Name: Legally, I’m Amy Leighton. In the yoga world, I’m still Amy Schneider.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I don’t remember what I wanted to be when I was a little girl. For most of my teenage life and in my early twenties, I thought I would become a lawyer. There is still a small part of me that sometimes asks, “should I have gone to law school?”
List three words that describe you:
Organized. Passionate. Honest.
Tell us about your first experience with yoga:
I don’t really remember my first yoga class. But I remember when I first started to practice yoga. I was around 17 years old. I would go to Tami and Diana’s classes at the Hamptons in Beachwood. I remember them playing fun music (like Britney Spears) and sweating a ton on that blue carpet.
What is your favorite aspect of Yoga?
It never gets old. Every time I am on my mat, I come up against a challenge. It is always a full body detox. I feel stronger and more flexible after every practice. I can do the same postures day after day after day and there is still newness, every time.
What is the most challenging aspect of yoga, for you personally?
A consistent meditation practice.
How have you seen your practice change/impact your life?
I am less reactive. I find myself responding rather than reacting. And I am so aware of what it feels like to be “in reaction” that I can stop myself and wait until I am able to respond.
Why do you love teaching at Cleveland Yoga, and what is your favorite aspect of teaching?
I love teaching at Cleveland Yoga because it is my home. And I love teaching at Cleveland Yoga to make others feel that same way – at home.
Tell us about a memorable/favorite moment teaching yoga:
My most memorable moment was teaching my first yoga class at OM on the Range in Chicago. The entire time, I kept laughing to myself and thinking, “This is bizarre! They are doing EVERYTHING I tell them to do!” It felt really strange to have people listen so closely to my words and just obey my every command.
If you had one piece of advice for a beginner yogi, what would you say?
Keep an open mind and a “yes I can” attitude. Take at least twenty classes with many different teachers. THEN you can start to have an opinion.
If you had no restrictions (money, responsibilities etc.), what would you with the next 12 months?
I would plan some amazing vacations. Top of my list: St. Tropez and South Africa.
What is your favorite song to sing aloud to when you are alone in your car?
Indigo Girls! Either “Closer to Fine” or “Least Complicated”
Who inspires you to be your greatest self?
I think that’s an intrinsic motivation. I think I inspire myself to be the best version on myself. I think that’s a choice we all make in every moment of every day.
What is your favorite quote:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” ~ Maya Angelou