Amy Christman


Today, I had the immense joy of sitting down and chatting with Amy Christman about mindful movement, what it even is, how it’s helpful, and how we can apply it to our daily lives in easy ways. Oh, and we also talk about crushing the patriarchy- NBD.


Amy is an online yoga teacher who takes the intimidation factor out of yoga. Amy is committed to making yoga approachable, accessible, and fun for all. She has spent over a decade in the fitness and wellness industry and enrolled in a yoga teacher training to add one more bullet to her resume. What she got instead was an expansive experience that enabled her to form a deeper connection with herself. Yoga was the conduit for which Amy fell in love with herself, and she cannot wait to teach you to do the same. 

When Amy is not teaching yoga, she is building her community directory of fitness & wellness professionals at The Fierce Collective. Amy is not only a fierce advocate for the benefits of yoga, she’s also a fireball when it comes to crushing the patriarchy and advocating for cultivating beauty from the inside out.

She is located in Colorado Springs, CO and you can find her hiking or mountain biking in the mountains with her son and husband, or drinking homemade margaritas while reading a novel. 

Prefer reading over watching or listening? We’ve covered that for you with the full transcript version below. Enjoy! 🙂



Welcome to the Rooted Woman Project, where we gather together the modern and ancient wisdom being shared by the women who nourish the world.

I could not be more excited to introduce you to Amy today.

Amy is an online yoga teacher who takes the intimidation factor out of yoga, and she’s committed to making it approachable, accessible, and fun for all. And she weaves in mindfulness and meditation into everything that she brings to support you on all of the levels.

So welcome, Amy.


Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.


Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for being here. 

You can find Amy at Ayama with Amy on Instagram. 

And today, we’re going to be talking about:

    • Mindful movement,
    • Mindfulness,
    • How to connect with our bodies as women through both compassion, mindfulness, and movement. 

First. I just want to give you a chance, Amy, to just kind of share what it is that you do, how you got to be a yoga instructor and a fitness expert, and share a little bit about who you are with our community. 


Well, thank you so much for having me and allowing me to share all of the things that are going on right now. 

So my journey to yoga was more of like a professional development piece in my life. It wasn’t like, I want to do this because I have cultivated a yoga practice and now I want to teach others. I actually started teaching and personal, like, group teaching Group X classes, doing personal training. I went to school for Kinesiology, which is the study of movement, and I studied nutrition as well, so I have two bachelors, 

After school, I went into corporate wellness. I loved teaching Group X. Group X was just, like, the most fun because it’s like a party kind of I don’t know. I love. 


What is Group X?


Group exercise classes.


Okay, got it.


Sorry, we’re not in the fitness industry. We usually just abbreviate for group X. 

And I don’t know, I just always felt like people were excited to be there. I kind of get lit up in front of groups and I just loved it. And so I taught on and off for like, a decade. I was doing some contract work, and then I went into a management position.

And I still just got really burned out. But anyway, that is a long sort of path to answer your question.

So I went in 2017, I was like, I’m going to do this. I moved to a new city. And it was very… I always used to refer to it as a fitness wasteland, but it was very heavy on yoga. There was a yoga studio on every corner.

So I was like, I’m just going to do this and see if it can expand my career opportunities. 

And what I ended up getting was like, the universe handing my ass to me in terms of self-awareness and surrender and just basically this journey to self-love, something that I had never, ever done before. I never sat and meditated before. I never knew how to do it. 

And I had done I was more like, yeah, I’ll do yoga here and there when I’m feeling tight, blah, blah, blah. But it was never, like, a true practice. 

And so. I went through this year-long yoga teacher training, I had the best teachers. They’re very well-known in the yoga industry. And, yeah, it just sort of changed my perspective. 

And on top of that, when I finished my yoga teacher training, it was my last session as a student, I just found out I was pregnant with my son and didn’t tell anybody. I just found out, like, the day before. And I was, like, so emotional on that last day because I was like, my life’s about to change. It was just this big thing. Like, I had just graduated from this year-long program that I had put my heart and soul into, and now I just yeah, it was very long. 200 hours is a long time to dedicate to something, but yeah, 

So it ended on a very emotional note. And I think that’s probably why I hold yoga so special to my heart, is because it’s something that I did regularly when I was pregnant with my son. And so I had him in 2018. 

