- Guest Yoga Instructor -
Today I introduce you to a very talented young Australian - Amy Joy Barber. Welcome, Amy Joy ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY.
I love life – I am creative, enthusiastic, positive and happy. I love making people feel better and better everyday in everyway.
In order from present to past I have worked as a –
Yoga teacher’s aide
Contact centre consultant
OSH childcare assistant
Soft sculptural fabricator (Walking with dinosaurs, How to train your dragon and R&D on King Kong)
Touring/ promo suit dresser (Australia, USA and Japan)
Costume designer/ maker/ coordinator (Beyonce tour, Eurobeat, Commonwealth games, numerous circus shows, feature and short films, theatre …)
Sewing teachers aide
Costume hire sales assistant
Retail team leader
I have a thirst for knowledge and have studied -
Small business management
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A YOGA TEACHER? WAS IT SOMETHING SPECIFIC?
I first tried yoga in 1999, after my first session I cried. I felt amazing and I was hooked. I felt like I had come home and everything was right in my world.
After this I found I was falling in love with yoga more deeply each year, I had the urge to learn more and more until eventually getting to the point of craving training in more depth so I could share it with others.
I started my Dru yoga teacher training in 2009 and have not looked back it has been one of the best decisions of my life so far.
It not only gave me the skills to teach yoga professionally but personally helped me become more aware of myself and this magnificent world around me.
This love affair continues to deepen and I continue to want to study more and more.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK?
I love sharing my passion for yoga and helping people find calm within themselves so that they can feel good and enjoy life more.
If my students get what I get out of yoga I am happy.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A YOGA INSTRUCTOR?
Waking my students up from deep relaxation – Every class I teach ends in a 15 – 20 minute guided relaxation.
They always look so peaceful and the energy of the room is so blissed out I am often tempted to leave them all there for a good well deserved rest!
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE? BE SPECIFIC.
For 5 years before I became a yoga teacher I worked for a company that makes huge animatronic creatures for film and theatre. I worked as a soft sculptural fabricator which involved sewing, pattern making, sculpting. I worked long hours often with deadlines looming. Through this job I got to travel with the shows when they went on the road often participating in media events, auditions and promotional activities. I loved this job it was fun and very interesting.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHANGE DIRECTION?
A severe case of RSI sent me in search of a career sea change.
Yoga not only gave me a new direction in life but it helped ease the pain and anxiety of my condition.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I teach 6 weekly yoga classes
I run school holiday kids yoga workshops, Sunday bliss yoga workshops and Acu yoga workshops
I write a blog http://inspiredbyyogainspiredbylife.wordpress.com
I regularly post inspiring snippets on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/inspiredbyyoga
I design and maintain my own website www.inspiredbyyoga.com.au
I volunteer in my friends yoga class working as a yoga teacher’s aide helping to care for a lady with MS.
I am currently studying Dru Meditation teacher training,
I have a part time job working in a beautiful gift shop.
I make lavender eye pillows, candles and wheat bags to sell to students and at markets.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Everything and anything! The beauty about yoga is it opens your heart to inspiration everywhere.
WHAT BOOKS DO YOU READ?
This is a picture of my bedside table and all the books I would like to find the time to read.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR US UNHEALTHY PEOPLE?
I have lots but there are no rules that suit everyone.
Find what works for you and make healthy living a joy not a chore.
Aim to thrive not merely just survive this existence.
Our body is designed to feel good.
Lots of small improvements make a difference.
Not only what you feed your belly is important – what feeds your soul?
Look at your health and wellbeing big picture for example
Physical health – exercise, diet.
Find the exercise that is enjoyable and suits your body.
Find the diet that is delicious and suits your own needs – see a naturopath/ nutritionist for help.
Energetic health – what drains your energy? What boosts it up?
This awareness can help you learn to top yourself up after a draining event.
Emotional health – do you release strong emotions or hold on?
Holding onto strong emotions is bad for our health – find the activity that helps you release, it could be – writing or journaling, talking it out with a friend, yoga, walking, deep breaths, running, boxing, being in nature, meditation, having a good cry…
Social health – do you have a supportive network?
Feeling part of a community can help you feel useful and part of something bigger than you.
Mental health – could your thoughts be more positive?
This is a big one because we attract what we think. Daily affirmations can help.
Spiritual health – do you trust that god/universe supports you?
Dreaming big, believing in yourself, planning well then giving up control and trusting everything works out for the best is healthy.
All these layers of your being are intertwined and are just as important. Enjoy exploring your own personal path to wellness.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE EVERY DAY? WHAT IS IT?
I am a big fan of morning routines. If you have a positive morning ritual your day flows on from this.
My weekday routine is - I wake up drink warm water with lemon, do 15 minutes of yoga outside, I come inside light a candle and practise 15 minutes of breathing which is a nice lead into 20 minutes of meditation. I then take a few minutes to write down everything I am grateful for then jump in the shower ready to bounce into my day.
You don’t have to do as much as me – I am lucky enough to have the time to do this at the moment.
It’s all about creating healthy positive habits that you can easily integrate into your life.
You might like to start by spending 5 minutes to set some really positive intentions
for your day before getting out of bed.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
Another beauty about yoga is it easily transforms, I love seeing this positive transformation in my students.
When students leave my class looking like the sun is shining out of their eyes I know their yoga practise has settled deep within.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?
I believe this is very important. I mentor kids, I have mentors and my mentors have mentors and their mentors have mentors…The wisdom being handed down is like gold.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes I quite often get lessons in my personal life which I then transfer into my yoga lessons. If I am to learn some wisdom through a challenging lesson I need to share this to help prevent others needing to learn the hard way…
OTHER THAN YOUR WORK, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love a lot here is the shortlist –
My partner Blair, our dog Leroy, our cat Middi, my family, my friends, my students, my teachers, yoga, meditation, water, oxygen, sunshine, sleep, laughter, colour, nature, food, coconut water, the beach, animals, acupuncture, bowen therapy, epsom salt bath soak….
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
I see perfection in everyday if I am going with the flow.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Please add more love and compassion to everything you do.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I aim to continue to nurture, inspire and empower people to be the best version of themselves possible through yoga and meditation.
In the near future I am studying these short courses Reiki 2, Thai yoga massage 1, Health and Wellness coaching 1.
I follow my heart and have lots of ideas who knows where they might lead!
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE BOOKS?
Happy Yoga by Steve Ross
How yoga works by Geshe Michael Roach and Christine McNally
The tree of yoga by BKS Iyengar
Practical yoga psychology by Dr Rishi Vivekananda
Dru yoga - Stillness in motion
Clancy's comment: Well done, Amy Joy. I guess it's all about - healthy body, healthy mind.