Name: Hannah Allerdice
Hometown: Lawerenceville, Georgia
Now Lives In: Trinidad, DC
Year of first yoga class: 2000
Yoga Training: 200 & 500 Hour Dharma Life of a Yogi Teacher Training (NYC)
Education: University of Georgia, B.A.Political Science, Graduate Work, Political Science
Favorite spot in DC: The National Aboretum Herb Garden
1. What drew you to yoga? I was always searching for ways to settle my mind and experience something deeper. I knew there was more to life than making a lot of money or finding the perfect partner.
Yoga started because I was going to be fit in college, I wanted to look nice for other people and feel good in the body. Then I got into meditation after college and I really started to become fascinated with people like Ghandi and Mother Teresa. Both of them, would not typicall be thought of as yogies, but they utilized yoga techniques in one form or another to help them do good in the world.
With my academic work in political science I sought to affect change in world through conflict resolution. The more I got into yoga the more I realized that these are the tools everyone should have.
2. How did you decide to become a yoga teacher? Some folks will do teacher training soon after beginning to practice yoga – it took me nine years, training really extensivesly. I trained in the dharma tradition for two and a half years. I wanted to train with Dharma Mittra as my guru. What held me back at first was the money. Then, I got a call to teach a conflict resolution class. I would be paid the exact amount of money Dharma teacher training would cost. I knew this was the right thing then.
3. What was teacher training like? I did the 200-hour and 500-hour courses with Dharma Mittra in New York City. These two experiences were some of the most transformative experiences of my life. Dharma’s theme is “The Life of a Yogi.” He teaches is how to be a yogi in the modern world and how to take classical yoga teachings and apply them to out present problems.
4. What is Dharma yoga? It’s classical yoga that Dharma learned from his guru. In every class there are asanas that move energy throughout body, an extended relaxation, breathing into concentration. All of the eight limbs of yoga are representated in the class. The teachers try to be quiet, calm, and balanced so that students themselves can find that stillness in themselves.
5. Why do you feel drawn to Dharma? The emphasis on self realization. We become in union with a higher self by settling the mind. When I went to my first Dharma class, there were all these neat poses I’d never seen before. I left feeling so calm and I thought – this is it! I found it!
6. What are your thoughts on the new H st. studio? what it offers to the community?
It couldn’t be in a better place because this community is just right for more opportunities to find healthy ways of living. I live in Trinidad, seven blocks from studio and my neighbors know I’m a yoga teacher. They’ve all been asking where and when are the classes. I sense there’s a real yearning for these practices in this neighborhood. The H Street Studio is a space where people from all walks of life can join together in community, we’re all in these bodies that have the same issues. Yoga philosophy is that we’re all the same. The studio will be the perfect place for people to come together and see our similarities.