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Jyoti Shines A Light: Amanda Ricciardi

Amanda Ricciardi has her mom to thank for her love of yoga. “My mom introduced me to it,” she says. “She noticed me struggling at a young age with stress and anxiety and showed me this world of happiness and peace I never thought existed.” (Let this be a lesson to all of us that our mothers really do know best most of the time.)

Years later — and as part of the team here at Jyoti — Amanda seeks to empower her students through yoga in a similar way. Ultimately, her goal is to give them an experience that allows them to create a deeper connection within themselves and encourages them to act in the most attentive way possible. This level of attentiveness, in turn, can give them the gift of living more in the moment, which was a big part of Amanda’s own journey to finding peace through yoga.

The youngest members of our Jyoti community can now learn these important lessons with Amanda, who is leading our summer children’s program. Amanda also teaches beginner classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m., Hatha on Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m., and a Warm Flow on Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

Learn more about Amanda’s personal experience and philosophies below.

What made you fall in love with taking care of your body?

I struggled with an autoimmune disease for many years. I tried different medications and visited many different doctors, just trying to find out why I was feeling the way I was. I came to realize the best medicine is self-care. I noticed the greatest improvements within my mind and body when I actually started looking at what I was putting in my body and what I was feeding my mind. I changed my diet to holistic and organic food and started practicing yoga, and right away, I noticed I had more energy and I was able to actually focus on tasks without that intense brain fog. My lifestyle switch was the key to my happiness and growth. Without the practice of yoga, I would not be who I am today mentally and physically.

What does self-care mean to you?

Self-care means that it’s okay to take a day off, to change my mind, to do something for me, or to not even answer a phone call. Whatever it is that you feel the need to do in order to protect your energy counts as self-care and mindfulness.

What inspires you most?

I’m inspired by every person I meet. We all have a story and something we are struggling with.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t plan your life based on the way that other people define happiness. It’s different for everyone! It’s our job as individual souls on our life path to seek out our own version of success and happiness.

How do you ignite your inner light?

I feel highly connected to the moon. When the moon is full, I can feel its wholeness without even looking. It puts me at ease to gaze at the moonlight, especially because I’m a night owl and it becomes one of my closest friends. Wherever you are on this planet, if you look at the moon, chances are someone else is gazing at the same time. That’s how you know you’re never alone.

Say hi to Amanda on Facebook or Instagram!