DATES: March 4-11, 2017
PRICES: Please see Anamaya’s Rates & Reservations page for more details on our Base Rates for meals and accommodations.
YOGA PACKAGES: We have four different Yoga Retreat Packages (ARP’s) to choose from. Yoga & Adventure, Yoga & Surfing, Yoga & Rejuvenation, and Pure Yoga.
WORKSHOP: This week or guests will have the option of participating in a special Meditation Workshop. For more information please see details below.
Guest Yoga Teacher Allison Pals
Allison grew up in a small town in Northern California, surrounded by redwoods, rivers and the Pacific Ocean. Her love for the outdoors and feeling connected to something bigger than herself led her to seek other ways in which she could connect with the Divine. She moved to San Diego in 2001 to attend college but it wasn’t until she stepped into a yoga class that she felt like she had found her true calling. She dove into the practice and never looked back beginning her first teacher training at Joshua Yoga in San Diego.
Allison fell in love with teaching. She was able to give her students mindfulness, relaxation, and the sense of joy she received from teaching. In 2004 life brought her to New York City and Allison took the seat as a student once again. She studied under the guidance of Laura Hartman who was a student of Integral Yoga and deepened her understanding of yoga philosophy and meditation. In her free time Allison went to yoga every day drinking in all the variety of teaching and practices the city had to offer.
After a year of city life Allison deeply missed the redwoods and the Pacific Ocean. Allison moved back to Northern California to finish her Nursing degree at Humboldt State University. While in school Allison taught locally at Old School Hot Yoga and Om Shala Yoga in Arcata and also completed a Anusara yoga 200 hour teacher training with Robyn Smith.
Allison’s goal was to finish nursing school, work for two years and go to India. That goal was met and after two years of working in a hospital setting Allison took off with her partner Alex Backman to study in India. It was there that she was introduced to Tantra and completed the three month long yoga course at Agama Yoga with Manu Akshoba and Monika Nataraj. After returning home to Arcata, Allison and Alex married and returned to India to participate in a seventeen day Tantric yoga meditation course and to study more with the great teachers Guruji Rajkumar and Prem Baba. Allison continued on to Thailand to train in Women’s Mystical Dance learning how to bring women together through dance with her teacher Monika Nataraj.
Allison returned to Arcata with a full heart ready to share all that she has learned with her students at Om Shala Yoga. She currently teaches yoga regularly with her husband Alex in the community as well as offers retreats at Anamaya Resort. She is expecting her first baby, a boy, in September 2015 and is excited to share her love of travel and yoga with him.
Allison’s Teaching Philosophy
My philosophy for yoga is based on my study of Tantra and a non-dualistic approach to life. Life is a precious gift and each experience is an opportunity to know ourself more. By working on cultivating joy and equanimity in yoga and in life, we are able to bring positive energy out into the world. In the continual practice of yoga we become willing to go within and rewire our patterns and emotional influences. The focus on my classes is to keep a positive attitude and remain witness to the mind and whatever might arise without judgment. I like to guide my students with breath and intention to create a deep meditative experience in which they are able to go deeper into their own awakening.
Yoga classes are for all skill levels, from beginners to experienced yogis.
Guest Teacher Alex Backman
I came to Yoga, like many others, through an intricate sequence of seemingly unrelated events, such that when I had finally arrived it seemed naturally like the only possible outcome. Growing up I passionately pursued any physical activity I could, and I pushed my body with a cliche sense of invincibility and permanence. As a result of this I found myself in my early 20’s in chronic pain from many injuries and a lack of any systematic physical approach to fix them. And then, I met Allison, and yoga. Initially I was a little cold, an resisted a bit being stretched and opened beyond where I had settled. But soon many gifts started to flow and I found myself deeply in love. Eventually after a couple years of practice and with the help of some great teachers all of the sudden I found myself free from the pain the had been plaguing me everyday. My back no longer ached. My wrists weren’t shooting pain. I had full use and mobility with the shoulder that I had torn a handful of times. At this point Allison and I had a strong calling to travel to India to explore the roots of this Yoga that was such a big part of our lives. We were searching for something more – something to take our yoga to another level. From there, long story short, by the graces of many others, I acquired a practice of meditation. Why I was so called to these ancient practices I still ask myself on an almost daily basis. It is my hope that by practicing and sharing these particular skills, humanity may be positively affected – more aware, more compassionate, and overall more sane.
The cultivation of meditation in life leads one towards “what is.” And it is from here that we can act with truth and be effective. My philosophy comes from two general schools of thought that utilize this mantra to the utmost: yoga and science. I believe it is critical to frame and shape many of the yogic concepts alongside scientific understanding in order to properly integrate the practice into the deepest parts of the mind and being. In today’s world, science is the dominant way that we understand the world because it is tangible, and verifiable. This is very much the same way that progress in yoga happens. The more we practice, the better we feel, physically and mentally. It is very simple in that regard. We do what works until we find something better to replace it. The beauty of yoga is that is has stood the test of time, and it is as effective today as ever. The lineage of the yoga tradition is made up of great geniuses that dedicated their lives to the science of self, and everyday modern science is able to verify more and more of their discoveries. This is a beautiful merger. One that will continue for many, many generations. The human being is the most fascinating and complex structure that we know of – and that is before we even look at it through a quantum lens. This train of thought can start to branch and fractalize an infiinite number of ways – into realms of science that are so barely understood it is not distinguishable to everyday people from just pure fiction. And this is also why I find yoga to be so interesting and engaging. It ties it all together. It helps us collectively understand ourselves so that we may engage regularly in “right action”, and not from the illusions and delusions of what we call the “ego” or selfishness. The depth of my philosophy is based on the idea that collectively we must consciously set the trajectory for this planet. As our awareness grows of all the problems in the world, we need skills to navigate the noise, remain calm and compassionate, and energy to organize and create a new way. For this, we do yoga.
In this workshop, lead by Alex Backman, our aim is to give you tools for success in your home meditation practice. We will explore different styles of meditation and breathing techniques for increasing your ability to cultivate a practice slowing down and turning inward. Meditation is a scientifically proven method for decreasing stress and training the mind and body to not be so reactive. We hope to transmit our love for meditation in a fun, open, and introductory approach to learning how to cultivate more awareness of the mind and hope that meditation increases happiness in your life.