Trailblazer: Amy Ippoliti
WJ: What aspects of yoga / meditation / spirituality do you bring into your work?
AI: That's funny because my work is yoga/meditation and spirituality! But I think you're talking about admin work, of which I have plenty! To work I bring deep breaths, handstand breaks, patience and steadfastness from years on the mat, and mostly a remembrance of the biggest reason I'm doing what I'm doing. I may be at the computer a lot these days, but I know we are helping the yoga teachers we work with and in turn helping their students, and that keeps me going!
The more I focus on leading my team at our yoga education company, 90 Monkeys, the more I start bringing in leadership skills from being a yoga teacher that help the team be more cohesive. It's taken me a long time to bridge the gap between leading a group in a yoga class, and leading a team. I feel much more comfortable the more I channel my teaching skills into my team management skills and I'm grateful that process is starting to jive!
WJ: How did you get involved with yoga?
AI: My mother and I worked out a this fitness studio when I was 16. When they added yoga to the schedule she asked if I wanted to try it with her for the first time. I was an open minded teenager so I said yes. We went and I got hooked. It was very "far out" in those days - no one practiced yoga, so there were usually only 6 people in class and the rug was thick. Sticky mats did not exist yet. I had already gone vegan a year earlier so at this point everyone in high school thought I was a complete freak.
WJ: What's your favorite pose?
AI: Can I have more than one favorite? Pincha Mayurasana (and all it's variations) and Kapinjalasana.
WJ: What's feeding your wanderlust today?
AI: The ocean! I'll be swimming with Whale Sharks in a few weeks to help raise awareness for sharks and preserving our ocean. I've been in the pool for the last 4 months training so I have a shot at keeping up with them and doing some free diving when needed.
WJ: If you could leave one legacy for your community what would it be?
AI: Incredible, well educated, yoga teachers who are true leaders in their local communities. That's actually exactly why I co-founded 90 Monkeys. And, truly, I'm already so proud of the teachers who have trained with me - they are just so talented and doing extraordinary things in the world through their teaching and community building. When great teachers are unleashed, great students are born - and when great students are born, I very much believe the world becomes kinder, more conscious, more daring and more caring. Good yoga does that. May all yoga teachers thrive and be able to lead the charge!
~Amy Ippoliti has been practicing yoga since 1986. She has taught movement for 23 years, is a writer and philanthropist. She is known for her innovative methods to bridge the gap between ancient yoga wisdom and modern day life, helping yoga students "turn up their own volume." She co-founded 90 Monkeys, a professional development school that has enhanced the skills of yoga teachers and studios in 43 countries around the globe. Amy can also be found online as a featured instructor for YogaGlo.com. For more, check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.