written by Justine from Just Yoga
Amanda Frost is a globe-trotting yogi. Amanda Frost, is a qualified Pilates and yoga teacher, who fell in love with yoga in Australia, trained in the United States and has finally settled her yoga studio in the United Kingdom, where she also continued her learning and training in yoga and Pilates. Just this week, she got accepted as a Yoga Alliance teacher trainer. This means that she is now an accredited Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP), recognised to teach continuing education courses in the UK, like the 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) course.
_______________________________________________________________________________ "My first yoga class ever was a slow Hatha Yoga class. I remember feeling totally transformed when I left. I only worked on a few poses but I fell in love with the simplicity and timelessness of the breathing and meditative side of yoga."
Qualifying in Sampoorna Hatha Yoga or Integrated Hatha Yoga, in 2003 at Shri Yogi Hari’s Ashram in Florida USA, was a lifechanging experience for Amanda. The total immersion of being in the Ashram changed her way of thinking and rewired her mind, she feels. It allowed her to look within herself, observe her behaviours and identify what held her back. She started listening to her heart more, instead of trying to please those around her. She found this made her much happier and fulfilled. Shortly after her training, she returned to London to work as a yoga instructor. She also took her newfound passion for wellness further and trained as a Vinyasa yoga teacher and Pilates instructor. At the time, yoga had not gone entirely mainstream the way it is now. There were very few trained yoga teachers around, and Amanda worked a lot in health clubs and gyms, also running her own yoga and Pilates classes at Google, Time Warner and AOL head offices. Teaching stressed out office workers and executives, how to move and breathe better, was a very fulfilling experience for her.
________________________________________________________________________________ "Pilates worked my core, Vinyasa gave me a workout and Hatha taught me to breath. I like to choose different styles, on different days for my own practice, based on my body's needs that day."
Amanda found that yoga asanas and Pilates complement each other really well. Pilates allows one to build core strength and helps one to progress slowly in less extreme ranges of motion than yoga offers. It is for this reason that she highly recommends Pilates as a starting point for getting into yoga asanas especially if injuries are present. Amanda currently has her own wellness company now, called Yoga & Pilates Live, where she teaches both yoga and Pilates online via the Zoom platform. She used to have studio space, at her local village hall in Hampshire, where she taught face-face, individual and group classes, 5 days a week. She had to moved her classes online when the UK went into lockdown, on the 16th of March 2020, due to the Covid19 pandemic.
_______________________________________________________________________________ "I enjoy serving my local community, and helping them find the joy of yoga. It gives me a sense of fulfilment helping my community have a calming hour for themselves in this busy world we live in."
Amanda calls this the 'new-norm' and has adapted quite well, even installing a big screen television in her home studio, so that she can offer adjustments and corrections to her students' postures. Amanda's services have also extended to a video-on-demand membership and a Yoga & Pilates Live App which has short twenty-minute classes included, for those that work shifts and can’t make it to a live class. She believes that it is important to stay relevant and current with the way people work, what they can afford and their time constraints. It has been an enormously steep learning curve, for Amanda, one which she has embraced wholeheartedly. Like many people; in the fitness industry which was amongst the hardest hit ones by the pandemic restrictions; Amanda, a mother of two, struggles to make ends meet. Her client base is slowly growing but it is a constant challenge as many people see yoga and Pilates as a face to face activity. She is hoping that the tide turns and more people realise that this new norm is going to be here for a while and their mental and physical wellness needs to become a priority.
______________________________________________________________________________ "Yoga has helped me listen to my heart. It has helped me breathe more deeply and improved my asthma from regular pranayama practice. Meditation has helped me be more creative, intuitive and helped me be a kinder more patient mum to my children."
______________________________________________________________________________ Amanda has been doing yoga regularly for the last seventeen years and can definitely say that it has helped her body remain strong, supple, flexible. People are often very surprised when they find out that she is in her mid-forties and able to perform asanas with such ease.
Her favourite asanas are Vrkasana (tree pose), Adho Mukha Shvanasana (downward facing dog) and Utthan Pristhasana (lizard pose). Tree pose is a really good asana for concentration, balance, and focus. She finds that it really helps her find her inner peace and remain grounded. Downward facing dog is an inversion asana that stretches your whole body; from opening your chest; strengthening your arms and legs; to stretching your hips and calves. Amanda enjoys this asana because it helps her reframe a situation or moment in time and look at it in a different way. Lizard pose is a stretching posture that opens up the hip flexors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Having recovered from a herniated disc in her lower and upper back, Amanda struggles with backbends and standing balances. She continually works on keeping these areas strong and flexible through her regular practice of yoga and Pilates. Knowing what it feels like to have an injury and having to adjust herself to prevent reinjury, Amanda is able, to knowledgeably, offer her clients modifications for all the poses using props and shortened lever lengths. This she feels, helps her make her yoga and Pilates classes accessible to every body.
________________________________________________________________________________ "Yoga taught me to look inside myself. It has has help me become physically and emotionally strong. And that it’s okay to be myself "
________________________________________________________________________________ Amanda practices yoga regularly, often at least three to four times per week. Even if she does not do a full class, she still makes the time for reflection, to sit still and breathe. Yoga is a way of life for her.
_____________________________________________________________________________ "Yoga has helped me be a more giving person. I believe life is about trying to serve those around you."
Her family are her biggest fans. They love that she does yoga and have supported her enormously over the years and even now, during lockdown. Amanda's children have always loved joining her yoga classes and she has taken a few lessons from this herself. She has a message for yogi's teaching yoga to children; "don’t use props with the kids. It will turn into a play session and you won’t get much yoga done". Her husband has been the master production manager behind the online classes, setting up her online presence and creating a professional home studio for her. In short, yoga is a family affair for Amanda. Yogi Amanda Frost's final message to anyone keen on trying yoga is to not just stick to the yoga asanas if you want to reap the full benefits of yoga. Meditating to calm and still your mind can be very useful for someone with a busy life. A good pranayama practice can change your day and make you feel like a new person, even helping with certain health conditions. If you only have five minutes to practice, try some abdominal breathing or alternate nostril breathing in a quiet space. It’s pure magic, she says.