Allison with her daughter in Charlotte, NC.

It’s Okay to be Still: Allison McGuigan

Allison with her daughter in Charlotte, NC.
Allison in Charlotte, NC.

“Ever since I was asked for this interview about how yoga played a role in my life, I’ve been pondering that question. I think yoga is evolutionary for me, in the sense that the role it plays is constantly changing. At this point in my life as a new mom, it’s playing a different role than it ever has before because I’m so focused on trying to be present. Watching my daughter grow so quickly has reminded me how important it is to be in the moment with whatever you’re doing. That’s what my practice is: using all of the tools that I’ve learned over the years, and that I teach, and trying to remember it myself throughout my daily life as it comes and goes. Yoga helps me through all of these changes, helps me feel more patient, more calm and more grateful.

Allison with her daughter in Charlotte, NC.
Allison playing with her daughter in Charlotte, NC.

Mindfulness is a constant practice. In today’s world and as a mom to a toddler, multitasking is often a necessary part of my day. But, I try to do it with as much presence as possible.  When my daughter was a baby, I often found that I was the most present while nursing her in the quiet stillness in the middle of the night when it felt like the whole world was silent. Now quiet stillness can be harder to come by, but as we play together I often remind myself that being present with my daughter is such an important thing that I can offer and share with her.

Allison smiling at her daughter, swinging in a park in Charlotte, NC.
Allison smiling at her daughter, swinging in a park in Charlotte, NC.

I’ve been teaching yoga since 2008. I think my favorite thing about teaching is that I can hold the space for others. I discovered Yin Yoga several years back, which is what I mostly teach now. It’s quiet; a quiet place to land, which is the opposite of the go-go-go most of us experience in our daily routine. I love being able to offer that to my students…it’s so greatly needed. 

Yin Yoga is so powerful. Some people love it, some people don’t…It is hard to be still. It has changed a lot about me, really. Just being able to be okay with moments of stillness is the biggest takeaway. My Yin Yoga teacher also prompted us to look at how we’re all different in anatomy and structure. It’s good and okay to be different, which has shaped how I teach, how I practice and how I approach a lot of things in my life. We always hear “we’re all different”, it’s not a new phenomenon. But to look at the skeleton and truly see how those differences- even if it’s just a small difference in your left side versus your right side, plays out in our lives. It changes the way you look at things; it makes you feel like it’s okay to be different. I love to be able to offer that to my students as well. It can be as simple as reminding them it’s okay that your pose doesn’t look like my pose, or as large scale as it’s okay to live a unique life.” – Allison

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