Actress Ali Bastian writes about her life as a yogi on the road – this issue she shares her experiences with London-based teacher Mollie Morris
My pursuit of a yoga practice has often been accompanied by the notion that I need to travel far and wide to get to the ‘root’ of yoga, or perhaps a little closer to the source… and much as the mystery and beauty of some of these destinations is undeniable, I made the realisation recently that what I was searching for I could in fact find on my very own mat, in my own living room – often negotiating for floor space with my two dogs, but that’s besides the point!
This journey to said living room floor wasn’t a direct one. It came via Camden Market in our capital city. Having spent several months procrastinating and scouring the internet for yoga teacher trainings – anyone who has embarked upon a similar search will know, there are absolutely hundreds – I happened upon the site of London-based teacher, Mollie McClelland Morris.
The stars already seemed to be aligning, there was to be a free Q&A session on becoming a yoga teacher and it was that evening!
I’m not sure what happened after that, but my feet just seemed to carry me onto the underground, across town and into the presence of one of the kindest, most compassionate, yet quietly strong women I have ever met.
I spoke to her at the end of the session about my concern over committing for six months, that I might have a play in the pipeline, etc, etc… She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Ali, there will always be plays”.
Having worked for years as a contemporary dancer, she had an incredible understanding of what I might have been wrestling with. “Plant both feet on the ground and ask yourself – what do I want? What do I want?” she said.
And so the decision was made in that moment of feeling so seen and understood. It was one I will never regret. The course was in Vinyasa Flow Yoga and although I didn’t have a strong practice beforehand, I was encouraged to develop one during our time together whilst also being allowed the space to explore a more restorative approach, as essentially Mollie’s focus was on helping us to find our own individual expression and voices as teachers.
Over six months, we had two intensive weeks and one intensive weekend per month. Each weekend centering around a different aspect of teaching and practice, anatomy and philosophy.
Mollie offers ‘Grace and Presence’ teacher training and this she taught in the most effective way – by demonstrating it fully throughout our course. She held the space for us while, as a group and individually, we rode the waves of emotion that inevitably arise when undertaking a course like this, and she did so beautifully, with so much kindness, respect and compassion… all whilst imparting a wealth of knowledge and experience.
We all completed the course feeling very different to how we started. Perhaps finding a little more compassion for ourselves and for each other and the gift of peacefully being able to experience those precious moments of connection through our breath… on our very own yoga mat, on our very own floor…
“Sometimes the answers are closer than we think.
Molly offers teacher training throughout the year and an invaluable mentoring programme for teachers.
To find out more about Ali’s yoga experience visit molliemorris.com