upwards is a creative collaboration by Ally Bogard & Jordan Daly.
AB: Yoga and meditation teacher (or, according to Jordan, “holder of wisdom, star of the north, counselor for life.) allybogard
JD: Builder of things: business, community and bridges between the inner and outer worlds. jordandaly
What is upwards to you?
For the past 15 years, I have been traveling the world teaching 200/300 hr yoga teacher trainings, retreats, immersions and meditation workshops. I was born and raised in Western Canada, and the last 7 years I’ve spent living and teaching in New York City.
I had taken time off at the beginning of the year to reset and dream in my next chapter. After a few weeks offline and in the wild, I had the idea for upwards as a vehicle to make time-tested practices—that we seem to have lost or misconstrued—current again; things like initiations, personal prayer, self-study, and understanding the nature of the mind.
My favorite element of upwards is how deeply personal this program is for me. I am a fairly private person, but every single day, teachings and resources on upwards have at one time or another gotten me off of the kitchen floor, helped me move on and have even saved my life.
We know people don’t really read more than one scroll’s worth of a phone screen anymore. We understand that people’s attention span for anything that uses the words “process,” “self-study” and/or “personal work” is super low—but we don’t care. We want people to work for their attention, their focus and their own healing. I know from my own experience that, when people heal, they turn around and heal others. We hope this program is like a hand held out in the dark for someone—a nudge, a reminder, a slight turn of perspective, letting them know they aren’t alone. We hope this helps people build a healthy relationship with themselves. It is a personal process, a guide, a map to learn yourself. Everything can heal and that there is an answer to every question—inside.
Forty days & forty nights has been an important amount of time in many mystical traditions as the time it takes to change habitual behaviors and to make a leap in conscious growth. I didn’t want to make anything that was a “quick fix” or a bullet-pointed list of how to escape heartbreak and mental discomfort because those have never worked for me. There is no guided tour in life, but there are methodical, practical and effective ways to become more free, alive, and wild.
As Omid Safi says, “A spiritual path has to take you to the top of the mountain and the depths of the valley; it’s the same God in both places.” My life has certainly followed this wisdom. I come from a beautiful family. I had a fast and big career building and advising fashion companies, and after an early divorce I went through such a dark time of deep despair. I was searching for worth and identity outside of myself when I started my inward journey 10 years ago. As I do, I went all in pretty quickly and very soon thereafter, many things that were not serving me (relationships and my career) began to fall away. I knew that the work I was here to do was going to require a deep amount of trust. I continued building companies, creating partnerships, advising people and brands on how to grow, but in me there was a growing sense of what I truly wanted to build: a place where people could go, when they were lost, confused, or afraid, to find the truth of love that lives inside of themselves, and inside of each and every moment.
I have learned that one must learn and investigate their mind in order to come back to a world of love and peace. It takes an open mind and a lot of courage to go down an inward path of discovery. I could not have done this without a wide collection of teachers to guide me through my own healing process. Upwards is this, a container to guide, support and take you through a process to become more fully alive and in love with life.