- Brit Hastings
On My Mat with Amanda Botur: Get to Know This Mystic Mama, Musician, and Teacher
Amanda is passionate about connecting people to their own joy and she loves exploring the healing potential of collective movement and sound. As a singer-songwriter, Amanda has added Kirtan and chanting to her offerings to artfully awaken the body, mind, and heart. A "mystic mama," she delivers everything with a gentle, kind, embodied, and loving approach. When she is not teaching or performing she is happily living her yoga by tending to her three young children with her husband and many critters in her home in Colorado.
Why yoga? Yoga brings me back to what’s important, it connects and widens my world, and keeps my gaze tipped towards love. I don’t differentiate my mat and life practice. All of life is yoga. Yoga offers us tools to refine our way of being in the world and for me, it has at times given me the refuge, space, and a safe place to work things out, all the while sparking the creative aspects of my life. Yoga is an ever evolving reflection of our inner state. How we are with ourselves is how we are in the world and a practice of any kind helps us to awaken to our joy and see ourselves more clearly.
Favorite style: I really enjoy any kind of conscious movement in the body. To choose a favorite style feels a bit like picking a favorite child for me, and I just can’t do it. I let my body be the guide of what it needs to feel that day, and I follow that. It may be Kundalini, Vinyasa or Yin, or really anything that arises out of my practice, which is usually a combination of everything.
Go-to outfit: I secretly wish I was more stylish and daring with my yoga wardrobe, but I habitually reach for the trusty black yoga pants and a loose fitting top.
Successful classes: I love the classes that come together, and we all feel the magic of the heart. There is a dynamic synchronicity and resonance that can happen when people come together in movement, prayer and sound, and it’s as healing for me as anyone in the room. I consider a class a success when people leave feeling connected and have had a glimpse of their wonder. It’s an easy world to feel disconnected in, from ourselves, our bodies, our hearts, our relationships. A good practice plugs us back into all of it, even the wobbly bits that we’re struggling with.
Greatest challenge: My first challenge is learning how to carve out time for my own creative process and practices. I have three young children, and my yoga practice really resides in raising them as consciously and lovingly as possible. My second challenge is working to keep those ever looming doubts and fears at bay so I can do good work on the planet.
Tunes that help me find my flow: If I’m feeling sticky about my asana practice my go to album is “Sangha” by Ben Leinbach. It’s a compilation that helps at least get me feeling light and in the flow. From there I generally use a lot of mantra music for my practice and when I teach. I’m a big believer in the power of mantra, and there are so many amazing mantra artists out there right now. It’s fabulous that there are a thousand ways to find your flow.
Yoga has taught me: Yoga and life have taught me to work to stay open. When everything is trying to close and shut down, it is my job to stay open. Yoga has been one of the tools to help me create and hold that truth. It’s simple yet feels impossible sometimes, but it’s worth fighting for every time.
Alignment tip that changed my practice: My best alignment tip is to cultivate a kind and soft ear to be able to listen to how your body needs to move and align to feel spacious and heard. The fruits of my practice have always come through cultivating an unwavering intimacy with my body, mind and heart. Be a servant to the prana and let the alignment come from that relationship. When we align with the prana it is taking into account our dynamism as a human body/essence and aligning us from there. From there, you’ve made yourself adaptable and are capable of finding where you need to be at any given moment in your environment and body. When we go deep into the experience of allowing our practice to arise and align from all aspects of ourselves, nature, our environment, and with each other, it is powerful medicine.
Post-class fuel: Lots of water to help my body do its job and then protein too.
Inspiration: Life, my children, my husband, my teachers, all of which have pushed me to work more deeply than I could have ever imagined. It has not been easy, but the challenges have really strengthened my heart and refined my way of being in the world. We are all here to learn how to love, and these have broadened my range enormously.
Current mantra: You are the treasure.
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