Allison Ulan – ERYT-500, YACEP, B.F.A.
Since 1995, I have been teaching Mindful Yoga and Vipassana Meditation. My approach blends the traditional practices of Yoga with current research based practices of neurology and somatic therapy. With over 25 years of practice and teaching, I developed Soma Yoga. I spearheaded and founded Ashtanga Yoga Montreal in 2000. Then in 2017, I happily let go of the studio and transitioned to directing A Balanced Approach Yoga Teachers’ Training Programs and Mindful Montreal.
My approach to Yoga is that it is both a physical health practice and a mindfulness meditation system. My yoga classes present the principles of structural alignment and breath work so each student can access ease, freedom and joy in their bodies. I specialize in Yoga for Back Care, Yoga to support recovery from injury & addiction and Ashtanga Yoga for optimal performance. My Vipassana meditation courses continue the journey of self care through the progressive stages of embodied awareness to nurture creativity, concentration and compassionate action.
Allison’s journey started because of a severe car accident. In 1986, when returning from work, a drunk driver hit her. The accident left her with a cracked jaw, hip damage and severe chronic pain. Doctors said there was nothing they could do for her. At the time, she was a professional dancer in Ballet North Dance Company. Determined to continue her dance career, she persevered in finding methods to heal, live pain free and continue doing what she loved.
In 1987, she began practicing Iyengar Yoga. Practicing for years with many different teachers, she met two senior yoga teachers pivotal in her healing – Mary Dunn in 1993 and Richard Freeman in 1996. Their teachings gave her the tools to work with pain, release body tension and understand anxiety. They introduced her to the inner meditation practices that allowed her to access health, ease and equanimity.
These experiences spearheaded her life long interest in the mind body connection, mindfulness and neuroscience. Over 30 years, she has attended over 30 trainings in yoga and meditation. She has completed advanced yoga trainings with Richard Freeman from 1996 – 2008 and with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois from 2000 – 2008. She attended short and long program retreats at IMS and graduated from The Spirit Rock Meditation Centre Teacher Training Program in Mindful Yoga and Vipassana Meditation (Woodacre, California) in 2015. In 2018, she completed a yearlong Vipassana meditation training with Daryl Lynn Ross of True North in Montreal.
Her approach blends three streams of awareness practices – Hatha (Ashtanga & Iyengar) Yoga, Vipassana Meditation and Somatic Movement Therapy. Her main Yoga studies have been in Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga with her yoga teachers Mary Dunn, Richard Freeman, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and Richard Rosen. She holds advanced certificates from The Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, India, The Kripalu Centre in Lenox, Massachusetts, The Yoga Workshop in Colorado, The Shree Ma Ayurvedic Centre in Ottawa, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacres, California. In meditation, she has studied extensively in the Vipassana and Tibetan traditions, partaking in over 30 short and long meditation retreats in North America and India with meditation teachers such as the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Daryl Lynn Ross, Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein. From her 20 years as a professional contemporary dancer, she utilizes the techniques of Body Mind Centring and experiential anatomy to help students access freedom in movement. Through scholarship study, she earned a B.F.A. in Dance from The Juilliard School in 1992. She performed professionally from 1988 to 2001 in various contemporary dance companies in North America.
Allison is the founder and leading teacher of Mindful Montreal, a centre to embody the multi-faceted path of vipassana meditation. For seventeen years, she was the director of Ashtanga Yoga Montreal (2000 – 2017). In 2017, she transitioned to guiding mindfulness meditation and yoga programs in educational settings & under serviced communities. She currently teaches Yoga and Mindfulness for Musicians at McGill University, Yoga for Health and Rehabilitation for adults in addiction treatment, Yoga for pain management throughout Montreal and offers classes in yoga studios.
In 2002, Allison Ulan created A Balanced Approach Hatha Yoga Teachers Training programs to provide a comprehensive training that presents the traditional and contemporary approaches of Hatha Yoga infused with the practices of mindfulness. Plus with invited guest faculty, kinesiology, physiology and neurology have been integrated into the programs since 2004.
