Our Volunteer of the Month is Allie Mason! Here's her story:
Allie began practicing yoga in 2004 during college. She was originally drawn to it for its ability to calm her mind and ease her anxiety. Over time, she developed a strong relationship with how it impacted her physical body as well; particularly how it brought her a greater sense a body awareness and helped strengthen and heal multiple injuries. In 2013, she received her first certification from Powerflow Yoga with Julie Gurevich and Heather Sheridan, and immediately afterward, she dove into independent studies, learning about alignment-based Vinyasa, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga, Reiki, and Kundalini.
Since receiving her 200hr-RYT certification from Yoga Alliance, Allie has completed additional trainings in Ayurveda with Alana Layne Greenberg (Dr. Vasant Lad), and with Sukha Wong of the Lotus Palm School of Thai Yoga Massage (Kam Thye Chow). She received her Deeksha initiation from Margaret Nichols (Urban Oneness), received her Reiki Level I and II attunement from Farrell Lenoble, and is a practicing Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist.
Allie emphasizes pranayama, safe alignment, anatomy, and the simplicity of the asanas, and she connects deeply with the philosophy of the yogic teachings. Her classes have been called "light at heart yet deep in intention." Whether you're just beginning your yoga journey or you've been practicing for years, Allie's classes will initiate the exploration of your limits, both physically and mentally, helping you reach a state of sweaty Samadhi (bliss).
Here’s what Allie had to say when asked what led her to Kula:
I was looking to get involved with underprivileged youth. Growing up poor and in a single-parent home, Big Brothers Big Sisters made a huge impact on my life, and I wanted to be able to give back in a way that felt meaningful to me. Having the opportunity to teach yoga at The Covenant House in New York City was exactly what I was looking for. I know that teaching asana, meditation, and breathing techniques can improve ones ability to cope with stress and anxiety, so being able to pass these lessons on to the homeless youths there can be instrumental to their recovery and reintegration. It's always amazing to me how much they enjoy the meditation and breathing techniques, it's often even more than they want to learn postures! They always tell me how much more relaxed and calm they feel after just a few minutes of conscious breathing. It's always an inspiring and fulfilling experience for me and I love having the opportunity to share my lessons and tools with the residents at The Covenant House.
Thank you, Allie, for all that you do in support of Kula and those you work with at Covenant House! We are so grateful for you.