Where are you from and/or where do you live?
Originally I am from Ukraine. I lived in Melbourne, Australia for 11 years until embarking on a nomadic lifestyle. I went to India to study Ayurveda Yoga Therapy and a few months later Covid happened, so I got stuck in India.
How did yoga come into your life?
My first Yoga class was back in Ukraine in 2002, it was a Hatha class offered at a local gym. Later in 2004 while I was modeling in Thailand I got to know that one of the models was a Yoga teacher, and somehow I became curious.
A strong feeling inside me was drawing me towards learning more about it. I went to the book store and purchased a Yoga book, which was Ashtanga Primary series. I knew nothing about it, but I committed to practicing every morning with my book for one month.
Somehow I noticed how calm and more balanced the practice made me feel. I was doing only what I could from the pictures in the book and I did it at my own pace. I suffered from neck, shoulder and lowers back pain due to scoliosis, and i noticed that the pain was managed better with a regular practice.
Later on my friend in Philippines invited me to an actual Ashtanga class. As I was travelling from country to country I started to seek any opportunity to do Yoga whether at the gyms, studios, pre-recorded videotape or practicing on my own. I was exposed to different styles of Yoga taught by many different teachers around the world.
Who were you before you started practicing and how have you changed, evolved and transformed?
Before I started practicing Yoga I was suffering from physical, emotional and mental pain. I was not connected with my true identity, feeling lost, insecure, anxious and fearful. I was a people pleaser. My body was stiff and I experienced chronic pain in my spine.
Over the years my practice has helped me to become more balanced and grounded in my spiritual identity as well as helped me to heal body pain. It is not a coincidence that initially I was drawn to Yoga to use it for therapeutic purposes, because the pain and imbalance that I’ve experienced inspired me to heal on a deeper level, bringing more into alignment all the aspects of myself on a physical, emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels.
I must mention that the practice of Ayurveda in combination with Yoga made this healing possible. Without Ayurvedic practices, I haven’t been able to progress as far forward with my healing. Although there are still more layers to peel off and more healing to be done, I feel a tremendous transformation that carried me from my old self that was suffering and in deep pain into my new self that knows how to apply Yogic techniques to manage my health and wellbeing on a daily basis.
Why did you decide to become a yoga teacher?
As soon as I started to notice my personal transformation taking place and how much better I was feeling when living a Yogic lifestyle, naturally I wanted to share this wisdom and knowledge with others to help them heal and transform too, so all could benefit. Even before I became a qualified Yoga teacher I was inspired to teach Yoga so much that I taught it to the children at the child care centers as a part of the curriculum. I wanted to create a ripple effect of healing and transformation for people on a personal level and as a result on a global level. This transformation may seem subtle yet it is very powerful. Who doesn’t want to feel good and healthy in all the aspects of their being, and who doesn’t want to see the world be a safer and more peaceful place?
How did you get your qualification and what was the hardest part of the process?
Initially I didn’t believe that I could become a Yoga teacher, I felt insecure about not being flexible enough. If one doesn’t know what true Yoga really is one might interpret it falsely by looking at other teachers performing poses that require a lot of strength and flexibility, and one might conclude, that in order to be good at Yoga, one must become very good at those poses. Initially I was under the same impression, and mistakenly believed that to be taken seriously as a teacher I must be super flexible and strong, and if I was not people would laugh at me.
However, the inner urge to pursue my purpose was so strong that finally, after years of doubting myself, I decided to just go for it in spite of my fears and doubts. I came to India to study to be a Yoga teacher, and it was one of the most impactful and profound experiences of my life.
It was another level of spiritual awakening and newfound understanding of who I was beyond this physical identity was not who I thought I was.
I tried to keep up with the pace and the intensity of training as much as I could. The physical aspect of the training was challenging for me, I used to take breaks during some asana classes. But I also realized that I didn’t have to perform asanas perfectly in order to be a good teacher. I started to understand Yoga as the teaching of unity and how much more important it was to teach Yamas and Niyamas, and even more important to practice them myself. I believe that the best way to teach something to someone is to model it. And that was a challenge that I happily embraced.
Do you have a mission as a yoga teacher? What would you like to achieve?
I would like to create a more peaceful and balanced world by helping people go through their own personal transformation, perhaps from a state of disempowerment into a state of empowerment, or from a state of physical pain and discomfort into a state of health and wellbeing, or from a state of not having much to look forward to in life into discovering a layer of themselves they didn’t know existed, and thus finding more freedom, harmony and purpose. Basically, I would like to help people to achieve a new state of being that they didn’t know was possible anymore. I remember how devastated I felt as times of my suffering — helping someone with solution to their suffering is my mission and purpose.