This program’s goals are to:
- give yoga practitioners and yoga teacher trainees the principles of yoga asana and pranayama which support optimal health and well-being,
- offer thorough training in the ethics and philosophy of Yoga so the teachings are grounded in compassion, experience and application,
- provide curriculum in anatomy and physiology to provide yoga practitioners with sound scientific information on self care and somatic development,
- outline the basics of neurology and how this science aids practicing mindfulness and concentration,
- teach and facilitate the contemplative science of yoga through yoga philosophy, meditation and contemplative forms,
- teach the progressive stages of mindfulness so practitioners/teachers embody the states of karuna (compassion), metta (loving-kindness), mudita (joy), upekkha (serenity), concentration (jnana) and sati (insight) for whole being integration.
- outline, teach and provide participants with sound techniques to work with diverse populations. Train graduates in the Hatha and Ayurvedic Yoga techniques so they are able to design programs to the needs of their future students.
The program has certified over 200 yoga teachers who have become experts in yoga for health, restorative yoga, yoga for athletes and mindfulness instructors.
The graduates who have successfully completed the A Balanced Approach Hatha Yoga Certification programs are:
Diane Barker (2008), Laura Belanger (2017), Daniel Belliveau (2016), Shawn Belliveau (2005), Jean-Marc Bennett (2016), Marielle Bertin (2010), David-Phillippe Blanchette (2006), Angi Bloom (2002), Sylvain Bolduc (2013), Corina Bontas (2014), Nicole Bordeleau (2002), Diana Bourel (2010), Marie-Noelle Bourque (2014), Pierre-Vincent Breuel (2010), Nicole Burke (2016), Jadson Caldeira (2007), Jill Campbell (2013), Sara Campuzano (2009), Nishia Cioffi (2014), Cathy Cozens (2002), Danielle Cumming (2006), Champa Cyr (2013), Michelle Decary (2007), Sara Deschamps (2009), Emilie Desrosiers (2020), Victoria Diamond (2010), Carina Di Menna (2014), Isabelle Dionne (2017), Jerry Dzindzio (2006), Tony Eng (2016), Elizabeth Emberly (2005), Mackenzie Fleetham (2013), Cynthia Foucher (2002), Martine Gagnon (2012), Julien Gagnon (2007), Cory Garfinkle (2006), Adriana Gariepy (2014), Marielle Gariepy (2013), Nadine Gharios (2013), Jade Goldfarb (2006), Jessica Goldberg (2002), Cristina Gonzalez (2006), Jese Gordon (2013), Joan Gottman (2012), Marilyne Gour (2014), Catherine Green (2010), Emily Groth (2014 and 2018), Charles Gurd (2002), Cindy Gurulian (2002), Van Ha (2008), Caroline Haddad (2014), Louis Hamel (2018), Jennifer Hamilton (2010), Annik Hamel (2006), Karen Herman (2002), Laura Hernandez (2002), Sheryl Hoo (2004), Ellen Kogut (2018), Laurel Koop (2006), Cindy Lafontaine (2013), Marie-Pascale Laurencelle (2009), Celine Lavoie (2002), Hannah Lee, Lawrence Lefcort (2004), Lisa Lipari (2002), Catherine Lipscombe (2002), Allison Luna (2006), Dalil Maschino (2018), Janice MacPhearson (2014), Shauna Mahajan (2009), Katie Markle (2015), Sophie Martin (2011), Meghan Marshall (2009), Romilla Maullo (2013), Galina Matusovskay (2014), Jimmy Medellin (2013), Sarah McFidi-McGuire (2012), Suzanne Miller (2011), Lulu Clarke (2010), Christian Page, Manon Palardy (2011), Manon Paquet (2014), Celine Pereira (2017), Shirley Pierre (2012), Eugene Poku (2002), Becky Priebe (2009/2015), Teresa Rassenti (2018), Natasha Reid (2006), Micheal Ross (2010), Claire Russell (2013), Roger Sanders (2017), Claudine Saleh (2002), Vanessa Salvatore, Sylwia Schwartz (2017), Micheala Shulman (2016), Ellie Smythe (2014), Mado St. Cyr (2002), Aletha Stahl (2008), Geeta Suchak (2013), Karin Sullivan (2018), Maryam Tajik (2013), Pia Tallving (2006), Martine Tanguay (2020), Jennifer Taylor, David Testo (2012), Leonie Therrien, Tremblay (2018), Kaie Tombak (2013), Veronique Thibault (2007), Robbie Tucker (2016), Nerida Turner (2020), Michelle Wong (2007), Angi Bloom (2002), Vanessa Kiss (2015), Eira Glover (2014), Elyse Stevens (2015), Natalie Garneau (2017), Damon Greenberg (2017), Julia Norcross (2017), Andrea Wilde (2007), Karen Wood (2005) and Louiselle Young (2014).
