Amber Gregory, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher

hi there i'm anna at vsac and i'm here with 
amber gregory who's going to tell us a bit   more about her career so um amber i'll have you 
start can you tell us what do you do for work   hi everybody um as anna said my name is amber 
gregory i am a experienced registered yoga teacher   and i currently have my 200 hour teacher 
certification so i teach yoga i've been teaching   for about 13 years and i also run my own business 
called amber be yoga which has been really fun to   do what i love to do and run my own business 
in terms of being an entrepreneur i'm also   um akira grace warrior ambassador which 
is a kyra grace is a clothing company   so i'm a brand ambassador for my third year which 
is really fun because i also love fashion so   it's a really fun um combination so that's 
great um can you tell us a little bit more   about your educational and career background 
and kind of how you came into this kind of work   yeah so it's really funny i definitely did 
not go to school to be a yoga teacher in italy   um i'm a vermonter at heart i have my uh i'm 
sitting near my vermont here actually that i love   um but i grew up in vermont and um went to high 
school in vermont and then i went to college at   marist college in poughkeepsie new york and i 
went to school for let's see i was 17 when i   went to college and i had no idea really what i 
wanted to do um and i went in and did bachelor   i got my bachelor in communications um so i 
kind of dabbled in marketing and advertising   and spent about 12 years in marketing and 
advertising um for yahoo for the boston herald   before things went online um and so what's really 
ironic is i was kind of just doing that because i   went to school for that and i thought i went 
to school for this so i have to do this but   after about three different layoffs um in boston 
over two years um i was pretty down and out and i   kind of just by accident um had an opportunity at 
charlestown yoga in boston to do some non-profit   work there in exchange for free yoga so my 
story is funny i had never really done yoga   and i was just i didn't have a job i was pretty 
um having a tough time in life not sure what i   was gonna do my path really changing but i 
love the idea sometimes when you're rejected   it means you're redirected so i was literally 
redirected into yoga and i started doing yoga   and it just made me feel better and so 
i ended up again kind of by default um   my the owner of the studio said you know why don't 
you do the teacher training i said i don't want   to teach i don't really i mean i did it because 
it was a healthy thing for me to do at the time   and i signed up for my teacher training i had 
very little money but i went into my 401k and i   got money together and took a chance um 
it was the best decision i've ever made   awesome thanks um what are some of 
your favorite things about your job   so my favorite things about yoga is um you know 
i initially went into it for physical reasons um   because i thought oh this will be so healthy 
physically and what's transpired is really um   just a way of life and really kind of getting 
back to this is very deep but getting back to who   i really am um kind of sifting through the things 
that don't serve me and really doing things on my   mat and off my mat that align um i love this quote 
one of a wonderful um yoga teacher diane bondi   says what we practice on the mat should be 
aligned with what we seek off the mat this is   the first form of exercise and fitness and kind 
of holistic um holistic practice that really um   complemented my life and my life kind of 
complimented it which was very different   for me i had played sports college softball all 
these things and i loved it but then it kind of   stopped when i left the field or it stopped when i 
left the court and this is the first practice and   type of healthy exercise that really translated 
into my everyday life which i love that's great um   what are some of the things that you 
find the most challenging about your work oh my goodness um the most challenging 
things for my work is um self-reflection   it's it's really hard to um and i think more and 
more with the level of stress that people are   under and so many in so many different ways um 
i think it's really it's really hard to kind of   wake up every day and not feel this like sense 
of a kind of a squeeze of self-judgment i think   starting at a young age now because of social 
media and because of so many pressures on people   it is really hard to wake up and just feel 
like you're thriving um and the practice those   days when i feel that way um the practice 
really comes in handy because i'm able to   sit with a meditation and that can be a walking 
meditation or playing with my child one-on-one and   sharing that i consider all those things 
meditation but self-reflection and trying to um   you know again become become who you really are 
and get all the all the things that can weigh   us down and really looking deep within can 
be challenging when i first did my training   i really didn't know who i was um my body and my 
mind were separate and so when i started to kind   of peel back the layers as they say in yoga i 
didn't like what i saw that was hard and then   i had to really find a path that 
helped me love who i am and try to   continue to become who i really am from 
that inner child you know so yeah thanks   um could you walk us through what a 
typical work day looks like for you   yeah so i'll give you today for an example because 
