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. It felt like an extended Savasana. She also experienced floating to help ease challenges during the journey of language learning.
When Alyssa served with Peace Corps in Guatemala, 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. She has enjoyed creating supportive environments for people to learn and practice languages and also received her TEFL certificate to better support English Language Learners.
Habla Yoga was created after Alyssa 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 and a variety of community organizations including Trash for Peace. She also collaborated with libraries and schools to offer bilingual yoga and accessible wellness education.
She believes language, funds, and location should not be a barrier to experience yoga and health education, and has been dedicating her time and energy towards promoting inclusive yoga and learning programs. She enjoys facilitating workshops for yoga teachers on how to include more Spanish vocabulary into their classes while also working with language and school teachers to incorporate more yoga, mindfulness, and wellness into classrooms and public settings.
Alyssa was trained in Yoga through immersion programs in Mexico with The Lotus Seed School, a non-profit based in Portland. They bring yoga to the community through donation-based classes and provide unique practice opportunities for new teachers to build and expand their teaching skills in supportive environments. She also completed a 95-hour Children's Yoga Teacher Training with The Lotus Seed School and enjoys teaching yoga for all ages. She was trained in Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga and infuses a variety of styles into her classes including restorative postures, mindful movements, and storytelling.
She originally started teaching as a group fitness instructor in 2007 while studying nutrition and exercise science in university and these experiences led her to participate in her first yoga classes and instructor workshops in Colorado. Alyssa mentored with Portland-based Yoga Therapist, Cindy Lewis, and together they taught yoga club at a local High School and co-organized a Yoga Collective in Portland. She continues her education through additional trainings and especially enjoyed participating with Yoga Internships in Medellin, Colombia and spent a few months teaching at their 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. She had the opportunity to spend ten days in silent meditation at a Vipassana center in Indonesia, and felt familiarities with this meditation practice in the float tanks. Alyssa now manages health education programs at community health centers in Washington State. At home she is practicing yoga and languages with her daughter and collaborating with her husband on bilingual yoga and story animations for kids and families. In her free time she's dancing and enjoying to read, write, and drink coffee & tea on the porch.
Alyssa Anne | E-RYT 500; RPCV Guatemala 2010-2012 Founder & Collaborative Director of Habla Yoga