And, you know, as a mom, your perspective changes so much after you have kids. And my body changed. I just got really burned out on fitness, on teaching, on working in the fitness industry. I just got super burned out, and so I just pivoted out altogether.

And then the pandemic hit. The fitness industry in general is kind of like, turned upside down because of the pandemic and is still recovering from all those closures. 

And I just really wanted to stay connected to my community. And so when you and I met, I was working on coaching fitness professionals and how to get them set up in an online business. 

And I think the reason why I really struggled getting momentum with coaching is because I was like, I have never built an online business. How can I teach people to do this if I’ve never done it right?

And so I constantly was getting asked to teach yoga again, and so I figured I may as well just follow that.

Listen to what my people are telling me to do because I do have this expertise and it is something that love to do. 

And so earlier this year, I started Ayama with Amy, and I’ve just kind of brought the community from the fierce collective over with me. And the fierce collective is still around, it’s changing, which I can talk about later.

But yeah, so I’m doing online teaching right now, which is great for me because I do stay at home with my son a couple of days a week. I feel like that was a very long winded answer to your question.


No, that’s exactly what I was wanting, to just get to know your journey and what are you bringing. What are all the experiences? Because it feels like, I’m curious, from your perspective, having so much awareness with a body:

Do you feel like what you learned in a more traditional setting around Kinesis theology, does it fit within the realm of what you learned in the yoga teacher training, too? 

Because I always think yoga teacher training kind of adds that layer of philosophy and kind of spirituality in there, too.

So do you find that they play nicely together?


I do. 

I think because I had the knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how the muscles work, I sort of had that Western philosophy of exercise and physiology. 

And I have to say that Eastern medicine or Eastern practices don’t explain that. 

But what I think my yoga teacher training did for me was be able to pair the mind-body connection and also the mind-body-spirit connection. Because, like I said, I’ve never meditated before, and I had done yoga before plenty of times at this point. I’ve been practicing yoga for, like, 20 years. 

But to have somebody take you on this deep journey into yourself and give you journal prompts, give you mantras to repeat, and give you, like. You know, just the time and the space to be able to explore those parts of yourself is something I never had before and something I never did, because, for me, it is very hard for me. I just did a post on Instagram about this today, but it’s very hard for me to sit still, and it’s very hard for me to meditate. 

And I’m trying to sort change my framework of my own personal meditation and what that looks like for me and how it should look for everyone else, because I don’t think meditation is just like sitting cross legged and being quiet. 

And even yoga is sometimes, it’s very hard for me to do my own practice because I’m very much like a high-energy person. I need to break a sweat. 

There’s so many people out there I hear, that say, I just don’t break a sweat with yoga, and it’s not enough of a workout for me. And I think what you were saying, how the East and West kind of pair well together, I think that having that background in exercise and in teaching people how to exercise their body, I now know how to teach people how to exercise all of those things mind, body and spirit. 

And so I think the yoga teacher training just kind of, like, brought it all full circle for me.


Yeah, I love that too, because what you were saying about having your ass handed to you right? There’s this thing with yoga where they say, like, you meet yourself on the mat, right, and it’s like. This just popped into my own world just the other day I was talking to somebody. But it’s like how you do the small things is how you do the big things, right? And I feel like when you’re on the yoga mat, there’s even a progression about how you are in relationship with the poses. Right.

Do you do like a flow where you’re moving really kind of smoothly through them or do you sit, hold the fire and the intensity of it? 

Even as you know, even within all the little poses, you contract the muscles in certain ways and it gives you just like a full body experience that you don’t just get just passively sitting in the pose. 

So do you find that that’s kind of another way of deepening the practice in that more impactful way that people kind of want to break the sweat?


Oh, absolutely. 

Just because you’re not breaking a sweat with your body. I mean, maybe you are. Some people do, but I think you’re sort of like, quote-unquote, breaking a sweat in the other ways. You’re working out those smaller muscles and. You know, people say, like, we really manifest our emotions really manifest in a physiological way, especially when it comes to, like, stress and grief and sadness. 

