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healing in community

welcome to the third installment of “live from the lounge,” our blog series profiling members of our teacher’s lounge. read on to discover what they’re teaching these days — and what personal practices are supporting their wellness and joy, even during these most challenging times.

meet allison egan datwani • with over three decades in the fitness and wellness world, allison is one of northern new jersey’s most respected teachers.

at the start of the pandemic, she added a friday evening practice called surrender. a healing blend of hatha, yin and restorative yoga, this class became an instant hit and remains her most popular offering. allison explains, “pre-covid, yoga on friday evenings was a tough sell… now our lifestyles match and crave it.”

find the surrender class, vinyasa flow, bodysculpting and more through allison’s online studio. enjoy your first class free with a 48hr replay. she also teaches online and in person (limited capacity) at bamboomoves yoga in englewood, nj.

allison’s practice right now: service. life these days is action packed taking care of family and friends, reinventing how to work and how to enjoy each season, as pandemic restrictions continue to shape our lives. allison spends a lot of heartfelt time creating her classes, and she finds that the process strengthens, pacifies, and heals her.

for more of allison’s wisdom, visit her online at glamorousyogini.com.

meet ana maria velasco • ana maria is a colombian yoga teacher and artist living in brooklyn, new york. her experiences growing up in south and central america amidst political violence and civic unrest have led her to become a trauma-informed teacher. she supports people of all ages, backgrounds and physical conditions to find healing, wisdom, creativity and strength.

in addition to teaching, ana maria meditates and draws everyday. she’s currently designing a workshop combining art with yoga and meditation practices. for more on this and her weekly online classes, find her on instagram.

ana maria’s practice right now: movement. not just physical movement, but movement of the heart. everything is always changing, but it feels like change is happening at a faster rate than our bodies are used to. ana maria reports feeling unusually unsettled lately, and that it’s helping to incorporate short meditations throughout the day. she suggests “allowing the natural vitality of the mind to express itself without judging, clinging, evading, or trying to fix what comes up. when we are able to bear witness of our inner world, when we are able to relax around difficult emotions and thoughts, then healing can happen.”

she’s also found inspiration in a course designed by buddhist teacher tsoknyi rinpoche called fully being. and in kimberly johnson’s book, call of the wild: how to heal trauma, awaken our power and use it for good.

for more of ana maria’s wisdom, visit her online at anamariavelasco.com.

meet jessica o’connell• based in marin county, ca, jessica teaches “joyful compassionate vinyasa” on zoom through the west marin yoga club, founded by her teacher lesley desaulniers, and also through sukha yoga. jessica emphasizes the importance of taking care of ourselves “with regular practice to connect to our inner peace and steadiness.”

this year she’s especially looking forward to joining sharon salzberg’s annual real happiness meditation challenge starting february 1. she invites you to join her!

jessica’s practice right now: presence. jessica shares “there’s so much happening that can throw me off center and into a state of overwhelm — worries about the pandemic, my children, and the state of our country.” here’s a practice she recommends to help regain a feeling of calm:

ground your feet to the earth, close your eyes and take three deep breaths. on each inhale, breathe in through your nose as you draw your shoulders up to your ears. then open your mouth and exhale as you release your shoulders. on the first exhale release anything that has happened in the past, on the second exhale release any stresses or worries you have about the future, and on the third breath exhale out any remaining distractions or tension.

for more of jessica’s wisdom, visit her online at jessicaoconnellyoga.com.

does your favorite teacher have wisdom for the hyde community? we’d love to meet them • please introduce us