Name: Allé K
From: I'm originally from here! I was born in DC, raised in Takoma Park, but moved all over growing up...I've lived in rural Pennsylvania, Sacramento, Monterey, Los Angeles, CA, Flagstaff & Tucson, Arizona & Madagascar!
Neighborhood: Adams Morgan, DC
Business: Non Binary Yogi
Q: Do you consider yourself booze-free?
A: Heck yes and it's totally the best!
Q: How long have you been off the sauce? What does this lifestyle mean to you?
A: I've almost been booze free for 5 years(!). I'm so proud of myself. It was never meaning to be a lifelong thing until it was. I just got really drunk one night, made some bad choices and I was like, "I never wanna do that again. Drinking sucks. I don't like it and what it does to me." It was one of those things you often say after a bad night and the next week you're back at it. But for me, it stuck. I think the reason it stuck is because I was never militant about it with myself. I was just doing what felt good and one month turned into 1 year...which now has almost been 5! It'll be 5 this November 20th and I'm pretty excited. Maybe I should celebrate!? (covid style, of course) I'm also completely clean AND sober, which means I don't smoke weed either. I had a love affair with weed which I left behind 3+ years ago, which is wild to say. I just questioned if that could even be right, but yeah! So I'm almost 4 years completely clean and sober! It's no coincidence that I took my first Yoga Teacher Training the first summer I got clean and sober. And by the next year, I was teaching yoga as my main gig, (I've always had to maintain multiple jobs as a yoga teacher (pay us!)), and it feels like life has really unfolded for me. I've been able to live everyday more authentically for me. This has included a transition as I've come out as Trans non-binary in recent years as well which would have never been possible before because I was hiding behind substances. To me to be clean and sober, is to live free and liberated of your fears and to step into your light. I'm living my higher purpose.
Q: How has COVID-19 affected you (and your business, if applicable) and the way you relate to DC?
A: Well! I got Covid! So it affected me a lot. I got Covid in April and it was...not recommendable. I'm a yoga instructor and I went online right away, as was necessary, but I had to take a break when I GOT covid and that was rough. I've never really gained back my student base (if you're reading this, come back!) but I've gained a lot of news students from across the country and world(!) which has been amazing. I've started leading online trainings for cis people who want to learn to be better Trans allies and that has been going really well. My signature course, 'Teaching Trans Inclusive Yoga' has been live for a month now and it's taken off! I so enjoy engaging with well-meaning yoga teachers and practitioners who have good hearts but no idea how to be trans allies in meaningful ways. I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from those trainings and hope to expand to a new Fat Inclusive Yoga training soon. The pandemic has also forced me to return to teaching outside, which I've always favored, as it's a lot more organic and I really love leading classes in Malcolm X Park.
Q: What do you love most about DC?
A: I love that it's my hometown. It feels familiar, friendly, I know people everywhere and I can't go anywhere without seeing someone or something I know. It's very familiar, it's also a whole side of DC that people don't know. The local side, we're cool and we're way less into politics :P
E A T
Top 3 restaurants in DC (takeout/delivery/outdoor seating) Le Diplomate (the burger!)
Habesha Market (Ethiopian delivery!) Al Volo (pasta!)
Into sweets? If so, fave ice/cream gelato shop?
D R I N K
Top three places to get zero-proof cocktails (takeout/delivery/outdoor seating) A League of Her Own [Shout out to Aloho as my favorite spot to get a Diet Coke. They’re the only queer bar in town and big supporters of my work and BLM!]
Fave coffee and/or tea shops
Fave juice/smoothie spots?
Well I used to work at JRINK so...
P L A Y
Fave music venue (pre-COVID-19) I've been going to in-person Kirtan concerts with Bhakti Yoga DC on the National Mall & they've been lovely. I've also been loving the Gogo concerts at protests
Best booze-free (socially-distanced) date idea: Ice cream! Come to my yoga class at Malcolm X Park and get ice cream at Mt. Desert afterwards!
Maybe we'd get dinner, too...hah.
Top museum or art gallery pick None. Go to yoga.
Fave #madeinDC small biz/brand Pleasant Pops!
Most quintessential DC pastime
Going to yoga and then getting a sweetgreen salad and eating it in the park.
R E N E W
Fave nature spot in the DC area Kayaking on the Potomac in Georgetown
Fave nature getaway within 2 hours of DC Stay at Hot Tub Heaven [vacation cabins] in Front Royal and explore Shenandoah!
Fave fitness option and corresponding place to go?
Are you doing any virtual/online fitness options right now? Uhhh obviously my own! Hahaha. I'm into taking classes with people who are underrepresented in the fitness and wellness industries -- fat, queer, trans, BIPOC people, non-native English speakers...any chance I can get to take classes with people who are not cis-het white, thin, able bodied people, I'm in! I also appreciate people who do sliding scale classes. All of my classes are sliding scale ($0-25) and free to BIPOC.
Fave wellness/woo/substance-free community or thing to do Above...oh and I love community acupuncture at Little Bird and Freed Bodyworks does amazing queer & trans centering community health care.
S U P P O R T
What are the causes that matter most to you in the DC area? How can others help?
I'm all about advocating for accessible, inclusive yoga and wellness in the DC area and beyond. I'd be pleased if people challenged themselves to take classes with people who they don't normally see represented; fat, trans, queer, Black, Indigenous, People of Color and disabled teachers and wellness leaders. I'm trying to decolonize my yoga practice by taking as many classes with underrepresented teachers as I have white, thin, able bodied, cis-het teachers in the past...It's a big mark, but I can do it. I want to uplift marginalized voices in the wellness industry and I'm using my social media platform to uplift others.
What is the one thing you hope this strange time in history will do for DC -- and for humanity?
I hope more people move out of DC and into the mountains. We've lost touch with nature as a society and we have to get back to our roots. We have to return to our connection with the Earth and it's difficult in DC, but the pandemic's made it easier for those who can telework to go anywhere. This city needs healing and a lot of people need the mountains. I hope the city heals, gentrification slows/stops and the native Black community get their city back.