Yoga, One Day at a Time

Why do you want to become a yoga teacher?

yoga instructorThe key to happiness is inner peace.  The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as anger, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion and a sense of universal responsibility are the sources of peace and happiness. This is one of my favorite quotes by His Holiness Dalai Lama.
I am blessed to say that today; I know what inner peace feels like.  I began taking yoga classes in 2003 in search of peace but was too distracted by my own suffering to stick with it.  After many years of suffering from fear, anger, self-destructive behavior and an eating disorder that nearly left me dead, in March of 2006 I walked through the doors of a 12 step recovery group and asked for help.   Within weeks, I found a sponsor who lovingly took me through the Big Books Program of Action also referred to as the 12 Steps of Recovery.  It was a life changing experience; one that will take too many pages to recount for this essay.  In 2008, I returned to yoga and it was like a cosmic bang.  It has inspired me so much that I want to share my story with others by teaching yoga in a recovery setting.  I want to be able to help those in recovery make the connection that Yoga and the 12 steps compliment one another.   Most people in recovery who follow the program of action outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous are in essence practicing yoga.  For example, Raja Yoga (Science of Physical and Mental Control) the Eight Limbs’, Yamas (universal morality) and Niyamas (personal observances) can be compared to the Big Book’s program of action Step 10, which suggests a daily inventory of one’s behavior, thoughts and actions and when wrong to promptly take corrective action thereby cultivating honesty, truthfulness and the habit of being accountable of ones actions.    This is preceded by a vigorous moral inventory and “house cleaning” as directed in Steps 4 – 9 which suggests a thorough sex inventory and the clearing away of wreckage of the past by making amends where appropriate and becoming willing to have God remove their defects of character.  These principles are to be practiced in all affairs in the pursuit of a path of spiritual progress to bring the persons awareness of self to a deeper level.

Karma Yoga (path of selfless service) can be compared to Step 12 which suggests daily service work and acts of kindness.  This step brings awareness to how much we seek comfort for ourselves, and how we must begin to “get out of self” and help others freely, becoming part of our communities and providing service work where needed.  This step cultivates the sense of “universal responsibility” necessary to experience inner peace. Bhakti Yoga (path of devotion) can be compared to Step 3 which suggests making a decision of turning our life and our will over to the care of a God of our understanding, and Step 11 which suggests daily prayer and meditation.  These practices help to develop a relationship and dependency on a power greater than ourselves.  The idea is to develop God Consciousness at all times thereby attributing all aspects of life to God while minimizing our reliance on our egos.  It also leads the person to give up the idea that they are the “doer”.  Jnana Yoga (Yoga of Knowledge or Wisdom) can be compared to the Big Books suggestion to continue on a path of Spiritual Progress not perfection and their principle of “to thine own self be true”.  This entails choosing authenticity as a daily practice, being truthful with oneself in order to be truthful with others, setting boundaries, acting with compassion and working towards self-realization.  Satsanga (company of the wise) can be compared to the fellowship and meetings, where we come together to learn how to share our experience, strength and hope for the benefit of others.   The Guru (dispeller of darkness) is our sponsor, one who assists newcomers to recovery in understanding the program of action.  This instills the sense of compassion and responsibility for caring for the wellbeing of others, again working towards the sense of “universal responsibility”.  We are to practice these principles in all our affairs, in essence to live Yoga!

If we can make this connection for people in recovery programs, and encourage them to add Asana (practice of postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Savasana (proper relaxation), Proper Diet (vegetarian), Pratyahara (practice of removal of the senses), and Dharana (concentration), they will eventually reach Samadhi (super conscious state) and it will help them conquer their disease.

Yogic philosophy states that disease is due to Spiritual Ignorance and the program of recovery attributes disease to a Spiritual Malady. I believe the secret to calming a drunken monkey mind and harnessing the energy of restlessness, irritability and discontentment into constructive channels is by developing a continuous practice in the path of prayer, meditation and yoga.   It will bring calmness and tranquility to prepare the mind for absolute unqualified self-surrender to God.

Who your favorite yoga teacher is and how did they inspire you?

I went to a Yoga of Recovery certification course at the Sivananda Ashram in the Catskills, NY in July 2011 and met the instructor Durga Leela for the first time.   I was immediately inspired by her vision and desire to help those in recovery.  She saw a connection and a need and filled the gap by creating Yoga of Recovery (YoR).  I knew she was onto something quite special when I first read the flyer for the certificate course.  I remembered how I felt when I began taking Yoga classes three years ago and how it had helped to deepen my prayer and meditation practice.  Adding asana to my daily practice opened a doorway, a portal, and very much like Alice in Wonderland, it seemed as if I was in a strange place that seemed oddly familiar.  I had previous experience with yoga asana and pranayama, but wanted to go deeper and I’m glad I did.  Three years later all of this was galvanized when I found Durga’s information about Yoga and Recovery; a good example of the expression “the teacher will appear when the student is ready”!  After completing a 100 hour certification with Durga, I was ready to carry this message to those in need.  I will be taking my first teacher training at the Sivananda Vedanta Center in February 2012.

Why do you want to take a yoga teacher training with the school you have chosen?

I chose Sadhana Yoga Chi with Doug Swenson for many reasons.  Doug is a master yogi with over 40 years of experience, teaching Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Power and Restorative Yoga.  At a very young age Doug taught his 13 year old brother Dave yoga.  He opened the door for his younger brother who is now a world renowned Ashtanga teacher.   It would be an honor to learn yoga from someone with so much knowledge and passion and is a great example of what it means to live yoga.  Also, Doug offers a 500 hour TTC, has training available in May 2012 and is easily accessible in sunny California.

How do you plan to make an impact in the world as a yoga teacher?

