Alexia Bauer will be holding Ashtanga workshops all day this Saturday, August 29th. Currently teaching at Moksha in Chicago, she is an experienced teacher with a passion to inspire her students. To sign up for the workshop, click here
Learn a little more about her below! See you all on Saturday.
1. Has your personal practice always been Ashtanga? What drew you to this style of practice?
When I first learned about yoga, I learned from someone that practiced Hatha and was very into Forrest Yoga at the time, so that's what she taught me. I didn't know there was anything else out there and I thought what I learned was "yoga" and that was it! Once I moved to Chicago from Guatemala, I discovered the range of yoga styles out there. When I heard about Ashtanga, someone mentioned that the style was like "gymnastics" and I thought I would hate it because I wanted my practice to be more about the philosophical and spiritual aspects and not just a vigorous physical practice. When I was in teacher training at Moksha, there was a picture of Kino MacGregor announcing a workshop in what seem to me a crazy posture at the time. I couldn't stop looking at it: she seemed strong, flexible, and peaceful. I took the workshop without knowing it was Ashtanga, I just wanted to learned how to do what she was doing. During her Led Primary Series, I couldn't stop thinking, "this woman is a genius! how did she come up with this class, everything makes so much sense and I feel great." A couple days later I learned that she was an Ashtanga teacher and that was the Primary Series and she didn't make it up. I never stopped practicing it after that.
I think what drew me to it was that even though you do the same postures every time, there is always a new challenge, and always something to work on. You have to face your fears and insecurities in many different ways, learning how to work with them and find acceptance. I love the order of the sequence, and the system allowed me to see a lot of progress in my physical practice from the very beginning. I love the fact that I don't have to make up a sequence of my own and that helps me be more focused.
2. I’ve read that Kino MacGregor was an incredible influence for you. What about her teachings and practice inspired you?
Kino was the first teacher I studied Ashtanga yoga with. She has a way of making the physical practice seem accessible and even when it feels difficult, she is very good at breaking things down so you can always find a way of making things work for your body or limitations. At the same time, she knows a lot about yoga philosophy. I had never heard a teacher talk about some of the scriptures the way she does; somehow I could think about applying the philosophical and spiritual aspects of the practice to my physical practice and my daily life, and I was very inspired by that. Plus, she makes everything look beautiful so who wouldn't be inspired by that! ;)
3. What prompted you to decide to study under Sharath Jois in Mysore, India?
If you are an Ashtanga practitioner, you will hear all about Mysore and Sharath from other teachers, students, and books. I wanted to meet the person holding the lineage and experience practicing under his guidance.
4. You currently teach in Chicago, IL at the Moksha Yoga Center, how long have you taught there?
I have taught at Moksha for 7 years now.
5. What do you wish to pass on to your students?
To me, yoga has been the tool I use to live more consciously. I have learned a lot about my life, my patterns of thought and behavior, the way I react to situations, and how I behave with others and in the world. I think that's the beginning of living a better life because I know where to start working to bring something good to what's around me. I would like to contribute and participate in the world, in stead of only leaving my "garbage" when I leave. If I can share this method and it helps others to get something useful out of it in order to make their lives more healthy (in any way), so they can also participate in the world in a good way, that's what I wish to pass on to the students.