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Off The Mat Coaching

Have you ever wondered how what you are learning about yourself on the yoga mat translates into the rest of your life? Inspired by their own exploration of this question, Career and Life Coach Ariane Hunter and Vinyasa Teacher and Integrative Health Coach Allison Richard have created Off The Mat Coaching. YogaCity NYC's Lila Galindo talks with the dynamic duo to find out how it actually works.

Lila Galindo: How did you guys come together?

Allison Richard: Our collaboration started up over the summer - we are on a similar path and we share the same passions: working with women, and integrating yoga into ALL aspects of your life.

LG: What do you mean by “the art of purposeful living?”

AH: Shifting into the driver’s seat of your own life and seeing everything as an integral part of your journey.

AH: Off The Mat Coaching (OTMC) seeks to create a more experiential process that allows the individual to engage all the senses by using their mind, body, and heart to make profound changes in their lives. Our workshops are a fusion of movement through asana, discussion, journaling and meditation. So students get to fully absorb the topic of the workshops by putting it into practice.

AR: We want every individual who works with us to walk away with newfound insight on how to use their yoga practice as a tool for better living.

AH: We’re partnering with Reflections Center for Yoga & Conscious Living to offer their students personalized and group coaching that will focus on mindfulness practices, confidence building techniques, connecting with purpose & passion in life & work, empowered decision making and building health/wellness practices.

LG: What is group coaching about?

AH: Individual coaching allows for an intimate, personalized interaction with a coach where the person can really lock in on what is holding them back and focus on creating a solution that moves them in the right direction.

AR: Group coaching is a different dynamic and energy. By participating in exercises and enriching discussions there is a sense of community created. And that empowers the people we work with to see their own internal strength. It’s not so much about connecting with us, but about connecting with themselves and each other.

AH: In one of our recent workshops, one participant shared her challenges at work which included stresses related to coworker relationships and demanding clientele, and the frustrations of dealing with it, while the group held the space for her to express herself without judgment. During the short amount of time, we were able to identify possible solutions that could work for her situation such as drawing on breathing techniques when work gets too hectic or mindfully identifying sources of stress.

LG: Who is your ideal client?

AR: Someone who’s in a stuck place or feeling a sense of dissonance between who they are and who they want to be. They are beginning to see that how you approach your mat is parallel to the way you approach your life and would like to become more mindful, self-aware and present in how they make their day to day decisions.

LG: What’s important to know about the work? How has your own journey given you the tools to coach others?

AR: I was that typically bendy girl and I’d gotten to a point where I was in so much pain that I had to go deeper inside and learn that finding harmony wasn’t about working the tension. I had to become present to myself and see that what I needed was actually very different every day.

We’re all on a similar journey – in difficulty, we tend to isolate. I’ve witnessed how transformative it is when we’re free to speak about our struggles and get people involved in a conversation.

AH: We both know what it is to be at a crossroads in life. I found myself in a fancy corporate job working as ananalytics manager for one of the major marketing and advertising firms in NYC with a fancy degree. I’d “made it” but internally, all I felt was emptiness. Confronting that, that was ugly. While the work can be warm and fuzzy, there is a dark side. You have to be prepared for the unraveling that needs to happen in the process.

LG: So how do you hold space for the ugly?

AH: Honestly, you breathe into it. You don’t resist it and you don’t identify with it. A lot of the times, we create stories that we live by but when we start to discover that we can breathe into the discomfort, we can release it.

LG: What do you want your clients to take away from the coaching?

AR: That you can define your sense of purpose in your own terms by changing the dialogue you have with your own power. And that by taking a risk of showing your authenticity, whether that means changing careers, leaving your relationship or simply dressing in a new style, you inspire others to do the same.

To learn more about Off The Mat Coaching, go to their free phone information session on Wed. Dec 10th from 7:30-8:30pm. RSVP to

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