Habla Yoga's first classes were held in autumn of 2013 at The Float Shoppe in Portland, Oregon. Alyssa is a passionate advocate for the serene, supportive nature of floating and found it to be a harmonious companion to yoga and healing. She also experienced floating to help ease frustrations along the journey of language learning!
Alyssa served as a Preventative Health Educator & Technical Facilitator with Peace Corps in the highlands of Guatemala in 2010-2012. She needed to learn to communicate in both Spanish and the Mayan dialect of Kiché to live and work in rural villages. However, she struggled greatly in the beginning and understands the challenges and frustrations of learning a new language and has enjoyed creating supportive environments for people to practice languages.
Alyssa's time in Guatemala greatly influenced both her personal and professional life. Habla Yoga was created after she returned from Peace Corps and realized there were very few yoga classes in the Portland area offered in Spanish. She partnered with local yoga studios, Spanish schools, community organizations, elementary schools and libraries to offer accessible yoga classes and wellness education in both Spanish & English.
She believes language should not be a barrier to experience yoga, and has been dedicating her time and energy towards promoting inclusive yoga and wellness classes. She enjoys facilitating workshops for yoga teachers on how to include more Spanish vocabulary into their classes as well as working with language and school teachers on how to incorporate more yoga, mindfulness, and wellness into the classrooms and public settings.
Alyssa has been teaching classes since 2007. She is an E-RYT 500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) and was trained in Hatha & Vinyasa Yoga, yet can integrate a variety of styles into her classes including restorative postures, mindful movements, and meditation. She started teaching as a group fitness instructor while studying nutrition and exercise science in university and these experiences led her to participate in her first yoga teacher trainings in Colorado.
In 2012, Alyssa immersed into a 200-hour and in 2015 took an advanced 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training with The Lotus Seed School in Tulum, Mexico. In addition she participated in a 95-hour Children's Yoga Teacher Training in Portland, Oregon. Alyssa mentored with Portland-based Yoga Therapist, Cindy Lewis, and together they taught yoga club at a High School and co-organized a Yoga Collective in Portland. She has received continuing education and additional training with various organizations including Yoga Internships in Medellin, Colombia and spent some time teaching at Flying Tree Yoga Studio.
Alyssa's fascination with culture, meditation, and yoga took her to SE Asia to practice with Buddhist teachers and Yoga instructors at The Yoga House, which greatly influenced both her personal and professional practice. She also had the opportunity to spend ten days of silent meditation in a Vipassana meditation center in Indonesia, which continues to be a rather transformative and ever-unfolding experience. Alyssa loves practicing yoga and languages with her daughter. She also enjoys to dance, read, write, and drink coffee & tea on the porch.