By Yasir El Mahdi
Meet Amber. Yet another inspiring sober woman. She joined us first in September for the 30 Day Sober Challenge. She found her home for recovery and then she carried on to the 60/108 Day Challenge and now is doing her 30 Hour Sober Curious Yoga Teacher Training with Alex. We're so lucky to get to know three amazing women in our 3rd issue of the magazine. Here's our amazing friend Amber's answers...
Hi Amber! Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who is Amber?
I’m Amber and I live in Greenville, SC, USA. I’m 43, have been married to my wonderful husband, Glen, for almost 18 years. We have 2 amazing kids; Ben, 16 and Cora Ann, 10. Also, 2 dogs; Althea (little pit mix) and Dupree (Pyrdoodle). I’m a volunteer teacher for underserved women.
Most of my days are spent tending to my large garden, obsessively growing dahlias and baking for neighbors and friends. I love being outside in nature as much as possible, especially hiking with my dogs.
How did you meet Alex?
The first meeting with Alex was lovely, I went from extreme anxiety to feeling valued, seen and heard. 30 days morphed into 60, into 108 and starting soon the 30YTT to lead sober circles. Amazing women have helped me reclaim my life and I would love to hold space for other women who need a soft place to land. After 2 spinal surgeries in 2022 my practice is different these days, I like pre-recorded classes, it gives me time to check in with my physical body and make any necessary adjustments without pressure to ‘keep up’. In many ways it’s like the beginning of my yoga journey. Trying new things to see if it works, how it feels during and after. My yoga practice has been influential in my approach to my chronic pain and physical therapy. It has been the most crucial aspect in my sobriety, healing and recovery.
Have you ever had any experience with yoga before joining the MLPC?
I’ve practiced yoga for over 20 years. It started with a Rodney Yee dvd and I fell in love. When we moved to Asheville, I had options for classes and tried everything. I loved Bikram, Vinyasa and hot flow. I stayed away from Yin for a long time. When my degenerative spine issues started to physically impact my life and practice, I leaned into developing a strong home practice and loving Yin. The aspects of Yin that I initially found difficult and frustrating eventually are the places I leaned into. The quietness of the practice felt comforting, I embraced the stillness of not only my body, but my mind as well.
What’s your connection to the MLPC?
I found SYG first with the podcasts. While struggling to find sobriety I educated myself in addiction and stories of hope. While listening to episode 83 with Anneka Reece, I felt as though a bolt of electricity went through me. It was that ‘moment of clarity’ or ‘a-ha’ flash. I pulled over on the road and sobbed with Joy on a sunny day in August, 2022. My future came into focus. All the pieces finally fit together. I signed up for the Sober September challenge and found my home for recovery. This community is so special, I feel safe and understood. I have accountability and support. I’ve been able to objectively understand my story and habits. Learned new tools for healing, self care and most importantly; self love.
What’s your most difficult posture?
Virabhadrasa (warrior) 1 & 2 are my favorite poses, they help balance, lengthen and strengthen my hips and spine. Halasana (Plow) and Urdhva.
What is your favorite type(s) of yoga? And why?
Dhanurasana (Wheel) are challenging for me. I’m still rebuilding strength and stability in my lower back and approach my lumbar region carefully.
Any words of wisdom to those just starting out?
If you’re new to yoga, approach your practice with curiousty and an open heart. Yoga is so much more than being ‘bendy’. Finding your center on and off the mat is a beautiful skill.