And we all need some kind of an outlet, whether that’s for me, it’s running. It’s running. That’s my outlet. For other people, maybe it is meditation, 

But I like when you say the small thing, the way you do this all things is the way you do the big things. 

Because in yoga, I feel like everything that you do on the mat can translate into your life to what you do off the mat. So when you’re saying, like, you’re passively holding these poses, maybe you’re just passively going through these scenarios in your life and the circumstances in your life without actively doing things. 

And when I say I got my ass handed to me in my yoga teacher training is, like, I did really have to sit with a lot of those emotions, and I really have to like, I remember there was we had one session more about the philosophy of yoga, and one of the words was surrender. It was like, surrender yourself into this practice. 

And that was something that, like. Just cut me to the core. I think I’m a reformed perfectionist, and I think as women, we just have a way of wanting everything in our lives to look and be a certain way. And I also think that we’re sort of conditioned to think that way. But there was something about that word surrender that just helped it was a light switch for it just helped me start to cultivate more awareness around what I say and what I do and how can I be more intentional with the way I live my life? 

I love that saying, how you do the small things is how you do the big things. It’s a really great saying.


I love that you bring in the intentionality of it, too, because it feels like we do hold so much in our bodies, and when you start to move through these poses, it really is like your life kind of your life meets you on the mat. Right. 

Because it’s like, what comes up? Do you want to rush through it? Do you get frustrated because you’re not getting the pose right? Or then you get into the hip openers, and then you start to feel things that maybe you weren’t ready to feel?

 I feel like it really does kind of become this moving meditation.


Absolutely. 100%. Yeah. 

I just feel like when you’re being, excuse me, I just drink a Lacroix, and it’s like you want to burp. I don’t want to do that here on your podcast.


Let it lose, baby. Let it lose. haha!


Okay. But yeah, 

I feel like when I am really intentional with my body and I call that mindful movement, it makes me be more intentional with my thoughts. The way I talk to myself, the way I talk to my partner, the way I talk to my kid, and the way I treat myself. 

I think having that time to yourself to do whatever it is you need to do to not pair them, but bring your mind, body, and soul all together into something that actually brings you joy, there’s something to be said about that and how it enables you to live a little more intentionally.


Right. So if you were totally new to the practice of mindful movement and you weren’t actively in a yoga practice, 

Are there ways just within your day-to-day life outside of a class that you could start to connect with your body in this way?


Oh, totally. I mean, I think it’s people who overcomplicate it, right? They think mindful movement, well, I have to go to a yoga studio for that, or I need to pay all this money for that. 

Honestly, it’s just as simple as getting outside for a walk and being in the sunshine and being in nature and just being really intentional and consistent with that, whatever it may be.

For some people, I mean, I know yoga is not for everybody. Believe me. I have heard so many people tell me, like, yoga is not for me, and I get that. 

But maybe for me, it’s a run. I get it so much out of just taking like a 20 minutes jog every day. And I notice how much different my mind and my body feel and how much more joyful I feel after I complete a run. 

So for somebody who wants to start, I’d say like, do the simplest thing, something that you like to do. I’m not going to sit here and be like, yes, you have to sit on your mat and come to my classes. You’re going to love them. And I think you will if you go to enough yoga classes and you’re like, okay, this practice is just not for me. I’m not going to be the person that’s going to say, well, just stick with it. You’ll eventually love it. 

And I think that’s where people get very intimidated by exercise, in general, is they think they have to make it this complicated, long thing, or it can be as simple as just putting on your shoes and going out for a walk around your neighborhood and just breathing the fresh air and getting some sunshine. 

And if that is something you love to do, do it every day and find a time and just be consistent with it. And I think once you start doing it, you’ll start to see changes. There’s a lot of studies out there, and I can’t quote any of them right now, but I know that exercise and mindfulness can actually retrain your brain and you can actually create new neural pathways that sort of help you think differently and help you see things from a different perspective. 

My only advice is to don’t let it intimidate you. It’s very simple. And I think people just need to keep that in mind when they get started. 

And it could just be as simple as like. Maybe just sitting on their mat or just like getting into a child’s pose or laying in Shavasana and just trying it on, seeing what it feels like. Maybe it’s Zumba. For all I know.


