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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Spence

Empowering Women Through Yoga, Meditation & Real Conversation

Meet Alex Mazerolle, aka Ally Maz

I met Ally Maz in Tokyo, Japan recently and so enjoyed the workshop she taught at Ignite Yoga Studio that I reached out again in Osaka at Wanderlust108. The conversation became all the more interesting when she shared her work with teens that I decided I must share her with you. That way, if and/or when you can take a class with her I'll have honored my ongoing commitment to share with you the best yoga teachers, classes, studios, and festivals with you.

"empowering women through yoga, meditation & conversation" is the mission statement on Ally's website. A nobel quest. Without further ink, here's my brief Q&A with Ally:

SS: Tell me about your work with teens? 

AM: I founded my company Girlvana Yoga a decade ago with the mission to support teen girls through yoga, meditation and mentorship. It started off as classes in high schools, then came the bi-annual week long yoga retreat and is now ( almost! ) a book. I see yoga as a way for young people to find their voice, to challenge societal norms and to heal themselves. It supports teens to find a way to love themselves, to celebrate their uniqueness and to elevate those around them instead of perpetuating "mean girl" behavior. The combination of yoga asana practice, meditation and breath work in combination with raw discussion about real topics teens are facing, the program is an extremely powerful way to empower youth!

SS: What has yoga taught you about yourself? 

AM: In the early days of my practice, yoga showed me where I was being my own worst enemy. From there I discovered how to be on my own team and how to find compassion and gentleness with myself. Yoga was the gateway for so much healing. I overcame body image issues, an eating disorder and found ways to manage my anxiety.

  • Yoga for me now is this beautiful dance with the Divine.

It allows me to celebrate myself, to tend to my soul in a loving way and supports me living big in the world. 

SS: What has yoga taught you about life? 

AM: Yoga has taught me that nothing is permanent- everything changes. This truth allows me to enjoy the good when it's good and to know that the bad will pass. It helps me really appreciate the moment and the people in my life. 

I'm deeply fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful community of wise and loving souls. Yoga teachers thrive when you do.

Thank you for following along as we travel around the world sharing my love of yoga, promoting my book, and diving deep into other cultures. This I know: we are all one. I believe we must cultivate a greater sense of universal responsibility and kindness. We must learn to not just care for ourselves, our family, or our nation, but for the good of humanity.

I'm blessed beyond measure to be celebrating my 40th year of practicing yoga. My current passion is talking and writing about taking you beyond the physical poses. Look again, in case you missed it, at my article about the difference between a good and great yoga teacher.

Thank you Ally for inspiring me and countless others. Shine on. Namaste.

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