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Teacher Feature: Amber VanBuhler

By June 30, 2024No Comments

If you don’t practice Flow at 6:30 am, there is a chance you have never taken a class from Amber VanBuhler, one of our early morning teaching warriors. Amber joined the HYA staff in 2023, largely teaching the early-morning Flows. Recently, she has begun teaching the Flow & Restore on Wednesday evenings as well. She is also an experienced Yin teacher.

Amber will host our next Free Ultimate Member Workshop, Flow Fundamentals, using her dedication to proper form and alignment to help both new and experienced students alike find a new depth to their practice.

What: Flow Fundamentals, a FREE Ultimate Member Workshop

When: Sunday, July 21, 4-6 pm

Where: Mountain Room

Learn more about Amber:

HYA: How did you get started in yoga and become a teacher?

Amber: In 2012, I found yoga. It was the common story of, it changed my life and saved my life. I was in a body situation and it was the only solution. Then, I fell into the world that was deeply spiritual and it made a lot of sense for me on all levels, mind, body and spirit.

I am a former dancer and yoga just flowed really well and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is it.’ So I never looked back. I’m like ‘Body by Yoga’ for the last 13 years. I went to school to be an elementary school teacher and that didn’t last very long. I went on this epic stretch of traveling and it started to click that I could teach yoga. That happened just two years ago and I have not looked back. It’s my passion, my purpose, my way of changing the world.

HYA: How did you find HYA?

Amber: I came here and I immediately fell in love with Heather because who isn’t in love with Heather. And I really liked the community. I felt like it was very tight-knit group of people. In lots of studios, people are in and out and aren’t talking and and getting to know each other. It’s different here and I love it.

HYA: What was your motivation for this workshop?

Amber: I am a firm believer in going back to the basics to build a firm foundation, kind of like the Zen tradition of beginner’s mind. You can always learn something no matter how long you’ve been practicing. I would try to do these things at the beginning of class and I called them housekeeping. Like, let’s go through what an actual chatturanga arm looks like. That kind of worked and it kind of didn’t.

I know that maybe just a tiny little tweak can change your practice for the rest of your days. A lot of it is about preventing injuries, too, making sure you’re doing it correctly because we flow through those Vinyasas a lot.

I also want to dispel the idea that blocks are not cool. Blocks are really cool. They are really helpful. They get you to a place where you could be. All of a sudden in Half Moon, maybe you can start to float your hand because you know what it feels like to have the block there. Or dropping your knees down to build your strength in a chatturanga.

HYA: Can everyone benefit from this workshop?

Amber: Yes! It’s for all of the levels! If you’re new to the practice or haven’t been able to take the time to break down the poses, it’s helpful. And for seasoned practitioners, it’s to really feel in your body, get modifications for your body and then dive into, what is the purpose for this pose? Why do we have to stand strong in Tadasana, why don’t we just rest? To dive deep into why we do what we do and flow them together.

HYA: What are some of your key goals in what you will teach?

Amber: One of the keys in chatturangas is I see people flop all the way to the floor, to just give out instead of lowering down with strength and building the strength. Going down to your knees so you don’t flop down and totally give up is a great tool. Or I see people in side angle or extended side angle when they feel like they have to have their hand on the ground when they lose so much of the space and the purpose of the posture. But they think, ‘I have my hand on the ground so I must be doing it right.’ Some things just don’t work for your body.

That’s one of the things that I’m trying to do in this workshop, help you find what is it that works for you. When I had my physical issues, I started to learn what’s the Amber recipe? I have to follow that. I want to give everyone their tools. So they listen to their body despite what the teacher cues. Being a really good listener is great but you have to honor something that doesn’t work for your body.