What are your credentials?
Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor (200 hours plus additional training with renowned yoga instructors to continue my education)
What sets you apart from other instructors?
My yoga classes are more about teaching students to become comfortable in their own bodies than worrying about how many poses they can do. I truly believe that until you can relax in your body the poses mean nothing. Each individual is unique, and none of us will look the same in a pose. If you walk out of my class relaxed and happy, I've done my job. The rest will come later.
My focus in massage is to help treat the problem. I focus on target areas that are affecting the client. During 30-minute massages, all focus is on the problem area. One-hour massages can be a combination of the focus area and relaxation, or just a full relaxation massage.
What is your lifestyle philosophy?
I practice what I preach! If I don't practice yoga how can I know what my students are feeling? I have come to realize how imperfect I am! I have aches and pains, tight muscles, and trouble balancing, but I keep trying. I smile when I fall and laugh when it hurts. I exercise on a regular basis with yoga, running, and other forms of physical activity. My diet isn't perfect, but I do my best. I try to get massages as often as possible, too. I believe that I am the only one in charge of my health.
How did you get involved in yoga?
After years of being overweight, depressed, and feeling stuck in life, and having found no progress with dieting or traditional medicine, I took a leap of faith and attended a yoga class being offered by local martial artist Shane Lear. The first class was nearly intolerable: I couldn't do a push-up, balance, or even stand on my own two feet! I powered through it, though, and by the ending meditation found a new resolution to take control of my health, both physical and mental. I improved with each class, and even turned to television and internet videos to extend my home practice. Eventually, Shane invited me to teach my own class, and my first few years of teaching focused on very difficult, fast-paced power yoga until I realized I was alienating a lot of people with this approach and decided I needed additional training to hone in on my asanas. My continued training hasn’t stopped since, and I’ve been pleased to attend many workshops focusing on using yoga as therapy. I believe that being a yoga teacher improves my massage and vice versa, as I’m able to suggest stretching and strengthening exercises to my massage clients and pressure point therapy to my yoga students, giving them a sense of empowerment and control over their lives.
Will yoga turn me into a tree-hugging vegetarian?
If you want it to. At first, the change yoga brought for me was very subtle, little things like choosing to eat better, not drink as much alcohol, and even noticeably feeling a bit calmer. These changes sparked by yoga practice helped me lose about 40 lbs too, but that came slowly and over time. Yoga has helped me center myself and respond to people differently. (No, not all the time; I am human.) For me, when I step onto my mat it's my place of peace and quiet that accepts me any way I come. Without yoga, I'm not sure I could have made it through some of the hardest parts of my life. All this may seem very strange, but think about something that brings a smile to your face. That's what yoga does for me: it makes me smile!
Will I help everyone? No. But my goal, if I can, is to lessen someone’s pain and help empower them to take a positive step in their life, to give them tools to assist with this, and just make them feel like they can succeed at what it is they want. I always tell my students, “When you come to class, this is your class, not mine. You tell me what you want.” The same goes for massage. I can't feel what my clients are feeling; they matter and what they’re feeling matters. Together we can help each other.
Embrace Yoga, Massage & Wellness is owned and operated by Amy Urton, LMT, CYT. Since 2010, Amy has been offering therapeutic massage, yoga and personal fitness classes, and personal wellness consultations and workshops in conjunction with Lear’s Martial Arts in Delphos, Ohio.