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Conversations with the Inspiring Amy Madrid

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Madrid.

Amy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
From as long as I can remember, I was always teaching, coaching, training or instructing. It started with my siblings, friends, and even my pets. It didn’t matter what I taught, I just enjoyed helping others succeed. When it came time for college, the natural progression was to become a physical education teacher. I could marry my passion for teaching with my love of movement and sports. I discovered in my last year student teaching the education field was filled with too many politics and did not have the students’ best interest at heart. Discouraged, I dropped out of the teaching program all together and chose a different major.

My introduction to Yoga actually began in college at the campus rec center. The only reason I went was for extra credit, needless to say, it didn’t go well. My classmate and I sat in the back of a class, giggled the entire time, couldn’t sit still, AND left early. That poor yoga teacher (if you ever read this, I am sorry)! I thought yoga was boring and I didn’t want to spend an hour of my day stretching.

Fast forward, I left my 10+ year career in the Orthodontic field to work in Corporate America, which resulted in a completely burnt out mind, body, and soul. Looking for stress relief a co-worker convinced me to go to hot yoga with her; I had no idea what I was getting myself into. At the end of the 90-minute sweat dripping class, I felt completely renewed and was immediately addicted. This yoga I could get on board with!

Over time, I tried many different styles of Yoga and learned it is much more than practicing poses and getting a workout. In fact, the poses are a very small part of Yoga. The greatest thing about Yoga is that no one masters it; it is a continual learning process. Yoga teachers are forever students. It has since helped me cope with the loss of my brother, anxiety, depression, cancer, and chronic illness. I knew immediately I wanted to put my teacher hat back on all while continuing to work on myself through this magical practice. I knew I wanted to help others plant their own garden. I believe Yoga is the water to our soul seed. With this passion and drive, I became a 200 hour Certified Yoga Teacher, and Energy Seed Yoga was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road to where I am now was rough, long, and unrelenting. The universe pushed me to my limits. I was in denial about being depressed over losing my brother to suicide. I was having a hard time functioning at my job and had anxiety attacks regularly. I was heavily self-medicating with alcohol. My body began to shut down and my doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I continued to get worse and my doctors gave up on me. I sought out a naturopathic doctor and with her help, she was able to give me a diagnosis. As I started down the path of healing my chronic illness, I found out I had skin cancer on my nose. During this time, I was also in the depths of yoga teacher training. My drive to be a yoga teacher barely kept me going and it waned each passing day. I almost quit multiple times, I could feel my dream slipping from my reality. All I knew is I wanted to teach yoga and held on to it as hard as I could.

When women share their struggles with me, I relate to them on all levels. My heart bleeds with them, my pain and struggle will never leave me. I know what it is like to be in the dark with no light at the end of a long tunnel. It is a lonely place, even with a loving support system. My time spent in the darkness has helped shaped me into a stronger better person. Without the struggle, my views on life and dreams would be significantly different. My advice is to keep taking steps forward and do not compromise on your goal. Think outside the box and be flexible. Try your hardest not to let the struggle dim your inner light. When you feel as if there is not a breath left in you, take in another sip of air. It can be done. Lean on your family, friends, doctors, pets, therapists, whoever you have in your life. You are not alone and you will come out brighter and more resilient on the other side.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Energy Seed Yoga story. Tell us more about it.
I offer group, corporate, private, special events, and donation-based classes all around the East Valley of Phoenix, AZ.

My favorite students are beginners; I love to help them understand themselves better by listening to their bodies. I am often saying yoga meets you where you are and I believe it full heartedly.

My main focus is working within my local community to provide affordable yoga classes. I have formed great relationships with local business owners who offer up their space for donation-based yoga. It’s amazing to see the community come together, which is really what yoga is about.

I recently started teaching a Yoga 101 mini-workshop class that I am very proud of because I have never seen a teacher implement this idea at a studio. The intention is to take the “am I doing this pose correctly” anxiety away. It is the perfect class for beginners to learn the foundations correctly and then build up from there. The students learn a small set of poses using modifications, physical adjustments, and props. The atmosphere is relaxed so they can ask questions, talk to fellow students, and are empowered to try different variations of a pose to see what feels best in their own body before moving on to the next pose. Towards the end of class, I link the poses together for a small flow and then end in a relaxation pose. This class gives students the confidence to attend a regular class without worrying about form and also the knowledge of modifications specific to their own body. I had a student come to this class that had no idea she was ‘allowed’ to bend her knees in a forward fold. She told me it was the first time the pose actually felt good! That is the exact reason I designed the class.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
Currently, I am utterly inspired by Jameela Jamil. If you are not familiar with her name, you might know her as Tahani from the TV show “The Good Place.” She is an amazing role model for women and girls across the globe. She created a movement on social media called I Weigh, which is a campaign that aims to promote body positivity and self-worth. She is pushing back on the industry that wreaks havoc on female’s confidence levels by refusing to airbrush of stretch marks, wrinkles, body hair, and other wonderfully beautiful human features. I think it is especially important for young girls to see that flawless does not mean beautiful. By encouraging women to embrace their whole self and that beauty goes beyond the skin, she is doing all of us a favor by providing a real beauty standard.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo with blackbirds credit: Derek Madrid

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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