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Alison, M.D. 🌿 Ashtanga ashtangi_ali ashtangi_ali Posts

I’m so grateful for my local yoga community. Just having the implicit support of fellow practitioners beside me, each doing their own practice, is enough to carry me through the hardest of practices. . We discuss our struggle poses, often at length and obsessively if we happen to share the same one. We offer each other tips that worked for us, or things we think will work for the other person. Post practice coffees. Trips away together to practice with senior teachers. . We are blessed with a gorgeous shala to call home, and incredibly kind and supportive teachers at @ashtangayogashaladublin. They encourage us to find joy and ease in the practice, whatever that looks like. . Maybe you’ll join us sometime at the shala! If you’re intimidated by the thought of a Mysore class, that’s natural. It can be scary walking into the room the first time, but I assure you, you’d be welcomed and put at ease quickly. You come! . If you’re in Dublin this Saturday and familiar with the Ashtanga Primary Series, there’s a led class at 10 am to benefit the charity @oneinfourirish. The shala will be raising funds for adult victims of childhood traumas. Hope to see you there ♥️ . . Video from a practice with @kateevanne. We did a Led Intermediate Series up to Pincha, courtesy of @kinoyoga on @omstarsofficial.

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Let it hurt. Let it bleed. Let it heal. Let it go. . | Nikita Gill | . . 👖 Wearing the always Eco-friendly @liquidoactive - Use code ALISONLIQUIDO for 15% off . I love Liquido Active for their commitment to going green. They’re constantly pushing themselves to produce products and have shipping practices that are eco-friendly. It encourages and reminds me to keep doing what I can do for the environment in my daily life. . Here are some measures I take day-to-day to promote sustainability and reduce waste: 🌱 recycle whatever waste I can 🌱 buy well-made, sustainably produced clothing only when I need it. Don’t be a slave to fast fashion! 🌱 eat a vegetarian diet 🌱 take public transport for getting around town . What are your favourite ways to go green?

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And that’s all I have to say about that. . #AbideNoHatred

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Catching up with @kinoyoga’s #bestrongyogachallenge! I’m not handstanding on my own yet, but I try to incorporate movements in my daily practice to build the strength for them. This movement to tuck one leg up is harder than it looks! . One day I’ll get the confidence to try handstands on my own, but not just yet. I like the idea of building up inversions one at a time... first shoulderstand, then headstand. Working on Pincha now and then handstand in the future! . 👖 Wearing @liquidoactive - Use code ALISONLIQUIDO for 15% off

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I love spinning around the sun with this little one! Today we’re celebrating our birthdays - Bruce is 8, and I’m 35. 🥳 Since he was a rescue cat, I couldn’t know his actual birthday, so I decided when I got him to share mine with him. . Bruce’s big birthday plans include hanging out on his new heated cat bed, playing with toys, and getting a wet food treat. Mine will include a yoga practice, climbing at the bouldering gym, and dinner at a favourite restaurant. . Hope everyone is having a fabulous Saturday!

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You took my hand, and led me down to watch a papillon parade We let the kittens lick our hair, and drank our chalky lemonade You squeezed my hand, and told me softly that I shouldn't be afraid 'Cause all the while your finger's resting gently on the masterfade . | “Masterfade”, Andrew Bird | . I love these lyrics, and pretty much anything written by Andrew Bird. He’s in my top 5 favourite music artists, a list that hasn’t changed in about 10 years. What does this have to do with yoga? Well, not much. Not today anyways. I get inspiration for introspection and growth from both music and yoga, and often like to make connections between the two. Today, I’m just sharing some beautiful lyrics from a beautiful song. 🤗 . Tittibhasana for today in @kinoyoga’s #bestrongyogachallenge! . 👖 Wearing @liquidoactive - Use code ALISONLIQUIDO for 15% off

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A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on her own wings. Always believe in yourself. . | Unknown | . . For so long, I believed that the L-sit was simply something I could not do. My body proportions wrong, my arms too short, my legs & bum too heavy. So for today’s pose for @kinoyoga’s #bestrongyogachallenge, I had my blocks out to do my modified L-sit. I noticed that I was lifting much higher than I ever had before, so I decided to try it without the blocks. You can imagine my surprise when I lifted up to clear the mat, not once but 5 times! . It turns out that, little by little, the efforts I put into my daily practice to find strength are paying off. The extra breaths in Utpluthih, the mindful attention to jumping back & through, the work on pincha mayurasana. It is turning this floppy noodle into one with a bit more integrity! 😆 . 👖 Wearing @liquidoactive - Use code ALISONLIQUIDO for 15% off

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Let your heart be as big as it can possibly be. . | Swami Chetananan | . . #MoveWithImpact #AlanaAthletica

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I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in I'll never meet the ground Crash through the surface, where they can't hurt us We're far from the shallow now . | 👸🏼 Gaga | . . #MoveWithImpact #AlanaAthletica

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I love working with brands that are actively trying to make the world a better place. That’s why I’m so happy to team up with @alanaathletica, whose entire company is founded on the desire to empower the women of Sri Lanka. . Each garment is ethically made by women in Sri Lanka, in safe and humane environments, being paid fair wages. They make high-quality leggings that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Each garment bought has a charitable cause tied with it, with a portion of the proceeds going to measures to empower women. I can’t recommend them highly enough! . #MoveWithImpact #AlanaAthletica . . . This pose (setu bandhasana) happens to be the pose for today in #ashtangamondays!

