Updated: Jul 23, 2019
I’m so thankful for yoga!
In a season of being thankful, I wanted to share a bit about my yoga journey. Heads up...I get a little teary on this one.
I found yoga when I was in college. In a time where there was a lot of fun but also a lot of stress. I was trying to find myself and make decisions that would guide the next steps of my life and I was drawn to yoga. I remember the day so well. I didn’t even have a yoga mat, I borrowed it from the on-campus studio. And on that borrowed mat in my first class where I didn’t know a soul in the room, my life was changed. I was introduced to something beautiful. Something that would change my life forever. Something that would become part of me. And I had no idea at the time. All I could focus on was trying to move my body in the way I was being told too. (Guess I need to remember this when I’m teaching, huh?)
Because it helped me find myself
After the first class I went back a few times and then decided it was time to get my very own yoga mat. So I went to the local TJ Maxx and purchased a pink yoga mat for $12. This mat ended up serving me for 12 years. How amazing is that?! There are marks on the mat because I never had a bag for it but I loved that mat. I did end up with a new yoga mat, thanks to my husband but it was truly an emotional experience to let go of that first yoga mat I owed. It had seen me through so much. I sweat on that mat. I cried on that mat. I found myself on that mat, twice.
After college I jumped into a corporate job and let go of my physical practice for a while. I wish I hadn’t but life happens and like yoga has taught me, there is no point in looking back, that’s done. Always look forward. Fast forward several years and things in my personal life took a turn and I needed to find myself again. I was having a tough time in my life, I felt alone and I needed to make a big decision so I went to the Y and took a $10 class. I went back to what I knew, yoga. Yoga helped me find myself again and to make decisions.
Because it helped me find community
My yoga journey hasn’t stopped since then. It took me a while to find a studio that worked for me but once I found this, things really took off. I fell back in love with yoga. Then I started my business and I was able to go to more classes due to a flexible schedule. I met more people and my passion continued to grow. And then things got REALLY good.
I was teaching a class on email marketing and I saw that there were 2 people registered from a yoga studio. I immediately looked around the room and found them. I walked right up to them and said “Hi, I’m Amanda and I love yoga”. For real, just ask them. They will actually tell you that they heard me say “there are two people here from a yoga studio”. Which they just told me...a year after this happened. I love them!
This blossomed into a friendship that I would have never expected. I truly consider them my friends and they have helped me shape the business I have today. When someone asks me what I do, I light up when I say “I’m a marketing coach for yoga teachers” and I attribute this emotion to those two ladies. They encouraged me, they learned from me and told me they learned from me, they gave me the confidence to blaze a new trail of my business that is incredibly fulfilling. And it has been through this friendship that I am now able to give back to yoga after so many years of it giving to me. Through getting to know these incredible women, I am now sitting on the board of a yoga organization, Attic Conversations Yoga Foundation.
Giving back to yoga
A common thread of this story is that I was given yoga when I couldn’t afford it. In college when I didn’t have much income at all, there were free classes for college students. In my corporate career when I was living paycheck to paycheck, there were inexpensive classes at the Y. These classes saved me when I needed them the most and that is at the heart of an organization that I now have the honor of being a part of. I serve on the board of Attic Conversations Yoga Foundation, which is an organization that provides yoga to underprivileged populations. These are yoga teachers who go into detention centers, centers for women who have experienced domestic violence, and mental health institutions to share yoga with others. These programs are often provided for free and the funding comes from the local community. This, to me, is beautiful.
In honor of the season of thanksgiving, I want to give back to yoga. I want to give back in a way that yoga gave to me in my time of need and still gives to me every day. I’m blessed to have a daily practice now and am currently learning how to best share yoga with others through yoga teacher training but I know that I can do more to give back.
Since I work with yoga teachers I asked myself “what do I get asked about often that I could package up and provide in a digital way to help more yoga teachers?” The answer - Instagram. I’m asked more often about how to use Instagram and my answer is always, “be intentional just like you are with everything else in your life”. And so Intentional Instagram was created.
During the week of November 19 - 27, 2018, I’m giving back 10% of my profits to Attic Conversations. This organization is doing amazing things in the community and as a board member, I can assure you that the funding is going into the programs and helping so many people. I wish I could have a conversation with each and every person who’s listening/reading this blog so I could share with you stories and examples. It’s truly heart-warming. I’m looking forward to giving back to this organization that’s giving so much.
If yoga has ever given you anything in your life, please take this opportunity to give back to yoga. You will gain knowledge about Instagram as well so it’s not just a donation. You will learn and therefore, will be able to share yoga with more people in this world and that’s what it’s all about!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I appreciate and am thankful for you!