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Yoga's Healing Power discussion > Yoga's Healing Power: Questions for the author

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message 1: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Please write any questions you have for author Ally Hamilton below. She will check out this thread later in October (or early November for any latecomers) and answer them. We've done this before and it really makes the book come alive.


message 2: by Julie (new)

Julie | 9 comments I am trying to make yoga & meditation part of my everyday life but making new habits is always a challenge. What tips do you have for doing this?


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicatopper) | 74 comments Mod
Hi Ally,

I've admired all I've read about you creating and maintaining a good working relationship with the father of your children/business partner. My husband and I have run our own business (music management) out of our house for the last fifteen years, and I always joke we haven't killed each other yet. But I do find it hard at times to separate work from the rest of our home and family life. Do you have a favorite ritual/mantra when it comes to ending work for the day, and truly taking time for yourself?

Not a question, but just a comment: thank you for the beautiful chapter on vulnerability. I lost my mother last November and haven't truly been able to delve into a dialogue with myself about how I feel. Your words helped me find a starting point. And I actually laughed out loud when I read the passage about hoping the people in your life show up for you and make sure you get a little sun on your face. I use my mother's yoga mat, and even during the long upstate NY winters, several times I've been in savasana and the sun suddenly streams in and warms my closed eyes. Since she felt so strongly about yoga, I can't help but think she is still showing up for me, especially when I practice. And it's a lovely way to honor her in return.

Lastly, do you have a favorite music genre/musician/soundtrack you never tire of when practicing?

Wishing you much joy and success with the book!


message 4: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Thank you, Ally, both for writing a great book and for agreeing to answer our questions.

I love how honest you were in the book about your own failed relationships. I don't recall if you mentioned whether you're currently in a relationship. I'm curious how you do (or will when the time comes) keep from dragging past failures and issues into your current relationships. I don't have this issue with a romantic relationship (I have a great longterm hubby) but I notice this with some friendships; if I'm bitten by a friend I'm twice shy (as the expression goes) in my other friendships.

Your book inspired me to work on asteya last month. I was conscious about "stealing" people's pens or taking too much of their time and such, so thank you for that. It was a wonderful eye-opening practice on how we all "steal" in the smallest of ways. Do you recommend drilling down like that and picking one yama or niyama or other limb to work on for a while before moving on, or do you think people can successfully focus simultaneously on several of them? If you can be specific from your own experience as well as that of your students that would be great.

I especially loved your chapter on surrender (Releasing Your Grip, chapter 3). "The more you let go of your attachment to everything looking like some picture in your head, the less you suffer" (p 43). This has to be the hardest thing for me to do. Even though I've been working on nonattachment for decades, I still want things to be a certain way. I want this election to end the way I'm hoping. I want my upcoming book to be a success. I want my kids to thrive. When I had a medical condition, I wanted it to resolve quickly (and when it didn't, I offered resistance that I am sure kept it lingering). How do you personally straddle the fine line between eager anticipation of things you want and accepting when it doesn't go your way?

You mention your yoga website in the book. Can you tell us more about it: What do you offer there? Is there a recurring fee? What do you try to deliver there that people can't get locally? What do you personally get out of doing that?

Thank you again for an honest and thought-provoking book!


message 5: by Ally (new)

Ally Hamilton | 5 comments Julie wrote: "I am trying to make yoga & meditation part of my everyday life but making new habits is always a challenge. What tips do you have for doing this?"

Hi Julie,

Can you tell me the hardest part for you? Is it time constraint? If so, what's a reasonable amount of time you think you could devote to yoga and meditation every day? If it isn't time, tell me what is challenging, and I'll see if I can come up with some ideas for you.

Best,

Ally


message 6: by Ally (new)

Ally Hamilton | 5 comments Jessica wrote: "Hi Ally,

I've admired all I've read about you creating and maintaining a good working relationship with the father of your children/business partner. My husband and I have run our own business (mu..."


Hi Jessica,

Ha. Yes, it's a curse and a blessing when you're in business with your significant other! Obviously in my situation we aren't together anymore, so I don't fall into the habit of always talking or thinking about business with my partner, but I do remember that from when we were first in business and still married. I think for the health of your relationship it is important to try to find some time that is about nurturing your relationship and not dwelling on business. I know it's hard, because of course it's interesting to both of you, but it can get to the point where you're essentially working 24/7, and that's no good. I think I'd make sure you have date nights, or even mornings or afternoons once in awhile where you leave your phones at home and go for a hike, or a coffee, or lunch. I think that's one of the nice things about being your own boss. Maybe you can make it fun, where you take turns planning something unexpected.

For me, I try to get my work done when my kids are at school, or when they have after-school activities. It doesn't always work, but I really try. I think you can work it the same way, maybe assign a certain time of day where work is over, and that's it. And then, short of an emergency, you're just offline. Great if you and your hubby can come up with a schedule that works for both of you, so you can be "off" at the same time.

