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Teacher Feature: Ali Parnell

Ali teachers Ashtanga classes at the reach

How long you have practiced and why did you started practicing?

I started practicing yoga at the age of 4 with my mum, who was a yoga teacher. After many years studying at university medical school and then training to be an anaesthetist, I finally settled in Sheffield and found yoga again. Coming back to yoga in later life felt like ‘coming home’. I have been practicing for over 10 years now, around the births of my two daughters. I decided to train to be a yoga teacher, as I have always loved teaching as part of my career as a hospital doctor. I enjoy imparting my knowledge and try to have an infectious approach to everything I have a passion for.

How did your journey as a teacher start?

I trained in Hatha yoga in Sheffield in 2015 and then in Ashtanga yoga with David Swenson in 2016. I never imagined after training in Hatha that I would teach Ashtanga yoga, but I love the dynamism of Ashtanga and how much energy it gives you. Each time I practice I feel stronger and despite having limitation in one of my knees, the multiple modifications allow you to be kind to yourself and accept that some poses may never be the complete pose, but it doesn’t matter!

What is the biggest challenge to your yoga practice?

I find the biggest challenge in yoga is not being able to practice every day, due to my work life and family life. But meditation every day is something I always try to do as it helps my life balance so much and really makes me feel incredibly calm. It makes me feel able to cope so much more serenely with the rigors of life and the unpredictability and chaos that each day can bring!

What do you see the future holding for your yoga journey

In the future I hope to develop my own practice further, to improve my teaching and understanding in Ashtanga yoga. I am interested in the philosophy and spirituality of yoga and continue to read and broaden my depth of knowledge

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Date 19.7.2017

Written by Yoga at the Reach

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