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We have been so lucky to partner with amazing people as we continue to build our brand. One being Amanda Jagniecki of Mandy J Yoga studios (check out her Facebook Page here!). She did our first Un(wine)d Yoga session back in June and it was the PERFECT evening. The temperature was wonderful, the sun was out. It was the perfect evening for yoga.
To help get to know Amanda/Mandy more, she graciously answered a few questions below, hopefully making you as excited as we are for the next Un(wine)d session! She is so passionate about yoga, and with our passion for wine, it makes for a great event!
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I started practicing yoga probably around 2002 - me and a good friend at Shelby High School found a local public class to attend and so we started practicing for something fun and healthy to do. In 2007 I took Yoga 101 at Grand Valley State University, where I started to feel something happening inside me through the practice. I wasn't sure what it was exactly, but I knew it was good for me to continue. I was on and off the practice wagon for many years, until I moved back to my hometown of New Era, MI in 2010. I then found teachers in Hart and started to practice weekly. A good friend and mentor encouraged me to do a 200 hour training, which I completed May 20th, 2017. I have been teaching since February 2017.
What has yoga done for you?
The benefits of yoga are vast and very from person to person. Yoga has helped me on many levels - physically, mentally and emotionally. Physically,I have lost some weight and have become stronger and more flexible. Mentally I am more confident in myself, the practice helps me to remain more calm, less stressed and more at peace. It has helped me to become more aware of my body and my thoughts and helps me to slow down my emotional reactions so I can choose to respond to life more appropriately. I find I am also more balanced emotionally when I am rooted in a yoga practice.
How did you get started into teaching yoga?
Originally I simply wanted to learn more about yoga through a 200 hour training program. I wasn't planning on teaching. But then, while I was in my training a good friend asked me to sub a few classes for her in Ludington - so I took her up on that. For my training I needed to teach a certain number of classes in order to graduate, so I offered up 10 free classes to my community in Shelby at the Ladder Community Center. Once I started teaching I knew this is what I am supposed to do in life. I added more classes to my weekly schedule, and it's been growing ever since.
What type of yoga do you teach?
I teach a blend of alignment based Hatha and flow. Hatha yoga focuses on the physical postures and alignment. The flow aspect links each pose and also incorporates your breath creating a class that has a lot of movement and breathing. It's great for beginners because I teach how to get into each pose and how to properly align the body. I also offer up modifications and deeper variations so that no matter what level the students are at, there is something for everyone. I am an athlete by nature, so I like to offer classes that will make you sweat and push the student to explore the boundaries of their comfort zone, but I also always stress to take breaks and do what the student feels is best in their body in that moment. Yoga is not a sport, it is not a competition, it is a person practice. So each student has the ability to make the class their own by mindfully paying attention to their bodies and taking care of themselves through the use of props and modifications.
What is your favorite thing about yoga?
Hmm... tough question. My favorite thing about yoga is that it's a healthy practice that can truly transform your body, mind and life! For me, it brings more clarity and balance to my life.
Do you feel anyone can gain from doing yoga?
Absolutely! Anyone can improve their life through the practice of doing yoga classes and postures. It always starts physical - more balance, better circulation and blood flow, increased flexibility, strengthening muscles, and improving posture are some physical benefits. It always starts physical, and through a dedicate practice over a long period of time you will see the practice start to transform your mentally and spiritually as well.
What is your Yoga Philosophy?
I study the 8 limbs of yoga. The postures we do on the mat is only 1 limb of yoga.
We practice the asanas (yoga postures) so we can bring more health and vitality to our bodies. We train our minds to become quiet and to break old patterns of habits and thinking through our training on the mat. This leads to living more consciously. I like to incorporate different elements into my teaching that explores the different limbs of yoga. Typically including breath techniques and meditation. I also include chanting. Through a variety of different practices: asana, meditation, breathing techniques, chanting, prayer, journaling and contemplation, ones journey in life will be transformed and expanded and freed from anything that keeps them in constriction. I always teach that the physical practice we do on the mat will lead to more peace within our hearts. Yoga means to yoke, or union. It is bringing together the body, mind and heart. It transform your whole being, not just your body. But it all starts physical so that is what my teaching is heavily focused on.
What was a fun moment at the first Un(wine)d event?
It was so fun to teach in such a beautiful setting! Everyone loved the view. It was also fun to try the different wines after class and meet new friends.
What do you look forward to at future Un(wine)d events?
I look forward to meeting new people who are interested in the practice of yoga.
Check out our next Un(wine)d events below and here:
Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited space available. Please bring your own mat.
Yoga and wine tasting $15.