AMANDA B. CUNNINGHAM © 2020 - DESIGNED BY MOI

In all chaos there is a cosmos,

in all disorder a secret order.

together we find purpose...

I'm 29 years old and I've had chronic back pain for years. Two years ago I went into debt getting two MRIs and an improper diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. The myriad of drugs I was prescribed for pain and muscle spasms never left me lucid. My debt continued to grow while searching for a solution. I quit taking the meds because I was feeling depressed, but the pain stayed with me as well as the depression. The week my car broke down was the first time I went into Amanda's class. That hour was so overwhelmingly empowering, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing in savasna.

 

Our private sessions together have improved my life mentally and physically. This is being written a year after we met and one hospital and two neurosurgeons later, and it's amazing to me how well she helped treat my actual problem. The right side of my hip slips up and rotates forward all of the time. This is due fundamentally because my sacrum and L5 were never fully developed in utero and are missing a ligament that connects the two. This causes slippage, leading to degeneration, and then bulging in that area , then huge muscle spasms- all of which causes intense pain when I do manual labor for a living. Part of the reason my hips slip is because my soaz is so tight on that side and, like a rubber band, is pulling that side forward. Tight hamstrings were another factor. She showed me great great stretches to start my day with, some that were quick and manageable while working, and more at night to ease pain from my day paired with myofascial release I could do myself with tennis balls, and meditation.

 

If I had to make a short list of people who've changed my life, Amanda would be on it. She came into my life during one of my lowest moments. Most importantly, she introduced me to meditation. I now have a plan to deal with depression when it creeps in. I practice everyday to grow stronger mentally and physically. I am so grateful that I met Amanda last year and for the impact she has made in my life.

Christy, 20-something young

South Carolina

Commitment. Growth. Humility. Integrity. 

 

When I think of Amanda - both in the context of a teacher and a friend - these are the qualities that come to mind. These are what make her an amazing human and as special of a yoga teacher as I have ever experienced in ten years of practice and four years owning a yoga studio. 

 

She is committed to her craft and to her students. Students come to trust and even in some cases rely on teachers to help them move forward, to inspire them, to just be there. Amanda takes these responsibilities seriously and her students feel that about her. In a world in which yoga teachers sometimes feel like they are just doing a job, it's clear that for Amanda, it's a career and more...it's her life's work.  

 

As much as Amanda is committed to her students, she is devoted to her self as well. Personal growthin her practice, her teaching, and in her relationships makes Amanda, who's already amazing every day, even more inspiring.

 

The greatest teachers are also the greatest students, and Amanda is a humble warrior. She seeks out knowledge and is open to change.  She has probably the most beautiful asana practice I have every witnessed, yet she continues to challenge herself and build in her practice and in her life. 

 

It's a small world, and getting smaller. This Insta-society in which we're living scrutinizes our every movement, and thankfully there are people who move with the grace and integrity of Amanda. She moves through life as she moves through her yoga practice - inspired, uplifted, and intentional. Thanks Amanda for Being You. 

Thomas, 40-something young

South Carolina

I have to say, I am a woman of numbers, concrete and clear numerical values. So, I went back to estimate how many classes I've taken with Amanda. 113 total, 62.4% of my yoga attendace at Full Body Fitness & Yoga. And, my conclusions are:

 

1. My life will never be the same

 

2. You f**** rock!

 

Miss you tons.

 

Gabi, 30-something young

Kentucky

I started taking Amanda's Pilates classes shortly after her studio opened. I was impressed by her ability to connect with everyone in the class and get more from them than they thought they could give.  She has created a community of followers who value her and are excited to be at one of her classes. She emphasizes proper alignment and the importance of doing a move correctly as opposed to just shooting for a number. She provides modifications so that everyone at every level can benefit. Her classes have a nice flow to them and her light hearted sense of humor makes me unaware of how hard I'm actually working.  

 

I was thrilled to discover that she did privates. She is passionate, knowledgable , and ever so attentive and observant.  She developed positions and exercises to focus on my areas of weakness. She even consulted with medical professionals to find new ways of approaching old problems and found creative ways for me to progress in my practice. She's often more excited than I am when I reach a new level. She guides me along with things I can work on between classes and is constantly monitoring my progress; replacing things that aren't working with new creative things that do. Thanks to her, my aches and pains are gone. I always leave her studio feeling refreshed.

 

I know that no matter how many times I thank her she'll never fully understand the impact she's made in my daily life.

