“Yoga has taught me self love and compassion. My mat welcomes me as I am and I am learning to welcome me as I am, not as I want to be, not as I used to be.”
Meet Allison Sorokin, the owner and founder of Align Yoga and Strength. Yes, we could write a big introduction about how amazing she is but please, just read, listen, and watch.
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The truth is we ALL hold tension, we ALL overcompensate physically and mentally, and we ALL experience a decline in our well being because of it.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I hear over and over again: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I am not flexible.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This hurts.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I have a bad ______ (fill in the blank).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ WE ALL DO. We suffer in some way from years of habitual patterns – mind, body, and soul. The only definitive thing I can say that helps? Slow down and bring mindfulness and awareness into your life, into your body, and onto your breath. Your life will not magically fall into place. The tension may not melt away immediately. But I can say this for sure, keep getting on your mat a few times a week, play with your breath, and you will experience a shift.
And then tell us what day and time you’ll be at Align OR outdoors with Allison for Yoga by the Bay all summer long.
We will meet you there for sure.
What is yoga to you?
Yoga changes for me based on the day. Some days it’s about accepting where I am with compassion and grace. Other days it’s about exploring and observing my emotions and the way they feel in my body. The best days, however, are when yoga feels like playtime. When my curiosity is peaked and I completely lose myself in it the shapes and movement.
How did you feel after your first yoga class?
Hopeful. I was seeking peace from anxiety and was so relieved to find that it really gave me a glimpse however brief. I wanted to keep coming back…so I did!
How do you want students to feel after they practice with you?
I want them to feel connected to themselves in a meaningful way. To experience what it feels like to be in their body. So often we walk through our lives completely disconnected from our physical body. Pain, self loathing, getting caught up in the world around us, we have lost our ability to be with ourselves. I want people to experience and enjoy being with themselves – on every level. Hell that’s what I want for myself!
What impact has yoga had on your life?
Yoga has taught me self love and compassion. My mat welcomes me as I am and I am learning to welcome me as I am, not as I want to be, not as I used to be. I wish I could say that I embody this every day. I don’t. But getting on my mat reminds me. The song Time after Time – I love listening to it when I am on my mat. I feel like it’s my mat singing me a song that no matter what it will be there to catch me. The song says to go slow, if you’re lost you can look and you will find me, time after time. If you fall I will catch you I will be waiting time after time. I have found this all to be true…time after time.
Why did you decide to start teaching yoga?
Because I wanted to learn how to take care of my body. When my back went out I was given a glimpse of the pain and suffering that both my mom and my sister experienced on a daily basis. My sister was born with Spina Bfida, SB is a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. My mom had also had back problems with surgery and ongoing pain during my entire life. Yoga empowered me. I want to help empower others.
What led you to open your own studio?
I am a serial entrepreneur. I have worked in biotech & tech start ups, not to mention my pet sitting business. The opportunity came my way and I seized the day!
What style of yoga do you practice?
Why? I like a strong aligned flow. Using dynamic movement to warm up the body, but then slowing it down to explore postures from every angle. To use strength instead of momentum.
What’s your biggest “aha” moment?
I will never be done learning. There is no end game.
What was your biggest “uh oh” moment? Oh shit I am not done learning? Where does it end?!
Tell us about a student who inspires you.
SO Many to choose from! Judy for sure though inspires me the most! She came to me for private’s because she knew she needed to move. She is overweight and has bad knee & shin pain. She is a teacher and would have anxiety walking up the stairs at school and would go early just so no one would see her. We worked with a goal of getting her to a point of attending a group class. I am proud to say a year later she is a regular in class 2x weekly. She is down 40lbs! She still has very bad arthritis in her knees but modifies like we went over and keeps showing up. Her sister has joined her and I absolutely love these 2 women and their dedication to the practice & to themselves.
Last one! Tell us something that your yoga students would never guess about you.
2 summers ago I picked up smoking cigarettes after having quit for 7 years! I smoked for about 5 months and was SO scared a student would see me! Now here’s the scary part: I was really enjoying it! That scared me, so I nipped it in the bud with the help of Chantix.
And our sit down with Allison!
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