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Meet Alison Litchfield of Embody Radiance in Boulder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison Litchfield.

Alison, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Three years ago, my husband got an opportunity to do some consulting work in Malibu, CA. We decided to rent our house in Boulder, Colorado and go as a family on what we thought would be a fun adventure somewhere new. Our adventure lasted only a short while until the consulting job feel through along with our housing situation and we ended up in a one-bedroom condo on top of each other. Meanwhile, it was one of the rainiest seasons they had had in a long time and the midlife stress along with our feeling of being homeless sent my husband into a health crisis. Months later, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease. The following two and a half years became some of the most challenging years of my life that ultimately lead me to the empowerment I was seeking in my life.

Sometimes a crisis can be a gift in disguise but in the moment, it doesn’t feel that way. When people are suffering and fear takes a hold, isolation can set in and we feel alone in our circumstances. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness and wanting to give up. I know I had moments of that when I was faced with things falling apart.

I started on the path of healing and personal development in the early 90’s. My mother died of cancer when I was 21 and this great loss diverted me on a spiritual path. After seeing my mother die so young, I felt the longing to live my life as fully and passionately as I could. I wanted to know as much as I could about the great mystery of it all. I moved to Boulder, Colorado and immediately found my Yoga Teacher, Richard Freeman. At the time, I was a nature lover, an avid skier, mountain biker and climber. What I loved about yoga was that is was not only a physical practice but there was a deeper balance. I never knew that yoga would prepare me for facing the challenges of life not protect me from them

I travelled to India in 1997 to study Ashtanga Yoga so I could experience the origins of yoga. There were only a few yoga studios in Boulder at the time. Yoga was considered out of the box and my east coast family thought it was weird. When I returned from India, I discovered the somatic bodywork of Rolfing, developed by Ida P. Rolf Ph.D. I Was fascinated by somatic and the body and wanted to learn more. To my family, that was even stranger. But no one was going to tell me what to do in my life. I was on my own path and on some level, seemed to know where I was going.

After starting my bodywork practice in 1999, I took Richard Freeman’s first teacher training and began teaching at the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, CO. It was an edge for me because I was somewhat of a private person. But it was my passion… to share the practice that was so transformational in for my life.

I met my husband and a few years later started a family. I always knew I wanted to be a mother and so that became my yoga for the many years following. When he came down with Lyme disease, I would say we hit that place some call a midlife crisis. I also like to think of it as a midlife awakening because that is ultimately what it was for me. It revealed to me, every area in my life in which I was in avoidance. I was struggling both in my marriage and as a mother and had been for a long time. I had given up a part of myself and there was no one to blame but myself. I felt like a failure. I had to do the thing I was most afraid to do and face what was happening head-on. I had to look at all the ugly, unloved parts of myself and find acceptance. I had to look at where I was blaming my husband or my kids for not feeling free.

I had to take accountability for myself on every level and start growing up if I wanted my situation to change. It took a village and a tremendous amount of trust but I got to where I am now which is freedom. I’m still married and my relationship is mutually beneficial. There is so much love but no more expectations. We are on our own paths. My kids have been through a lot but they are okay. I have a perspective on life that now allows me to serve others more authentically with compassionately. We are all human and we make mistakes. If we want to truly heal and move from victimhood to empowerment, we need to take a good hard look at where we are blaming our external environment and take radical responsibility. That, in my experience, is where our true power lies.

I love my work. I teach yoga, both local classes, teacher training and one. I am also a Certified Rolfer and help people to feel more at ease and upright in their bodies. I love people and understanding their stories and how their bodies often tell a story too. I care about the individual, the person, I’m passionate about the body and exploring new possibilities of how we walk, stand and move through the world. I have been through a lot myself and have tremendous compassion people. I am dedicated to truth and this precious life. I trust in the intelligence of what’s happening on a global level and have compassion for the tremendous pain and suffering we feel as humans. I feel that this is a great time for us all to pause and look at how we have been living, where we’ve been unconscious and deferring accountability and where we can make a positive impact and contribution to the whole.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road as I mentioned previously. Losing my mother at a young age was a huge challenge. I’ve lived much of my adult life with the loneliness of a world without a mother, however it has shaped me into the woman I am today; strong, resilient and compassionate.

It gave me the perspective that life is precious and to live each day with gratitude. These last few years have also been very challenging. My husband being basically in bed with Lymes disease on and off for a year and a half brought up all of those fears I have around loss. It was very stressful on our family unit. My oldest son hit his teenage years and it was incredibly hard to not have his father fully present during that time. There were times where I felt like I was holding things together by a thread if it had not been for my yoga practice and my community of women giving me a sense of ground I’m not sure how I would have made it through.

Please tell us about Embody Radiance.
I am in the business of service in the healing arts. My business is called Embody Radiance and I offer Yoga privates, classes, women’s retreats and lead teacher training. I am also a certified Rolfer, Named after its founder, Dr. Ida P. Rolf. Rolfing Structural Integration is a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body. I am really moving more towards being a body coach and mentor for people. I believe there is tremendous intelligence in the body and if we slow down enough to listen, the answers come from inside of us.

What sets me apart from others is that I work intuitively, weaving the principles of Rolfing and yoga as well as my life experiences to help the individual. I am interested in understanding each person, even when I teach a class. People often tell me I am relatable and I think that is because I have have been through a lot myself. I am interested in getting to know people at their essence, so when someone comes to see me for yoga or bodywork, I am genuinely interested in the whole person.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the last ten years, I have seen my industry take off. The yoga industry is now something near a 27 Billion dollar industry. There are a lot of people being trained to teach yoga over a weekend course, however, so I believe the quality of teaching is going down, so I don’t know how long it will keep trending up. I believe health and wellness is continuing to trend upward and I see the part of my industry that has to do with self-empowered wellness and transformation through body awareness is going to keep growing and expanding, especially as people wake up and start taking accountability for themselves.

Pricing:

  • $150.00 ~75 minute Rolfing Session
  • $100 ~ 60 minute Yoga Private
  • $150.00 ~ 75 minute Body Coaching and Mentoring

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Doug Ellis

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