Alyssa Anne; E-RYT Founder & Director of Habla Yoga; RPCV Guatemala 2010-2012
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!
From 2010-2012, Alyssa served as a Preventative Health Educator & Technical Facilitator with Peace Corps in the highlands of Guatemala. She needed to learn to communicate in both Spanish and the Mayan dialect of Kiché to successfully live and work in rural villages, yet she struggled greatly in the beginning and thus has a lot of compassion for those learning a language.
Alyssa's Peace Corps experience greatly influenced both her personal and professional life. Habla Yoga was created after she returned from Guatemala and realized there were no yoga classes in Portland 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 Spanish & English.
She believes language should not be a barrier to access yoga, and has been dedicating her time and energy towards promoting bilingual yoga, wellness and teacher trainings. She enjoys facilitating workshops for yoga teachers on how to add Spanish vocabulary into their classes as well as working with language and school teachers on how to incorporate yoga, mindfulness and wellness into the classroom.
Alyssa has been teaching since 2007. She is an E-RYT 500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) with Yoga Alliance and was trained in Hatha & Vinyasa Yoga, yet integrates a variety of styles into her classes including restorative, yoga for athletes, and meditation. She first began teaching as a group fitness instructor while studying nutrition and exercise science at Colorado State University and these experiences led her to participate in her first yoga teacher trainings.
She immersed herself into a 200-hour & a 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training with The Lotus Seed School in Tulum, Mexico as well as 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 received continuing education with Street Yoga and The Bhakti Shop and participated in immersion courses at Mahadevi Ashram in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala as well as with Yoga Internships in Medellin, Colombia. She stayed an additional three months in Medellin teaching yoga and assistant managing Flying Tree Yoga Studio.
She received her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) training and certification through Proyecto Santa Teresa in Costa Rica, and is inspired by their teaching methods and community development model. She was also inspired through an introductory permaculture course at Atitlan Organics, and highly recommends it to anyone who is curious about permaculture!
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 via Vipassana, which continues to be a rather transformative and ever-unfolding experience.
In July of 2018, she and her partner, Juan, co-founded CasaCelestial, a bilingual guesthouse, yoga studio and cafe/bar in the heart of Iquitos, Peru. They met in Lima while Alyssa was taking a barista course, and soon after they felt called to move to the jungle in Iquitos which is the largest city in the world that's only accessible by boat or plane. Iquitos is the capital of the Peruvian Amazon and is known as being a major gateway into the wild, sacred Amazon rainforest. Juan and Alyssa now have a beautiful daughter together, Rosali Jo. Not only does Alyssa love being a mama, but she also enjoys to read, write, practice yoga, and drink coffee & tea on the porch, terrace or wherever there is fresh air and nature. She will forever love to dance, dream, travel, garden and eat good food :)