The second power woman to take part in the Dream Chasers series is Amanda Battle. She runs her own yoga studio Soul Coast Yoga in Rockingham, Western Australia. I met Amanda during our teacher training in Bali. A strong, inspiring, and loving woman who took the leap to start her own business. And it’s thriving. Here’s her story.
DREAM CHASER is a series of interviews with women who are working hard to turn their dreams into reality. Women who choose their own path, who follow their hearts, run their own business, and do what they love no matter what.
Tell us about how it all started. When did you know what you wanted and when did you decide to go for it?
I remember vividly the moment that I had a deep sense of “coming home”, with tears of joy, anger, frustration, and absolute surrender, that I had stumbled across something so powerful, so beautiful, so familiar, yet had been such a stranger to my being for quite some time,…… and that was ME. This is also called a Samvega, which means a sense of urgency to escape the round of meaningless and this ignited a deep sense of transformation and self-reflection.
I had booked myself into a Yoga and Surf Retreat, in Seminyak and I just remember coming home with this drive to be “alive”. Alive in my own life, not just driven by money, working, and auto-pilot and I felt that Yoga was this bridge. Fast forward to my first Yoga Teacher Training in California, Yoga For Surfers, then onto further study with Santosha Yoga in Bali (where we met!) and then onto my spiritual home of Rishikesh, India, and my teacher Vishvaketu Yogrishi, from Akhanda Yoga.
I think, at that very moment way back at that Retreat, I knew something shifted and life was never going to be the same and I literally, just went for it!
What were/are the biggest obstacles?
ME!!! Obstacles are usually perceived and a way that the ego places constraints, self-criticism, judgment, and fear. These moments are usually when I am putting together a new workshop, retreat, or moving forward into my vision and dreams. I sometimes like to call this the “itty bitty shitty committee” and old patterns/samsara resurface and I am faced with “What if???” and self-judgment, criticism, and doubt can creep in.
We have all been there, and I think it doesn’t go away, you just get better at becoming more aware and present in these old habits and patterns that may have plagued you in the past. I find also, meditation and getting really clear on my offerings and coming back to a place of love and service, and aligning myself with this intention, then it’s all good.
Show us a day in the life of…
I always like to start my day off with stillness and “dropping in” to a practice of gratitude and setting my intentions for the day. I find that when I take time to set this up, my days just flow from one beautiful moment to the next. My morning practice is a sacred time to connect to myself and ground before I either teach, surf, if I have back to back meetings or if I am just pottering around at home in my PJ’s with my dog and hubby.
I don’t really have a “typical” day as my schedule changes, ranging from teaching studio yoga classes to private corporate yoga, professional development workshops to teachers, or catching up for a cuppa with my teachers, friends, or family. I love having the freedom to go with the flow and always try to tune in to what I am needing and feeling.
Sometimes I feel extra social and love being out and about, and other times I need time to my self, to reconnect, renew and restore my energy. I think it’’s really important as a teacher to tune into this inner voice, that says….. rest!
What do you do to relax?
I find running a full-time Yoga studio with a team of now 7 teachers very demanding! It’s constant, and it doesn’t surprise me when I say I can sometimes work 7 days a week. However, my work is a place of service and it doesn’t feel like “work” and I find at different times I am more creative, productive, and passionate about our offerings, and other times I need to step away to recharge.
It’s these times, that I love nothing more than disconnecting, from social media and computers, and do simple things like taking the dog down the beach, read a book or journal, go for a surf or take time out to spend with loved ones. I also try to have a “self-love” routine, which includes a monthly full body massage, chiropractic adjustment, or a “float” in a floatation tank as it’s so important to look after yourself as a full-time teacher and business owner.
One of my all-time favourite relaxation things to do is simply filling up our outdoor bath, especially under a full moon, with lots of bath salts, bubbles, candles and a good glass of cheeky red…… bliss (the husband may or may not be lucky enough to be invited for this one!).
How do you define happiness?
Happiness to me is knowing that I am fulfilling my dharma. I feel so connected and driven in my “work” that everything that I do is in alignment with this foundation and inspiration. I feel such a sense of peace and joy to be able to teach yoga from this place of love that happiness just flows!
I love seeing people in Savasana and meditation with this beautiful sense of tranquility on their face and deep connection to themselves, now that is happiness!
What are your biggest fears and how do you deal with them?
When I did my first ever Yoga Teacher Training in California, Yoga for Surfers, I always remember my teacher, Peggy Hall saying “Let your dreams be bigger than any of your fears”. This has really stuck with me over the years and serves as a part of my personal mantra.
Fears are contraction and make us play small in our lives, dreams are expansion, and these are limitless….. when fears raise their head, I just remember this mantra. I also ask myself where am I feeling contracted in my life? Where would I like to feel expansion and what does this look like? Get honest with yourself…. but with kindness and compassion.
What are the best lessons that you’ve learned so far?
So many lessons!!! Lessons are ALWAYS presenting themselves to us, if we are open and ready to listen. The best lessons are the ones that realign yourself with your highest version of you, as I believe there are no bad lessons, just gifts. Listen to your intuition and trust your path. If you lead with love and an open heart, I feel you can’t go wrong…… wherever that may take you!
What keeps you motivated and believing in yourself/your business?
I am blown away, on a day-to-day basis, by the power of Yoga. Sure, there are days, that you really question what the hell you are doing, am I good enough, compare yourself to others and some people are just not going to like you or your teachings…… this is hard.
But, if we come back to being of service, leading with love and keeping that heart open (even when you want to close it and run away), beautiful things can happen. Like seeing people in that very moment in Savasana or meditation, or someone coming up to you after class and sharing their story and how yoga has helped them is all the motivation I need to feel like a rock/superstar yoga teacher…..that connection that leads people back home to themselves, for me, is the “pot of gold”.
Are there any dreams left that you plan to chase in the future?
I plan on never stopping learning and never stopping traveling….. Ha, relax, nothing is under control! I am happy to sit back and let this dream flow, grow, and build all from this place of love. Watch this space!
Any advice for anyone out there dreaming but not yet chasing?
“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears”…… simple?