Amanda contacted me a few weeks ago because she was passionate about my vision for The Healing Farm and recognized in my mission that I was truly filling a void in the retreat industry: A yoga retreat with meat? A paleo themed retreat that didn't feature killer exercise programs but focused more on an elimination diet to teach folks who are struggling with chronic health issues ideas about functional medicine and natural healing? I hear this from a lot of people and am trying to fill that niche!
We met soon after our initial contact at my 50th birthday party. I asked if she would jump in to teach a short yoga class at Slide Ranch to kick off my birthday festivities. Driving all the way from Sebastopol to Slide Ranch to teach in the chill of the coastal fog, I instantly loved her passion and her warmth and sincerity. We met for lunch a couple of weeks later and again felt a great connection and I invited her to join the women's retreat team.
Amanda has a diverse background in the healing arts and as a dedicated twice daily meditator will open up her meditation time to allow our retreat participants to join her. If you saw my previous blog post about meditation you know that I only meditate ten minutes a day so when Amanda told me she meditates twice a day for an hour each "sit" I couldn't believe her dedication! We will provide a spot for her twice daily meditations and she will discuss "dropping" in during her restorative yoga session on the first day of the retreat. Don't be intimidated! She stresses that you can pop in any time within the hour and meditate for as long as you like. Plus if you're new to mediation, Dr. Nett and I will will be offering a couple of short guided meditation sessions too!
Amanda says about joining the team:
"I am very excited to be joining the staff of The Healing Farm for the January 2017 Women’s Health Detox and Hormone Balance Retreat, where I will be teaching the daily Yoga classes, and offering private Yoga sessions. There are few places that I would rather be than on a retreat immersed in healing practices, people and foods!
The Healing Farm’s mission to merge agriculture, evolutionary health, and mindful wellness practices resonated with me like a load clear deep Burmese gong! My life’s journey is about vibrant health. As a child I was blessed to be mentored in nature connection while living in the west village of NYC. From age 6 to 9 my schooling focused on studying the local ecosystem in western NJ, raising ducks from eggs, tapping maple trees, dying wool with plant dyes to weave, digging clay to make pots, while learning to read, write, and look at the world mathematically. This gift of loving the outdoors inspired me to ski, cycle, rock climb, backpack, sail, play and swim.
My other childhood love was the circus, my British Mom gave me the book, “Mr. Galiano’s Circus” and my world was changed. I juggled, tumbled, rode a unicycle, jumped and flipped endlessly on the trampoline, and even attended circus school on the Bowrey in NYC. My determination to build the strength to take it to another level wasn’t there, and instead my embodied way of being got channeled into college level competitive Ultimate Disc, dance and mid-distance running.
My work in college focused on studying biology; my thesis was on inflammation and nutrition. I continued my studies at the New England School of Acupuncture, where I became a licensed acupuncturist in Massachusetts. Currently I am pursuing a masters degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, continuing the exploration of inflammation, natural cures and traditional healing ways.
Finding Yoga in college was coming home to a place I had missed. I love the challenges Yoga offers, such as, balancing in handstands, or simply breathing and being present; deepening my abilities to be aware, balance, feel, and strengthen. Now the magic of Yoga is most powerful in calming my nervous system in the throws of our modern wired life. In this pursuit I have also devoted myself to the practice of Vipassana meditation as taught by Sayagi U Ba Khin and SN Goenka. I am grateful for the valuable guidance I have been given. My Yoga asana practice has been inspired by the teachings of BKS Iyengar and his many students, as well as Patabhi Jois. Currently my Yoga teacher is Jill Miller, the founder of Yoga Tune Up.
Jill has synthesized the teachings of the masters, within the context of modern humans. Integrating ancient wisdom with innovative props, Yoga therapy balls, and addressing current global human movement issues.
My teaching is inspired by practice, both on my cushion, on my Yoga mat and in life. I am delighted to bring this training to the January retreat, to share tools to gain a calm, balanced, strong, flexible and healthy body. It starts with nourishment from the earth; It is then our loving attention that transforms that food prana into connection with our hearts, each other, and back to the earth. May we each find that gracefully! May we help make peace prevail inside and everywhere."