I'm really grateful the vulnerability chapter was helpful as you're dealing with the loss of your mom. I love that you're practicing on her mat, and that you feel her presence, that is beautiful, and I imagine it's very comforting.

I don't practice (or teach) with music myself, because I like the silence, but Earthrise Soundsystem is great.

Thanks so much for reading the book. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Best,

Ally


message 7: by Ally (new)

Ally Hamilton | 5 comments Meryl wrote: "Thank you, Ally, both for writing a great book and for agreeing to answer our questions.

I love how honest you were in the book about your own failed relationships. I don't recall if you mentioned..."


P.S. If you'd like, I can create a coupon code for your group where it's $1 for the first month, and then $15/month thereafter unless people cancel. Let me know, I am happy to do that! xx


message 8: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
That would be great if you could create a coupon code. If you want to send it to me I can broadcast it to our group. Also, do explain more what people will find on your website.

Thanks, Ally!


message 9: by Ally (new)

Ally Hamilton | 5 comments Meryl wrote: "That would be great if you could create a coupon code. If you want to send it to me I can broadcast it to our group. Also, do explain more what people will find on your website.

Thanks, Ally!"


Hey again, Meryl!

It looks like my long answer did not post, I just see the P.S. so I'll try again!

I'm so happy you enjoyed the book, and grateful you included YHP in your book club, what a wonderful group of people!

I really get your question about dragging past experiences into your present. I certainly did that when I entered my first adult relationships. I had a whole bunch of ideas like "everybody cheats" and "everybody leaves", and I picked people who would prove me right, but after awhile I really didn't want to be right in that way anymore :)

I think awareness is really the key to liberating yourself--recognizing that you have ideas that you're dragging around with you that might be getting in your way. I understand with you, it isn't romantic relationships, but female friendships. I think we tend to bring our "mom stuff" into our friendships with women, or our early childhood experiences with other girls. I tend to be a "case-by-case" person. I don't really throw the gates open with new people, I usually crack the gate, and then see over time how it goes. I was badly betrayed by a young woman I was trying to help a number of years ago, and it hurt, but it didn't make me trust the other women in my life any less, it just made me feel like I needed to be even more discerning with new people. The women in my life are amazing. I don't know what I'd do without them, but I'm just careful in general when I'm getting close to anyone new.

As far as taking the yama and niyama, or any of the eight limbs one at a time, I think that ends up happening naturally; it does for me. Certain things arise in life, and it becomes clear to me what I need to work on. You talk about attachment, and I think that's a big one for most of us. I mean, there's no way we aren't going to be attached to our children and their well-being, and our own good health. I get what you mean about the fine line between eager anticipation and attachment, and I think it's just a line we have to walk. Of course you want your book to do well, I mean, you poured your heart and guts into it, along with a lot of time and energy. I feel the same. So I just handle that by doing everything I can to help the book along, but I try to stick with the thought that: if it will be helpful to people, please let it find its way into the right hands. I love the pose "humble warrior" in yoga, because it's so much about doing the work to strengthen yourself, and then recognizing your own humility. Always a work in progress finding the balance, especially if you're Type A! When things don't go the way I'd hoped, I TRY to trust that there's going to be something in the experience that's going to help me grow, but it is hard.

As for the website, YogisAnonymous.com, we created it almost seven years ago. We film many of the live classes we teach here in Santa Monica, and we have people who subscribe from all over the world. I have thousands of yoga classes up there (as do many other wonderful teachers). I have a beginners' Series for people who've never done yoga, and I have classes for people who've been practicing for years. There are courses, too, like Yoga for Busy Moms (I know a little about that, haha), From Pain to Peace, Make the Shift, and so on. So people can take classes that we record live with lots of yogis in the room, or they can pick a course that sounds interesting. They can pick whatever level sounds appropriate, they can choose the length, they can search for classes based on energy level, etc. I do new short classes every week (15-45 minutes), as do many other teachers. I have seated meditation classes there as well. If anyone has any questions about the site, feel free to fire away, but it is really easy to go and take a peek and you'll see all the different options. I will send you a coupon code for everyone, too!

All the best, Meryl, I hope this answer posts. I think my last one was better, but hopefully I answered all the main points!

Lots of love,

Ally


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jessicatopper) | 74 comments Mod
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer. I love the ideas you shared, and the reminder that there are perks to being your own boss when it comes to eking out some mutual free time! And I look forward to checking out Earthrise Soundsystem!

Ally wrote: ..."


message 11: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Saginak (ksaginak) Great discussion! I'm coming in late! I've been a member of YogisAnonymous for several years now. Best monthly subscription ever! I learned yoga from Ally all the way from Wisconsin! Best investment ever! Thanks Ally for sharing your gifts with us! :)


message 12: by Meryl (new)

Meryl Landau (meryldavidslandau) | 807 comments Mod
Wise words about my female friendships. Definitely need to ponder how much mom stuff I'm bringing into that. Thanks, Ally!


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