it's kind of um my kids went to school today so   we're doing a hybrid model i have a five and an 
eight-year-old and um instead of them being in   five days they're in two days so they're in monday 
and tuesday for the time being um i'm really uh i   kind of made a shift a couple years ago um not to 
work harder but to work smarter my time is really   limited and i run my own business and so i have to 
really take the time that i have and use it wisely   so i uh today i'm doing this interview and 
i'm so so happy to share this because i   think it's important to share experiences 
so that people don't feel alone and people   i think there's something for everybody out there 
um no matter what everyone thinks you should do i   think it's important to find out what you really 
want to do and follow it and it can really happen   and come true um so at 10 30 i decided because 
a lot of the studios are closed right now and   there's a lot of limitations in terms of getting 
together and taking class and i had a retreat   coming up this weekend that i can't do i was 
going to run it in vermont at burke mountain   fall foliage retreat um i decided you know 
my kids are going back to school so so am i   so i signed up for um my so i have 200 hours 
of yoga teacher training uh certified and i'm   an experienced trainer with your teacher which 
means i have over a thousand hours and much more   but i decided that i would sign up for my 300 hour 
which brings me to 500 hours so that make it kind   of like a master's degree in yoga so i'm spending 
um four and a half hours a day for 55 days   uh training and learning and lectures and my own 
awesome practice which is posture and meditation   so after i get off this call 10 30 to 1 
30 i'm in three hours of a live lecture   and then from 1 30 to 3 i have a recording to do 
for cura grace because i'm offering a free class   to nationally on instagram and through their 
company this saturday at noon so i'm going to   be recording an invitation for that sending it to 
them and then i'm going putting my mom hat on and   go get my kids at school so every day is different 
and i'm trying to flow with that and i like that   variety it keeps me stimulated and um keeps my 
mind um you know really stimulated which i love   that's great thanks um what do you think would 
make someone a good fit for this kind of work i think everyone can benefit from this 
practice i think all bodies all colors   every everybody and person can benefit men women 
of all ages i try to incorporate uh this in my   kids lives um without you know pushing it on them 
but simple things such as my daughter was having   trouble sleeping right before school started and 
i she was stressed i was stressed there's a lot of   stress and i am i have crystals and stones and 
i sleep next to some of them one in particular   is an amethyst and i walked into my room and i 
gave her my amethyst said hold this this really   this energy can really help you rest and sleep 
and relax and breath um breath is everything   a big shift for me was finally realizing 
that i had breath and that i was using breath   and it made things different for me in my life and 
so really teaching that at a young age can help   and it can help connect people to their bodies 
and their minds and no matter what you do for work   breath is always available um so i think we all 
breathe and uh when we can start to connect with   it i think uh anybody has this that they're um 
it's available to everybody yeah great thanks um   if they like if a middle or high school student is 
thinking that they might want to be an instructor   someday is there anything you would recommend 
that they do right now to continue to explore it it's funny this summer um my kids 
and i drove to maryland my cousin   she's a really close uh she's like 
a sister to me but she turned 50.   and her son um is in high school pink and uh he's 
and so he's taking college courses right now he's   really um enthusiastic about academics and so 
he's at community college taking psychology and   we we just started talking about it we just 
started talking about all these different things   from energy work to to chakras which invisible 
wheels of energy that run through the body we   have seven major chakras and 21 minor chakras we 
have energy channels that run through the body   um for someone who is interested in this you 
know alternative healing um massage you know at   a young age you know breathing just thinking 
about um the times when you start to feel   uh anxious or maybe the things that you do when 
you feel that way and maybe shifting patterns just   just starting to really think about um think about 
things on a bigger scale i call it myself space   suit i was kind of in this weekend tara brock 
who's a beautiful um spiritual leader and speaker   and guided meditations and things she 
calls it yourself space suit when we're so   into what's happening with us that 
we lose track of the big picture   so anyone who's really interested in this i would 
say you know trust trust the process i didn't   think i was going to be doing this i thought i'd 
just keep getting more money and working my way up   the ladder in a corporate setting i don't think 
that that brings true happiness you know it can   if you love what you do but you have to love 
what you do i don't feel like my job is work   i sign up for it it's a reward um and the last 
thing it's on my website and i'll say this um   because i love this saying it's not about finding 
peace it's about being at peace with what we find   i think that is a really nice way to live 
