My name is Amanda, but go by Mandi.
I have been practicing yoga in my personal life for almost six years.
My passion is to help positively influence and encourage others to improve their life. Each of us were created for a purpose. We are all unique and improving our lives and obtaining and maintaining a positive perspective on life varies from person to person.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MY JOURNEY:
I use to be excessively overweight and struggled for many years to lose weight. I have even dealt with an eating disorder and many trials in life, but who hasn’t right?
I began losing weight and eating healthy. I began to truly learn how to make wise choices and put God first in my life. As with most workout routines and exercise regimens, after time I hit a plateau and began to get bored. I first began yoga because I was looking for a new physical challenge. I wanted to mix up my routine and put some spice back into it as some say. I wanted to tone, build more strength, and add more flexibility.
Little did I know it was going to become a new lifestyle and change my life.
As a christian wife and mother I do not have tons of time, but I made time for my health and physical commitments. Like many people I had no idea where to even begin. I started with youtube until I found some teachers I liked to follow and yoga videos to. I am very particular as to whom I watch, what I watch, what I hear, and what I say. I try to keep my life modest and pleasing to my Lord. This was not an easy task. However, I was open minded and began to grow intellectually by searching information, videos, and more about yoga. I realized that I did not have to lower my standards, morals, or values to workout with, talk to, or collaborate with other yoga teachers and mentors. We are all created unique and for a purpose and we all have different pasts, cultures, experiences, and values. We do not all have to agree on everything.
As my journey into my daily yoga practice grew and I began to attend more local classes I started traveling to larger cities to take as many classes as I was able and with locations that I felt comfortable with. I realized that many of the individuals and diversity of people I was meeting were some of the most open minded, respectful, encouraging, and non-judgmental people I have ever met. I felt like I didn’t have to impress anyone and could be myself. (Even though now I know it was a state of mind and emotion.)
I began to find the areas of my yoga practice I wanted to learn more about and began to love practicing. I kept my practice secret for several years out of fear of judgment from several of my church ‘friends’. When I started not being secretive about practicing it did come with my fair share of skeptics and negativity. It wasn’t easy, but I had to ignore all of that and focus on what I can control in my life and do what is right.
In time I learned how much I LOVE inversions. Any inversion was such a challenge and I was determined to conquer it. I first started with headstands, then proceeded to forearm, then handstands. It is always a work in progress and I am far from a professional. My road ahead is still far.
However, the perseverance, determination, focus, and mindfulness it took to consistently practice and never give up was astounding. I had to train my mind to focus on positive encouraging thoughts to keep motivation and encouragement. This is the perspective that helped change my life. It also helped me gain deeper understanding of some stories I have read in the bible. I learned more about negative sources and discouragement. I learned it can come from 3 places: others, our enemy, and OURSELF. It is almost like retraining your mind. This is about the point in my practice I wanted to share and begin to help others who may have similar struggles or want to learn in a safe, educational, and Christian environment.
When you start to seek after your God-given purpose in life and begin to change how you see others and yourself you can begin to grow to your full potential.
As I learned more self discipline, persistence, focus, mindfulness of others, my surroundings, and more I was able to take these values and attributes and learn to apply them to every aspect of my life. Obtaining this perspective and trying to stay positive in almost all situations my life was changing and enhancing.
I know if the Lord can change me, help me, continue to work with me: He can for YOU too!