Miss Amanda is what the neighborhood kids called Amanda Anderson when she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to get her MFA in fiction writing. In New Orleans, Miss Amanda took her first yoga class and found her way to Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, a demanding practice that forced her to practice regularly. With this regularity, she began to reap yoga's benefits: weight loss, increased muscle tone, and a little less crazy-mind.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Miss Amanda returned to a crazy-mind city that needed yoga more than ever. Since all the yoga studios were closed in her flood-ravaged Mid-City neighborhood, she got some donated mats and began teaching her friends yoga out of her house. The endeavor brought her no fame or fortune, but whetted her appetite for sharing her yoga practice with others. In 2008, she did her teacher training in southern Italy with Frog Lotus Yoga International, where she learned to teach in the Vinyasa Flow style. She came home to New Orleans to begin teaching professionally, where she branched out into teaching Restorative Yoga, gentle yoga, and beginner-level Ashtanga Yoga as well as hatha and vinyasa classes.
In 2010, Miss Amanda's restless feet took her to India. Fascinated by the various spiritual traditions there, Amanda sampled yoga from exotic traditions such as Tantra yoga, Tibetan yoga, and Kriya yoga, while she intensified her practice under the guidance of skilled teachers in Rishikesh and Mysore. She also studied Buddhist meditation at a ten-day silent retreat, attended a yoga philosophy course, and experienced Ayurvedic medicine at a family-run healing center in the south of India.
Captivated by India, Miss Amanda has returned twice to connect with the warm-hearted people, the spiritual culture, and drink chai tea. She loves researching sites for a future India Yoga retreat, such as this 500-year-old ashram in Rajasthan:
After her first trip to India, Amanda left her beloved New Orleans and moved to rural Vermont in 2011 to write a memoir about her travels and the power of yoga in her life.
The move was just for the summer, but the woods kept her. Still in Vermont, still writing, Miss Amanda has also blended her loves of writing and yoga in unique "Creative Expression Through Yoga" workshops, which she offers to the community as well as regular classes, Thai Yoga massage, and Yoga Hikes. After eight years of teaching vinyasa flow yoga, Amanda wanted to concentrate on a practice that focuses on the energy body, so in the spring of 2017, she got certified to teach Kundalini Yoga from 7 Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona, AZ. Now her practice and her teaching reflects a deeper understanding and emphasis on the transformational internal processes of yoga practice.
Miss Amanda wants to inspire you to connect with your fundamental goodness and strength; to heighten your awareness of the four elements; and to begin to understand Indian philosophies that she believes can bring us all into a state of deep peace and lasting ananda, the Sanskrit word for bliss.
Photo credit: Corky Burton