Spotlight on … Amanda Tolchard
by Amanda Tolchard
Why did you become a yoga/Pilates teacher?
Pilates – I was drawn to Pilates for the rehabilitation benefits after several years of lower back pain. I had always pushed my body to work harder and it was telling me I needed to slow down. I chose to train in Clinical Pilates to understand the rehabilitation side of Pilates better and how to make more complex exercises more accessible to me and my students. I think of the physical body like layers, and Pilates has taught me to work from the inside…. out
Yoga – initially so I could move away from the intensity of the fitness industry, my mind and body wanted and needed to slow down. After practicing a few years I felt the benefits in my mind as well as my body and felt I had come home!! Finding a way to move that wasn’t punishing was profound for me! Being able to listen to my body when it said no was a revelation and I want to help others to find that connection with themselves. Yoga has taken me on a journey beyond the mat, parts of me that were broken and scarred are now healing I’m finding more and more about who I really am. Sharing this journey as a teacher is a way of giving back, making a difference to peoples lives.
What is your favourite pose/exercise?
Savasana of course!! At the end of a practise to close my eyes and connect with myself, I love the fact that doing nothing is so good for you 🙂
Which classes do you teach at RHY?
Red Hot Yoga (cover mindful flow, vinyasa glow & RHY unheated)
Red Hot Pilates
Core strength MOTR
Mummy & Me Pilates Course
Clinical Pilates Private Session
Yoga and/or Pilates Private Session
How long have you been an instructor?
Since 1995 as a Personal Trainer, exercise to music, body Pump, Aqua, body balance instructor
What is your go to snack after your practise?
Coconut water or Emergen C – tend to think more about hydration than food… which is very unusual for me!
How do you motivate yourself to get on your mat?
Have been struggling with my own motivation recently, main thing I do when this happens is to not to beat myself up for not practicing as much as I would like, trusting that I’m where I’m meant to be, this lack of motivation won’t last forever! I’ve got back into my practise by trying something new, I’ve been dipping my big toe into Mysore and doing more ‘Mindful’ classes recently. So long as I pause a remember to breathe I know I’ll get though the sticky times.
Top tip for Downward Dog?
I can struggle with this pose myself!! Top Tip would be Listen to your body, don’t worry about anyone else, modify the pose by bending the knees, taking the hands to grip the outside of the mat or even come out of the pose if it’s not working for you today. Some days are better than others!!
What would your advice be to beginners?
It can be very daunting stepping out of your comfort zone to try something new. There is always an option of a few private session to boost your confidence, otherwise try talking to the teacher before the class, let them know you’re new, we’ve all been there! Don’t take yourself too seriously, remember ‘it’s only yoga’!!
What else do you do in your spare time?
What spare time?!!! It’s all about my family, hanging out with my husband and my kids Will, who’s 12 & Emma who’s 11 and I love going walking with my 8 month old puppies!! I’m rather hooked on the box set Breaking Bad at moment.
Where is your favourite travel destination?
I’d say anywhere warm with a beach, Florida’s coastline is beautiful, I loved Key West, Tampa and Marco Island