Amy Stuparyk came through the doors of Yogalife Studios right when we first opened and has been a part of the family ever since. When she's not gallivanting the world she's teaching nearly everyday at our south location. Amy is sassy and hilarious, something that shines through in her classes. For a spicy practice, check out Amy's 'Arm Balances & Inversions' on Tuesday nights at 8:30! See Amy's full schedule here.
How did you get your yogic start? Who brought you to your first class, what was that like, and where was it?
My very first yoga class was a registered class at the Devon Community Center when I was 14 years old. And I absolutely hated it. It was too quiet, and too slow. I was a dancer so naturally, I wanted to move more. 3 years later, I quit dancing and was looking for something different to use to stay fit because I really disliked the gym. A friend of mine told me about Yogalife opening up and the free week they had, so I came in for their very first class with a few friends. I thought maybe hot yoga would change my perspective of yoga. And it did. It was so much fun. I remember trying to jump to the top of my mat and jumping so far I fell forward like 3 feet of my mat. And the next day, I felt like I got hit by bus! I made myself go everyday the free week and after my third practice at the studio I asked the teacher, “How do I do what you do?”
Share a favourite quote, lesson, or teaching that inspires you.
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride.”
“You don’t stop playing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop playing.”
We attract the energy that we put out into the world so I always try to have fun and keep smiling.
What's your favourite music to practice to (or do you prefer silence?)
I like to practice to electronic dance music when I’m doing a faster practice and just playing around, and when I do a yin practice, I find random slow songs on YouTube to throw on quietly in the background, mainly trying to focus on my breath.
Your favourite books, yogi-inspired and fiction.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho Fierce Medicine by Ana. T Forrest
Tell us about your first teacher training.
My first teacher training was very interesting. I spent a month in Montezuma, Costa Rica at Anamaya Resort. The resort was beautiful! The staff were amazing, the food was delicious, and the view was epic! The instructor should not have been doing teacher trainings though. There was a complaint put in 2 weeks into the training so for the last 2 weeks they brought in another instructor and we had to choice to learn from her, or from the original. I basically had 200 hrs of training packed into 2 weeks and only learned how to teach because of all the time I put in practicing. Now because my training wasn’t the best, I ended up taking another 200 hr a year and a half later through Gaitri yoga with the amazing Ally Bogard and Jana Derges (now Roemer). This training changed the way I teach and the way I practice. It really made me the teacher I am today.
Where's your favourite vacation spot?
I am happy being anywhere with a beach, but my favourite place I’ve been to so far is Thailand. I cannot wait to make my trek back there.
What is your favourite meal to make and share with friends?
My mom’s homemade potato salad!
What's the coolest experience you've ever had with a student?
Some of my closest friends now, were my students first. I even met my best friend through teaching. She was one of my regulars when I was teaching full time in Leduc. We were chatting one night before class, ended up finding out we had the same birthday, and the rest is history from there!
What's your favourite pose/sequence/area of the body to work on?
I have so many favourites! I always love to play with inversions and arm balances, especially handstands! Dancer's pose has been my favourite poses since the beginning of my yoga journey, and I have come to absolutely love side plank. It would be easier for me to name off the few things I’m not a fan of doing, rather than what my favourites are. I love it all.
Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. My parents, my best friends, my boyfriend, my brother, my students, and even my dog!
What is your favourite festival to attend?
I haven’t been to many festivals, yoga or music related but I loved Boonstock when it was around.
If you could study with one person who would it be and why?
I would really love to practice with Ana Forrest. I read her autobiography, and she had such an amazing life that made her the yoga teacher she is today. She teaches on how our emotions are connected to tension in the body and uses yoga to help release that emotion which is something I love teaching and learning about! Also, I would love to practice with Paul Grilley. I just love the way that he teaches Yin.
What is the best concert you've ever been to?
I’m not a huge concert goer but the best concert I’ve been to would have to have been the K Rock Bash with my Dad. Trooper, Kim Mitchell and Tom Cochrane.
Where's the next place you want to travel?
South America. Specifically Machu Picchu in Peru
Share your favourite self-healing practice.
Sleep! I have to make sure I always get plenty of sleep. Daily naps are a must! :)
Share one of your life goals.
I want to travel and see the world!