Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. Mandy Leigh. I am a Partner, a Cat Mom, Cultivator of Community, and a Yoga Instructor. I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC and attended a private school in High Point, NC. I went to Cosmetology school after graduation and did hair in Greensboro, then decided to work for my Dad’s trucking company for 4 years. When he passed away, I had to make a change and somehow Corporate America came about. After working in Corporate banking for 8 years, Yoga Teacher Training came into my life and I was able to quit my job and focus on Yoga and community events.
Q. What is your work?
A. I am a Yoga Instructor at various studios throughout the Triad and teach on my own at local businesses to help in supporting local small businesses. I also teach two free community classes each week along with local Yoga pop-up events in Greensboro.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. My passion project is around being able to teach Yoga to the Deaf Community. I know sign language, or ASL, but being able to become certified and fluently communicate is the goal. Interacting and meeting local people in our community who I can talk to about how to connect and find out ways to teach Yoga to them!
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Going to the Dominican Republic to become a Yoga Instructor. I signed up for the 200 Hour Training in October of 2018. It took a lot of courage for me to even sign up because I am a homebody and knowing that I would be away for 15 days was scary. The training came in June 2019 and in the two weeks before the training was scheduled, the news started reporting about the deaths of people in the DR. Everyone started emailing me and texting me about needing to change the dates of my trip and to not leave. Stories kept piling up and the media was reporting so many things day in and day out. My heart was set on this trip and I had to learn to trust the process. I had to believe that I would be safe in the group I was in and we would watch after each other.
15 days of living in the jungle, no A/C, no wi-fi or television was exactly what I needed. I was able to do a lot of self-inquiry, unpack any stories that were getting in my way, and learn what it was like to share space with other humans that I didn’t know. I would do this trip over and over again to be able to come away with this outcome and mindset
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I want to teach and do ALL things Yoga and be in service to others. I would say that yes, I am doing what I want to be doing. If anything, not having enough time is stopping me from doing even more of that. Constant reading and research, along with taking classes around studios in Greensboro to be able to integrate different styles in my classes take up a lot of each day.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Never stop wanting more. Always put yourself out there and learn new things. Continue to be an individual and don’t change who you are for anyone.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. I want to Cultivate Community and meet other humans as they are and as they are not. Knowing that myself and others included, are exactly where we are supposed to be right now. Its great to look ahead and into the future that we want, but while doing that we can lose sight of living in the present moment.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Community. Even when I am exhausted from work or teaching, and feel as though I have nothing to share, I think about the people I am so grateful to be in contact with. There may only be one person that gets something they needed out of my emails or social media posts or face to face interactions, and that one person makes the difference.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. Surround yourself with people who bring joy and light into your life and never be afraid to meet new people. I have met so many amazing humans lately whom I have been able to connect with and have felt so much love and support from and none of that would have happened without the power of connection.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Fish Pose- I love to use one or two blocks, one under my thoracic spine and one under my head on the highest setting. This pose is very restorative along with being a great Heart and Throat Chakra opener.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. Striving to be the best version of myself every day and choosing to make the most out of every opportunity. Building friendships and relationships that manifest gratitude and appreciation. Creating an open mindset and a heart of service.