“Hatha yoga teaches us to use the body as the bow, asana as the arrow, and the soul as the target”
– BKS Lyengar
Meet our muse Allie Lerner. She's a tea drinking, sunset chasing, crystal healing yoga teacher who spreads love and light with her positive messages and beautiful asanas. Get to know Allie and how she's bringing high vibrations to our world.
Spiritual Gangster: How did you come to your yoga practice?
Allie: I found yoga when I was at a crossroads in my life. I was debating whether to attend school, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was looking for something, and when I walked into this yoga studio it immediately felt like home. My mentor told me about the 200-hour teacher training that the studio offered and I got chills up and down my spine. As a naturally very shy person I was scared of teaching and stepping into my own power. The teacher training opened my heart to life in ways that I never would have thought possible. It taught me to be vulnerable, patient, courageous, and to have faith. Since then, my entire life has been about embodying the mind, body, and soul connection that yoga is.
Spiritual Gangster: What is your favorite song to practice to?
Allie: My favorite song to practice to is Like Real People Do by Hozier. Whenever I hear it I feel like I am in a magical forest practicing ancient Asanas and it fills my heart with a great joy.
Spiritual Gangster: We'd love to hear about your work with crystals and their healing properties.
Allie: I have always been drawn to crystals. My favorite stone is Labradorite. There is something about it that my entire soul connects to. It is known as the stone of magic that helps you to step into your own power and psychic gifts. I enjoy meditating with it on my third eye or putting it under my pillow when I sleep to enhance visions. This stone holds a very high vibration that will encourage and support you in raising your own vibration.
Spiritual Gangster: How do you nourish your body after a yoga class?
Allie: I love smoothies. They are easy to digest and you can get super creative with them. My favorite protein powder is the Warrior Sun vanilla powder. For greens, I always add spinach to my smoothies because it has so much iron in it and it gives a nice creamy texture. Adding a dash of cayenne pepper will help stimulate your digestion for the day and will create a fresh taste. I always have a bag of nuts with me, but a lot of the times when people feel hunger it is because they are dehydrated so always drink lots of water!
Spiritual Gangster: Do you have a favorite place to meditate?
Allie: My favorite place to meditate is on the floor in my room. I get my favorite blanket out and light all of my candles and incense to set the mood. I look at my collection of crystals to see which one would be to my highest good to meditate with. Then, I lay down in Savasana and take a few moments to settle in. Sometimes I will set an intention, or I will just be open to receiving what I need that day. I usually have faint nature sounds playing in the background. These meditations have lasted anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, but I do it every day!
Spiritual Gangster: What is your favorite mantra?
Allie: My favorite mantra is simple and yet so powerful: Aum. I have been seeing this symbol my entire life and find myself surrounded with it. I even have it tattooed on my left inner ankle (the left side of the body is the spiritual/feminine/receiving side). Aum is the sound of the universe. It is the original vibration that represents the cycle of life and reincarnation of the soul. Each time I chant the sacred sound of Aum I can feel it expanding out of my entire body. It creates an inner stillness of the mind that brings you back to your authentic self.
Spiritual Gangster: What will you be meditating on in 2016?
Allie: There is a yogic concept called Avidyā. It is a Sanskrit word for ignorance. Avidya is all of the illusions of the ego. It is a clouding of the mind. The practice of yoga lessens the effects of Avidya so that we can find our way back to our true Self. Yoga isn’t about flexibility. It is a way of life that will challenge you to be the best version of yourself.
We asked Allie to share with us some of her favorite yoga poses, and share the history and benefits of each one.
Wheel pose is a deep backbend that is part of the Ashtanga yoga sequence. It is known as Chakrasana in Sanskrit. This pose strengthens the back muscles and creates flexibility in the spine. It compresses the kidneys helping to detoxify and cleanse them. The leg extension builds balance, strength, and focus. Wheel releases a lot of stress and energy that may be stuck in the spine. It makes sense that Chakra translates to wheel as every single chakra (energy center) is exposed in this pose, and so it is one of the biggest heart openers in yoga. The heart chakra is where our compassion and self-love comes from. It is a chakra of connection to the earth and to all of the beings around us. A being with an open heart chakra is open to all that life has to offer. Yoga is balance. Each asana must be countered with its opposite. This deep bend should be countered with a forward fold (Rabbit pose) and a spinal twist. As someone who is working on being more open and vulnerable, this pose brings me both joy and frustration. Chakrasana supports me in the evolution of my practice and my life.
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