How Amy Ippoliti is Encouraging Well-Being Through the Art of Yoga
Renowned yoga instructor and environmental activist, Amy Ippoliti has built a life of depth around the things that truly matter. After attending her first yoga class at her mother’s suggestion when she was 16, Ippoliti’s passion for yoga has only become more profound. She has traveled around the world leading workshops and teacher training, co-founded the yoga school 90 Monkeys and co-authored the book The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga with her partner, Taro Smith. Additionally, she has graced the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Magazine, and photography collaborations between Ippoliti and her partner, Smith, have been featured on Yahoo’s homepage.
If all of that wasn’t impressive enough, Ippoliti is also an active environmentalist, supporting a number of organizations and setting monthly eco-friendly habits to compliment her 30-Day Yoga Challenge. This month, we had a wonderful conversation with Ippoliti about the influence yoga has had on her life so far and where she sees her practice taking her in the future. Take a deep breath and enjoy.
What got you hooked on yoga?
Around the time I started yoga, I was dealing with popularity drama in high school. Yoga class was a place where I was allowed to simply breathe, be myself and tap into the mystery of self and life. It was so much bigger than the pettiness!
What brought you to Boulder and what’s the best part of being a “Boulderite?”
I was born and raised in New York City, and I started my career as a yoga teacher there. As a kid, we always were leaving the city to be in nature. By the time I was 30, I had a natural urge to get out of NYC… and I did!
My favorite part about living in Boulder is what we call the “Boulder Bubble”—I am very appreciative of our community of health-conscious, entrepreneurial, intellectual do-gooders.
How do you see yoga as helping people reach their potential?
Practicing yoga on the mat is like a mini training camp for the real world. On the mat, I might fall down, struggle to get into different shapes and devote weeks or even years to a consistent practice and sometimes a “goal pose.” How I show up in those moments is a microcosm of my life off the mat. When I feel accomplished by the little things that happen on the mat, it gives me the confidence to reach my potential off the mat.
How do you see your practice evolving in the future?
My goal is to be able to comfortably do backbends and hip openers into my older years. I want my spine to be healthy and to counteract the time spent on my computer and devices! I never want to stop learning, and I don’t want to have any expectations about what my body can and cannot do as I age.
You have so many different passions – can you tell us about them?
Well, one of my biggest passions in yoga is training teachers! Yoga teachers are like heroes in their local community and deserve to be supported and encouraged. I co-founded 90 Monkeys, our online and in-person school of yoga, to help yoga teachers refine their teaching skills, build their professional skills, and grow as people and leaders so we can help more people live a happier life through this practice.
Getting outside is also a big priority. I hike almost daily in the foothills, and thanks to Boulder Cycle Sport, Taro’s bike shops here in Boulder, I have access to (and totally nerd out on) the latest cycling equipment and accessories. I try to get out on a mountain or road bike whenever I can!
Environmental conscientiousness has been a central theme of your life. Do you see environmental awareness and yoga as COMPLEMENTING one another, and if so, how?
Definitely. The more you practice yoga the more you innately realize that we are interconnected with all of life and your sensitivity to that fact grows.
Follow Ippoliti @amyippoliti, @yogaglo, @90monkeys and on AmyIppoliti.com.