GETTING TO KNOW AMBER SANCHEZ!
If you haven’t experienced one of Amber’s exceptional classes yet, make a point to mark your schedule! With over 800 hours of highly regarded yoga certifications, you will find a “richness” in her teachings. A little of our discussion below to get to know her, but the best will be on the mat!
Rozanne: Can you share a little bit about what first drew you to yoga?
Amber: Curiosity. The year was 2001, I was 19 years old, in college and working my very first job at the local gym. I saw on the group exercise schedule a “yoga” class. Keep in mind that it wasn’t as popular or as mainstream at that time and I had never heard of it, so it was my curiosity to try something new as well as a strange gravitational pull toward it that led me to try it. After just one class I fell in love and enrolled in my very first teacher training shortly thereafter.
Amber: When I teach, I teach from my heart, it’s intuitive. I am doing exactly what I love and have a passion for; helping people. Showing them the gift that is yoga, which is so much more than just a physical practice. The many years and thousands of hours of learning, practice and teaching experience in multiple disciplines and the transformation yoga has gifted me, definitely play a huge role in guiding my intuition as well.
Rozanne: With your 13 plus years of study and yoga certifications totaling over 800 hours from well respected centers and instructors all over the world, we see a “richness” in your teachings. Can you share which have had the most significant influence on your teaching?
Amber: Astanga yoga has had the most profound influence not only in my teaching, but in my own personal practice and everyday life. This practice is incredibly humbling and requires a lot of discipline. It healed me through a very difficult time in my life, battling an auto-immune disease. It was through this practice that I healed myself naturally and transformed the most in all aspects of all of my being. After taking 500 hours of teacher training in the Astanga Primary series, I learned that most all of the western and “modern” yoga practices and schools, including some of my former trainings were very diluted down, even incorrect and mostly ego-based. So this taught me that life is truly a process of learning and unlearning. This is what drives my passion to remain a lifelong student of yoga, therefore I plan to train with more masters at least once per year every year, for the rest of my life in hopes to become a master myself one day.
Rozanne: I appreciate that your teaching reflects making a genuine connection with your students and being keenly aware of their practice in front of you. Can you speak to this “teach” versus “lead” philosophy?
Amber: In my perception, an “instructor” is one who demonstrates the asanas (physical practice) along with generic verbal anatomical and physiological cues in order for the students to better understand their anatomy in order to get their body moving as the “instructor” demands and their teachings are based on whoever taught or programmed them in the art of teaching Yoga. A “leader” is one who embodies exactly what they are teaching. Their actions align with what they are trying to accomplish and they are authentic in their own truth regardless of who taught them. They see each person for who they are no matter who they are, whether a brand new beginner with limitations or an experienced practitioner and offers each student a unique personal path to help them discover their true potentiality whether it’s to push their limits, or restrain them from pushing too hard or to know when they are ready to accept and know more about going beyond the workings of the body and the mind. The experienced leader/teacher, having gathered knowledge and expertise through their own practice and experience, guides their teachings, and they are able to distinguish when the student is ready for more versus an instructor who is usually very new or limited by their lack of expertise. A good leader/teacher is the one who opens the door, yet doesn’t tell you what you should see. True leaders create more leaders, not followers and I firmly, passionately believe that the best teachers remain lifelong students. For every day that I teach, I learn just as much from my students as they learn from me.