2019 to present – Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher for Addiction Treatment, Andy’s House, Lasalle, Quebec
2017 to present – Founder and Lead Teacher of Mindful Montreal, Montreal
2000 to 2017 – Founder and Director of Ashtanga Yoga Montreal, Montreal
1998 to 2000 – Yoga Teacher for Cancer Treatment – Well Spring Toronto
1998 to 2000 – Ashtanga Yoga Teacher at University of Toronto Sports Facility, Toronto, Ontario
1998 to 2000 – Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher at Humber College
1995 to 2000 – Yoga Teacher at The Yoga Studio, Toronto
1995 to 1998 – Yoga Teacher and Fitness Trainer at Eclipse Fitness, Toronto
Louie Ettling – Integral Alignment Workshop in Iyengar Yoga, Planet Yoga, Montréal, Canada
iRest Yoga Nidra – Teachers Training Intensive (Level One) with Molly Birnholme (iRest Yoga Institute, San Rafael, California)
Living the Heart of Wisdom – Yearlong Vipassana Meditation Training with Daryl Lynn Ross – continued – January 2018 to March 2018 (Daryl Lynn Ross is the co-founder and guiding teacher of True North Insight, Montréal, Canada) Montreal, Canada
MSC 10 week program – Mindfulness and Self Compassion with Helle Larson
Living the Heart of Wisdom – Yearlong Vipassana Meditation Training with Daryl Lynn Ross – March 2017 to December 2017 (Daryl Lynn Ross is the co-founder and guiding teacher of True North Insight, Montréal, Canada) Montreal, Canada
Yearlong Mindfulness Yoga and Insight Meditation Training Program and Certification at Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center with Anne Cushman, Will Kabat-Zinn, Janice Gates, Phillip Moffitt, Pascale Auclaire and supporting faculty, Wood Acres, California, USA – 200 hours
Pranayama Workshop with Richard Rosen, Open Sky Yoga Center, Rochester, New York – 28 hours
Ashtanga Yoga Workshop with Chuck Miller, United Yoga, Montreal, Canada – 20 hours
Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman – Vipassana Retreat at IMS, Barre Massachusetts, USA
Integrity and Movement of the Spine with Joanna Abbatt, 20 hours, Ashtanga Yoga Montreal, Montreal, Canada
Essential Pranayama Teacher Training with Francois Raoult, 32 hours, Open Sky Yoga Center, Rochester, New York, USA
Vipassana Meditation Retreat – 3 month silent retreat – October 9 to December 11, 2011, Joseph Goldstein and supporting faculty,
IMS, Barre, Massachusetts, USA
Christina Feldman and John Peacock – The Seven Factors of Awakening – Vipassana Meditation Retreat, IMS, Barre, Massachusetts. USA
1996 – 2007 Weekend Trainings and Advanced Certifications with Richard Freeman
Ashtanga Yoga with Richard Freeman – practice, adjustments and philosophy, Kripalu Center, 1996, 1997 and 1998
Yoga Conference with Richard Freeman and other teachers – Kripalu Center, Lennox, Massachusetts, 2000
Yoga International Conference – The Meeting of Traditions – Weeklong Training, Mary Dunn and Richard Freeman, Lake George, New York, USA
Ashtanga Yoga with Richard Freeman, The Centre of Gravity, Toronto, Canada 2005
Advanced Teacher’s Intensive – The Middle Way – The Bhagavad Gita Study and Yoga Asana practice, 85 hours, 2006 – The Yoga Workshop, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Advanced Teacher’s Intensive – Procrustean Bed – The Intermediate Series and Philosophy study with Richard Freeman, 60 hours, 2007 – The Yoga Workshop, Boulder, Colorado, USA
2005 – 2008
Participated in one Vipassana retreat per year at Shelburne Falls Vipassana Meditation Center, USA
Each retreat – 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat
The Heruka Teachings and Practices with The Dalai Lama – McLeod Gang, Dharamsala, India