Paula, 60-something young

California

When I first met Amanda I was struck immediately by her strong sense of self - the way she spoke, the mannerisms she used, all exuded confidence - power almost. As the practice began I was uneasy, unsure of my ability and most definitely intimidated by Amanda's assurance. But as the class unfolded, her passion for yoga exuded and the mentor in her began. She guided us, slowly, calmly, yet expecting, through poses and breathing that I had never experienced before. It was enlightening. It was challenging. It was beautiful...and I was hooked.

 

Since that first class over a year ago, I have attended several workshops and classes of Amanda's. I still see her as a confident and strong woman, but more so now, I can attest to her kindness to all creatures, her strength as a an entrepreneur, and her spirit as a female. I am honored to have had Amanda enter my life and I am proud to call myself a yogi, and more importantly, a sister in this class of womanhood that Amanda represents.

 

Thank you Amanda - you have added many new dimensions to my life that I never expected and will never forget.

Dana, 40-something young

Washington

Amanda showed me that what we do on the mat can and will carry over to life off the mat. She stresses that yoga is what it is to us individually and where we are in our practice is exactly where we need to be.

 

I have a sense of added self/body awareness that had been lacking but wasn't aware I was lacking it. I feel added strength, focus, empowerment and self love that again I didn't know I was lacking. She challenges gently yet firmly and tells you it's ok if it takes years to be able to do things just as long as you keep TRYING. My body has learned to do things I never thought possible and I have the excitement of knowing I'm not even close to where I can be.

 

She guides us to realize that while a large part of yoga seen by most people is done through flows and beautiful poses, it is also the process of realizing and practicing mindfulness that enriches the soul and in turn makes the world a better place. She also shows us glimpses of her imperfections and lets them shine letting us know that each one of us should not be afraid to fall, cry, become frustrated, etc. because it's going to happen.

 

She lets us know that we are all perfectly imperfect humans and that's how it's supposed to be. She models self acceptance and we all need that to help us grow....

Kerry, 40-something young

Kentucky

After a couple of years of rough moments, major life changes, and just living life going through the motions, I decided to give yoga another try. I had practiced in the past but never really stuck with it. I realize now it was because I didn't give enough of myself to my practice and also that I never connected to any of the teachers. I connected with Amanda as she shared stories of her own experiences and struggles, and in turn I was able to connect with my own practice on a totally different level than I had before. I finally get it and I love it! The day after our beautiful Charleston suffered a great community tragedy I attended a candlelit meditation class with Amanda. After a very emotional day for me and my community, I heard every word. I needed every word. I gave everything I had, tears and all, for those who no longer could. I had kept it together all day in front of co-workers, friends, family, but there at the studio I could lean on Amanda (literally at one point!) and let it all go. That hour of my life was powerful and one I will never forget.Amanda has been one of my favorite teachers since I started yoga again and I credit her for helping me get to that point where I could connect with my practice on a deeper level.Thank you for helping me become mindful and able to fill my practice (and life) with intention!

Lauren, 30-something young

South Carolina

As I reflect back on the past 15 months since I first began practicing yoga, I trace this new love directly back to Amanda. Back then; I had no idea what it meant to “practice yoga”. I was simply seeking an exercise program that would eliminate the stressful impact associated with running, and I physically wanted to work on improving my balance. Walking through the doors of Amanda’s studio, I found so much more.

 

I found an instructor who…

  • welcomes new and experienced clients without judgment

  • creates a community of respect and encouragement

  • emphasizes “practice” rather than mastery

  • embraces history and culture while sharing cutting-edge methodologies

  • encourages both patience and determinationis invested in my personal journey

  • offers time, attention and sincere support

  • knows when to push me and when to let me find my own way

  • shares my triumphs with pride

 

I found a person who…

  • exudes a quiet confidence creates a sense of calm and joy all around her

  • isn’t afraid to share her own challenges accepts no limits, but has realistic expectations

  • is a passionate teacher and a life-long student

  • can laugh at herself and teaches me to laugh at myself

  • possesses a kind nature, a gentle soul and a beautiful spirit

  • believes that joy is found not only in reaching big dreams, but also in taking the tiniest steps toward those dreams

 

In practicing yoga, I did, indeed, find an alternative to the stressful impact of running. I did improve my balance. I also increased my strength, my flexibility, my concentration, and my overall health. I decreased my stress and anxiety levels. But most importantly, I found joy and love in something that is completely dependent on my own practice…yoga empowered me! I crave yoga and all the benefits it has to offer. I am a better mother, a better wife, a happier person, and a new business owner…a dream I didn’t even know I had until recently!

 

In finding Amanda, I found myself.

Karrie, 40-something young

Kentucky

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