We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Perri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think one huge thing about the wellness industry that outsiders are unaware of is the importance of personal practice/self care, that consisting of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual, and importantly continued education. I’ve had many conversations with folx that will say, “Well, you teach and practice yoga, so you must be relaxed all the time?” It’s so wrong! I am cultivating this tool box of practices, traditions, etc. to help manage the day the day inconveniences, emotions, and trauma to self manage and serve others. These practices definitely aid in a relaxed state, but it gets sticky. Our physical bodies carry so much, not only our experiences from birth and so on, but quite often from others we come into contact with. It’s important for us to continue understanding our inner being-our inner workings. Whether our personal practice may be physical like yoga asana or running, meditation, pranayama (breath work), artistic exploration-it is very intimate and needed. It helps find a space to align with our bodies and heart. It keeps us going when times are challenging. It frees up space for us to sympathize if we can’t empathize. This personal practice helps us release and rejuvenate. One of the many actions wellness facilitators should cultivate when working with others, so we can be present to serve fully. Along with personal practice, constant education in our specific area of work is essential. There is always space to expand our knowledge and to dig deeper into what we are sharing and why we are sharing it. Especially as a percentage of folx are offering services of an Eastern culture. These traditions and practices were shared and taught to be upheld with deep reverence and love for the well being of all, not chasing them to our personal benefit. This also consists of inclusivity, diversity, and anti-racist work. It helps us unlearn and learn, how to show up in our personal lives, as well creating safe and aware spaces to support All. Accepting that I have made mistakes and will again at times, there is still an action to actively dismantle these systematic behaviors in my life and work. These all aid in our empathy and ability to connect with others, which is why I entered into the wellness industry. To be of service, to see and help others be seen and heard, and to commune with individuals with the utmost of unconditional love.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Yoga, Energy, and Sound Facilitator. I share from Hatha and Bhakti lineages from Sri Dharma Mittra and Neem Karoli Baba. I offer public classes through Yogala Studios and Liberation Yoga, and private 1:1 sessions consisting of kirtan (devotional chanting), asana (physical postures), and meditation, pranayama (breath work). In addition to yoga practices, I offer energy (Integrated Energy Therapy and Reiki) and sound privates that are curated intimately for the client. I strive to create a safe and loving space for contemplation, connection, and relaxation. When I create private sessions, I believe that it a collaboration of energy. There is an equal exchange of giving and receiving. Each person is unique, therefore no two sessions will ever be the exact same. My mission is to create a space where folx can communicate their needs, hopes, and prayers honestly and compassionately. I believe in the power of utilizing your voice in a productive and integrity driven manner. When I sit down with clients, I like to create a rapport for the individual to show up in their many forms without inhibitions to their degree of personal comfort. This helps me serve in an intimate way and creates a container of exploration. I am most excited about the connections that are made. It’s a constant learning process, and aids in me digging deeper with the tools on how to serve in an efficient and creative way. I always love to collaborate! Some of the most wonderful connections shift into collaborations that continue to blossom. Recently it has been through devotional music and one on ones. I’ve encountered many obstacles throughout this path, but I think that anyone that decides to go within, will experience some form of them. I have reevaluated my relationship to myself, others, and habitual patterns in my life. Some to name are unhealthy relationships with alcohol and drugs, internal gossip, scarcity mentality, fear of creating the life I want to live, dismantling the idea of who/what I thought God/Spirit was as a child, and allowing others to dictate my every move. Growing up with a plethora of mixed religious and spiritual beliefs, it had always left me fearful and confused about connecting to something. It hasn’t been easy looking at these actions and thought patterns that I have been mindlessly entertaining for years. On the other hand, it’s incredibly beautiful that I have and continue to do so, knowing that I can shift and manage these cycles using the tools that yoga and mindfulness have to offer. Personally, I am rewriting the narrative of myself through practice and using my voice. To me, this is a path of life. To connect more harmoniously, compassionately, and truthfully. Even when I am experiencing the shadows of what I have repressed or suppressed, I try to feel and acknowledge them as honestly as I can. I practice from lineages of deep healing through breath and vibration (sound and energetic). I believe the essence of yoga is learning how to connect within while surrendering to stillness or fluidity and trusting the breath’s dance. Whether it’s through chanting devotional mantras, an exploration in stillness, or through movement, I trust there are many paths to experience the grace of the Divine. I made a promise to myself to always continue the dive, to devote, and selflessly serve others on their personal quest for Self Realization.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Support small businesses! Especially during these uncertain times. Favorite coffee shops are Vanilla Black and Eightfold in Echo Park. Favorite restaurants are Bulan Thai Vegetarian Kitchen, Tacos Villa Corona, and Mr. Masala! Switzer Falls is a gorgeous hike that leads to a sweet little waterfall.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I bow my head and heart to my dear teacher Andrei Ram, who opened my eyes and heart to Self Realization. Alongside Sri Dhrama Mittra, Neem Karoli Baba, and Amma. These other incredible souls have helped shape my practice and offerings through education, Unconditional Love and at times many uncomfortable lessons (no hierarchy, in order of how we met) : Sara Blowers, Eben Oroz, Sherri Zebeck, Roam LA, Puja Singh Titchkoksy, Melinda Parker, Lori Fisher, Sydney Cutler Abich, Satyajeet Avila, Yogala Studios, Samarasa, Liberation Yoga, Tasha Anderson, Tresa Palmer, Govind Das, Maria Aguirre, Sheela Brings & Brent Kuecker (Sacred Sound Lab), Rob and Melissa Lundsgaard, Amber Bello, and to everyone else that has kissed my life past, present, future, I am eternally grateful for you.
Photos by Kat Mills, Melinda Parker, and Gaby Walther