I didn’t plan on this… taking the teacher’s seat. I never knew it would be the forefront of my creative and spiritual path. I fell in love with yoga the same way many of us do. I loved the way it made me feel so I kept coming back. It was 2001, I was living in New York and loving the city, but my job was soul crushing and I wasn’t doing the work I wanted to be doing. And then 911 happened and to cope with the impact of this, my practice took on a life of it’s own. It was all I could do to get through like so many of us. Then, six months later, an opportunity to teach came up because I saw an opening and I thought ‘why not me?’ Before I knew it I was on a broadway stage teaching Kathleen Turner and the cast of ‘The Graduate’ with a cheat sheet under my yoga mat. (Sorry Kathleen).
Soon after, I did my 200 hour at Sonic Yoga in NYC. Over the years, I have been influenced and guided by many great teachers. Some well known, others are off the insta-grid and profoundly influential. From Schuyler Grant to Mark Whitwell to Shiva Rea to Pagan at Liberation LA to a multitude of peers. And yet, still mostly I learn from my students.
My personal yoga practice has mostly been Vinyasa with a few years of Mysore Ashtanga. Meditation is a part of my daily practice. I have practiced Vipassana (10 day silent retreat) as taught by S.K. Goenka, Vedic meditation with Thom Knoles, Mindful Meditation with Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. I’ve also been mentored in the Bhakti yoga tradition of chanting by my dear friend Tony Khalife since 2007.
Sound healing is increasingly a part of what I bring in as a teacher. Whether I use a harmonium and chanting or crystal alchemy bowls for ‘savasa-bath’. Sound vibration is another way to re-align the subtle body. And in an even more subtle way, I incorporate reiki as I teach and adjust students.
When it comes down to it, teaching is listening. Listening to the energy of the room, the physical capacities and reactivities of the students, and guiding the journey so we can transform to a sense of well-being. A return to our essential Self.
One of my passions is leading my Dream Big Yoga Retreats and bringing seva to parts of the world we are visiting on retreat. I’ve done these since 2007 in Ojai and have since expanded our retreats to Mexico, Italy and coming up soon — Bali. Part of my mission with teaching yoga retreats is to create events that will give back to various causes that are in need. This mission began in 2005 right after the tsunami hit Indonesia. I realized then that part of my purpose as a yoga teacher was to start my Peace for Relief efforts and to raise money and awareness through the healing power of yoga. Since then, I’ve raised money for various causes including Breast Cancer, Save Darfur, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Haiti, and Women for Women International. More recently, we practice seva where we have an interactive excursion to give back.
I also love traveling for Festivals and have had the honor of teaching at Wanderlust Squaw, Whistler, and Tremblant. Coming up soon, I’m thrilled to teach at the Wanderlust Festival in my home town of Atlanta!
Creatively, I have parodied the life of the overly spiritual yogi-type in a short film I wrote and starred in called ‘Clara’s Carma’ opposite Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, Silicon Valley). As well, I played the ruthless studio boss in the New York Times featured webseries ‘Namaste, Bitches,’ but I swear, it’s not like that. At least not in my class. Unless you’re on your phone. And then all bets are off.
Become a Sponsor
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and supporting Alex Dawson Yoga so that she can continue to give back in a bigger way, please contact her directly. Alex is grateful to have had such generous product sponsors for her past retreats including the Clean Program, This Bar Saves Lives, Vita Coco, Kind Snacks, Aquiesse Candles, Hail Merry, Bumble Bars, Skin Worldwide, and Guayaki Yerba Mate.