What is yoga? “Yoga is alignment, it’s breath, it’s studying—getting into the immensity and the vastness of yoga but also looking inside and inquiring. It’s the ability to take feedback about our stuff and apologize. It’s about relationship and engaging. That’s something we have to do in the real world. It’s got to be real.” ~ Amy Ippoliti
On Social Media + Yoga: “That’s what’s lacking in perfection. Perfection isn’t perfect, because it leaves behind a sense of humor—and humor is openness and delight and enjoying life and perfection is kind of fake, usually, and not actually perfect.” ~ Waylon Lewis
Yoga is huge, yoga is booming! There’s more and more students—and teachers—than ever before. But is the quality of teaching diminishing, as everyone and their sister gets a certification? Is breath and alignment and meditation being lost in hip tunes and the cult of personality?
Waylon chats with Amy Ippoliti about professional education for yoga teachers, the Instagram yoga phenomenon, keeping yoga legit and the evolution of modern yoga.
Elephant is psyched to be working in partnership with Google+ on our new live video series, which features three live videos a week (that can be watched later, too).
Amy is a yoga teacher, writer and philanthropist. She is known for her innovative methods to bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern day life. Amy is a pioneer for advanced yoga education serving both students as well as fellow yoga teachers.
She co-founded 90Monkeys.com, an online professional development school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 43 countries around the globe. She has graced the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga Magazine and has been featured in Yoga International, Self, Origin Magazine, New York Magazine, Yogini Magazine (Japan), Allure (Korea), Elephant Journal, intent.com and many more.
Amy is a faculty member at the Omega Institute, Esalen and Kripalu. She is a regular presenter at the Yoga Journal Conferences, Omega Institute Conference, Wanderlust Festivals, and The Hanuman Festival. Since the age of 14 Amy has been a champion of all forms of eco-consciousness, animal conservation and more recent forays into marine conservation.
A few of Amy’s favorite books:
Questions from the Live Google+ Hangout for Amy & Waylon (Amy’s answers are in the comments section below):
1. Amy, I love (!) your classes on Yoga Glo, but am having a hard time staying a subscriber after hearing about all the lawsuits they’re handing out to try and gain control of the online yoga class platform. Any thoughts? ~ Jessica Roth
2. Yoga is a science. IMHO ‘true’ to yoga means study must be rooted in the yoga sutras, the Bhagavad Gita. Do you find yourself teaching from this, or do you think you allow the present time, the common attitudes, to be a greater influence? ~ Chelsea Rideout
3. Amy, How do you balance the business side of things with the ethical yogic side of teaching. I feel there is a lot of pressure from the studios I teach at to link with businesses and organizations I don’t necessarily agree with ethically. Any thoughts? ~ Erinn Hughes
4. Amy and Waylon, greetings from Denver! My question is: what advice would you give new teachers who are trying to get their foot in the door? I’ve found so many studios who want you to have X amount of experience which makes it difficult to start out. Thx! ~ Mariel Reardon
5. Good morning from New Zealand. Hi there, Waylon. Amy, in a busy world, how would you incorporate into a physical yoga class more from the four paths of yoga; (jñāna yoga) self-inquiry study without coming across too spiritual? What about longer classes? ~ Stella Pierson
6. Hello from Louisiana Amy. Yes, what does yoga need? Where can we go from here? ~ John Broussard
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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photos: Amy Ippoliti