Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Amato. Angela, let’s start with your story.
We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far:
Yoga started for me after experiencing a significant loss in life, I was not dealing with it very well and tried many different things to help cope and nothing was helping. Someone suggested Yoga. Being new to Yoga, I figured it was worth a try. I turned to Yoga to help me heal through a difficult time, and that’s exactly what it did. I instantly became addicted.
I started out as a student and loved Yoga and the studio so much, I then went on and started in a Yoga for Trade position in the studio and finally went on to take their Teacher Training program back in 2014.
When I first started out trying to find Yoga studios that would fit my full time work schedule and allow me to teach part-time, it was one of the most difficult things I ever tried doing. It seemed nearly impossible. Until I came across a donation-based class at Sunset Cliffs. I was so impressed after taking this class, I was motivated and inspired by the instructor, I had to pick her brain and get more information on holding outdoor donation-based classes. I thought what a perfect way for someone like me who works full time and was having a really hard time finding a studio that fit my full-time work schedule. I figured if I was able to teach at the Cliffs on my own time, I would be able to teach my Yoga class and not have it interfere at all with work. So I started my very own donation based Sunset Vinyasa II Surf Flow Class at the Sunset Cliffs location back in 2015.
It was a success from the very beginning, and I have been going strong for 5 years now. I built up a regular student following that has supported me each and every week out there for 5 years strong now.
Recently, I gained a new student who not only was interested in the classes at the cliffs but who also wanted Private Yoga classes for her and her friends held at her house. This opened up a whole brand new opportunity for me, again allowing me to teach additional Yoga Classes on my time and not interfering with my full-time job.
Along the way, I also found some really great studios who actually were very understanding to my full-time work schedule and allowed me to either be on the sub list as needed and when I was available to help or actually gave me classes that were perfectly timed that didn’t interfere with work.This brings me to the present day. I have come so far along in my journey, and there is so much more to go and accomplish!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not always been smooth or easy. It is extremely hard as someone who has to work full time and to try and teach Yoga part time. There are not many studios out there that are willing or understanding and want a teacher with a limited scheduled due to their full time job.
This was a major struggle for me as I’m sure its for many other teachers out there as well that have to work a full time job. Eventually my full time job was extremely understanding and so helpful with trying to allow me to reach my goal and passion to teach. They worked with me by allowing/ letting me go early on a specific day, so that I would make it in time to teach classes at a studio.
Nothing is ever always just handed to you and easy. It wasn’t always smooth sailing. There were just little hiccups along the way but nothing that couldn’t be worked out. The cliffs are a public area, and sometimes it can be challenging holding a class in a public space. Especially one that attracts many tourists, other people that want to hold classes on same days and times, musicians out there playing music, weather conditions, loud Coast Guard Helicopters and drones flying by and many other distractions, etc….. it was hard to compete at times with all the activity at the Cliffs. But we always worked through it and had amazing classes!
Yoga with Angie – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m originally from NJ and moved to San Diego back in 2011, for my dream job as a Humane Officer. One of my goals and passions in life is to rescue animals from the people who hurt them and bring them to justice! After two years in this position, I suddenly lost this job. I was devastated and went through an extremely hard time accepting this loss and turned to Yoga for some peace. After years of working in the animal field and having compassion fatigue, yoga provided a sense of transformation in body & mind, calmness and tranquility, like no other form of exercise and I quickly became addicted. Inspired by the benefits of Yoga and its healing, discovery, and transformation, I started out as a student, then went on to a Yoga for trade position, then went on to complete Yoga Six’s 200-hour Vinyasa Teacher Training in 12/2014. I had the desire to share the gift of Yoga and to provide a safe, supportive environment for others to learn, explore, practice and thrive and become more aware of their breath, strong body & mind and heart.
My Sunset Yoga Class at Sunset Cliffs has been going strong for 5 years now. I teach this amazing Sunset Class at the cliffs and love everything about it; it is my passion to be out there and share this with all my students. My classes more specialize in a Vinyasa All Levels and also a Vinyasa Surf Flow Style of a class, which basically means this class will work your whole body from head to toe, you will feel like you got a complete full body work out.
One thing about my classes is I offer so many modifications this class can be taken by beginners or seasoned yogis. Everyone can go at their own pace and level which makes it safe and fun for all.
One thing that my students have always told me about myself and my classes that I’m very proud of and that sets me apart from others is: My connection with my students. It’s a personal connection with each and every one, knowing how their doing in life and asking about things that are going on in their lives and remembering the following week again to check in with them.
My students love that personal attention. Not many teachers take that time to get to know their students on that level. My classes are inspiring and energetic and are always themed. It could be a holiday theme, something that’s happening around the world or maybe even something personal that happened to me that week, that I wanted to share with them. No matter what the theme or the focus/topic of class is, it always seems to touch all their hearts in a certain way that they can relate to and it makes me as a teacher seem more real to them.
My students love my music/playlist, Its always a fresh fun playlist that goes with the theme of class each and every week. My students also have complimented me on my calming voice and healing touch. Not many teachers actually get off their mats and walk around to give adjustments and lavender Reiki healing Savasanna’s…
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of Enthusiasm! Success is reaching as high as the moon because even if you miss, you will be among the stars! I want to be able to offer Yoga to everyone in a gorgeous setting such as Sunset Cliffs.
We are so blessed to be able to do Yoga while you over the look the beautiful ocean and gorgeous Sunset as you flow. Classes in studios are great, but no studio can offer what these outdoor classes offer to all students. The calming deep blue color of the ocean, the sweet-salty scent of the ocean air, the sound of the waves crashing beneath the cliffs below us. It’s just an amazing experience. It’s tranquil and peaceful and becomes addictive. It’s a beautiful little Yoga community that I have established out at the cliffs.
Some studios can get expensive with their memberships. The greatest part about classes at the cliffs is they are donation based, so you give whatever you can, which helps Yogis still be able to enjoy their Yoga Classes each and every week! My Yoga classes are more for that level 2 Yogi that wants a little bit more of a challenge and that full body workout, that Full Body Surf Flow, but also my classes can be for anyone such as a beginner because of all the modifications that are offered. Each Yogi can really make each of my classes their very own and that’s the best part about my classes that I teach.
To all the new teachers and all teachers out there who may be going through the same thing as I dealt with. Having to work a full time job and trying to teach Yoga part time. Trying to find a studio that will accommodate your full time schedule and give you a chance.
Or starting your very own Out Door Yoga Classes! What ever your desire and passion is, don’t give up! If you want it bad enough you will find a way to make it happen and get it! Where there is a will there is always a way! Stick to it and give it 110% and give it all the fire you have in your heart and you will get there with determination and hard work!
Off the mat, I still work with animals in an animal hospital and have a deep love & passion for helping, rescuing and saving animals. I also love anything sporty & outdoors, fun in the sun and in the water at the beach! I just really love being out in Nature so I love hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and spending quality time with my four-legged fur baby named Emma!
Always remember to spay, neuter & microchip your animals and never buy, always opt to adopt and truly save a life!