See.Think.Do with Amanda Wass
Hey Amanda. Whereabouts are you right now?
I’m actually in the stunning Auberge du Gourdon, France…sipping an Affligem after climbing 800m in 37km. I've scratched the full route because my muscles were feeling chill vibes instead of more pain!
What (if anything) is getting you excited right now?
Life after lockdowns & teaching people in real life is pretty sweet. That and marrying my dreamboat!
Tell us about your journey into becoming a yoga teacher? What inspired you to become one and when did you take that first big / small step?
I actually used to hate yoga, (with a passion!) It brought anger out of me and I couldn’t stand that I had to be still, zen and twisted into crazy shapes for a long time. I have a degree in physical theatre and have always loved to move.
The pathway to teaching was wiggly as I started a career in acting first. I starred in a feature film, commercials & lead roles in music videos - all was good but I found the sustainability of this life was darn tricky. I then found myself managing a country estate in Hampshire for 'famous' UHNWI but knew I wanted three things in my working life: to move my body, connect with others & help other people. And cleaning up after others was. Not. It!
Add a serious break up, moving to Norway for 5 months and a mindset of saying yes to everything into the equation, I ended up in London. I was taking reformer pilates & yoga classes up to 3 times a day and found myself at home.
The idea of becoming a yoga teacher floated around my head for a while as I took a full time nannying job, (cleaning up more crap!)
Then serendipity jumped onboard. As I was researching where to take my teacher training I saw a competition on Instagram to win a teacher training course which was actually a place I had known about for years. It was in Thailand & in an absolutely stunning healing centre. I had a feeling I’d win. I really did! I entered the competition and emailed them everyday. Five days later the winner was announced. 4 days after that I was on a plane. 1 month after, I had passed the 200hr training course and was armed with a certification and hunger to strike the yoga world. I said goodbye to nannying & cleaning up other peoples crap!
Since then I have been planting little seeds and watering them everyday, taking small steps towards bigger goals.
What’s been your highlight to date?
Making the transition from being an actress/ nanny to a 'full time' yoga teacher over lockdown.
The pandemic acted as a catalyst for me to fully embrace the fear and go for my dream job. That's included creating a unique yoga experience, at Mayfield Lavender Farm, for two summers running, making my own website and learning to kick social media in the butt, building a loyal client base throughout lockdown, working at my first wellness retreat at Badminton Estate with Somercecil Retreats, joining experienced teams at yoga studios in Surrey, creating a community for other type one diabetics who come together for yoga & connection & have created opportunities to work with epic companies (Days & Let’s Do This!!). Can I also add doing two triathlons (with type one diabetes) into this section too!?
What have you learnt in the last 12 months, that you could apply to your next challenge/goal?
Just keep plodding!! Small steps. Little goals everyday add up so just keep going, forget about the pace and just keep plodding. Applying this to physical challenges like cycling, running, swimming as well as career opportunities. Nothing is going to arrive in the palm of your hand, you’ve got to carve out the Angel in the rock so to speak! (Thanks, Michelangelo).
What’s been inspiring you recently?
Strange one but I’ve been reading a few books recently; one called Gut Health is really rocking my brain! Our bodies are phenomenal. The strength, intelligence & ability to sustain life blows my mind. I’d say all the little miracles in the day inspire me to be present and feel, see and experience as much as I can, with gratitude. Life rocks. I love people, life and this world we experience.
What's been inspiring you recently?
My community is inspiring me to provide for the younger generation and also to show people that you don’t have to be a pro athlete to be exposed to opportunities and experiences that one wouldn’t normally experience growing up. I am also inspired to change the face of running to rate to people who ‘look like me’.
How do you think about mental health and what helps you manage it?
It’s not to be ignored. Some people seriously suffer from burn out, mental stress, depression and sadness. Being diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 22 taught me to find balance & the importance of embracing challenges. Being kind to yourself and others is a positive way to care for your mental health.
Doing what nourishes the body and mind is key, for me! Sometimes that’s a pretty healthy glass of rose, cake and a walk and other times it’s an epic bike ride, nourishing foods and a meditation practice. There’s no one size fits all is there? I’m learning that for me it’s important to be okay with finding out what helps me and if I make ‘the wrong decision’ then no probs! Tomorrow is another day.
Any bad habits you’d like to kick?
Buying sparkling water in plastic bottles...!
How will you measure “success” in 10 years' time?
Having a life where work & life are in total harmony having carved out a unique space within the yoga & wellness world would be pretty sweet. I want to be happy, inspired, have money in the bank and exceptional experiences under my belt. If I can help others to feel happier, healthier & confident then even better!! Having a healthy family of my own with Sandy would be the cherry!!
What’s the next adventure?
Well...serious thoughts around entering a half Ironman seem to be floating around my head. Oh! And getting married!
Top Local Spot: A pop-up burrito bar in Dorking. Super off-piste with mackerel fillings & odd combos, he cooks from the heart. Expect to wait a long time - that artist is on another planet!
Watch out for: My super chill 'Yin & Tonic' workshop Sat 4th Dec at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking. Super chill.
Best new thing: I'm late to the party but MUSHROOMS. Their healing properties are seemingly limitless!
Smallest change/ biggest impact: Small steps forward add up. Each day, do one thing that helps move you towards your goal.
Your message in a bottle: The advice you'd give to a loved one, apply it to yourself in times of need; be your own best friend. & smile.
What's doing at Days
Trying out: Headspace
Listening to: Joy Crookes
Reading: The Doctor’s Kitchen Supercharge your health (cookbooks count too right?)