Ally Hamilton was born and raised in New York City and thought she would never live anywhere else. She graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University, where she began practicing yoga during her senior year. In 2001, she surprised herself and fell in love with Santa Monica, where she has lived ever since. Ally completed an English Major and a Psychology minor while in school, and thought she would be all kinds of things, from a ballerina or a veterinarian when she was a kid, to a lawyer or psychologist while in college. However, the practice of yoga changed everything in her life for the better, and decades later she can’t imagine having devoted her life to anything else. Ally has also written two books, one based on her popular blog, and one based on decades of yoga practice. She is currently working on her third book, a memoir. Ally is the mother of two, a son and a daughter who light up her life and blow her mind regularly. When she is not with her kids or writing, she is filming classes for this site, filming all the teachers on this site, or answering your emails. While she does not normally speak about herself in the third person, she thinks you should know she wrote this bio, and is honored and excited to have you here! Welcome.
Ready to play and wring yourself out at the same time? I’ve got you covered! Series C leads the way and then we head into shoulder, hamstring and hip opening with a twist :) The upper back and spine get some love, and we work the core so we have stability at the center. Inversions and a fun arm balance mash-up. Unroll your mat, this is a playful one!
Are you always rushing, maybe even through your yoga practice? Sometimes it's hard to slow down because we have so many places to be, things to do, and people counting on us, but self-care is the last thing to sacrifice! Take a little time for yourself with this steady, thorough flow where we'll open every major muscle group at a pace that builds heat, but also gives you enough time to be really curious about how you feel and what you need from moment to moment, and maybe even to be sweet to yourself. After the flow and standing sequence, we'll hit the floor for backbends, core strengthening and deep hip and hamstring opening with a special appearance by your friend and mine, the frog!
Play with the idea of finding your center of gravity, whether you're on your feet, hands, forearm or head. You need core strength and upper body strength, but also curiosity and a sense of humor. A willingness to fall on your face also helps! Lots of hip, hamstring and shoulder opening, core strengthening and inverting, so you can deepen your trust in yourself and your process. Ready, set, fly!
Do you have stories you tell yourself about what you can or can’t do, or how things would be different if only? Ha. Me too! Let’s dig into those stories, which are often old and frequently untrue as we open the hips, shoulders and hamstrings, strengthen the core and our own resolve to check ourselves, and take things upside down for fun. That sounds like a good story time, right?
If you feel like you're carrying tension in your shoulders, neck, upper back and/or across your chest, my goodness is this for you! That kind of holding on can spread to tightness in the jaw and eyebrows and even lead to headaches! Let's get in there and open it all up. A block and a strap would be great (you can take the class without them, though). While we approach this area and breathe it open, we'll also explore the ideas of communicating openly and honestly, and learning how to act on our own behalf. Sometimes (not always) physical holding is a manifestation of emotional holding. If you tend to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, you're going to feel a lot better after this, Atlas!
Can you roll with it? We humans love to make our plans, and life loves to turn our plans upside down. How about we get upside down calmly right now, so we have the tools to look at things from different perspectives, the ability to be at ease during transitions, and to have compassion for ourselves when things don't go the way we expected? Sound good? Great, unroll your mat and let's jam.
Let's have a morning cup of joe-ga together! Sun salutes heat us up, a standing sequence opens all the major muscle groups, backbends open the heart and the shoulders, hip and hamstring-opening sets us up to enter the day feeling relaxed and ready, core strengthening starts a fire in the belly, and all along the way gentle reminders to work on an inner voice that roots you on while you gain tools to tell a loud inner critic to hit the road! Ready? Grab your cup. I mean your mat!
Short on time but long on energy? Grab your mat and let's do this! We build heat quickly with Series C and variations, and target intense core strengthening and hip and hamstring opening so we can play with some fun arm balances including crow pose, firefly, and a mashup that ends in koundinyasana 2. You might not have a ton of time, but that doesn't mean we can't go deep and have fun. Pretty please, don't skip savasana at the end ;)
Ready to find your inner badass, play with an arm balance mashup, quiet your mind and have some fun? I thought so! Core strengthening powers the arm balance fun, and open hips and hamstrings are essential, so we get right on that. Strong shoulders make the base, and whatever else happens is icing on this badass cake.
If you get to a place where you cannot breathe, or you feel like you’re in a wrestling match with your body, you’ve gone too far! There’s a difference between intense sensation and pain—nothing in your practice should hurt! Maintain or develop a healthy relationship with your body—listen and respond with compassion and honesty, and you’ll have a great practice! Hips, hamstrings, shoulders and core strengthening, along with arm balances and inversions, backbends and more hip opening on the floor. Steady breath throughout it all, and a deep savasana at the end :)