In the recovery community word travels fast and is easily spread.  One of their motto’s is that recovery is a “we” program and at the core it is “Unity, Service, Recovery”.  Although anonymous, they really know one another and treat each other as long time friends even after just one meeting.  They extend a helping hand and are not afraid to welcome others with a big hug.  After completing my 100 hour YoR certification, I presented a Yoga of Recovery workshop to a group of 23 women in recovery and was successful at making the connection for them.  Several of them came prepared with yoga mats even though my flyer said it was a workshop on the link between Yoga, Ayurveda and the 12 Steps.  They saw Yoga in the title and were prepared to take that next step.  In order to drive home the message, it would be beneficial to offer them asana, meditation and pranayama during the workshops and as an RYT, I would be able to do just that.  I would offer these workshops to all communities and respectful of all recovery paths; whether at treatment centers, halfway houses, 12 step meeting halls, recovery retreats, etc.  It would provide them with one more tool for their “recovery toolbox”.  I can only hope that I can make an impact on the world as a yoga teacher.  I find comfort in knowing that I can make an impact on my community, and the world is just one more step away.

Namaste

2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay

By: Alicia Ortiz

If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), or sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter.

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

Join the Conversation

  1. Alicia Ortiz says:

    Great article – please pass it on!!

  2. Emery says:

    way to go alicia! :) i hope you win girl

  3. yo daughter says:

    EYE LYKE DEES WAN DE BESTEST

  4. Leslie Griesmer says:

    Wonderful article! I really enjoyed it, especially learning about the connections between 12 step programs and yoga teachings.

  5. Mary says:

    Alicia Ortiz deserves to win the yoga teacher training. Her life experiences, compassion, devotion, intelligence and strength will enable her to be one of the best yoga teachers in the world of recovery!

  6. Lynda Ferrara says:

    I also completed the “Yoga of Recovery” course this past July with Alicia. She is a special soul who eminates Light and Love whereever she goes! Her willingness to be of service to this world is and will continue to be a priceless gift.

    Lynda Ferrara, RYT

  7. Krystin Hicks says:

    Alicia is one of the most beautiful people I’ve met in my spiritual path in the Yoga world and in the recovery world. Her writing is as articulate, honest, and beautiful as she is in real life. Hope she gets it!

  8. Pam Straeter says:

    Ms. Ortiz has captured the essence of inner peace in her essay. What a perfect connection for recovery of the body, soul and mind by bringing yoga and the spirit together for complete healing.

  9. roberto ortiz says:

    I think this essay was an amazing piece of writing and inspiring to me. You would be great example to other people who would like to learn and teach yoga. Because you have come so far and you give people interest and momentum to learn yoga.

  10. Angela Cali says:

    I loved Alicia Ortiz’ article, and think that she will be able to more fully share her knowledge and vision of peace and inner happiness with the yoga teacher training. I hope you offer this to her.
    Best,
    Angela Cali

  11. Dan Beyfuss says:

    There is no one I can think of that is more qualified to assist in making people feel at peace with themselves in a non-judgmental and understanding way. Alicia accepts people for who (or what) they are, provided they aren’t malicious. And for the not-malicious, the good at heart, she is supportive, caring and kind.

  12. Sonia Decker says:

    Alicia has embodied and lives the deeper teachings and it is an absolute joy to be in her presence.

  13. Joan Junger says:

    It’s obvious that Alicia has learned by doing, which is the best way to become a fabulous teacher. The fact that she wants to give to others in a larger way demonstrates her commitment and desire to really change the world. In the time that I’ve known her, she clearly lives this truth and it’s a beautiful thing!

  14. Durga Leela says:

    A scholarship for Alicia’s yoga training will be such a high ROI for the whole community! So glad to hear Alicia is bringing Yoga of Recovery workshops to the local fellowship
    om shanti
    Durga

  15. Amanda Cali says:

    Alicia is already a spiritual leader for so many people and her yoga practice is just one example of her discipline and giving to the world. I hope she recieves this opportunity, so she can expand her knowledge and share with others.

  16. Karen says:

    I’m voting for Alicia Ortiz. I’ve worked with her for several years and loved her presence right away. I feel she should be a yoga teacher because she shows in all areas peace, love/caring for all and the knowledge to help others find inner peace through yoga. She would be a great asset to this practice of spiritual inner peace.

  17. Mayra Biczak says:

    Alicia always had peaceful and positive advice for me here at work. I think she would be a bonderful Yoga teacher!!!

  18. Susan Byelick says:

    I have known Alicia since March 2006. She is the epitome of “How It Works”. She is truly an inspiration and role model to me. Choosing her for your program would be a testimony to your commitment to bring this peace and serenity to others suffering as we have.

  19. Beth Ripperger says:

    Fantastic article Alicia! You deserve this award. You put 150% into everything that you
    do!

  20. Elizabeth Jawor says:

    Alicia devoted a lot of time to learn principals of Yoga. She is very dedicated to practice Yoga and teach others. This article reflects hers believes and passion for continues learning and sharing.

  21. martha hudakon november,29,2011,9:45,am says:

    Alicia Ortiz, deserve to win the Yoga teacher training, she is the best Yoga teacher in the world of recovery!.

  22. Barbara says:

    This is a great article and Alicia is a wonderful, loving, and caring person. She would make a wonderful yoga teacher and deserves to win. Good luck Alicia!!

  23. David Schenkel says:

    Alicia is a deeply loving and giving spirit. Supporting her in her contribution to others via yoga is my pleasure.

  24. Jennifer Smith says:

    Great Article Alicia….I hope you win!!!

  25. Esther Miller says:

    I thought Alicia’s essay was very informative. She seems as if she has the life experience and proper demeanor to be a very effective yoga teacher in a recovery setting. I think the concept could be life altering for many people. I hope Alicia gets the scholarship. It sounds from the essay as if she is deserved .

  26. Geri Cue says:

    Alicia.. you are an inspiration!!!! You never gave up and this is just another step toward your amazing journey…. Thank you for sharing your story.. I truly wish I had your strength… Win girl win!!!!
    Geri

  27. Sonia Rios says:

    Alicia is one of the most beautiful, and honest people I’ve met. She is a special soul who shares with others a special light and love whereever she goes. She is always willing to be of service to others which is a special gift. She deserves this great opportunity that will prepare her to continue to help others! I hope you consider her.

  28. Peter Visceglia says:

    Great piece. Go Alicia!

  29. Cindy Feldman says:

    Alicia, You are a beautiful person inside and out. Your essay came from your heart and was beautifully written. I know you will obtain your goals!

  30. Karli Smallwood says:

    Mahalo for writing this thoughtful, inspired, and inspiring article Alicia. How wonderful to share your knowledge and experience by “giving back” to those working to find themselves and live the truest expression of their humanity. I’m excited for you!

