Written by Kelly Miller-Gerlach (ISN) – Photos Courtesy of Amber Campion
May 16, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Amber Campion is a dynamic individual; I had the pleasure to speak with Amber this past week and was truly inspired by her life’s journey. Amber is the founder of Yogaeira™ and will be teaching at the Hemma Yoga Studio here in Victoria May 18-19.
Amber Campion is from NYC (though currently travels internationally teaching), a YogaEarth Ambassador, and the founder of Yogaeira™ – a fusion practice of Vinyasa Yoga, Martial Arts, and Thai Bodywork.
“I never intended to be a yoga teacher; I had moved to New York City when I was 21 to be a photographer. My College Degree at the time was in advertising and public relations.”
Teaching Yogaeira™ in Nicaragua Feb. 2013 – Photo Courtesy of Amber Campion
With a completely different lifestyle back then; Amber was experiencing some physical problems with digestion. Although only in her early 20’s, Amber found that her energy levels were really low and she was generally not happy at the time. It was then that Amber started reaching out to people and asking a lot of questions which led her into the Holistic healing path. Amber started reading a variety of books and soon found herself immersed in a whole new world. Amber left the work she was doing and decided to take her life in a new direction.
Amber found herself working at the New York Open Centre, a holistic learning centre in Manhattan making ten dollars an hour part time. Although the pay was not great, Amber could take all the holistic healing classes she wanted for free.
Amber spent about two years taking endless holistic healing classes with a broad range of topics. Eventually a yoga teacher training class was offered to Amber at no cost and she jumped at the chance.
“I had no idea that this would be my path, I feel the Universe was pushing me, this is what I was supposed to do.”
On completion of Amber’s teacher training class, it was suggested that she volunteer at the Lineage Project, teaching awareness practices to at-risk and incarcerated youth in New York City. Many thought that Amber’s personality was suited for the job; Amber was reluctant, but eventually decided to take the position at the Lineage Project. After volunteering for one year, Amber was asked to be one of their lead teachers and stayed on for six years. The basic focus was on mindful dialogue (choice, things that would engage and make them critically think), movement and awareness practices.
“That was the beginning for me to be honest; I knew that once I started teaching, this is exactly what I wanted to do and only this.”
“I feel like my voice as a teacher emerged in the six years working with these students.”
Urso Twist – Photo courtesy of Amber Campion
In 2007 Amber began to work with young women and developed the program B.A.M.M. (Body Awareness through Movement & Meditation). Originally the program was offered in school and was called, body awareness through movement & music. Amber had to change the name due to time constraints in the school program, introducing instruments proved to be to diverse and was too much to offer within the hour. The program developed over time and Amber found herself working with young women on the inside (prison). Amber found her voice and the tools she had seemed to work best with young girls and she seem to have more of a connection.
The B.A.M.M. program gives young girls a chance to get together, connect and have a voice. Giving the women a safe place; providing a dialogue about self-image, self-respect, and self-esteem.
Amber Campion is the founder of Yogaeira™, incorporating the elements of Martial Arts, Vinyasa Yoga, and Thai Bodywork that brings together a playful and graceful blend of conditioning, technique and the philosophy.
Negativasana – Photo courtesy of Amber Campion
Amber was first introduced to the Marital Art form of Capoeira at a hip hop dance club at the age of 16 while living in Florida. At first glance Amber thought that what she was seeing was a form of break dancing. Always interested in movement, Amber took photos of them dancing. It wouldn’t be until her 25 birthday when Amber decided to give herself a present and start the Martial Art of Capoeira. Amber found that the Yoga and Copoeira really complemented one another, both in body and in spirit.
“At age 24 and 25 I was just starting to live really, I woke up finally, I started to develop confidence and body awareness.”
In September of 2005 Amber began training in the Brazilian Martial Art of Capoeira under the guidance of Mestre Foca and Instrucora Rouxinol of Raizes Do Brasil – Brooklyn. It was there that she received her nickname (Palmeira, meaning Palmtree).
Queda de rins asana – Photo courtesy of Amber Campion
Thai Yoga Massage (Nuat Boran) – is an ancient, dynamic bodywork therapy that includes stretching and massage through palming and pressing along the body’s energy lines and pressures points.
The method of Thai massage is incorporated in the last 20 minutes of the workshop; each person receives 10 minutes and gives 10 minutes. Amber feels that body work is important; any kind of partner work is very powerful. It is about removing the mask, as soon as we relax into it, it can be very liberating.
“Thai massage is one of the most powerful practices I have ever learned, it took me all the way to Thailand.”
For any of us looking to get into a fitness program, Amber suggests that we really should choose something that we enjoy doing. Not necessarily doing an exercise because you think you have to do it. Exercise is not about causing stress, but should be something we look forward to.
Although Amber has taught a number of years she had not brought out a Video until now. A lot of people were expressing their interest for Amber to put together a DVD, this definitely wasn’t something Amber was comfortable with.
“Yeah right, me do a Yoga DVD, no way could I ever do that.”
The video was much like walking in the fire experience for Amber. The dialogue in Amber’s head was saying no and she started to become aware of her inner dialogue. Talking it over with a friend, it was something Amber had to do; being scared and doing it any way. It turned out to be one of the best things that Amber has done as a Yogi, it has really taught Amber more about herself and helped her to shed more layers.
“What kind of teacher would I be if I let my inner voice triumph?”
Ambers long term plans is to teach as long as she can and is looking to make her home somewhere along the west coast, and may even end up in Bali. Amber is in the works to offer Teacher Training Yoga as well as offering an additional module in Yogaeira™ in 2014.
Amber teaches many different types of Yoga and offers workshops and classes all over the world.
If there is one thing Amber would like her students to take away from her teachings is to…
“Take off the masks; make a daily practice of connecting with your spirit, walk in your truth.”
Please visit Amber Campion at: http://www.amberjcampion.com/Site/Schedule.html
Amber is also a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Thai Bodyworker, Reiki Practitioner, Capoeirista, Birth Doula, and a YogaEarth & YogAsana Ambassador. She teaches internationally, leading retreats and workshops worldwide.