I did do zumba. That’s kind of fun.


I used to love zumba. Zumba, whatever it is for you. Like, and I also think, too, there is this huge intimidation factor when people walk into a gym and they just see the people on the treadmill and they see the people doing the weights and they’re like, I have never, ever done any of this before. And they don’t know where to start. 

Start simple. Yeah. Just keep it simple and then find what you love and keep doing it.



And I love that you bring in that you obviously teach and do yoga. And you also are a runner. Right. Because I feel like when in the yoga world at least. So I took training years and years and years ago, and I did it in San Francisco, and in San Francisco, there was such this cult following around yoga.


Oh, yeah.


It’s like if you did yoga, that’s all you did. And it was funny because I remember even one of the yoga teachers that I trained with, I was like, how does he get those muscles from yoga? And they’re like, oh, no, he does weightlifting too. And I was like, really? I thought it was like all yoga or nothing. Right. 

And so I think it’s also kind of easy for people to be like, well, I’m not a yoga person or I’m not a runner or I’m not a kickboxer. Right, but it’s like, maybe you’re just a little bit of all those things and maybe you do yoga a few times a month and maybe you do all the other things a few times a month, like being able to just kind of play with it.


Yeah. Going back to what you said about yoga. Literally, everything in the exercise and fitness world could be considered a cult. I will consider myself being a cult follower in a big chain gym that is known for hitt classes. I don’t want to say their name and call them out, but I was a cult follower for them. I was a cult follower for a very boutique gym when I lived in Arizona. 

And I have also been like a cult follower for step classes. And I’ve had people follow me, like. Who came to my classes religiously when I was teaching on a regular basis. 

And I do think there is a misconception of yoga being a cult just because of some people. There are definitely some bad apples out there in the fitness and yoga world. 

But like you say, I think people think that they have to fit in a box. And I thought that way, too, for the longest time. I was like, I’m a runner, and I strength train, and those are my things. 

And when I met my husband, he was like, well, I really want you to try mountain biking because I think you’ll really like it. And I fell in love with mountain biking, and so I was like, okay, I’ll try this. 

And I’m not saying, like, go out and get a mountain bike because it’s expensive and it’s dangerous.

I do think that people think we have to fit in this box. But I think if you feel comfortable and you have an open mind and an open heart, and you’re willing to try all these things like running or walking or hiking or whatever it is, I think that yoga will only enhance those things.

And try yoga and maybe you do become, like, a cult follower of somebody that you love. But I think it’s important for people to realize they don’t have to be in one box when it comes to movement.



So I want to talk really quickly well, not really quickly, but I want to talk about. 

Because I think this is really important for women to kind of

I think what you bring is a portal into an opportunity to support women in connecting with their bodies in ways that may feel intimidating. 

Because we’ve grown up in a society that really values the appearance of our bodies and how we present ourselves. And it’s so amazing to me when you look at just the progression of obsession with women’s bodies and how over the years it’s changed, right? 

And now we are very much so in this particular expectation that our bodies are going to look a certain way. And for many women, I mean, myself included on some level, that we derive a sense of value from having that kind of feedback on our physical appearance. 

And so for some of us, meeting ourselves on the mat and being more mindful with our bodies also requires us to become more compassionate with them and to be willing to of them in their current state, no matter what that is. 

How do you kind of. How do you grapple with that? What’s been your experience with that journey, either within yourself or the woman that you’ve supported?


Yeah, it’s been a long journey for me. First of all, fuck the patriarchy. 

Because I do think a lot of the way, I mean, that’s what I relate it back to, is, like, we play this value on ourselves based off of what the feedback we get from other people, and specifically men. 

At least that was the case for me when I was younger. I was never the pretty one, I was never the smart one. I was always the athletic one. And I felt like I was in that box for sure. Like, talk about people putting you in a box. 

I grew up in a very small, conservative town, and athletics was highly valued there. And so I felt like that was how I got my feedback right. It was like being good at sports 

I was overweight like, all of all through high school and all through my twentys. And like, it was something that I struggled with, and it was no one ever said, like, meet yourself where you are. Like, just be okay with where you are because you’re beautiful inside and out. Like, no one ever said that. It was like, you know, I love my mom for this, and she knows she’s guilty of this, but she was a Yoyo dieter.