yeah thanks um and you've spoken a little   bit about kind of the training hours involved 
but what kind of education or training do you   think um someone might be thinking about down the 
road if they want to be doing this kind of work   yeah so there's you know what's really fun is i 
mean this industry has really grown um i was i was   just reading something that um 90 of um so i think 
it was saying 90 of stress not even illness is   from stress and that number has dropped to 75 it's 
gone down meaning people are really taking care   of themselves people are starting to open their 
minds to all these different avenues um and in   terms of training i think uh you know for my 200 
hour i did so asana is a sanskrit term for posture   things have really changed in yoga and it's it's 
much less about throwing yourself into postures   that don't feel good it's really evolved when 
i first started it was kind of like oh you're   i'm not fresh i don't want to take yoga because 
i'm not flexible and the teachings have evolved   over the last 13 years where we're teaching 
to different bodies and different skeletons   and i think just kind of getting in touch with 
your skeleton and your frame and your biography   and your biology what what you're made of what 
your family's made of is a really big piece   and in terms of training you know just i went 
through a lot of uh training in terms of posture   but it's also read or run how do you read a room 
know your audience as a teacher as someone who   does workshops and retreats it's are you relatable 
people to feel in my class that they can relate to   me and it doesn't matter what age they are or what 
size they are or where they came from or you know   we all have different things in our um biography 
um you know i'm a i'm a breast cancer survivor   and i was diagnosed with breast cancer when i 
was 35 years old i don't have any family history   i really was humbled by that experience 
it was really hard through a year of   treatment a clinical trial because i was 
so young and it was really aggressive   but i can share my biography i could hear 
my story and once i started speaking openly   about it to people it was amazing the ripple 
effect of how people could relate you know so   in terms of training i think it's again just 
getting back to who you truly are and sharing   once you're ready a senior vulnerability to me 
that's training you know trying to let go of   shame and that's so hard rene brown talks about it 
you know she's a great person to read and to watch   because she does a lot of work in that um 
but yeah just training to me is just keep   um doing your best that's fantastic thanks 
yeah anything else you would want to share   um gosh there's so much you know it's i 
uh i think that um i think that people   right now really need to feel comfortable 
with the fact that this is a really hard time i was saying to my husband this weekend i had a 
really low bandwidth i'm exhausted i'm a mom of   two young kids as i mentioned i'm trying to 
run a business i've lost a lot of classes   because of this um and i think this practice is 
about um and life is is kind of trying to flow   i think we're really being challenged in that 
but i don't want people to really um anything   that happens in your life like if something if 
you do something that you're not proud of or   you have shame um or you feel guilty i think 
it's important to look at that as information   okay so i didn't have a great day i made a bad 
choice i got in trouble i did something well that   is great information that's great information 
for me to use and maybe make a subtle change   and that change can be in your life it can be 
in a yoga posture you know it doesn't have to be   0 or 10.

I work on about a number seven i'm 
working on that always i kind of go back and   forth i'm kind of like that so um but i i want 
people to be really um compassionate to themselves   and um especially right now because there's a 
lot of um there's a lot of separation right now   and there's a lot of stress and and i also get 
back to the way you really are is what i say like   in yoga we talk about our root chakra which is 
our the base of our spine and it's simple it's   like nature's resuscitation so you know you're 
sitting next to a plant like you know just going   for a walk or putting one foot in front of the 
other maybe that's all you do today it's okay you   know being okay with that um and i really want to 
say that because i think especially at a young age   i want people to feel that way i want people 
to know that social media is uh not real um i'm comfortable with it but i'm almost 
45 and i think if i had had it at a young   age it would have been really detrimental to 
me um in terms of feeling compared to things   or feeling alone or whatever um so you know i 
think that getting back to nature and um you know   becoming who you really are is really important 
and i'm really glad that i found um a career   after a long time it's been a long time i'm 
almost 40 um and it will keep evolving and   and uh and all my marketing experience i'm 
marketing myself now 12 years in advertising and   marketing when i was going oh i'm not inspired i'm 
not inspired i am prepared now and i'm utilizing   those skills that i had and that i did in 
my work for myself now i do think that um   i guess my teacher says everything 
happens not for a reason but for a lesson   and i love that i think it's important so 
that's just about it well that is great   thank you so much amber you're so welcome and 
thank you for taking the time to interview

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