I recently had the opportunity to hear from the lovely Amy B and learn what makes her tick. From her adorable French Bulldog, Shanti, to gracefully facing challenges head on, to her 3 day juice cleanse business BeJuiceClean.com, Amy is a truly inspiring (and busy!) yoga teacher. You can find her at The Green Yogi Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 9:30am, as well as rocking out at her Funky House Flow Sunday August 26th from 2:15-4:15pm at The Green Yogi. If you’ve never been it’s an awesome 90 minute Vinyasa flow set to fun and funky tunes and 30 minutes of deeply restorative asanas with a guided meditation to inspire, balance, cleanse, and rejuvenate your Chakras. Get down dog with your practice, $20 early bird $25 day of purchase.
Why and when did you start practicing yoga?
A bit shy and one who wasn’t into group classes, I thought why not group classes? I was insecure and didn’t think I could do it right, everyone would be looking at and judging me. Dying to make new friends in my new town Marina Del Rey my neighbor knocked on my door and invited me to go to Brian Kest’s Power Yoga. I said yes, just to make a friend, and suffered through the scary and uncomfortable first 30 minutes. Then I started laughing because Brian was swearing and talking about life in the funniest metaphors. He made sense to me, and some of his insights I could actually apply to my life off the mat. After a few more classes with my neighbor I realized that yoga felt really good, at that point in my life I was super stiff and totally uncoordinated, my body wasn’t getting younger, and realized I was only depriving myself not joining in on the fun yogi games.
Who is your favorite yoga teacher?
I have my specific mentors, Bryan Kest, Julie Rader, Tamal Dodge, Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye and Swami Satyanada. Their styles helped shape me into the Strong Asana and spiritually based playful yoga teacher that I have become today. I learned from them that it’s about each and every time I am on my mat. There were times when I was being too hard on myself, when my instructor brought me a tissue and rubbed my head when I was crying on the mat after a break up, and their ability to observe my tendencies to be present or distracted if old insecurities popped up. In fact, the instructors I didn’t initially like have in some ways taught me the most. A few of my least favorite instructors when I was a new practitioner are now my favorites, I just had to grow up and grow into them.
Why did you want to start teaching yoga?
I needed a new challenge in life something that scared me but inspired me and the idea of teaching yoga was just what I needed. I picked up a few private clients and found such huge rewards in teaching the art of yoga. Along with listening to my clients and reading their body language, I realized I was good at helping people learn the asana’s while sometimes saying the right thing to help them feel better about themselves. I love my job and find all aspects of the yoga world rewarding. In the next year I’m looking forward to leading retreats and instructing more specialized workshops and teacher trainings.
At The Green Yogi our motto is Be Inspired, what inspires you in your daily life and to teach yoga?
Anything that looks and feels like love. For me it’s a long ride on a spin bike where my legs just want to fall off, but I keep going. A yoga class where I am slipping all over my mat cause I’ve lost so much sweat. Jumping in the ocean when I know it’s cold. Looking at my Pup, Shanti, in the morning as she starts to wrestle with me before we eat breakfast. The amazing group of friends I have filled my life with from those who are students to my teacher friends. Looking at a room of yogis on Monday mornings knowing they know that in an hour their weekend will be washed away and they’ll feel better. A long camping trip with no cell phone or Facebook. Looking in someone’s eyes, that is passionate and inspired about something. Things that scare me, I’m inspired to meet them and understand more of what and why I am scared and hopefully experience them with grace or at least a little bit of dignity. Meditation and God.
Has yoga helped you to overcome anything in your own life?
Yoga has instilled in me a deep belief in the power within us all to be great. My daily practice has helped me be more outgoing, to tame the ego, to listen to others I mean really listen to what others are saying, and how I can be of service to them. It’s opened my heart to be more compassionate, to forgive others who I thought hurt me, and to truly understand that people can change for the better. Things aren’t just black and white there are so many shades of life and purpose and why’s and what’s and how’s to let everyone be as they want and dream to be.
In your opinion, what are the greatest health benefits of practicing yoga?
Stress reduction is a huge part of yoga. When we are less stressed the body works more efficiently, there is less disease causing inflammation in the body, more oxygen in the blood stream, and we all know meditation reduces stress and creates an overall feeling of well being. Yoga practice is one big form of meditation. Along with increased flexibility and mental focus.
What is one piece of advice you would give to your students?
One of my favorite quotes is “Yoga is the martial art of the soul, and the opponent is the strongest you’ve ever faced; your ego.” – anonymous
So relax and make light, do your best, be okay if something is taking some time as long as you are working on getting better at it. Life is supposed to be fun.
When you’re not teaching or practicing yoga, how do you spend your free time?
It’s a beach life for me, walking Shanti on the strand, she also often accompanies me to class for before and after hugs and kisses, skateboarding, paddle boarding, laughing with friends, staying up to date with the latest yoga trends and techniques and taking adventurous trips.