Featured Student: Amy Busch

Back in the Fall, I interviewed one of our regular students, Amy Busch, for our Featured Student piece when, each month or so, we sit down with one of our regular students to get to know them a bit better, and hear how yoga has impacted their life. Many of you will have read about Amy’s yoga journey thus far in that article. Well now, we are thrilled to let you know that Amy was the very first student to enroll in our inaugural Breathe Deep Yoga Immersion & Teacher Training, which begins in March!

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Here’s what she had to say about registering to take YTT: “As a longtime student of yoga, I want to continue learning on a deeper level, and explore becoming a teacher. I’m excited for the journey ahead!”

Amy is a native of Farmington Hills, Michigan. She came to Chelsea about 14 years ago. After school, Amy attended Albion College for music, spending two years studying Music and French at The Conservatory Grenoble, in France. She transferred to the U of M after that to complete her degree. Before entering motherhood, she played over 300 shows at the Gem theater in Detroit as part of a duet!

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”I still play the violin. Mostly Mozart and Bach,” she says. She then worked in marketing for a company in Ann Arbor where she met her husband, Owen. They moved to Winter Park, Florida, spending 4 years there in a small, walkable town not unlike Chelsea.

Amy joined us right from the very start, in July 2015 during our open house weekend, “I was so excited to have a yoga studio open up here in Chelsea” she says, since which time she has spent a total of 580 hours (and climbing!) here on her mat! Amy is almost always one of the first students to arrive in the morning - she walks to the studio after her kids leave for school - and, along with Janine, has assumed the role of Meddy Teddy’s carer and personal coach, putting him into new and often very challenging poses in the front window :)

Q: Which class is your absolute must-attend staple class on the schedule?

“I love Ashtanga because it feels like coming home as it was my very first practice. I also truly love Emily’s Slowflow on a monday morning - such a great start to the week. I enjoy a slow and deliberate practice most - it’s often more challenging than a faster paced class. I always come back to balance - the complete balance of the practice - working both sides of the body, the inhales and exhales. It is during that kind of practice that I am conscious of being connected to the universe, and while it makes me feel small on my mat, it also makes me feel part of something bigger. I did yoga through all 3 of my pregnancies, both in a class setting and at home. Childbirth for me was almost like I was preparing for a final exam. Every time I came to my mat I thought about the delivery, and I felt like I was preparing my body to give it the best chance possible at the perfect experience. If I were to train to teach, I would definitely focus on prenatal yoga - Do you need a prenatal teacher!? (yes!!) Yoga helps put your body back together after you’ve had a baby too of course.”

Q: What brought you to yoga originally?

“Owen and I moved to Florida for his work, and a friend encouraged me to try out a yoga studio called Full Circle. It was an Ashtanga class - probably around 16 years ago! I was looking for something I did not find at the gym. I guess I love the class setting, the challenge, the community. I have realized I never push myself as far at home on my own. A lot of people think you have to be flexible to do yoga, but what you are really trying to find is space and expansion in the body. I don’t think so much about flexibility - it will come - I concentrate more on opening up, finding space. I also run, and more recently found trail running and do love to be out in nature, but you’re using the exact same joints and muscles. Running is more of a linear practice. Yoga more circular. I definitely feel my best self on the mat! Yoga gives me a chance to focus on just one thing.”

Do you have a favorite pose?

Crescent warrior!” (said without any hesitation!). “It’s strong, expansive. Such an empowering pose, and the best stretch for hip flexors which is great after running. Also Upward Facing dog. I like to linger in that pose which is so often just a transition. I like the movement and the lines - it’s my moment to be a dancer! Amy goes on to liken yoga to her music training, the movements, the expression, the tone, how movements are linked. She says the fine tuning of movements - getting the alignment correct in a pose is similar to how in music you are finessing your movements all the time to produce the right sound.”

What do you value most about coming to the studio?

“The beautiful space and wonderful instructors. Also, of course, the community and the connection. It all creates a great atmosphere, blending so well together. It’s a positive space, and it feels like home.”

You’re a member of the Merries Vintage baseball team. How does that interact with your yoga practice?

“Yes, I’ve been a part of that since they started in 2013. I joined for the community, and because it’s a game. We want to be competitive, but it’s fun to be around others who can laugh at themselves! Also growing up I wasn’t really permitted to do sports - she explains - it was deemed too risky in case I damaged my fingers. So this way, I get to revisit my youth. That attitude translates to the mat, where I try things out and sometimes surprise myself at what I can do, but then other times laugh at myself, and always come back to my breath. When I return to training for baseball, I’m swinging on one side, I sprint, and afterwards I’m sore, and going to yoga the next day helps to balance everything out again - puts my body back together again!”

Do your children do yoga?

“I have two middle schoolers and one in 3rd grade. I do encourage my kids to do yoga. Caitlin is coming to the teen class on Sundays, and Emma really loved it when she was doing Young Yogis. But they need a lot of encouragement - I tell them all they were yoga babies! But I guess they think it’s like mom’s thing.” (yeah, I get that!)

Amy, you’re a real gem, and we’re so glad you are part of our yoga family!