  31. Bernadette Radacovsky says:

    Alicia is a true inspiration … there’s not many people that make you feel the way you feel when you are in her presence. That’s a true gift. Thank you for all that you do, Alicia. I wish you all the best. Keep following your heart … it will get you to where you are destined to be … 😉

  32. Karen Okupniak says:

    What a beautiful expression of the inter-twinement of recovery and the practice of yoga!

  33. Indira says:

    As I see Alicia,,I see myself, As others see her they will see and remember themselves as they really,,she has been an inspiration to me sinse I have known her,,she is passionate in her own life style which she includes her work in with that too..Alicia,,loves what she does,,she also lives what she Loves,,that inspires me,,,I am proud of you Alicia,,you implement and display,,True Serenity…You are truly,,God’s channel…

  34. Elvin Abreu says:

    In the time that I had known Alicia she always demonstrates inner peace and happiness when she talks to other people. You are a great example to other people who would like to learn and teach yoga.

  35. John A. Diaz Jr. says:

    Although I have not met Alicia personally, I do know of her love in helping others. I love the concept of incorporating the 12 steps with yoga, it makes so much sence. I am sure Alicia will make a wonderful difference when she becomes a teacher. My vote is for Alicia.

  36. Michael Balamuth says:

    Superb article and an inspiring plan. Good luck!

  37. Stephanie Dexter says:

    Whenever I see Alicia, her inner peace is palpable. So is her passion for yoga and helping others. This is someone who has found her calling, to teach the connection between yoga and 12 step. She has such a desire to get this teaching out to people to help them gain the peace she has gained. Whenever I see her, I leave feeling that I want what she has – her sense of joy and inner peace.

  38. Anthony Spagnolo says:

    GOOD LUCK!! I Hope For The Best That YOU WIN!!

  39. Ciprian Escano says:

    Alicia is an excellent teacher and has all the qualities to lead and pass on their knowledge in a very enjoyable and fun.

  40. Sandra Ellington Cole says:

    Alicia… Wow! What a great article. This young Lady is full of wisdom beyond her years. I’ve known Alicia 14+ years and she has grown and truely become a peaceful being. When she puts her “mind” to something she is determined to see it through. She is and wants to operate in the gift that God has given her. Alicia would be the ideal person to recive the yoga teacher training scholarship.

  41. Yadelkis Arias says:

    Alicia is the teacher that motive you to do your yoga better, that is the inspiration that we need

  42. Mimi Fritz says:

    Yoga and recovery are well-paired. It’s great to see programs specific to both being developed. I’ll look forward to practicing with Alicia.

  43. Sheila A says:

    Alicia would be a fine recepient of the class that is being freely offered as she will spread the knowledge she has learned from the class to others. With her expertise for connecting people together in the yoga world others will benefit from the time she will put into the class. I truely want to thank her and show my gratitude for the help she has given spreading the “secret” regarding the amazing retreats of Yoga of Recovery with Durga. The articles that Durga has published in her magazine and the retreats Alicia has taken from Durga at Yoga of Recovery has attributed to many blessings for those with addictive behavoirs. Once again Thank you Alicia, you deserve this blessing!I hope you win the class!!

  44. Joanne Cali says:

    I think inspired people like Alicia can really help others, and to graduate her into a teaching position would be well worth it. The world needs all the help it can get.

  45. Lillian Hargrove says:

    Alicia you are wonderful. I have enjoyed your article, you are an inspiration not only to me but I’m sure to many others. Keep up the great job you are doing.

  46. Michael says:

    Nicely doen Alicia! Good luck!

  47. Lisa says:

    Wonderful article!! Very enlightening.

  48. Lisa says:

    Wonderful article, very enlightening.

  49. Jodi says:

    Of course you deserve it! Great job Alicia!

  50. linda delguercio says:

    wonderful article you are a great person you deserve to win

  51. Lisa says:

    Alicia has a wonderful, soothing presence that always helps me to feel more hopeful and more at peace.

  52. Kristin says:

    Alicia is a motivator and an inspiration. She got an entire office area hooked on yoga. She deserves this and I know will be able to inspire others.

  53. Kenneth De Ghetto says:

    Why Alica would be a good teacher: First, I was impressed by her including the Quates of His Holiness Dalai Lama. I can understand how this profound statment can influnance one to consider Yoga as a way to “inner Peace”.
    Second, Alica expericenes the 12 Steps as a way to recovery. She belives in them, therefore, can teach and lead other who are in need of helpas she was.

  54. D.Tyler says:

    As a long time friend of Alicia, 25 years, I can testify to the positive changes yoga has played in her life. Winning this will only allow for her to expand and share her passion with others.

  55. John A. Diaz Jr. says:

    I think Alicia would make a wonder change in the world.

  56. Carl Arriaga says:

    This course is the right fit for Alica and she is the right fit for the course. Knowing the enlightment she has given me and countless coworkers could only be complimented with the knowledge gained from completing this course. Unfortunately, Alicia is a one of a kind person, a gift to mankind, a soft caring soul that radiates hope to lost souls. The world would benefit from more like Alica for I know this well and have been so touched by her. I miss her and most of all – I respect and love her! How could you not!

    • Alicia Ortiz says:

      As I am reading all these comments, I am getting tearful by all your kind thoughts and words! I am humbled and truly greatful. Much love and blessings, Alicia

  57. jeffrey rivera says:

    you have so much dedication. the essay was great i think you will make a difference in people’s life.

  58. Diana Lynne Rhody says:

    Alicia has inspired me to make changes which have allowed me to save my life. She continues to motivate me to go forward in this journey and I am truly grateful to her for believing in me.

  59. hannah bertiger says:

    Really lovely article so inspiring!

  60. Petra says:

    What an inspiring article of your goal to combine Yoga and the 12 step Recovery Program. I know it will be beneficial to, not just to folks in recovery but to any one of us, since we are all addicted to bad habits and prejudices. Yoga is a wonderful all around program and I know you will be a great teacher . You are already a good example. Good Luck.

  61. cristina says:

    I hope you get the scholarship Big sis, you deserve it. I love you.

  62. Amanda S. says:

    You totally deserve this!!

