This summer, Spiral Path Yoga Center is delighted to award the third annual scholarship for our yoga teacher training program, “The Yoga of Mindfulness and Accessibility.”

We created the Yoga Service Scholarship in memory of our friend John Valdez, who was an advocate for making yoga relevant and accessible to a wider portion of the community.

This year, we received some truly excellent applications. It was inspiring to read about the ways that these yogis dream of serving others, and we were honored to learn of their interest in our training program. The interview process identified several incredibly worthy candidates for the award, so the decision was extremely difficult. However, the scholarship will be going to someone who has a strong personal connection with a special population that could benefit from mindful yoga practices.

Congratulations to the recipient of the Yoga Service Scholarship: Alison MacCarley!

Alison began her yoga journey as a teenager when she volunteered at the Crescenta-Canada YMCA helping at the children’s yoga class. During this time as well, Alison’s father, an Army Officer, was deployed to the Middle East to serve in the Iraq War. Throughout college, Alison continued practicing yoga on her own and began to see the value of yoga as a spiritual practice rather than just a physical practice. While visiting Australia in 2017, Alison began a deeper relationship with yoga while volunteering at a spiritual retreat center. She’s now a frequent participant in our meditation classes at the studio.

When Alison and her father finally lived in the same city again, she began to listen closely to his stories about the challenges and difficulties that many current veterans contend with. Alison began to ponder how she could be in service to others, especially veterans, when she suddenly had an epiphany: she could join together her love of yoga with her goal of service to others by teaching yoga to veterans who would not otherwise have access to the journey.

Alison also graduated with honors from UCLA with a degree in Geography and currently works as Transit Planner for the City of Glendale at the Glendale Beeline Office. (She’d be happy to tell you what the best bus route for you is and where to catch it.)

Research and pilot programs have shown that yoga and mindfulness meditation are helpful tools for veterans, including those struggling with PTSD. We look forward to seeing the great impact Alison will be ready to make after she graduates from teacher training!