AYJ – What motivated you to become a yoga teacher, and how long have you been teaching?
Amy – I began my teaching journey five-and-a-half years ago. I’ve been practicing consistently for a decade, and initially never considered it could be a career path. It was something very intimate, personal, and spiritual which I explored during my time working abroad. After severe injury and a traumatic incident, landing me in hospital in Asia, that path came to a close. I moved home to Australia, got engaged, and fell into retail management. Yoga had been under my nose the entire time. One day a spark went off and I decided to invest in a teacher training course. Afterwards, teaching opportunities immediately unfolded in a rapid yet organic way. I was welcomed into many teaching experiences, all of which I wholly embraced to learn as much as I could.
AYJ – Do you have any special rituals that you integrate into your day?
Amy – As much as I can, I love watching the sunrise. Every day I apply fundamental Ayurvedic principles to my morning routine, such as tongue scraping, abhyanga, and more. How you start your day is how you life your life!
AYJ – Apart from group classes, how do you create an income from teaching yoga?
Amy – Initially I sustained a full-time job with about six yoga classes per week. Shifting my job to part-time for a while, I then let it go as I fell into full-time teaching. I found myself leading 25-30 group classes each week, yet knew I needed to explore more sustainable pathways to sharing my love of yoga. Right now, I teach 12 group classes, private lessons, run retreats and workshops, and also facilitate a mentorship program with newer teachers.
AYJ – Talk us through a typical day in your life.
Amy – In truth, there is no such thing! I travel abroad a lot to study, teach, and explore. My daily routine and structure changes with the seasons. Plus, I’m pregnant! However, for example, today I woke to watch the sunrise, did my pranayama/meditation practice, then a beach walk. I came home for breakfast, taught a private lesson, attended an appointment, then had lunch with my husband. In the afternoon I attended to emails, admin, housework, and catching up on reading — it’s a rare day off from group classes! Tonight I’ll make dinner, watch a documentary, and head to bed by 10pm.
AYJ – What do you love most about your job?
Amy – That it can truly be a path of never-ending exploration and evolution on so many levels, for both myself and those I share my teachings with.
AYJ – What do you find most challenging about your job?
Amy – The degree of vulnerability and potential instability. Yoga teachers do not have the perks of a standard job in the workforce — no superannuation, sick leave, annual leave, bonuses, etc. When you consider the longevity of this career path, it needs to be a refined balance of head and heart working together!
AYJ – If you could go back and give some advice to yourself before you started on your teaching journey, what would you say?
Amy – Along the way you’re going to make truly beautiful connections and relationships. However, working in this field will be similar to any other in that you will be confronted with clients, colleagues, or employers who are challenging, potentially abusive, lack integrity, or take you for granted.
AYJ – How do you maintain integrity in an ever-changing yoga world?
Amy – I do my best (and am not always successful) in trying to think of those more senior on the path than me. Whether it is how I teach, what I share online, what I study, the companies and people I support, or how I facilitate workshops and retreats, I try to consider what my teachers would think of my actions to ensure integrity in all I do -— to respect those who have walked this path long before me!
Keep up to date with Amy’s yogic happenings at www.amyelandry.com