  63. Jasmine Taylor says:

    I wish you the best of luck! I hope you win!!

  64. Faith S. says:

    This is an awesome write up.

  65. Cristina says:

    GOOD LUCK!!! I hope you win!

  66. Alex O says:

    Good luck!

  67. michelle says:

    win win win win

  68. Mary Williams says:

    Great article–Good luck

  69. Kate says:

    good article

  70. Joseph Alesso says:

    Alicia, this is an inspiring story!

  71. emma says:

    Good Luck!

  72. Augusto T. says:

    I really hope your dreams come true. You have the knowledge, the willpower and the skills to take anything on. I know you’ll do great if the opportunity opens up.

  73. anne lewis says:

    Alicia, what a wonderful article, both touching and inspirational!! Good luck we are rooting for you to win!!!

  74. L Rizk says:

    Alicia’s stimulating article clearly demonstrates a wonderful desire to take personal responsibility for her life. Well done! We should all follow some of these simple rules to live by. I would take a yoga class from her!

  75. MagicWoman says:

    This is so beautiful! You’ve inspired me to take a serious look at practicing yoga. Thank you and best wishes! Peace, love and happiness. xo

  76. Melissa says:

    good luck! this is inspiring :)

  77. James says:

    Fantastic article!

  78. Alexandra Rizk says:

    Your story is very touching, thank you for sharing your personal experiences. Your determination to help people with the recovery process is an invaluable asset. I liked your story about running the workshop for the 23 women. I think you would make a terrific yoga instructor! I see yoga as a great way to de-stress. Good luck, I really hope you win!!

  79. Tami says:

    Good luck Alicia!

  80. mayra molina says:

    g
    GOOD LUCK SWEETIE YOU WILL BE A WONDERFUL YOGA TEACHER GOD BLESS LOVE YOU

  81. Samantha says:

    Very beautifully put! I hope that you get to deepen your practice with the TT.

  82. Cindy Caruso says:

    Good Luck, Great article. i Love Yoga. I hope u win

  83. Ryan says:

    I just started my yoga journey, which my girlfriend introduced me to. I am so lucky to have had her show me something so meaningful. and I wish you the best of luck as you embark further down your path

  84. Peng Yang says:

    Good Luck!

  85. Jennifer says:

    You are such an inspiration!!!

  86. rorosabella says:

    your story was so inspiring! good luck and I hope you win :)

  87. George Santa Cruz says:

    We have not met, Alicia, but your words ring true dispute words’ two diimentional nature. Proponents of the Breath of Life need all our support, and you certainly have mine.
    I look forward to meeting you.
    All my best,
    George

  88. Love says:

    Great article!

  89. Sam says:

    Alicia, thank you for sharing your story and the positive impact yoga can make on an individual’s well being. What will set you apart as a teacher is your deep desire to share your knowledge and understanding with others, especially those that have embarked on a path of recovery. Best wishes to you and your mission and peace be with you ’till we meet again.

  90. Richard B says:

    I have always been amazed by Allicia, and she continues to teach and inspire wherever life takes her. .Good luck A.

  91. Gary Levinson says:

    I love the message of inner peace. Great article.

  92. Sophie says:

    You have already made my yoga practice, under your guidance, part of my recovery tool-kit. I hope that others may join us in this invaluable spiritual exercise.

  93. T O'Neil says:

    Lovely article! Best one, hands down!!

  94. Leiven says:

    What a wonderful intention for your teaching, Alicia!

  95. Jean says:

    Alicia, you are such an inspiration to me. You exhibit peace, love, spirituality, kindness and many other wonderful qualities. Your article is amazing – enjoy the journey and what God has in store for you! My vote is a yes, yes yes:)

  96. JULIANA BOCZON says:

    WHAT A WONDERFUL ARTCILE………i SURE HOPE YOU WIN!!

  97. dr. marshallcooper says:

    Alicia your story is very inspiring. I believe you will continue to grow spritualy and have a great positive influence on many people. I see in you the wonderful qualities of a good friend. I hope to see you on the islands.

  98. DLS says:

    Go get ’em Alicia! You are poised to win and you have a wonderful advocate in Brant.

  99. 49ers fan says:

    way to go alicia ..Love ur story..

  100. cristina says:

    Love ur story..Hope u win..

  101. Domonique says:

    Your a great person..Hope you win.. you deserve it..

  102. Staci Marchand says:

    I’m so happy you found your path in life! You are a beautiful inspiration to me and many others!

  103. Paul Lackey says:

    Alicia, you exhibit the qualities I want. You’d be the best teacher and I hope you make it. No matter the outcome, you have won.

  104. Emmy says:

    Great article! Best of luck Alicia!

  105. susan says:

    At the heart of yoga is compassion. Alicia understands this and it’s the basis for her teaching path. Thanks, Alicia.

  106. Linda Peterson says:

    Alicia is a wonderful woman who has taught others how to grow spiritually. I wish you well always.

  107. kat gibbons says:

    GREAT ARTICLE ……GOOD LUCK :)

  108. Samuel Weiner says:

    This is very inspiring!! Alcia deserves to win1

  109. Ian Lagowitz says:

    Awesome…bring it to the celebration!

  110. Louisa says:

    nice article Yoga is really cool :) i need more inner peace and i may give it a try 😀 anyway i hope you win!

  111. Giannina Ruiz says:

    Alicia you’re amazing ! I HOPE YOU WIN ! 😀

    Everyone should like this page!!

  112. Noren Honda says:

    Alicia, the article is well written and straight from the heart. This is a winning story no matter what place you come in.

  113. Len says:

    Great article Alicia! I believe you have found your calling …

  114. Jason Ndungu says:

    Terrific and Inspiring Article Alicia! The prize is yours

  115. Trisha Cruz says:

    Alicia is the bomb! Inpsirational!

  116. Linda Jorbel says:

    Your article might inspire me to start practicing yoga. With the right instructor, it sounds incredibly therapeutic!

  117. Manny says:

    The Best!!!!!! Namaste…

  118. Frankie D says:

    Exciting! Good luck Alicia. Sign me up!