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Doing the things that don’t come easily to me. There’s plenty of those in yoga, and in the Ashtanga method, you don’t get to skip those asanas you don’t like! . I love and thrive off the discipline of this practice. If I practiced other forms of yoga, I think I’d be inclined to skip the poses that didn’t come naturally to my body. I remember before I practiced Ashtanga and was going to Vinyasa and “Hatha” classes, I would be delighted when a class was backbend themed, and anxious if it was focused on arm balances or inversions. This is human nature: to gravitate towards the things we are good at doing. . But what about those things I don’t find easy? Squats, external hip rotation, strength-building asanas, and inversions. I could have very easily stayed in my comfort zone of backbending loveliness, because that “feels good”. But where’s the growth in that? . 🧡 mat @liforme - not an ambassador, just a happy customer! 💙 rug @elephantyogarugs 💛 leggings @arctic.flamingo.leggings

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Two years crowing... . That first video was taken on the day I learned how to jump back from bakasana to chaturanga. The second is a snapshot from my Ashtanga second series practice 2 days ago. Looking forward to see what happens in another 2 years!

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Working on something new 😬 Can you guess what it is? . Last weekend I practiced with my teacher Luke, the one who has been teaching me the Intermediate Series. He gave me Pasasana, the first asana of Intermediate, back in March 2018, and we’ve been adding on slowly from there. Since he’s not based in Ireland, I see him every few months when he visits here or I go to practice with him. This works out pretty well, because I usually leave our meetings with a big project pose to work on with my teachers in Dublin (@ashtangayogashaladublin). . This most recent time in Belfast, I wasn’t expecting anything new. I had been working hard on Pincha mayurasana, but felt it was still too inconsistent to move on. But, as often happens when I’m practicing under his eye, my practice was strong and I had the best pinchas I’ve ever had! My reward? The terrifying prospect of karandavasana. 😰 . If you haven’t seen it, karandavasana involves folding your legs into lotus in pincha mayurasana, then slowly folding the lotus down to rest on the back of the arms for 5 breaths, lifting up back to pincha, and then jumping back to chaturanga. It feels like an absolutely insurmountable task. . So far I’ve done it with Luke’s assistance, as well as my teacher John in Dublin (who is a saint and I kicked him in the face). Yesterday was my first even slight attempt at doing it on my own, and well... you can see how that went. 😂 I tried to figure it out in headstand before going to Pincha, but neither went particularly well. This is going to be interesting, to say the least! . Commiserations welcome below...

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This is your final test. Utpluthih, the last posture before taking rest. Will you give in to that nagging voice tell you to give up? Or will you hold yourself accountable and keep going? . Swipe to see it in the context of (an abridged version of) the closing sequence. My teacher recently advised me to work on lengthening my time spent in Utpluthih to build strength. I’ve decided to add on 5 breaths in the posture every week, starting this week with 15 breaths! . Today is the final day of the #yogasoulrockandroll challenge. Thanks so much to the generous hosts, sponsors and fellow participants for this inspiring challenge! . . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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And when the broken-hearted people Living in the world agree There will be an answer Let it be . For though they may be parted There is still a chance that they will see There will be an answer Let it be . And when the night is cloudy There is still a light that shines on me Shine until tomorrow Let it be . | John Lennon, Paul McCartney | . . Continuing my Beatles theme for this challenge. “Let it Be” is a song that literally lifts me up. From time to time, I practice longer headstand holds, and I usually put this song on repeat as a marker for how long I’ve been up. It’s simultaneously uplifting and calming for me, which is how Sirsasana makes me feel too. . You can see in the video the little wireless headphones I use from @mpowofficial , so as not to annoy the rest of the household with my song on repeat 😁 . Sirsasana practice as usual for today in #yogasoulrockandroll challenge. . . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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Blackbird singing in the dead of night, Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to arise. . | Paul McCartney | . Pincha mayurasana is today’s pose for the #yogasoulrockandroll challenge. This was added to my regular Ashtanga practice in August, and since then I’ve had an interesting couple of months of trying to find balance. . There HAS been some progress and I’m finding balance more consistently. Now my aim is to get 3 “good” holds of 5 or more breaths each practice. I’m also working on the exit vinyasa, which includes a fun little hop up into chaturanga. I haven’t managed this yet (you can swipe ➡️ to see my best effort), but the practice is lots of fun! . . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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🗣 News flash! 🗣 I make mistakes!! If you’ve known me for more than 2 seconds, you’ll know I make plenty of them. 😆 . I got days 7 and 8 mixed up for the #yogasoulrockandroll challenge. Today was meant to be bharadvajasana, but I did that yesterday. So here, today, is Baddha konasana, yesterday’s pose. 😘 . To bring it back to yoga, I had learned to embrace mistakes as learning opportunities. This was a huge lesson for me. As a child, and later a medical school student and then junior doctor, I never wanted to make mistakes, and would feel ashamed if I did. Through the practice of yoga, I’ve learned that mistakes mean I’m trying hard. Only through these efforts (and many failures) can I manage to make any physical or spiritual progress. . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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Open, open, open. Shoulders, back, hips flexors. The challenge is to keep it all open without flopping. Strong legs and front of the body to keep the back safe. . And don’t forget to breathe 🤪 . Today in #AshtangaMondays is Kapotasana. . . Schedule for October: Monday 7th - Supta Padangustasana/Supta Parsvasasahita ✅ Monday 14th - Ubhaya Padangusthasana ✅ Monday 21th - Urdhva Mukha Paschimattanasana ✅ Monday 28th - intermediate series -Kapotasana or any pose from primary series ✅ . Hosted by ♥️ @ashtangamondays @sirisyoga @lottasebzdayoga @davidrobsonyoga . Gracious sponsors ♥️ @runandrelax @omstarsofficial @kinoyoga @liforme