The Kalachakra 2004 with The Dalai Lama – Teachings and Practices – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Art of Adjustments – Yoga Techniques and Practices with Hart Lazer, Ashtanga Yoga Montréal, Montreal, Canada
Dancing the Body of Light, Ashtanga Yoga Montréal, Orit Sen Gupta, Montréal, Canada
Yoga Techniques to teach Hatha Yoga with Hart Lazer, Ashtanga Yoga Montréal, Montréal, Canada
10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, Vipassana Meditation Center, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, USA
Yoga Teacher Training Intensive – 200 hours with Hart Lazer, Ashtanga Yoga Montréal, Montréal, Canada
10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, Vipassana Meditation Center, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, USA
Pilgrimage to Mont Kailash for Celebrations and Practices for the Year of The Windhorse – organized by Nomad Expeditions and Norma Levine
Meeting with The Karmapa in Dharamsala, India
2000 – 2008
Ashtanga Yoga – study with Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois at the Mysore Institute, Mysore, India
Certified to teach in 2004
10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, Centre de méditation vipassana, Sutton, Quebec
2000 and 2002
Ashtanga Yoga Intensive with David Swenson, 40 hours Kaivalya Centre, Toronto, 2000 and 40 hours Ashtanga Yoga Montréal, Montréal, 2002
Monthlong Teachers Training Program – 200 heures, Kripalu Yoga Institute, Lennox, Massachusetts, USA
1992 – 1995
Study in regular classes with Mary Dunn at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York, New York city, USA
Study in regular classes with Sharon Gannon at The Jiva Mukti Yoga Center, New York City, USA
1990 – 1991
Scholarship Study at The Place – London Contemporary Dance School and Company, London, UK
1988 – 1992
BFA in Dance at The Juilliard School of Performing Arts, New York City, USA
1986 – 1987
Iyengar Yoga with Joseph Rempel, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
I began my journey in 1987 when my sister gave me a yoga mat and suggested I study with Joseph Rempel. 25 years later, I never imagined her offer would take me on a journey of healing and open me to my life’s vocation. Thank you Sis!
My studies have weaved together three schools of awareness – Hatha Yoga, Vipassana Meditation and Somatic Movement Therapy. My main Yoga studies have been with Mary Dunn, Richard Freeman, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and Richard Rosen. In meditation, I studied in the Vipassana and Tibetan traditions participating in over 30 short and long meditation retreats in North America and India. My key meditation teachers have been Swami Brahmadeo, Daryl Lynn Ross, Pema Chodron and Joseph Goldstein. Plus in 20 year career as a professional contemporary dancer, I studied Body Mind Centring and Release Technique with a plethora of wonderful teachers. Thank you to each and every one of them.
For seventeen years, I was the director of Ashtanga Yoga Montreal (2000 – 2017). In 2017, it was time to move on to grow. I transitioned my mindfulness based practices and therapeutic yoga to educational settings, work environments & addiction centers. I currently teach Yoga and Mindfulness at Espace Be bien-être (NDG), Yoga for Health and Rehabilitation at Andy’s House of Addiction Recovery and mindfulness/yoga programs at various schools in the Montreal area. Plus, I am slowly studying Psychology to complete a MA. (This has been a life long desire of mine.)
My approach provides the tools and encouragement to students to integrate mindfulness and compassion into every aspect of their lives.
If you would like me to teach a workshop at your centre or be part of your next training program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.