An old soul with a young spirit, Alex believes in living life in the moment, guided by intuition, and rooted in compassion.Years of ballet and jazz dance helped Alex appreciate the self-expression and discipline of movement. While she began to notice how many athletes, and especially dancers, were injured, even immobilized, she accepted pain as a natural component of sport. However, in her teens, complications from a peripheral neuropathy made an aggressive approach to movement unsuccessful for Alex. Heartbroken, she gave up on ballet and spent years searching for a new form of expression. Then, one day, the stars aligned when she wandered into a hot vinyasa yoga class to prove to a friend that yoga wasn't for her. To her surprise, she was blown away not only by how hard she worked, but by how centered and clear she felt after. The heat eased the tension on her nerves, and the fluid movement brought back the expression that dance had once offered. In time, her mat became the one place she felt herself, and it became clear that yoga could be healing on so many levels. Yoga helped her overcome the fear of falling and let go of the need to be perfect. As a teacher, she loves helping others overcome their own fears and weaknesses. She began teaching a hot vinyasa flow class at Malibu Hot Yoga in 2011 and did her 200HR Power Yoga certification under Bianca Fearon at Hot 8 Yoga in 2013.
"For me, yoga is about more than standing on your hands or bending you head back to your toes. It is about connecting mind and body, and that's unique to each individual. We all come to the mat with different energies and challenges, and by honoring where we are each day, we grow stronger. We break through barriers we don't even know we have." She respects that no two bodies are the same. She encourages ahimsa (compassion) and mindfulness- listening to your body and modifying postures. But don't think that means you won't leave her class sweaty and smiling. "Ten years ago, I would've laughed at yoga. Five years ago, I would've said I couldn't do it. Now I wholeheartedly believe that anyone who says they can't do yoga just hasn't found the right practice or teacher for them."
Inspired by her trainer, Colleen, Ava went on to receive her personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Shortly after, at the age of 20, she completed her RYT 200-hour yoga teacher training with David Vendetti and Todd Skoglund of South Boston Yoga in 2014. Her training certified her through Yoga Alliance in vinyasa, restorative, and prenatal yoga. Ava is passionate about helping others find their own physical, mental, and emotional strength through physical movement. Yoga and personal training are her methods of doing so, with her background and current career in dance as an advantage. Ava is always eager to learn more from those around her, including her clients and students. She understands that each student and client has a different body, with a different structure, which affects not only movement and range of motion, but also the movement pathways the body takes. Ava’s philosophy for her teaching and training is to recognize and tap into your own individual needs as a student to be able to find a balance of push and pull, challenge and ease, and growth and grounding.
Ava moved to Los Angeles in March 2016 to pursue her passions of dance, yoga and fitness. When she found Hot 8 Yoga and her incredible mentors Jonatan Silva and Briana DeFalco, she knew she knew she found the perfect environment to blend her worlds and reach others at the same time. Ava is thrilled and humbled to be working with and along side such inspiring teachers and students, and is excited to share her passion in the studio!
My yoga journey began at 18 when a friend suggested I try a class at the local gym. It happened to be an Ashtanga primary series and from that day forward I was hooked! However, it wasn’t until my last year of college, when my clowning and movement studies professor asked if I would assist his summer yoga intensive, that I started to consider teaching.
My initial 200 hour yoga training was in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia in multi-style vinyasa, viniyoga, and incorporated thai massage. I began my yoga career in Chicago, Illinois where, in my first two years, I was lucky enough to help open five different boutique yoga spaces. Primarily a power vinyasa and restorative-yin yoga teacher, my life changed completely when I was contacted by a high profile triathlon coach to work with her disabled athletes. I was introduced to the true therapeutic benefits of yoga for recovery, pain management, and trauma. I work with students who have, and have had, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, visual impairments, spinal chord injury, chronic pain, and/or nerve damage. Last year I partnered with the Accessible Yoga Movement in Santa Barbara to become one of the organization’s first Accessible Yoga Ambassadors.
I approach life with an open heart and zero expectations; as I believe you should approach every yoga class. I am overjoyed to share my practice with you. Come play!