Teacher Feature: Amy Pancake by Lk Bookman
With striking blue eyes and an infectious laugh, Amy Pancake is one of the most interesting yogis I've had the opportunity to meet. She is very passionate about teaching yoga to children and has taught more than 3,500 classes since 2002. In addition to teaching yoga to children, she teaches several styles of yoga to adults including Hatha and Restorative.
Her introduction to yoga began at the Wat Suan Mokkh Buddhist monastery while traveling through Southest Asia with her sister in 1992. They had no real plan when they took off for a year to explore the country until they heard about this very austere place where the monks and guests meditated for twelve hours a day. Knowing nothing about mediation, but very intrigued, they embarked on a 10 day silent meditation retreat in the middle of the jungle. One of their fellow attendees persuaded the monks into letting her teach yoga to counterbalance the long hours of sitting in meditation on a concrete slab. So at 4 am, Amy along with other guests, were silently led through 30 minutes of stretching before beginning their meditation practice at 4:30. With no other sound but the movement of their feet and surrounding nature, Amy was hooked. She fell in love with yoga and jokes about her first experience with yoga as being in this austere Thailand monastery learning from a California yoga teacher and massage therapist.
When Amy returned to the states, she left yoga behind for a while but continued with her meditation practice. At the age of 28, Amy went through a life changing experience that caused her to reevaluate and search to find her true self. She moved to Argentina where she could immerse herself in the culture and learn Spanish, and in an effort to find a safe form of exercise in an unfamiliar country, she bought Shiva Rea's first yoga CD so that she could practice in her room. She says she must of practiced to it more than 1,500 times and hasn't stopped practicing since.
To deepen her practice, Amy attended the Sivanada Yoga Ashram where received her 200-hour training. She continued her training by completing advanced training with Anna Forrest. She loves that Forrest Yoga is not as physically intense but insistent on awareness more than some other forms of yoga. It is about learning to be present in your body and tracking your own experiences. She also studies Continuum movement, which deepens her yoga practice and has taught her more about the body systems.
faster when they had an accident or become agitated and upset about something. Amy shares, “Kids have no bad habits as of 3, 4 and 5 and if something works they will tend to keep doing it. I didn't hold the kids back from being responsible for themselves and was always surprised at how much they do know how to do. They know about patience, but need a
One of her favorite quotes is from the Bhagavad Gita: Lift up the self by the Self, and let not the Self droop down. For the Self is the self's only friend, and self is the Self's only foe.
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