By Yasir El Mahdi
Meet Kally. Our new friend in Canada. she’s one of our amazing friends who we got through social media. She joined us in September, 2022 for our 30 Day Sober Girls Yoga Challenge and quickly became a familiar face in our classes. She is doing her Sober Curious Yoga Teacher Training now with Alex. We adore and love her energy in our circles and classes. Get to know our latest friend as she answers our interview questions…
Hi Kally! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Kally?
Kally is a fun, caring, hilarious woman from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. I’ve always had a strong love for cats. I’ve been obsessed with healing myself for years and have never been able to stop focusing on what “the secret to enjoying life is”.
I’ve always been very anxious and a “yes woman”. I thought that if I just said yes to everyone and tried to keep everyone happy, my life would fall into place. I was incorrect. Yoga, the community, & learning about taking care of myself is helping me to build boundaries and understand what I can do for myself in order to show up in my life more for the things I want to enjoy & the people I love.
What inspired you to start practicing yoga?
I was told by many doctors, friends, family & authority figures that I should try yoga to reduce my anxiety. I’ve had very strong anxiety since childhood and I’m now realizing that this was likely due to an unregulated nervous system & CPTSD.
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
Yes. I used to do yoga at a studio in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and I loved the classes so much but I couldn’t afford to keep up with the community. I was also very intimidated by the experienced yogis & the commute was difficult to the studio in Winter.
I used to attend a yearly yoga retreat at “Shanti Retreat” on Wolfe Island in Kingston, Ontario, Canada with Nigel Walker. It was my yearly reset for 3 years and it closed at the start of Covid.
What’s your connection to the MLPC?
I follow Alex on Facebook for years before I finally hit rock bottom with my drinking. It wasn’t working anymore and I wasn’t enjoying it. My body was so sore. I was calling in sick to work once a week and I was counter acting my cannabis habit with alcohol to combat extra anxiety. I tried the 30 Day Challenge and was able to quit drinking for 30 days and I signed up for the 60/108 day challenge.
I attended a live on Facebook with Khaled & Alex and I experienced hypnotism for the first time. I had only ever seen it done in shows on a cruise ship in the past, so with social anxiety - I wrote that healing method off as a huge nope. This got me interested in trying the 30 Day Challenge because I think the hypnotism could help with my smoking addictions. I haven’t tried it since then but hope to schedule sessions with Khaled to continue my journey.
How did you end up being so committed to yoga?
I needed something to focus my time on other than drinking. I had tried yoga in the past due to suggestions from many people I met to ease my social & generalized anxiety. It didn’t really stick as a habit until I started practicing with the MLPC at HOME so I could be comfortable & learn the poses from the base up. I used to attend in-person classes once or twice a week but I was pushing myself too hard into the poses without realizing because I hadn’t taken the time to learn from the base of each pose.
Once I went back to the basics and tried Alex’s classes - I learned to practice a calmer/trauma informed type of yoga that doesn’t feel stressful to roll out of bed and do when I’m overwhelmed.
Did you face any challenges ?
I have been so tired & cranky for the entire month. I have an addiction to cannabis as well so I’m noticing more anxiety from smoking and lots of exhaustion. I’m hoping to curb this addiction next & remember that it’s better to be tired than SICK, PUKING, AND TIRED. I hear the crankiness subsides as time goes on.
What are the biggest benefits you’ve reaped from your yoga practice?
My body feels like it’s stronger but has a lighter energy. I’m experiencing less soreness at my job where I stand for 7 hours a day. It has given me a solution to what to do when my emotions are too overwhelming. In the past, I would reach for a drink. But after a month of re-wiring my brain to choose a 30 minute pre-recorded yoga class instead of wine - I think I can now see an option other than drinking to combat stress. I’m 31 years old and my only answer to cure my stress has been to drink until now.
"I tried the 30 day challenge and was able to quit drinking for 30 days and I signed up for the 60/108 day challenge."
What’s your favorite posture?
Pigeon. I love feeling the emotions release from my body.
What’s your most difficult posture?
Tree pose or any crossed legged standing pose. I’ve always felt like my thighs stop me from ever having the potential to fill twist my legs over each other or bringing my ankle higher than my knee. I love my thighs but I just get really frustrated when I feel like I will never be able to reach a full posture due to components out of my control like a body part being in the way. (this also happens when I’m trying to cross my arms in these poses & the girls will get all smooshed).
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Yin. Yin feels like way more of an accomplishment to me than a power yoga class (I started with only power yoga classes to get workouts back in 2011.)
As an anxiety ridden human I am very tense all of the time and my brain is going a mile a minute. If I make it through a whole yin yoga class, I always feel proud of my stillness because even if I stay still for one pose - it’s longer than I can stay still and focus in my regular life.
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
Community is the most important thing when you quit drinking. I’ve never had this before the Mindful Life Practice and I think it might be the necessary key component to healing. I had been lacking community which meant I wasn’t reaching out for additional resources when I needed them in the past on my sober attempts. This time I have a whole world of supports at my finger tips.