When Allyn Ciobhan went to her first yoga class it sparked a calling for the practice which led to her becoming a yoga teacher in Santa Monica. Although Allyn still teaches at Naam Yoga, she has developed her very own mind-body-spirit course, Your Essential Self (YES). This incredible course combines brain training exercises, meditations, mindfulness practices, forms of movement, yoga philosophy and divine spiritual wisdom. It is a 12-week long yoga-based program which has transformed the lives of her students.

How long have you lived in Santa Monica and have you always called it home?

My mom convinced me when I was 28 years old to purchase a home rather than renting. I was a freelance production manager at the time, and it was a huge financial commitment and leap of faith. I did it, and I am eternally grateful for my mom’s advice! I have been living in the same Santa Monica townhouse that I bought in 1995 ever since. It’s less than a ten minute walk to the ocean, and I just love it here!

Can you remember your first ever yoga class? What was it that inspired you to start practising?

The very first yoga class I took was with Seane Corn at the studio on Main Street before it became Yoga Works! I immediately loved the practice so much that it kind of scared me. I was young, just out of college, and working towards my goal of becoming a successful business woman. I had been teaching group fitness classes for about eight years, and had recently moved out on my own after getting my first “real” job. Practicing yoga made me feel so at home in myself, and I had thoughts of giving up all my worldly plans to run off to an ashram in India. Instead, I stayed the course and became a successful producer…until I could no longer ignore the calling! I finally became a yoga teacher at the age of 41, and ten years later, I’m so happy I did!

What is your favourite thing about life in Santa Monica?

There’s so much to love about Santa Monica! The way the sun sparkles on the ocean all day long is magical. Our gorgeous sandy beaches are some of the best in the world. We have talented chefs and restaurants with organic, healthy food. You can walk from downtown to Main Street for some of the best shopping in Los Angeles. We have farmers markets several times a week, we’ve got a plethora of culture, music, ways to have fun, and ways to relax. I love that it feels like a beach town even though it’s such a cosmopolitan and worldly city.

How integral is yoga within the community of Santa Monica?

I feel like Santa Monica is the yoga capital of the Western world! Honestly, every few blocks you will see another great yoga studio. It is really wonderful to have so much expertise and variety right around the corner, no matter where in Santa Monica you are. We’re also so lucky with our beautiful weather here. Most days you will see people practicing yoga along the beach and in many of the green spaces throughout the city.

Can you tell us a little about your program, Your Essential Self?

Yes! I’m teaching a mindfulness course that I developed eleven years ago called Your Essential Self (YES). This combines brain training exercises, meditations, mindfulness practices, and a variety of forms of movement. These are used as tools to connect with your essence, raise your consciousness, and change your habitual patterns. I hired teachers to lead the yoga portions, and took my first teacher training that year. Since then, I’ve added yoga philosophy and divine spiritual wisdom to the course, which is now a 12-week long yoga based program for transformation. Many of my students have made massive changes in their lives through this work. They have manifested marriages, new careers, babies, healthier bodies, and lives they love! Teaching consciousness is a huge passion of mine which informs all of my teaching. I am currently writing the YES course into my first book…so stay tuned!

Aside from yoga, we’ve read you are very active. What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not practising or teaching?

Honestly, one of my absolutely favourite things to do is to walk along the beach. It’s a simple pleasure that I get so much enjoyment from. I choose to ride my bike to and from the studio and visiting my clients. When my schedule allows, I take the long way back so I can enjoy the ocean view. I sometimes go to the gym, and I love taking the different dance classes at Naam Yoga LA, where I teach.

For first time visitors, what would be on your must-see and must-do list of recommendations?

Well, of course come take my class! And, if you are in town on a Wednesday night, you must come to Masterclass with my teacher, founder of Naam Yoga and spiritual master, Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, at Naam Yoga LA! You have to rent bikes or walk along the beach, and also walk along 3rd Street Promenade. Stroll through the farmers market in downtown Santa Monica if here on a Wednesday or Saturday. I’d recommend flying on the Trapeze, or at least going on one of the roller coasters on the Santa Monica pier! If here in the summer months, look for the Concerts on the Pier. And if not here during that time, see what’s playing at the Broad Theatre. And, enjoy all of the restaurants you can!

If you could describe Santa Monica in three words, what would these be?

Beachy. Beautiful. Healthy.

Rest your head

For relaxed atmosphere, proximity to the beach and their complimentary bikes, we love the Viceroy Santa Monica. From £380 per night.


Enjoy a one-off class with Allyn at Naam Yoga, from $19 per person. http://naamyogaofficial.com/new/


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