Allison and Katie co-founded Be The Change Yoga with the intention of making yoga accessible, creating community and integrating the wide array of tools yoga has to offer to assist our students in creating positive change in all aspects of life. Since then, we’ve grown to become Orange County’s center for higher education and launched OC’s first Yoga Therapist Training Program in 2016! We have developed and implemented yoga therapy research studies with Argosy University and UCI Medical School.
We also provide weekly yoga therapy programs for the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living in both English and Spanish for underserved residents. In leading the way for the future of yoga therapy, we are also building relationships with UCI’s Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine and have launched yoga therapy initiatives in various FQHC’s such as Serve The People Community Health Center, Korean Community Services and Families Together Clinic.
Adapting the Practice to the Individual
At Be the Change we believe that Yoga is so much more than just a physical practice. We offer a variety of classes in non-heated studios to meet the needs of practitioners of all levels from Therapeutic and Beginners to Flow and Advanced practices.
Our highly trained teachers always offer modifications and posture variations, so students can customize each and every practice. We teach a mindful breath-centered flow practice that blends Vinyasa flow and therapeutic Viniyoga (moving in and out of postures before holding). We place a strong emphasis on safe and creative sequencing and taking time to prepare the body for deeper, more advanced postures. We highly value the spiritual and philosophical aspects of Yoga and incorporate deeper meaning and intention into every practice.
We take a lot of pride in being an Intellectual Yoga Studio. Many of our teachers have Master’s degrees, most are Yoga Therapists and all are highly specialized in certain areas. Our goal in the next five years is for all of our teachers to become Yoga Therapists. In all of our group classes, we ask our students about injuries and skillfully adapt our teachings to ensure every students safety. The pacing of our classes is slower than other studios to emphasize the breath, even in more advanced classes, where moving slowly can be a more challenging practice. In addition, we take time every single class to share teachings that provoke our students intellectual curiosity. We believe it’s important to get the wheels turning, to question how we are living, so we can cultivate the courage to find more fulfilling and healthier ways to live.
We are proud to offer the highest level of education in Orange County and are home to OC’s first 850-hour Yoga Therapist Training program; which is a 3.3-year program. The emphasis on educating and empowering our students through the teachings of Yoga is prevalent in all three levels of our Teacher Training Programs. Our teachers not only learn to teach Yoga safely to groups and individual students but also gain a very highly developed understanding of Yoga philosophy and how to integrate these teachings into daily life.
Yoga is not a Religion – the aim of Yoga is to create a calm, joyful, stable mind that perceives reality clearly and makes good choices. The Yoga Sutras say that God is an optional tool on the Yogic path. If you have a religious or spiritual practice, you can insert it into your Yoga practice and it will strengthen that relationship. Whatever you meditate on, you will absorb those qualities; so if you meditate on Christ, you will become more Christ-like, if you meditate on compassion, you will become more compassionate etc.
What’s important to us is that we provide our students with tools to look within, to move past the busyness of the monkey mind and experience a place of inner peace, where the mind is calm and we become more present and loving. When we are able to access this state of consciousness called Yoga, we can see the bigger picture in life and are able to tap into our intuition. To develop a spiritual practice is to be able to connect to our inner wisdom to guide us along this path of life and make choices that lead to improved health and better relationships.
In our group classes, we weave in the more subtle aspects of Yoga such as breath work, meditation, guided visualizations and mantras, as well as uplifting teachings of positive psychology and yogic philosophy to refine the mind and increase joy. One of the aims of Yoga is to remove the blockages in the body and the mind, so we become lighter, healthier, more loving, more patient and compassionate versions of ourselves. The work that we do on the mat, sets the tone for how we interact with the world for the rest of our day – thus asana, pranayama and meditation are a means of living a joyful, purposeful life filled with uplifting relationships.