in teaching yoga

I get weird talking about Universal concepts, the great beyond, or God even though I am deeply spiritual and approach every day as a ritual, a learning lesson, and a surrender; and while I love sharing that part of myself with others, and sometimes in class, mostly I keep it to myself. Spirit is a crucial part of my life though, and I hold the deepest reverence and respect for the teachings of Patanjali and his disciples that lead me to my spiritual awakening and embodied Yoga practice. I believe spirit to be playful, approachable, and non-dogmatic; and I have only recently been comfortable with using the word God because I had to define what it meant through my perception first.

Photo by: @MaggieJaneCechPhoto

Laugh a little…or a lot.

Our bodies are fascinating and weird AF, and sometimes when we are working hard we forget to also laugh with ourselves and soften around the edges. I like to weave silliness into classes (as a reminder just as much to myself) so we don’t forget that life is hard, but it’s also super fun. Balance right?
I love talking about the Glutes aka ‘the cheeks’… and during Prasarita Padottanasana/Wide-Legged Forward Fold I often repeat something along the lines of “the wider the seat, the better”! It’s a visual cue that my teacher Roman said years ago that always stuck, and it changed how I engaged in the posture and ultimately taught me control from the floor up… cause how does one widen their seat without using their hands to pull their cheeks apart?? Try it out and see how it feels for you! (This cue rated PG-13).

On the mat with Alissa

You can get on the mat with Alissa regularly for Power Vinyasa on Mondays at 5:30 PM, Vinyasa on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 AM and Sundays at 4:15 PM, and Active Restoration on Sundays at 7:15 PM. Reserve your spot in Alissa’s next class right now!

Powerful Hips

On Saturday, June 30 from 1:30-3:30 PM, join Alissa for a workshop that will help you explore mobility, strength, and flexibility in the hip joints to build up to challenging poses such as bird of paradise and compass. This workshop is $35

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Nicci Randall

Nicci city-hopped until she landed in Portland, practicing yoga all along the way since 2007. She completed her 200 hr teacher training with YogaWorks in 2015, under Dani Ibarra and Risa Albertson. She teaches to challenge and inspire, with a well sequenced Vinyasa practice and a love for core and arm balances!

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