  119. jeff moll says:

    Alicia,job well done

  120. Dustin Plank says:

    An Inspiring article written by an inspirational and gifted girl!
    Alicia is very special in my eyes and would be a great teacher of Yoga.
    Inner peace really is the key to happiness! – and Alicia would be a great messenger providing the information and sharing the knowledge she has learned through her own experience and through the teachings of others.
    I know nobody else who would be so passionate about becoming a teacher of Yoga.
    If anybody deserved a scholarship to become a Yoga instructor, it is Alicia Ortiz.
    My vote is for her.

  121. janet nicol says:

    n”t imagine anyone more qualified or deservin than you.best wishes

  122. Richard C. says:

    Great article.

  123. Cynthia says:

    Very well done, best of luck.

  124. Joe Weiss says:

    Best article for sure. Inner peace to all!

  125. Katherine says:

    Such a beautifully written and inspiring article!! I hope Alicia wins so that she can share her expertise with many people! They’ll be lucky to have her as their teacher, no doubt.

  126. Abby M. Geyer says:

    Great article – and totally agree with all the praise for the YOR course – it is indeed inspirational, to say the least.
    Well done Alicia on a great article – I certainly caste my vote for you to win and hope you do!!
    Om Shanti
    Abby M. Geyer

  127. Norma says:

    Good article – Hope you win!!!

  128. Jodi says:

    This article makes me want to take yoga!

  129. Sadie says:

    Very nice, Alicia!! Felicidades!!

  130. Regina says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, I am sure your spiritual journey will continue to inspire others and you will win!

  131. Kelly :) says:

    Go Alicia! I hope you win!

  132. Kyczy Hawk says:

    Alicia
    You have given a lot of thought to your path and it shows! I wish you the best on your journey and good luck with these efforts!

  133. TaRessa says:

    How inspiring! I love your vision–very beautiful and powerful!

  134. Jasmine says:

    Hope you win (:

  135. Kath Balamuth says:

    I vote for you! Good luck on your journey to share your knowledge and compassion.
    Namaste

  136. Grant McClellan says:

    Alicia wrote a great essay. She should win the scholarship for teacher training. This idea of teaching yoga as part of recovery is excellent. Alicia already seems to have a lot of personal knowledgeable about this and will make many contributions to her classes. She will be a great teacher imparting her joy and understanding on to others.

  137. kaki hinton says:

    I vote for you. Your journey is inspiring and powerful

  138. Jean Balamuth says:

    Your sojourn is just beginning now. We are with you. Best, Jean

  139. gina brenton says:

    you have always been/ are an inspiration for me- before yoga training you embodied these wonderful qualities. but with yoga and as a trainer, your personal growth and devotion to others is reaching new heights!
    YOU ARE THE YOGA TEACHER!

  140. gina b says:

    you have always been/ are an inspiration for me- before yoga training you embodied these wonderful qualities. but with yoga and as a trainer, your personal growth and devotion to others is reaching new heights!
    YOU ARE THE YOGA TEACHER!

  141. Amanda says:

    You would be the perfect yoga teacher!

  142. Maria says:

    Truly inspiring, you deserve to win

  143. Alexandra says:

    Great essay! I really enjoyed reading about your journey

  144. Samantha says:

    I’ve read all of the essays and I honestly think yours is the best. You would be the best yoga teacher :)

  145. Janelle says:

    Wonderful article– hope you win!!

  146. Karen Moorhead says:

    Great job Alicia. Good Luck and hope you win.

  147. Eric says:

    Good luck!

  148. Lynn says:

    Congratulations, you already won in my book!

  149. Alice says:

    Your perseverance and desire to help others is inspiring!

  150. Robbie says:

    Best of luck!

  151. Dan says:

    Good luck!

  152. Randy says:

    You inspire me to do yoga

  153. Wilma says:

    Good luck Alicia!

  154. David says:

    We Are cheering for you here at work!

  155. Priscilla says:

    Good luck!

  156. Penny says:

    I love the article, good luck

  157. Lindsey says:

    Great article, I vote for you

  158. Mark says:

    What a great article – I know you will win for sure!

  159. Annette says:

    Congrats, you already won in my book

  160. Victor says:

    Your story is very inspiring, I hope you.

  161. Carol says:

    You have always inspired me! Great article.

  162. Om says:

    Good luck, my vote is definetly for you!

  163. Bev Cotton says:

    This girl definitely deserve to win.

  164. St. Michaels says:

    We here at St. Michaels school support you! Good Luck!!!

  165. Mike Kelly says:

    We thank you for your support and support you as well – Good Luck!

  166. Jon says:

    Best of luck to a very inspirational person!

  167. Bob says:

    Wonderful article – hope you win

  168. Axel says:

    Hi Alicia, I know you will win, you are such an inspiration in our group. Good luck!

  169. John H says:

    Good luck, we support you all the way

  170. Gordon says:

    Hit a home run girl!

  171. Ed says:

    Great article, you should win.

  172. John C says:

    We support you here at Tuesday night group!

  173. Howard S says:

    We are behind you all the way!

  174. Brian K says:

    no matter the outcome, you are a WINNER! Love you

  175. Pat D says:

    Good luck

  176. BBC says:

    terrific articlle!!!

  177. Brant B says:

    I really wish you luck and success in your new journey!

  178. Zappabbc says:

    reach for the sky Alice!!

  179. Brant R. Cali says:

    What a wonderful concept……….please help spread the word!!

  180. BC says:

    What a wonderful ambitious goal!!!!

  181. jonna says:

    I’m convinced, without a doubt, that Alicia is so qualified to win this scholarship. She’s has done so much already, and this would allow her to continue assisting others’ in need. Alicia is ready!

  182. Bruce H says:

    Good luck, we know you will win!

  183. Todd A says:

    Your article was right on the money, I do both yoga and practice the 12 steps, thanks for making the connection.

  184. Darryl J says:

    Good Luck

  185. Darryl says:

    Way to go Alicea, I hope you win big

  186. Anthony says:

    You ARE a YOGA teacher! Great Article

  187. Jonathan B says:

    You really deserve to win this! I know how much you love yoga.

  188. Mark D says:

    First Things First supports you!

  189. Jason G says:

    Good luck and Godspeed

  190. Kenny H says:

    Good luck

  191. Ken says:

    What a great article, congratulations already!