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No coffee, no prana. I’m definitely feeling that today! It was a long week of work, and I’m headed to Belfast today to practice with my teacher, Luke. . Over the 2.5ish years I’ve been practicing Ashtanga, I’ve made connections with some really incredible teachers. They’ve supported me through my highs & lows, laughs and tears, injuries and times of strength. I’m so grateful for them and their guidance along this yoga path. . Today in #yogasoulrockandroll is bharadvajasana. . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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Don’t be lookin up at no sky for help. Look down here, at us twisted dreamers. . | D.B.C. Pierre | . Yoga asana is my prayer, my way of connecting with the divine. In my lifetime, I was raised Catholic, and would have attended services regularly with my family. Then in my early 20s, I rejected religion completely and became an atheist. Finding yoga in my early 30s helped me to soften my views and find a connection with something bigger. What that is, I’m not fully certain just yet, but I do feel like there is something “else” out there. . Today in #yogasoulrockandroll is marichyasana C. . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness of @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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Love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah. . | Leonard Cohen | . Well today in #yogasoulrockandroll, we’re meant to be doing virabhadrasana B, but in the spirit of rock & roll and being rebellious, I’m instead going for the A variation. . This posture evokes feelings of surrender and strength and openness for me. These are things I have struggled with greatly in the past, and still do now to a lesser degree. I used to think that strength and surrender were opposing forces that couldn’t exist together, but I realise now that’s not true. The times that I have really surrendered to the practice have been the times I have been able to draw strength from it the most. . Don’t forget this challenge is raising awareness and funds for @operationshanti. Please check out their page and if at all possible, donate to their cause. 🙏🏼

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Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. . | Germany Kent | . This practice challenges me every day. That’s what I love about it, and it’s what pushes me to grow as a person. . Day 3 #yogasoulrockandroll is Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. The ever-challenging first posture of Primary Series!

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I’m driven by the endless, impossible task of perfecting asanas. What does that even mean? To be honest, it’s different everyday. How can I go deeper, be better aligned, find more ease, be more in tune with my breath, keep more focus? . In Ashtanga, we practice the same asanas everyday. People ask how I don’t get bored with this. The above thought process is my answer. It’s all about digging one deep hole to get to the water, rather than digging lots of little holes that don’t get anywhere. . Day 2 #yogasoulrockandroll is Parsvakonasana. This is one asana I think I’ll never perfect!

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Slow down, you crazy child You're so ambitious for a juvenile But then if you're so smart, then tell me Why are you still so afraid? . Where's the fire, what's the hurry about? You'd better cool it off before you burn it out You've got so much to do And only so many hours in a day . | “Vienna” by Billy Joel | . . This song isn’t very rock’n’roll for the #yogasoulrockandroll challenge, but I heard it yesterday and it reminded me of how I feel about the Surya namaskars. In Ashtanga, we generally do 8-10 Surya namaskar to start the practice (5 A, 3-5 B). . I’ve noticed when I practice in the shala, I’m often the last one still doing Suryas while others have moved on in their practice. I’ve really become something of a slowpoke in the beginning of my practice. In my mind, it helps me connect with my body and see how it is that given day. . Sun salutations are a complete practice in their own right. They have forward folds, hip openers, side stretches, backbends, and strength builders. What else would you need??

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