“I began teaching yoga in 1997 – in York initially. Harrogate Yoga was founded a couple of years later when I moved to Harrogate. But my journey towards becoming a yoga teacher, Somatic Movement Educator, and Therapist began many years previously. My very first yoga class was in 1972 and I loved the effect it had on me. I gradually became stronger in mind and body, more resilient to life’s ups and downs, more connected to my feelings, more joyful and more creative. Both my yoga journey and my creativity gained momentum in the early nineties. It was at this time that I was privileged to begin learning Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. I enjoyed the dynamic and flowing qualities of Ashtanga that complemented the dance/movement stuff I was doing at that time. This included Movement Ritual, Indian Dance, Contact Improvisation and Authentic Movement. Inspiration from these dance/movement forms, culminated in an exhibition of dance drawings called ‘Move, Touch, Connect’ in 1998. I’m an artist as well as a yoga teacher.
In 1990 I first experienced Body-Mind Centering® – a widely respected, experiential approach to anatomy, the body systems and developmental movement patterns. This approach was founded and developed over many years by Bonnie-Bainbridge Cohen. In the late nineties, I realised from reading some articles in Yoga Journal that Donna Farhi was also inspired by Bonnie’s work. Donna was not well known in Europe back then – her seminal book – ‘Yoga, Mind, Body, Spirit’ – was still to be published. So it was a big leap of faith for me to go and study with her in Vancouver, but my gut feelings to do so proved correct, she has had a profound influence on my teaching. In 2003 I decided to study Body-Mind Centering® in more depth, on a training course called Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. I gained my IBMT Diploma in 2007 and greatly value all that I learned from my teacher – Linda Hartley. Approaches to movement and well-being studied on the IBMT course and subsequently with Amy Matthews on Embodied Anatomy trainings, can have special relevance in a yoga class and are fundamental in my teaching.
Through embodying these approaches, students develop an inner reference for alignment and learn to trust their own instinctive reactions and feelings. The effect of this is both empowering and soothing to the nervous system. In addition, a non-judgmental approach is of paramount importance in my teaching, so people get to feel more comfortable in their own skin. Ultimately, my long-term students develop embodied awareness, movement of ease, resilience and strength, thus creating potential for well-being in mind, body and soul.”
Amanda’s qualifications and studies
Embodied Anatomy & Kinesiology: Muscles 2017 with Amy Matthews.
Embodied Anatomy & Kinesiology: Bones and Ligaments 2014 with Amy Matthews.
Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy Diploma (Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist) 2007. RSME, RSMT.
Advanced Teacher Training Certification 2000, 2004 with Donna Farhi. Advanced Teacher Training Certification 2002 with Erich Schiffmann.
British Wheel of Yoga Teaching Diploma 2000. BWYdip.
Jabadao ‘Learning Through Movement’ 1997.
Amanda continues studying BMC® with Embody-Move Association (EMA) – the licensed BMC® program in the UK.