Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison Carpenter.
Allison, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The first time I ever went to a yoga class, the teacher called me out for getting up to get water and I was so embarrassed, I swore I’d never go back. Thankfully, a few years down the road, I decided to try again and practiced on and off for the next few years. Meanwhile, I was attempting to find a career that made me feel like I was making a positive impact in the world. I tried everything from wardrobe styling in Hollywood to construction equipment rentals in Euless. Finally, and in part to two very helpful friends (Hey Ashley! Hey JB!), I landed two part-time jobs at local businesses. One, a receptionist position at a booming barbershop, Fort Worth Barber Shop; the other, a cleaning position at a yoga studio, Indigo Yoga. Being a part of two successful small businesses made me feel like I was a part of something greater, helping to strengthen that scene in Fort Worth. Being in the yoga world made me fall right back in love with the practice but the idea of being a teacher seemed like a fantasy because I wasn’t good enough or skinny enough or… “<insert any negative self-talk here>.”
The practice of yoga and the community of my beloved studio gave me the confidence and I signed up for teacher training at Brooke Hamblet Teacher Training School. I still work both jobs and have been a certified 200hr yoga teacher for two years. With every class, I learn something new and grow more confident. I no longer believe the negative self-talk and I truly feel like I can genuinely improve someone’s day through yoga.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road to becoming a yoga teacher was a roller coaster. I used to see yoga teachers and think “yeah, that would be cool but I’m not on that level.” I lived in California for a few years after college and when I came back to Texas I struggled with depression because I just wasn’t sure where I fit in life. I felt like I was at the bottom of a hole and couldn’t see any light at the top. It took getting fired from a job that I hated for me to realize that I had so much untapped potential and I just needed to take action to find it. When I found yoga again and began to really understand that I was physically capable of more than I thought, I could finally start to mentally accept and respect myself. My advice to women who are struggling, or any gender for that matter, is to not give up. If it seems like there is no light and no path, try something new and keep an open mind. I believe everyone has a gift to share and you just have to keep trying different things until you find it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Yoga with Alli – what should we know?
I teach power vinyasa yoga and more specifically, I teach the Baptiste Journey Into Power sequence. I love this sequence for its empowering postures and emphasis on breath as the driving force. Each pose is set in place to both heal your body physically and prepare it for the next pose. Focusing on combining those movements with a strong, rhythmic breathing technique allows me to pinpoint my thoughts on my own self and take a break from the daily anxiety and chaos of modern life. In Baptiste, we teach to “find your edge”- find that place that makes you want to give up and then stay with it for one more breath and then maybe one more. I like to remind my students that they can use these same tools outside of the studio-don’t give up, breathe deeper and find that strength that you might not have known was there. I encourage my students to try something and if it still doesn’t feel right or even if they just don’t want to, at least they made it to their mat-and that is the hardest part of yoga. One of my favorite things about the physical practice is that anyone can do it. In my contrasting worlds between the barbershop and the yoga studio, I often see these big, tough men in two completely different environments. In one space, they are confidently vibing with their barber and in the other, they are sweaty and vulnerable, pushing themselves to a new level. I find it to be such an interesting way to experience a deeper side to people. I currently teach six classes a week at Indigo Yoga and the TCU Rec Center, as well as Martin House Brewing Company for beer yoga once a month.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
In the yoga industry, there is no shortage of powerful female leadership. After spending a full week at a barbershop where I am constantly bombarded with masculinity, often fragile and toxic forms of it, it is such a breath of fresh air to look to some of my female mentors in the studio and see such strength. I stand in awe of these women who balance work life and motherhood. I only take care of myself and a cat and I’m tired! In general, I think women are so underrated. Historically, we’ve been tasked with the “background work” while men do the heavy lifting but those seemingly menial tasks are the glue that holds the whole project together. As hard as times have been for women, in the past and in these recent years, I actually have so much hope for where we are headed. We are done being quiet and men are starting to listen; and if they don’t want to listen, well, damnit, we’re gonna make ‘em!
- Phone: 512-557-5441
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Texalli