  192. Todd says:

    I know you will win, First Things First is totally behind you and we are a huge group!!

  193. Joe K says:

    We support you in everything you do with respect to recovery and helping others – good luck!

  194. Henry L says:

    Your article said that the world of recovery is a tight knit group – amen to that! Good luck and easy does it!

  195. Kevin G says:

    It looks like I should take up yoga! Good luck

  196. John M says:

    You are a winner in our group!

  197. B. Cali says:

    We need more of your ideas in this world………..please keep it up!!!

  198. Carmen says:

    Good luck Alicia, your article should win!

  199. Sara says:

    Good luck, we love you!

  200. Danny R says:

    Great article, you are already a winner though!

  201. Pat D says:

    I just know you will win. I know how much you love what you do!!

  202. Marty L says:

    Good Luck!!!

  203. Andy H says:

    Your story is very inspiring. Good luck.

  204. David M says:

    Recovery, Service, UNITY – YOU WILL WIN THIS!!

  205. Federico D says:

    We are behind you all the way

  206. Dennis says:

    We support you and will root for you until you win!

  207. Ronnie M. says:

    Hi Alicia, You are such an inspiration in our womens group – we support you all the way!

  208. Lenore says:

    This is a WE program and We love you, We support you!

  209. Sandy says:

    Good Luck!

  210. Rick says:

    You have always inspired me with your actions – good luck!

  211. Robert A. Butler, Sr. says:

    Outstanding and spiritually inspiring.

  212. Debra Balcam-Davy says:

    Great article, Alicia! Wonderful job! Hope you win!

  213. Sur says:

    Good luck and God Bless

  214. Isabela says:

    I hope you win!

  215. Isabela says:

    I hope you win big!

  216. William says:

    Your article was great. Makes me want to do yoga!

  217. Bria says:

    Wishing you all the best!

  218. Berta says:

    I know how much you want this, good luck!

  219. Kimberly says:

    Good luck

  220. Grace says:

    Best of luck to a great person!

  221. George Johnson says:

    What a innovative idea to use Yoga and combine the 12 step approach to exercise. I think you will certainly win this award.

  222. Tom says:

    Good luck winning this contest!

  223. Tom says:

    Good luck

  224. Cheyenne says:

    I know you can do it so let’s keep these emails coming!

  225. Annie says:

    Really enjoyed your article, thanks for sharing! Good luck, I know you will win this!

  226. Leah says:

    Good luck!

  227. Beatriz says:

    You will win this hands down!

  228. Maggie says:

    Good luck!

  229. Maria says:

    Interesting article, good luck, sounds like you found your path.

  230. Karen says:

    You already won in by book – congrats!

  231. Destiny says:

    We support you all the way – good luck!

  232. Teresa says:

    Yoga is the best for inner peace and you teaching it is the way to get there!

  233. Tamara says:

    Good luck, great article.

  234. Tammy says:

    Good luck!

  235. Andria says:

    Good luck, I hope you win

  236. Diane says:

    You deserve this chance to teach something you love so much! Good luck.

  237. Sam says:

    You have our best wishes!

  238. Medina says:

    We know you will get this!

  239. Tmedina says:

    I love yoga too – good luck.

  240. Nadine says:

    We wish this for you as we know you love yoga so much!

  241. Alfred says:

    Best of luck – neat article

  242. Taylor says:

    Good luck, hope you get this.

  243. Michelle says:

    Good luck

  244. Madison says:

    Hey Alicia, don’t sweat it, I know you will win. We are all behind you and we are a big community!

  245. Glen says:

    Good luck!

  246. Hazel says:

    You will win this!

  247. Noreen says:

    You have always been there to support us and we will do the same. Good luck!

  248. Joe says:

    good luck

  249. Jeff says:

    wish you all the best

  250. Sidney says:

    Good luck, we know you will win.

  251. Raymond says:

    Good luck

  252. Hope says:

    You will be a great yoga teacher, good luck!

  253. Kim says:

    Best of luck to a great friend

  254. Ariel says:

    Good luck, great artilce, now I know more about 12 steps

  255. Diane says:

    Good luck, very inspiring story

  256. Diane says:

    Best of luck

  257. Deb says:

    You really inspire me and really ARE a great yoga teacher and friend.

  258. Jeff says:

    Best of luck

  259. Jas says:

    good luck my friend

  260. Heather says:

    I know you have wanted this for a while and talked about doing this so let’s do it! Win girl, WIN!

  261. Teri says:

    Best of luck to a great person

  262. Mary says:

    Good luck, loved the article

  263. jaclyn says:

    Your story is very touching and inspiring, glad there are people like you out there.

  264. Lauren says:

    Best of luck!

  265. Steve Shapiro says:

    As a co-worker many years ago, I am so pleased that Alicia has found a new place in her life. It takes great strength to gaze into “the looking glass” and decipher what is the delusion in it’s reflection, acknowledge it, and thus search the core of who she is and find her truth. Many of us never reach that enlightenment. I have no doubt she will impart her experience to those of us who need to commence our own search. Good luck.

  266. Mary Noessler says:

    Alicia is an inspiration to us all

  267. Alice says:

    good luck, i know your really want this

  268. Alicia says:

    Best of luck

  269. Pauline says:

    loved the article, good luck

  270. Jennifer says:

    Hi Alicia, good luck on your new path!

  271. Martha says:

    wishing you all the best and hoping you get your hearts desire

  272. Tracey says:

    Wishing you the best

  273. Heidi says:

    Good luck ;0)

  274. Saby says:

    good luck

  275. Dawn says:

    your article gave me something to think about, like taking yoga!! Good luck!

  276. Mary says:

    Good luck and God Bless

  277. Jackie says:

    only known you a short while but know you are a great person, good luck

  278. Brit says:

    good luck

  279. Liza says:

    Wishing you all the best in this contest

  280. Jennifer says:

    good luck

  281. Ken says:

    Good luck

  282. Sam says:

    liked the article, hope you win

  283. Blanca says:

    WHW supporting you all the way

  284. elizabeth says:

    WHW is here for you, let us know what to do next

  285. Gene Lotito says:

    Great insight Alicia, you have my vote.

  286. Jennifer says:

    WHW in d house, we get votes for you!