What do you think makes a good yoga teacher?
A good teacher is someone who is teaching by example, someone who embodies what is it they are teaching. It is inspirational. I aspire to be that shining light, even though it is difficult and challenging at times. Also a good teacher understands that they always remain being a student, constantly learning and evolving too. They are authentic and real about what they know and what they don’t know, this builds trust. They are able to tune into their student’s needs and know when to engage and when to retreat and let the student self-discover.
Tell us about an inspirational moment you’ve experienced as a teacher
When a student or a client comes to up to me after a session and says : “That was so good, I felt pain and now it is gone” or “ I really enjoy your classes, your voice is very therapeutic and healing for me” or “ I love your energy, you are a very good teacher, the way you explain everything, it is so clear.” — whatever the feedback is, when I have evidence to reflect back to me that something that I offered made someone else’s life and experience better than before, it certainly inspires me! If people come to join my session and prior to that they felt low or in pain, and the session transformed that into a better state of being, I feel inspired to help more people.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on their journey?
I would advise just to keep walking the path. When life happens it is easy to get demotivated or discouraged, so it is important to always come back to the path no matter how many times you wander off.
Any advice for people who think they don’t have time to practice? How can they fit it into daily life?
I believe it is a matter of priorities, we can make conscious choices with our free will and decide what is the highest priority and what is the lowest. Of course as life goes on our priorities change and adjust. However, it is still ultimately our choice what to fit into our lives and what to take away from it at any given moment.
If people want to start practicing but feel like they don’t have the time, I would advise them to look closely at their schedule to examine if their values are in alignment with their actions. It would help to reevaluate current priorities and make any adjustments that are necessary.
Who/what inspires you? Why?
I am inspired by the Ascended Masters and teachers: Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mother Mary, St Gemain, Babaji, Yogananda, Krishnamurti, Alan Watts, and many other enlightened beings who brought their light into the planet. They came at the time of Kali Yug or the time of deep ignorance on the planet, and they dedicated their lives to help human kind despite being confronted by the opposition of unawakened masses. Their faith in the divine was so strong and unshakable. They knew who they were in truth, and they wanted to help others realize themselves as love. It is incredibly hard to be a human and a spirit at the same time, these beings came to awaken humanity and to free us from our own karmic bondage. They embodied love and truth and goodness.
Tell us a bit about what your classes are like
My classes are influenced by traditional Hatha practices that incorporate mantra chanting and grounding, followed by pranayama (life force energy expansion), Sukshma Vyayama (joint mobilizing and prana moving warm up series), Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) to further channelize the prana throughout the body, a set of Asana (physical postures) to work on strength, flexibility and balance, and any other therapeutic needs of the students, finishing with deep relaxation and meditation.
I have strong intuitive insight and an ability to know what the person or a group is needing the most, and I allow this guidance to flow through me during the class, inspiring me to move the class in the direction that would be the most beneficial.
I present and integrate all the 5 koshas (body sheaths) to connect with all the aspects of our being for deeper transformation and self-awareness.
My own need for safety and security makes it easy for me to create a safe space for my students to be in a non-judgemental and completely accepting environment, so they can relax and let go of any self-imposed limitations and simply explore their body and mind connection freely.
Do you have any recommendations for reading/ listening?
Paramahansa Yogananda “Autobiography of a Yogi”, Jiddu Krishnamurti “The awakening of intelligence”, Baghavad Gita, podcasts of Sarah Hall named “Solstice Stories” where she tells the stories of Jesus channeled by Barbara Brodsky.
What’s your favorite quote/affirmation/mantra?
“Yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self” — Baghavad Gita
Where can people attend your classes?
I am offering online one-on-one and group classes and packages through FitMyTime platform. The classes I teach are Ayurveda Yoga for Vata Pitta Kapha, Hatha For Complete Beginners, group Yoga For Energy Balance, Yin Yoga For Emotional Stability and Mental Peace, Mindfulness Meditation and Breath Work, Yoga Nidra For Insomnia and Life Coaching To Create The Life You Truely Desire. I specialize in Ayurveda Yoga Therapy for career women entrepreneurs to help overcome digestive issues and chronic fatigue with individually designed programs to suit specific health needs of the client.
Where can people connect with you?
You can find Alla on Fitmytime, where she offers several types of private classes, group sessions and recodings: