Meet Amy Schneider. A mom, wife, yoga instructor, yoga studio owner, humanitarian – with an interest in stopping the Sex Trafficking Industry. When talking to her now, you would never sense the chaotic childhood that Amy (as well as many others) experienced. Molestation by a family friend and challenging relationships with family members were early traumas that moved her to be interested in helping others.
INTRODUCTION TO YOGA
As a military Civilian, she attended her very first yoga class overseas. After returning to the States, she saw an open spot in a yoga class and decided to join. There, she fell in love with the practice (and her Teacher Rob Greenberg) and claimed that the cells in her body felt as if they were saying:
Even after finding her new love for Yoga, Amy took the role of a Rock n’ Roll Nanny for 3-and-a-half years (how cool?) due to her love for travel. During that experience, she decided to become trained in Yoga in India. She is also a Reflexologist and Thai Massage licensed Therapist.
OPENING OF YOGA STUDIO
Although there was never an intention to own her own studio, Amy states that the opportunity to open one just “fell in her lap” when the studio she was working in, closed. Shortly after that, in 2002, she and two lovely women opened Community Yoga’s doors.
As a yoga Instructor, she likes to call herself service minded. She is not in it for the money, but focuses on the ability to create a safe and sacred space for the Teachers AND Students at Community Yoga. She is a traditional instructor, believing that yoga is a practice that is meant to be personal, unique and a practice that allows each individual to have their own beliefs and special practices.
When asked the benefits of yoga, she started with your typical answers: spiritual growth, mental health, psychological health, physical movement, and then (pleasantly surprised) her final answer:
To make us better people.
Typically, you would not associate yoga with having the ability to make you an overall well rounded person, it is usually focused exclusively on relaxation. Once those words left her mouth, I felt as if she could sense my surprise and she continued by adding:
We have a body, one body, and yoga is not about WHAT pose you are doing or HOW WELL you are doing that pose. Yoga is about WHO we are being in that pose and what you feel in that pose. Could you FEEL your right foot connecting with the ground?
There is a segment of Practicing Yoga called “Karma Yoga”- where you can give back with selfless service. For all 15 years of operation, Community Yoga has chosen one organization/cause a year to serve and learn from. Some examples of previously chose organizations and/or causes were the Animal Shelter, North Mecklenburg Schools, Ada Jenkins, Angels & Sparrows, Soup Kitchen and Habitat for Humanity.
Vigilante Truth is PROUD to say that this year, WE are the organization chosen by Community Yoga. Amy had been invited by a friend to hear Bo (Vigilante Truth’s founder) speak at a Greek Restaurant. While this event caught her attention, it didn’t move her to take action on the subject. It wasn’t until last year, when Bo spoke at a Temple, where the connection clicked. There were many people she knew who were involved in the fight, and it was her turn to become part of it! She felt that it was incredibly important to be educated on the matter of Sex Slavery.
When asked how Vigilante Truth and Community Yoga can work together to help end Sex Slavery, her answer was simple: Yoga is an AMAZING trauma therapy for trafficked victims, especially with the correct intention to practice yoga. Also, when you are connecting with yourself during Yoga Practices, you will build that relationship with your spirit and structure your self-esteem AS WELL AS body image. This is not limited to woman…Yoga is just as healing to men.
In closing of the interview, I asked if Amy had any last comments or remarks that she would like to add. It my absolute pleasure to share with you that her response was:
There are times when I get on my [yoga] mat and that is the SAFEST I feel. That’s what I want to share with others.
There are no rules to how you can get involved in the fight against Sex Slavery. Vigilante Truth is proud to partner with people, businesses and groups that care about the issue and have a platform that is unique for raising awareness. Thank you Community Yoga for allowing this partnership to happen and we are excited to see where it takes us!
Check out Community Yoga on Social Media!
Facebook Page: @communityoga