Ali Smith was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he is a graduate of the Friends School of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park, where he received a BS in Environmental Science and Policy with a Biodiversity specialization. Ali started his journey with contemplative practices as a small child, learning meditation from his father and attending the Kriya Yoga based Divine Life Church of Absolute Oneness run by Swami Shankarananda. He deepened his practice as a young adult, learning yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and breathwork from his teacher and godfather Will Joyner.
Ali has almost 20 years’ experience teaching yoga, mindfulness, and meditation internationally to a broad demographic spectrum that includes schools, retreat centers, wellness centers, mental crisis facilities, detention centers, drug treatment centers, the corporate setting, as well as private one-on-one sessions. He co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation in 2001. During his tenure as Executive Director, his leadership helped guide HLF to grow an organization that employed over 50 people, and served communities worldwide. He is a published author, written several curriculums, and is a pioneer in the fields of yoga and mindfulness in education, as well as trauma informed yoga and mindfulness, developing best practices that are used around the world. Ali has taught in seven countries on three continents.
His work has been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC Nightly News, PBS, as well as in Oprah Magazine and Forbes. Ali is also a co-host of the Look Again Podcast and Co-Owner of the Involution Group.