And I think that she was also, like, a product of that generation where she was raising kids in the ’80s and ’90s and that was just sort of like the onset of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and who were the majority of the people who were taking part in those programs? It was women 

And it was advertised to women. So I really struggled with body image a lot. And when I got into the fitness industry and looking back at pictures now, I’m like, god, I was so beautiful, I couldn’t see it. I had like, this, I believe it’s called body dysmorphia now, where I wanted to be a certain weight, and I would look in the mirror, and I would still see that overweight person, but I was ripped.




I was riding my bike to school every day. I was teaching, I think at one point in my career I was teaching like 13 classes a week. And when people come to your classes, they’re like, I want to look like you. And I’m like, the only way you can look like me is if you’re teaching this many classes. 

I think that’s where a lot of people get hung up too, is like, they look at these fitness professionals or they look at these supermodels or they look at whoever is out there in the media and they’re like, that’s what I want to look like. 

But these people have a team of people helping them stay healthy. They have people they can pay to come to their homes. And Fit Pros, exercise is what they do for a living. And so I think that people forget that. 

What I want to do is to teach people to love themselves because, honestly, yoga did that for me. I think I was already sort of, like, on that path of self-acceptance, but I really think that I had to be sort of, like, knocked down a little bit, and my yoga teacher training did that. It broke me in ways that I was not to say that don’t do it, but I’m just saying, emotionally, it broke me a little bit, and I think I had to go through that to be like, you are worthy, and you are beautiful inside and out. You’re capable. 

And it has taken me a very long time, and I think Moms grapple with a lot of that self-image, and body-image issues. 

And it was hard for me to feel like I had to bounce back only because at the time I was pregnant, I was still working in fitness, and I just felt like. I had to look a certain way when I was postpartum. And I feel for women who feel like they have to get back to a certain point. 

And I’ve just gotten to a point in my life where I’m like, I’m doing the best I can today, and that’s enough. It takes a long time for people to get there unless you have people guiding you along the way. 

What I want to teach women is to have confidence in themselves, whether it’s reaching a certain goal or just starting something new. I feel like yoga and exercise and just sort of like all these active things that I’ve done in my life. That’s where I’ve gotten my confidence from. I want people to know it doesn’t have to be physical. It can be mental; it can be emotional. 

But when you’re not confident in one area of your life, it spills over into all those other areas. Yeah. I really just want to help women be more confident and comfortable in their skin and meet them where they are in order to get there.


Yeah, I love that. And I love the…I’m just feeling so deeply what you’re saying. Because there’s so much, like, internalized shame around our bodies and so much desire to hide the parts that we deem, like, unattractive.  

As you were talking, for some reason, the concept of a MILF popped into my head. Even as mothers, we want to be able to be there’s still an objectification of our bodies to the extent that we are given an acronym based on our looks that determines our ability to bring pleasure to men. Right? Like, men saying that we’re hot enough to fuck. Like, what is that?

And it makes me think even about my own body. Like, I carried twins. I have a very saggy stomach. It’s just not going to go away. It’s like skin that has been stretched, and it’s just what’s going to be there. 

And there’s been this ongoing relationship with that of really celebrating my body for exactly what I mean, she grew two humans. Right? It’s freaking amazing. Two at the same time. It just boggles my mind that we are able to create humans.

And instead of being celebrated for the magic that our bodies can create, we look at them and we’re mad at them because they don’t uphold a certain visual standard.


Yeah, I know.

It’s so infuriating because of… I don’t know about you, 

but I felt like Superwoman after I had my son. I was just like, men can’t do shit. 

We run circles around them. haha! I know it’s so infuriating. 

And it sucks that we live in that kind of society. 

And I hope that the generations after us can change that narrative and make, I mean, like, I hope that we can be a part of the change and be on the right side of history, especially when it comes to women. And like. All the other things. 

