Practices for Unravelling Tension in the Subtle Body

Series Outline

Each class focuses on one chakra with a combination of:

  • Didactic information connecting each chakra to the elements and the sense organs
  • Guided meditation in restful postures 
  • Yoga nidra, deep relaxation
  • We’ll close with a short chant of the bija mantra for each chakra to seal our practice
  • Optional weekly homework focusing on a short daily practice on the chakra for each week


What are the Chakras?

A better question might be - what are the nadis? The chakras are collections of nadis or pathways for energy or prana to flow. There's a certain tone or frequency one can feel into at these subtle points in the body. With just a little know-how, followed by ongoing inquiry and practice, one can truly discover the shadows they cling to and begin the slow patient work of letting go of ways of being that don’t support the world you’re creating and the person you’re becoming. The chakras are portals for self discovery and the work is deeply somatic, not heady at all.


Intellectually working with our stories can be important, but that’s not what we’re doing here. I’ll ask you to feel into your body and get out of your head. I will discourage over-analyzing and instead recommend somatic inquiry, more relaxation, more sitting with what is, and the slow reveal of intuitive wisdom. 

How do we experience the subtle body?

It can be easily observed that when your heart is broken, the place at the center of your chest actually hurts, does it not? When we have something to say and don't know how to say it there's a clenching in the throat, no? When we deeply know something to be true we feel it in our gut, and when we’re nervous or apprehensive we have “butterflies” in the stomach. This is the realm of the subtle body. The place where our feelings arise. There is some predictability to what sort of feelings rise up in which place in the body. And we can become more conscious of blockages by way of these practices.

Like the musician or the athlete repeating a pattern with good body mechanics and developing structural integrity for the skill... or like repetitive use injuries that come from a lack of consciousness around how to hold our body and/or our limitations, the subtle body too has set patterns. These classes aim to help us develop a more intimate relationship with the patterns and holding in the subtle body.

This is a pre-recorded class

Wear comfortable clothes and be ready for some mix of teaching and practice. Practices will include restorative yoga postures and yoga nidra; ways to help you get in touch with the subtle body, allow for what you find, and to relax the body and mind around your discovery. There will also be guided meditation and chanting of bija mantras. The focus will be on one chakra at a time, beginning with the root center in class 1 and finishing with the crown in class 7.


The Chakras

Allison’s yoga journey began after a back injury as a performer in the off-broadway show De La Guarda. Unable to move around at a young age, she took to the philosophy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras for comfort and perspective. Recovery took several years, and allowed for her eventual asana practice to be rooted in and emphasized by India’s wisdom systems.

A student since 2001, and a graduate of The Body Therapy Institute, Allison completed well over 1000 hours of formalized yoga teacher trainings before opening Heart of Yoga School in Carrboro, NC in 2010. Allison created an 800 hour YTT program dedicated to the foundational texts of yoga, and offered a deep dive into the language of Sanskrit, harmonium instruction, chanting, and the development of a daily prescriptive sadhana. Allison closed the physical space in 2018 to pursue travel and to teach to a wider audience. She now offers these Vedic teachings on an online platform which allows for the cultivation of community, healing, and mentorship to a broader student population. You can check out her Vedic online courses here

While building her online school, Allison remains eager to connect with communities in person through workshops, residencies, and festivals. In recent years she's presented at the Telluride Yoga Festival and the Stroud Sacred Music Festival in UK. 

Allison has travelled extensively in India. Deepening her understanding of Indian culture has better informed the way she aims to approach the practice and the teaching. She has led tours and retreats in India and Bali, which has allowed her students to experience first hand how these ancient philosophies and practices can be infused into our daily life. 

Always a student, her study is ongoing under the mentorship of K. Sridhar (Indian music), Steven Highburger (Vedic Astrology), Sabitha Madhav (Indian dance), and Dr. Robert Svoboda (Tantra). She is currently available for private instruction on harmonium as well as Vedic Astrology sessions. Check out her three kirtan albums here on Spotify, and her original music here.