  287. Jodi says:

    We love you and support and Women Helping Women will come through for you!

  288. Linda says:

    Good luck

  289. Deb says:

    You are already a winner in my book, good luck!

  290. Carla says:

    We are with you all the way…………good luck

  291. Joanne says:

    Good luck, you will win this fer sure!

  292. Maria says:

    really enjoyed the article, good luck

  293. Sam says:

    we support you 100%

  294. Karen says:

    good luck

  295. Skye says:

    go get em Alicia, you got this

  296. Brian says:

    Your story was very touching, Unity!!

  297. Tim says:

    Good luck and many blessings

  298. Adrian Sawford says:

    Good stuff Alicia.Trust God,clean house,and help others.
    Adrian

  299. Tracey says:

    Best of luck

  300. Rachel says:

    we support you, good luck

  301. Nina says:

    Good luck.

  302. Colleen says:

    loved the article, certainly got my vote!

  303. Rich says:

    Good luck, Brant too!

  304. Susan says:

    Very inspiring, good luck

  305. Jo says:

    Good luck and best wishers……..Jo

  306. Ellen says:

    Good luck

  307. Megan says:

    Yoga of Recovery rocks!

  308. Meredith says:

    You really deserve this scholarship. I know you will win!

  309. Pam says:

    Alicia, I know you from the meeting and you are very inspiring – you will win.

  310. Jeanne says:

    WHW supports you!

  311. debbie baj says:

    Alicia, great article. You have inspired me. Hope you win. Let me know when you begin teaching. I could use an inner peace make over.
    Great job! Good Luck!

  312. Kat says:

    Alicia is a wonderful yoga instructor who possesses this calming aura. Her peaceful attitude and positive outlook on like will propel her in her quest to help others discover inner peace. This essay is wonderful!

  313. Stacy says:

    Great Article!

  314. Anesa says:

    We know you will win and be great at what you do!

  315. Herb says:

    wonderful article!

  316. Deb says:

    We support you and love you, good luck.

  317. Mike says:

    Good luck on your new endeavor!

  318. Kim says:

    You really deserve this and you will win!

  319. Daniel says:

    Good luck!

  320. Lisa says:

    I know how important this is to you and am praying that you get it.

  321. Mark says:

    You will be our next yoga teacher! Good luck!

  322. Lourdes says:

    loved the article

  323. Jos says:

    YOU WILL WIN THIS SCHOLARSHIP!

  324. Rebecca says:

    You have always been so kind to me, I hope you win!

  325. Kelly says:

    Good luck ;0)

  326. Jackie says:

    inspiring article, hope you win

  327. Jackie says:

    Good luck

  328. Lisa says:

    WHW supports you big time, good luck

  329. Kelly says:

    Alicia is a great person, helps others and totally deserves to win this.

  330. Maureen says:

    We at WHW have your back – good luck girl!

  331. Valerie says:

    Your article makes alot of sense – good luck!

  332. Cindy says:

    We love and support you. This scholarship should go to Alicia, very loving compassionate person.

  333. Cindy says:

    We love and support you and this scholarship should go to you!

  334. Emily says:

    Good luck!

  335. Cindy says:

    Alicia is very compassionate and deserving of this scholarship!

  336. Donna says:

    You have helped us so much, we hope you win!

  337. Paul says:

    Best of luck to you!

  338. David says:

    We wish you the best of luck

  339. donna says:

    we loved the article, good luck

  340. Eileen says:

    We are rooting for you all the way!

  341. Alicia says:

    you have such a compassionate heart, i know you will win

  342. Claudia says:

    I really liked your article! Good Luck.

  343. Susan says:

    Yoga of recovery is a wonderful idea. Good luck

  344. Imelda says:

    Good luck!

  345. Pat says:

    We wish for you the best, we know how much yoga you do.

  346. Angela says:

    We loved your article and we wish you lots of luck!

  347. Lynette says:

    Good luck!

  348. Hassan says:

    Good luck

  349. Katie says:

    Alicia should win this contest. Good luck!

  350. Cindy says:

    Please give Alicia this scholarship. She loves to do yoga and always helps others to do yoga.

  351. Jennifer says:

    Wishing you all the best. Interesting article.

  352. Doris says:

    Good luck

  353. Michele says:

    Good luck

  354. Maureen says:

    Pls give this scholarship to Alicia – she is awesome!

  355. Mercedes says:

    Alicia deserves this scholarship. She will do alot of good with it!

  356. Gabriel says:

    We wish you the best of luck!

  357. Janice says:

    Good luck

  358. renee says:

    We know you will win the scholarship

  359. Migna says:

    Good luck

  360. Debbie says:

    We hope you win the scholarship

  361. Robyn says:

    We wish you the best of luck

  362. Shaz says:

    Good luck

  363. Kelly says:

    Good luck Alicia!

  364. Peter says:

    the article was very interesting

  365. Wilfred says:

    Good luck

  366. Eric says:

    Best ofluck

  367. Nancy says:

    Your article was superb, Good luck!

  368. Anna says:

    Yoga and the 12 steps, who’d a thought! Great idea, hope you win.

  369. Rachel says:

    Alicia deserves to win on many levels. She loves yoga and her article was great!

  370. Nadene says:

    Good luck

  371. Marie says:

    great article, wishing you win

  372. Jim says:

    lots of luck

  373. Alexus says:

    the article was great, neat thing about recovery, everyone knows one another, good luck, pretty sure you will win

  374. Joseph says:

    Recovery, Unity, Service , great article

  375. Laura says:

    Good luck!

  376. Karen says:

    We support you all the way………we post at all meetings tonight!

  377. Tom says:

    Good luck!

  378. Lisa says:

    loved the article, good luck

  379. saul eisenberg says:

    alicia ortiz shiningly comes through as a caring and special person. she clearly will be an exceptional asset as a yoga teacher and deserves to win.

  380. Charlene Blacer says:

    Good Luck!

  381. Debra says:

    You are an inspiration to us all!

