Ashtanga 101: Welcome to Ashtanga

Ashtanga 101: Welcome to Ashtanga

Here’s the truth: Starting an Ashtanga practice is hard. Yoga is often misrepresented as being all happy feelings and pretty asanas, or my personal favorite “relaxing.”  But the fact is that getting serious about your practice is a challenging endeavor. The thing is, though, that that’s the case with starting anything new. It makes us feel awkward and frustrated and challenged. Starting something new is a struggle.

Stand as tall on the inside as you are on the outside…

Stand as tall on the inside as you are on the outside…

This noble piece of advice or I call it my “mantra” was spiritually gifted
to me by my grandfather on my father’s side. Although he himself was
short in stature his wisdom rose high as did his progressive aims in
business and creating community. Standing at 5’8, I inherited my height
from my maternal grandmother who taught me to be diligent, hard
working and to always be kind. It was only until I found my true path
did these treasured bits of guidance begin to take shape and I was able
to recognize the strength, resilience, awareness and growth I was

Instructor Spotlight: Alicia Moyer

Alicia Moyer

Alicia Moyer has been teaching yoga at Flow since 2015Join Alicia on the mat on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1230 for a creative vinyasa flow! 

Get to know Alicia! 

How did you come to your yoga practice?  

I started yoga in 1998 in Austin, TX at a local community center. The class cost $7 and the teacher had taught himself the poses from Iyengar's Light on Yoga. He was incredible and I will be forever indebted to him for opening the door to this path for my life. At the time I was very stiff from running and riding my bike a lot and I try to remember the feeling of not being able to touch the floor in a forward bend when I work with newer students. The world opened up for me when I discovered vinyasa flow after years of hatha and Bikram and now I find creative flow sequencing to be one of the most nourishing ways to awaken and liberate the body and mind. 

What are your favorite asanas? 

Two of my favorite poses have always been Utthita Parsvakonasana and Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. They were poses I could do from the start but I find them endlessly refinable and love all of the variations you can play with when teaching a group class.

What is your favorite music to listen to while you practice?

Lately at home I have just been practicing to a recording of Nina Rao chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. It's really lovely and repetitive and therefore quite meditative. In my group classes I play music mainly to keep myself on track with the time since we usually only have 60 or 75 minutes together! There was a time when I used to spend hours creating playlists but now I kind of like the music to be more in the background just keeping a little beat to keep the energy lifted or to signal that it's time to ground down. 

Anything else you'd like to share with the Flow community? 

I am so honored and grateful to be a part of the 300-hour Advanced Teacher Training at Flow beginning this fall. Working with teachers is one of my greatest joys and I am so excited about the unique program we have put together for the participants. Flow has some of the most dedicated yoga practitioners in the city and I am humbled to pass down the teachings to such amazing students. 

Learn more about Flow's 300 Hour Teacher Training here.  

Instructor Highlight: Lisa Marie Thalhammer

Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways. The practice has given me the skills to heal my concussion, beat depression and let go of unhealthy relationships. Currently, I feel more expressive with my movements and more comfortable in my body than ever before. I’m now capable of objectively observing negative thoughts and processing them using the tools of meditation, mindfulness and asana. I feel my spirit uplifted through the practice of yoga and when I’m on my mat I use that time to give gratitude. 

As a visual artist who is most known for painting rainbow color networks and portraits of empowered humans, recently I received a 2017 D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship. My drawings can be seen at Flow’s neighboring art gallery, Transformer, located at 1404 P Street. Additionally, my murals can be seen in multiple locations around the district including Local 16 roof bar and 926 N St rear NW (Blagden Alley). You can check out my art online at lisamariestudio.com

As an artist, I like to bring creativity and interesting uplifting music to my yoga classes. We touch upon the fundamentals of meditation and yoga theory, in addition to moving through a well rounded physical asana practice. In my classes you’ll always have a moment to set an intention for your practice and give thanks for the day while also moving through a dynamic physical practice. 

Lisa Marie Thalhammer at the 2017 Capital Pride Parade standing in Star Pose in front of her LOVE artwork on a vintage VW truck.