Welcome to Amanecer ("Sunrise") Yoga! My name is Barbara Smith, and I look forward to meeting you. My journey into yoga teaching began long before I fully realized it. I have always been interested in health, nutrition, and exercise, but for a long time looked at these areas as a means to an end, rather than an actual lifestyle. I used yoga as a way to cross-train for other things, looking at it as just another piece of my workout routine, not as a way to live. Whether I was looking to lose weight, train for a race, or just expand my general recipe repertoire, the idea of simply living an overall holistic life didn't fully come into focus for me until about 5 years ago.
At that time, I went through a divorce, and really started to face some major life changes. I did a lot of reading about self-care and healing, and about living mindfully, and for the first time in many years, started to ask questions about my next direction. I realized that I had the opportunity to create the exact life that I wanted to live, and that I could do so in my own way. I could find the space and time that I wanted and needed to heal, grow, and share. My first step was completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training, which I was so fortunate to be able to do at the beautiful Asheville Yoga Center. I did a 3-week immersion training, which allowed me to take a step outside of my normal life, and just live yoga for that time. I was also blessed to meet and become friends with some of the most amazing women I've ever met, and now get to carry those connections with me. I started teaching here in Greensboro about 2 years ago, and now have active classes at 5 different locations. I've loved watching the personal evolution of my teaching, as I've learned how to share this life-affirming practice authentically, in my own voice. The next step on my journey was completing my training as a certified Health Coach, through the Health Coach Institute. This awesome program made so much incredibly valuable information available to me, and also allowed me to use those resources to create a program that is rooted in my belief in simplicity, inspiration, compassion, gratitude, and presence. My goal for my teaching business is to combine all these aspects together, and be able to share with my clients, allowing them to discover and enhance their own journeys into wellness. My clients' goals are my paramount concern, and I will always endeavor to provide the support and accountability they need to help them achieve their own level of success. I would truly love to hear more about YOUR journey, and have the opportunity to work with you. If you are looking to make lifestyle changes that will lead to more energy, reduced stress, better health through weight loss and/or exercise, and an overall way of being that is holistic and mindful, please contact me!
I love sharing the practice of yoga almost more than I can put into words! I love meeting and connecting with the people who come to my classes, and learning about their journeys and stories; I love planning classes - having new themes, creating playlists of music, learning about areas of the practice where I can deepen my own knowledge as well as my students' - yoga history and philosophy, or perhaps a new way to sequence to move into a new posture; I love the feeling of walking into the studio and immediately getting a sense of calm, lightness, and being centered; I love reading new books or articles about yoga, and finding passages that resonate with me and sharing them with my students. My meditation mantra has been, "Trust, love, let go, offer" - these are the things that yoga has taught me and continues to give me every day, and I so enjoy sharing them!
Barbara somehow does an amazing job of bringing everyone onto the same wave length as class begins. She explains what we will be working on during class and always asks if anyone has any needs they would like to address. Barbara explains poses and how to achieve the pose if it's new. She explains what should be feeling with the pose and what we are working to achieve. Classes are well thought out and she is wonderful about sharing the background of yoga. And her music is always spot-on!
I really have learned so much about working with breath and movement. Barbara is a wonderfully accomplished teacher Always knowledgeable and careful to personalize your experience, tailor made for your own body and needs!
My husband and I have been practicing yoga for about 4 years and are very particular about the instructors we practice with. Barbara is a powerful, detailed instructor and I knew from the first class she would be one of our favorites. She challenges you but always, always encourages to listen to you body and very carefully guides you through poses, especially the more advanced ones. No two practices are the same and she brings thought-provoking meditations to each one. I'm always engaged. Also enjoy her extensive music selections!
Barbara is so attentive, nurturing and present. She has helped me move past so many physical (and emotional) barriers since my multiple cancer surgeries, allowing me to progress far beyond my initial goals. I am so much stronger, calmer, and happier than I've ever been. Working with Barbara offers more than just a workout --- she offers an amazing work-in-progress-life-alteration! Can you tell I adore her? HIGHLY recommend her!
I would first want to meet with the student to assess their needs, goals, and any limitations or injuries, not to mention to see if we are a compatible match, and if I can provide for them the resources they need. Our practice would be centered around their goals, and would evolve as necessary for the time we spend together. I've found in working with clients that as someone progresses, those needs and goals change - so we will always be flexible in how we approach each session, always taking into account where the student is on that day. I will meet you where you are, and we'll go from there!
I've practiced yoga for almost 10 years. I have a RYT 200-hour Yoga Instruction Certification from the Asheville Yoga Center, and I am currently working on my RYT 300-hour training certification from the Triad Yoga Institute. I am a Yoga Alliance member, and have been teaching group classes and working with private clients for almost 2 years. I am always a student, too!
My charges are $60/hour practice, or $30 for a half-hour session. I also offer "packages," which are $200 for 4 hour practices ($100 for 4 half-hour practices), and $360 for 8 hour practices ($160 for 8 half-hour practices). I have studio space available in downtown Greensboro at Sonder Mind & Body, which is located at 515 S. Elm St., and I'm there on Mondays (10:00-2:00), Wednesdays (11:00-2:00), and Thursdays (10:00-2:00), with some flexibility (no pun intended...!) for other possible times, as well. I also have some access to the private studio at Radiance Yoga, depending on day and time.
My decision to pursue yoga teacher training was sealed during a trip to the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in the Bahamas 3 years ago. My yoga practice was a huge part of my healing process following a divorce, and on this trip (my first ever completely solo vacation) I found the realization that it was something I could and so much wanted to share.
I've taught classes at many different levels, and worked with students ranging from serious athletes to 80-year-olds. Some of my private clients have needed personalized instruction as they recovered from an injury or surgery (the most recent one of these was someone who'd had a hip replacement). Moat of my group classes are at the intermediate level, and are vinyasa flow-type classes, although I've also taught gentle yoga, and slower-paced Yin classes, too.
In my own personal practice, I was able to participate in a Summer Solstice Mala - a class where we completed 108 sun salutations in celebration of the solstice. This practice was transformative, as I found that I completely lost all track of time and of counting, and was able to be in a kind of moving meditation, completely focused within, and connected with my own breath. I spend a lot of time thinking about teaching, so it was so great to get out of my head!
Find the teacher whose style resonates with you, and be open to learning about more than just yoga poses! Yoga is more than just physical, and I think that's something we can lose sight of if we're only focused on getting a workout.
Be open about your schedule and any possible conflicts with your practice. Please always let a teacher know if you have any kind of injury or limitation that could affect your practice - in yoga we practice "ahimsa," which means "non-harming." As a teacher I need to be aware of anything you shouldn't do, and you should be willing to practice this concept yourself, as well!