But that aside, yeah, I don’t feel like we’re celebrated for what our bodies are capable of. And I think I do still experience that shame a little bit. Like I said, when I was looking at pictures of myself a decade ago, I am like, wow, I looked great. 

But I look great now, too. I actually feel a lot happier now than I did then. And yeah, my body is different, but that’s okay. I’ve produced a life. I am almost 40. I have run my knees into the ground. I tell my friends every year my running days are almost over. I think I’m just going to switch to cycling. 

But that never happens because I love running so much. But, yeah, it just sucks that, there is this pressure that’s put on us to look a certain way. And I did this exercise, it was in a group program I ran last year, and I had a holistic nutritionist come on. Who sort of helps people in a holistic way, just love themselves. And she does a lot of that through nutrition and mindfulness. And she had us all write a letter to our bodies and then she said, after that, give yourself a day and then write a letter from your body back to you.


Oh, I love that.


Her name is Lizzie. Do you know Lizzie Nelson? I don’t know if you know her.


No… I don’t think so.


She’s a holistic nutritionist here in Denver. So shout out to you, Lizzie. 

But it was like this really beautiful practice and something I’ve never done before. Yeah. And I thought it was going to be like, I’m sorry for how I treated you. I thought that was what was going to bubble up inside of me. But it was more like, I am so grateful to you for allowing me to produce my son and still recover well and exercise. It was more about gratitude. 

And that kind of surprised me because I was just going to be like, I’m sorry for all the bad things I did to you. But that’s what came up. And my philosophy when you write is to write unedited. That was surprising but also a really great practice. 

So I highly encourage anybody who’s listening to do that. 


Yeah. I was going to say, if you’re watching this and this speaks to you, do it and then share it with us. Because what feels comfortable to share with us what the experience was like for you if you do it. Before we… what was it? I had a question for you but it, but it slipped my brain.


That’s okay. I’m sure it’ll come to you at 02:00 a.m. Tomorrow morning. Right.


Oh, I remember what it was. It was just more like a reflection of that. I love that that’s what you’re bringing to your membership and what you’re bringing to the humans that you serve is that, you know, yes, let’s show up and connect with our bodies. Yes, let’s get them moving. Maybe you get more fit from that, maybe you do lose some weight from that, but at the end of the day, what the real message sounds like is you’re going to just feel better in your body, and you’re going to be more connected to her in a way that feels genuinely from a place of appreciation.


Yeah. I think people look at themselves sometimes, and they just hate what they see because I’ve been there, and I just want people to look at themselves and be kind and meet themselves with what you said, compassion and kindness, and give yourself grace. 

Because women, they do a lot, and it’s definitely a challenge to be kind to ourselves. I think we are innately very hard on ourselves, and that can manifest in so many different ways. 

And I think if we meet ourselves with kindness and compassion, which I think is so accessible through mindful movement, and being able to express that gratitude in those ways is really powerful. 

I’m with you. I feel like we hold so much space for others, but we struggle to let others hold space for us.



And by committing to seeing our bodies in this way, we are slowly picking away at that patriarchal structure that we’re all trying to fit into. It’s like that act of rebellion.


Yeah, absolutely. Whatever way, we can resist that. Let’s do it. 


Yeah, well… Amy has so generously offered a month of her membership to you, if you’re watching, so that you can have the ability to start to connect with yourself in that way. 

So I’m going to include all of her information below so that you guys can have access to that. You can find her at Ayama with Amy on Instagram.

I’ll be linking all of your information so anyone can find you as easily and effortlessly as possible. 

I just want to thank you for being here. I think this is such an important conversation around how women connect with their bodies, so anyone watching, if you have any questions for her or me, don’t hesitate to reach out. And I just want to thank you so much again for being here with us.


Thank you so much for having me. It’s always an honor. And I just want to shout you out too, because you are a great spaceholder. 

So thank you for asking me to come on and be with you. And I just think you have such a way with people that is really special and magical. So thank you for having me.


Really appreciate that. I fully receive. Thank you so much.


You’re welcome.

Abou t The Blogger

Tanicia Baynes

I am a meditating mama, the Indiana Jones of unconscious spaces, your biggest fan and a tell-it-like-it-is maven. Here you can read the latest musing by me or fellow healers and artists.



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