Teacher Interview #10: Alex
Meet Alex. The founder and creator of our platform. She had the idea of teaching yoga online for awhile but found that some platforms lack something. Back in March of 2020, Alex was going through a tough time. Just got out of a relationship, parted ways with her studio where she used to teach yoga, as well as having to go into lockdown because of Covid-19 pandemic away from home and family. In a way, the world was somehow colliding for something to happen. On March 19th, she invited some of her friends and family across social media to join her for a virtual Vinyasa style of yoga (her signature) as a way to come together and reconnect again. And thus, the Mindful Life Practice Community (MLPC) finally came to its creation.
After losing all the weight that was holding her, Alex finally realized her true dharma. As she celebrated her birthday in April, she also celebrated one year alcohol free and leaving the party scene behind her, in addition to celebrating the first official month of the MLPC.
Fun fact: Alex had to miss her university graduation ceremony for her first Yoga Teacher Training, which not surprising upset her parents. Becoming a yoga instructor 6 years ago was only the start. The 500hr Registered Yoga instructor now teaches a variety of classes including Vinyasa, Yin, Barre, Meditation and Vin & Yin. She has a unique way of teaching where she themes her classes around an intention based on yoga philosophy and/or her authentic true emotions, making her very relatable to most of her attended students.
Currently she’s living the expat life in Abu Dhabi, UAE. By day, Alex is a first grade teacher and dedicates the rest of it to her true passion of taking care of the health and well-being of others. She is also a Spinning Instructor and level 2 Certified Life Coach, coaching girls/folks how to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol.
Alex was able to accomplish so many things at such a young age and the future looks bright ahead of her. I had the privilege to ask her the teacher blog questions and fortunately she found some time off of her condensed schedule and answered for us, here’s what she had to say...
Where in the world are you? Tell us more about yourself?
Alex: I am located in Abu Dhabi. I am originally from Canada, and have been living in the Middle East for six years. Prior to my time in Abu Dhabi, I lived in Kuwait. I am a school teacher by day, and I also play guitar, write, and have a cat!
How long have you been teaching yoga and what pushed you to become an instructor?
Alex: I have been teaching yoga since I was 22 years old, so for six years. I do think that teaching yoga is my dharma and I was born to teach yoga. I was innately drawn to it as a young kid, to deal with my turbulent mental health. It was a calling that I couldn't ignore, and I travelled to Mexico in 2014 to become a yoga teacher. I've since done trainings in Bali, Abu Dhabi, the United States, and online to further my yoga education.
When did you start practicing yoga (before you started teaching) and how did yoga change your life?
Alex: I tried yoga for the first time when I was ten years old and joined a yoga for kids class. I also practiced yoga at age 13 and 14. It became a daily practice at age 18.
If you had to describe your teaching style, how would you?
Alex: I am a trauma informed yoga teacher and I would describe my teaching style as spacious. I offer everything as an invitation. I want my students to feel welcome, safe and loved. The goal is to not have a perfect practice or "perform" poses - the goal is to come to the mat to feel, not achieve.
What is the intention you try to instill in your students?
Alex: There can only be one answer to this!
....We close with an intention, an ancient intention... that was passed from the heart of my teacher, and I pass it to you. (if you haven't memorized it yet, LOL!)
That our yoga practice remain steady, and that our efforts remain continuous. And that our yoga serves and benefits all beings everywhere. May all beings be safe, be happy, be healthy, be free. And may the thoughts and actions of each of our lives contribute towards this.
What is your favorite posture? Your least favorite posture?
Alex: My favorite posture is tree pose. I am standing in tree all the time. I also love Sukhasana (easy pose), and Half Moon. Basically...all of them!
My least favorite is wide legged forward fold, although it's growing on me!
What is your favorite Mat? And why?
Alex: My favorite mat is my Manduka mat! I love Mandukas. They are expensive, but if you get committed to a yoga practice, worth it. I've had mine since 2013.
Set the scene for your perfect practice - paint us a picture!
Alex: My perfect practice would be with the MLPC on Zoom. :)
What’s the biggest myth about yoga instructors? Set the record straight!
Alex: The biggest myth is that yoga teachers are naturally calm. Most of us have come to yoga to find that calm and it's something that's been practiced, created, and worked on over time. It's not a natural quality innately within us. We have learned to breathe, learned presence, and learned strategies over time, because we ourselves have struggled.
“I am a trauma informed yoga teacher and I would describe my teaching style as spacious. I offer everything as an invitation. I want my students to feel welcome, safe and loved. The goal is to not have a perfect practice or "perform" poses - the goal is to come to the mat to feel, not achieve.”
What was one of your most heartfelt moments in teaching?
Alex: Oh man, this is a hard, hard question. Every moment? I have had so many heartfelt, beautiful moments and experiences while teaching. Any time someone has taken the time to share with me the impact my classes has had on them means a lot.
Any advice to newbies teachers/students? (And oldies?)
Alex: My advice is, keep showing up. Show up when you don't want to. Show up when you feel gross. Show up when you binge drank last night. Show up when all you've had for breakfast, lunch and dinner is pizza. Show up. Show up. When you don't want yoga, it's when you need it the most. Whatever you do, just keep showing up.
Where do you see yourself and yoga in the next five years?
Alex: I see myself and yoga together, in a shala in the rice paddies, in Bali! :) I hope! Yoga and I will always be in a committed relationship, and I hope to grow the MLPC from side hustle to full time gig! :) I am so unbelievably grateful for everyone who's been part of it, since March. Whether you've come to one class, or every class...Thank you! :)
We appreciate all that you have done and continue doing for us here on the MLPC! Thank you for bringing this lovely community together! Check out the schedule for Alex’s classes with the link below
Huge thanks to you for stopping by! Leave a comment or question for Alex in the comment section below.
See you soon and may you all be safe, happy, healthy, and free.