  382. Victor Rosa says:

    Hi Alicia, like the article. It’s amazing how the universe can become one with an ever loving God. I’m impressed with your journey. Love you always. Victor

  383. daisy says:

    very nice an inspiring hope the best for you n best of luck u deserve it ur a great person…

  384. nancy says:

    wish you the best alicea u deserve it i wish for you to win good luck

  385. Jewia Leckey says:

    Hey Alicia, your brilliant light shines through your works
    like always;great atricle from a areat Yoga Teacher in the
    making.Love Jewia

  386. Jorge says:

    Entiendes que atentar escapar el sufrimiento legitmo es la causa principal de enfermedades mentales y del Espiritu.
    Bien hecho, Alicia.

  387. Valerie says:

    Alicia, once again you honor me with the warmth and shine of your beautiful soul. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving.
    Love ya, Val

  388. Chuck says:

    Good Luck!

  389. Denise Kerins says:

    Alicia was the propeller for me to involve myself with yoga.She was helpful to me in my recovery in a way that she made me feel worthy and important. She gave me her hand in friendship. I was very terrified and she noted how much anxiety I had inside. She invited me to a yoga class which for me hurt very much.Since I am older, I decided to keep trying this thing.I found it relaxed me and made me more comfortable with myself and others. I really began to discover I was a nice person and worthy for people to love me. So Alicia introduced me to this and then the place closed, so I persued another yoga studio and it has now been a year and 6 months and am loving every minute of it. I can really relate that the yoga is synonymous with our recovery. The practices and principles relate to a journey where we work on ourselves and I rely greately on its serenity and peace it brings with the sense of well being in self. It has also made me ralize the role I take in the community whether large or small and how I relate in it. All this understanding all started with this one person just reaching out her hand in order to help me in recovery. My life is a testiment to what people like Alicia can do for others and how important the gift of reaching out is. She is a very kind and loving person and would make a great teacher. She has a kind of patience and peacefulness to her along with the brightest smile I have ever seen.

  390. karen says:

    Good Luck!

  391. Kathy says:

    Well done, Alicia. Good luck!

  392. Jackie Ryan says:

    Alicia is the one that inspired me to take yoga classes. Just her way of life and the peace that I see in her was a plus for me. I think that she would most definitely be an awesome yoga trainer. She is a definite loving, caring beautiful woman.

  393. Chris Brown says:

    Good luck !

  394. Kathy M says:

    A great message and a beautiful spirit!

  395. Dennis O'Connor says:

    The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and hie recreation, his love and his religion.
    He hardly knows which is which.
    He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
    To him he is always doing both.

    Zen Buddhist text

  396. debbie says:

    hope u get what u desire your good at health and healing god bless u i hope u win

  397. thomas bell says:

    IN RE-SPONCE TO YOUR BEAUTIFUL SYNOPSIS OF THE COMBINED POSTIVE SPIRTUAL ENERGY FORCES OF AA & MEDATATIVE YOGA, I HAVE ONLY THIS REPLY:DITTO…..!!!

  398. Rose Stanislawczyk says:

    Great article!!! Wish you the best

  399. G says:

    Alicia’s article is great. Best of luck.

  400. milena says:

    I love your article ,you are the best person to win.

  401. andrea says:

    wow-great mission! this diverse audience could really benefit from yoga. wishing the best of luck!

  402. Matthew Nienart says:

    Alicia, your essay and mission are truely inspirational! I can’t think of anyone more deserving to win and make a positive impact in our world then you. Godd luck!!

  403. Jean Miller says:

    Alicia’s serenity is a testiment to her being ready to embark on a career in teaching yoga. She will pass on her demeanor to all of her students.

  404. Robb says:

    good luck!

  405. Michele S. says:

    I felt a calmness that I never felt before during my yoga class with Alicia. Her voice was sweet and soft, and I had no problem using the correct arm and/or leg. She went around at times to make sure you were on or in the correct position. NAMASTE.

  406. Hazel says:

    NICE ARTICLE :)

  407. Monica Jordan says:

    You deserve it :)

  408. Sally McGeehan says:

    Alicia is a beautiful soul and certainly is an inspiration and support to all. God bless you Alicia (I know He does).

  409. MC says:

    Great article Alicia. Good luck!

  410. Saundra Dunne says:

    Best of luck, Alicia. This sounds like a wonderful thing for you to do.

  411. Carol says:

    What a beautiful read, thanks, Alicia. Best of luck, you deserve to win!!

  412. cathy geier says:

    healthy and positive and well thought out.. good luck

  413. Taylor says:

    Good luck hope you win!!

  414. George Yorke says:

    Alicia has brought out the wonderful point that Yoga and the 12 Step Program have a great many corrsponding points. Great essay!

  415. Gladys says:

    A very inspiring article. Lots of Luck.

  416. Michael Harriss says:

    Alice i loved your article it inspired me to join your
    class when you win , you are a wonderful person and will
    be an excellent teacher cannot wait to get into your class
    BRAVO ” CLAP CLAP CLAP WELL DESERVED KEEP IT GOING ONE DAY
    AT A TIME. I just loved the article so much i had to print
    and posted it at my job–thanks Alice.

    Michael G Harriss

  417. Denise says:

    Good Luck.

  418. Charles J Stecker Jr says:

    I’m a friend of your Sister Maria’s. The Healing Powers of Yoga are tremendous to Mind, Body and Soul. After reading your Essay I can see NO Reason why you shouldn’t be the Winner. Blessings to You.

  419. Michelle Temple Sandomenico says:

    I’m happy to see you on such a rich and rewarding path. Always hope for nothing but good things for you. Hope you win!

  420. Jodee says:

    Alicia inspired me and rather telepathically reminded me to get back into yoga for myself! Her class is so soothing, relaxing, calming. Such a great instructor!

  421. M.K.Soboleski says:

    When one honors the truth..they are a winner..you go girl

  422. Clayton Templar says:

    Very Good Alicia ! Revelational !

  423. cc says:

    hope you win!!

  424. Joanie says:

    Everything you do is wonderful, this included! Hope you win!

  425. Nora says:

    Great article, I can see you truly want this!! Good luck!

  426. Sunnymay says:

    Enlightening article about yoga training including Alicia Ortiz’s how to do it. In this age of stress and hurry, yoga is becoming more relevant along with alternative therapies, Native American Indian and Eastern practices. Exercise practice and mindfulness will take you on a journey where you’ll want to keep on board and on track using intention to propel forward and look ahead.

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