Member Spotlight: Amanda

Our members are special people.  They are dedicated to the practice of yoga and help to make our community thrive.  We plan to regularly feature members on our blog, so you can get to know the familiar faces you see at the studio, and to also celebrate the dedication and commitment they have to their practice.

Today we feature FYC member, Amanda!

What does yoga mean to you?  Yoga has always been a stabilizing force in my life, keeping me grounded.  When I first started practicing yoga, I was living in Manhattan – I had a very demanding job and a busy lifestyle.  I’ve never been much a gym person, and a friend recommended yoga to me as a form of exercise, but I knew right away it was so much more than that.  It was an escape from the stress, noise, and chaos happening outside the studio; a dedicated time when I could leave everything behind and just focus on myself – my breath, my body, my mind.

Since then, yoga has been a major part of my life.  Even though things are considerably less frenetic now that I live in Maine, yoga still functions as a reset button for me.  I travel frequently for work, and one of my favorite sensations is walking out of a rigorous vinyasa class after having been away from my mat for a week – it’s the best kind of release.

What do you love most about practicing at FYC?  I love the diversity of the class offerings – there’s a nice mix of styles and skill levels, and every teacher brings her own unique methods to the class.  And I love the weekend workshops and special classes because I’m always looking for ways to deepen my own practice.

Favorite yoga pose?  Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana).  It allows you to get into so many different areas of the body depending on whether you point or flex your feet, straighten or round your spine, etc.

Have you noticed any changes in your life “off the mat” since starting yoga classes at FYC?  I’ve become so much stronger – many of my teachers in NYC were focused on flexibility, and that’s really only half the battle when it comes to improving your practice.  The classes I’ve been taking at FYC have made me stronger physically, which has a lot of “off the mat” benefits.

I’ve also been inspired to adopt a healthier lifestyle overall – I’m trying to be more mindful about what I eat, and as a result, I’ve cut out a lot of the sugary foods I used to consume.

What do you enjoy doing when not doing yoga?  Anything outside!  I love taking advantage of all the outdoor activities Maine has to offer.  Weather permitting, I’m usually out hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, etc.  I’ve also been enjoying the craft beer scene in and around Portland.  And I love to travel and explore new places.

What would you tell someone who is curious about trying yoga for the first time?  To not believe everything you see on Instagram.  Yoga is a different experience for everyone, and it usually doesn’t culminate in fancy handstands on the beach.  An FYC teacher recently said that yoga isn’t about working out, it’s working in, and I think that’s true.

Anything else you’d like to add to the community can get to know you better?  I moved to Freeport just over a year ago, and I’m still getting to know the area and the community.  I’m always looking to trade recommendations on restaurants, places to visit, events, shops, etc.!


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