This week’s Yogi in the Community is no stranger to movement and body awareness. Amber Smith is a professional cheerleader for the NFL and this week she is talking about yoga, managing anxiety through yoga, and tips for folks just beginning their yoga journey! Take a second to read more about this bright light’s journey and yoga practice!
Name: Amber Smith
Location: Boston, MA
What led you to the practice of yoga? I would say that my thirst for knowledge and truth led me to the practice of yoga. About two years ago I began my search for spiritual guidance, I fell in love with Jesus and quickly realized that through yoga and meditation I could actually communicate with him! Like many, I had a few rough years that led me to depression, self hate and isolation and I just remember having such a heavy heart throughout my teenage years and looking for an escape. I took a few yoga classes while in high school and was immediately infatuated with the state of calmness that I was able to achieve in just one hour! Although I am a mainly self taught yogi, I joined a yoga studio and I haven’t looked back since.
How has yoga impacted you beyond the amazing physical aspects of the practice? I honestly believe that yoga has changed my life completely. Beside having this amazing dancer/ yoga body (Hehe)… Yoga has made relationships with my family, friends and even my boyfriend 10x stronger! It’s allowed me to be more open and accepting to all different personalities. Yoga has helped me to see a bigger picture in life; that when it’s all said and done we are all apart of the same universe and LOVE is all we truly need. Yoga is a great way to express love, it teaches you to love yourself, therefore allowing you to love others. Yoga has also given me purpose, I believe that my purpose is to spread love through my stories, through yoga and through meditation. I just recently started my own yoga business (which is still so surreal to me) called Yoga Body Poetry. My goal with Yoga Body Poetry is to be a platform for people to transform. Sometimes all people really need is a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of knowledge and encouragement, and they can change their lives entirely, as the saying goes “I Aspire to Inspire before I Expire”. Through the practice of yoga I’ve become a mentor, a student, a teacher and most importantly a disciple of God and his word. I am a better daughter, a better sister and a better friend. I no longer allow myself to dwell in negativity, I practice positivity on a daily bases so that my mental body is just as strong if not stronger than my physical body.
I can only imagine how exciting and also how intense being an NFL cheerleader must be! Can you talk a little about the ways in which your yoga practice impacts your profession?
I’ve been a NFL Cheerleader for 3 amazing years, I cheer for one of the best teams in the league and I wouldn’t what it any other way! Obviously performing in front of 70,000 plus fans can be slightly overwhelming, but with the skills I’ve developed through yoga I am able to maintain balance and stability to get through long game days! My teammates don’t really know this but I always slip away whether it be for 5 minutes or 10 minutes just to meditate, and have a grateful moment with myself and with God for all of the amazing opportunities he’s blessed me with. I’ve worked so hard to become the woman that I am today and I will remain grateful for every moment because everything could completely change the very next moment.
What tips do you have for anyone interested in beginning their personal yoga practice? One huge tip I’d give to a person that’s interested in beginning their own yoga practice would be… DO IT, take that step! A lot of people say “I can’t do yoga, because I’m not flexible”, my answer to that is ” Do yoga and you’ll become flexible”, It’s as simple as that. I like to believe that yoga is 20% flexibility and 80% determination. I’d tell them grab a friend, a family member and begin the journey together. Take a class there are plenty of classes, workshops and groups out here that can help them reach goals and accomplish things they never thought were possible. The yoga community is so open and welcoming. I never in a million years thought I’d even be apart of something so special, but I cherish the relationship that I am building with other yogis via social networks such as Instagram, and Facebook. People from all over the nation that share a common interest in yoga come together, and encourage each other, learn from each other and most importantly support each other! Every milestone in yoga is important no matter if it’s touching your toes for the first time or holding a handstand for 3 seconds. I’d tell them the only mistake you can make in yoga is NOT trying, you never know what you can do until you actually do it and the only limitations you have are the ones that you’ve placed upon yourself!
Interested in keeping up with Amber?
Email for booking : YogaWithAmberD@yahoo.com