A Yogi in Modern Life: interview with Amanda Soto

Namastecita had the pleasure of collaborating with an exceptional artist and yogi: Amanda, known online as "A Yogi in Modern Life."

Her yoga journey began several years ago, and since then, she has used her platform to share wisdom and motivation (and a little mischief) through her podcast and her Instagram account, which has a growing and engaged community. On her podcast, Amanda interviews other yogis as they discuss how to integrate yoga into daily life, offering practical advice and reflections that resonate with her listeners.

When Dara approached us about having Amanda design her custom yoga mat, we realized her creative approach and understanding of yoga would be the perfect combination. The process was a collaboration full of positive energy and creativity, resulting in a mat that reflects both Dara's spirit and Amanda's artistic vision.

In this interview, we'll learn more about Amanda: her journey into yoga, her inspiration behind mat design, and how she balances her modern life with the practice of yoga. Their stories and experiences show us that yoga is not just a series of postures, but a lifestyle that can be adapted to any pace and circumstance.

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Hi amanda! Thank you for giving us this space, and above all thank you for the great design you have created. We would like you to tell us a little about yourself and how your relationship with yoga began.

Hello! Thank you for giving me this opportunity and this space. Ah, the most difficult question, Who is Amanda? Well, Amanda today is a woman full of doubts, of tasks, of not achieving everything, but above all, of trying to reach the end of the day grateful. And that's right where yoga comes in, because it makes me feel grateful and present.

The truth is that yoga came into my life at a time of enormous transformation, of being lost along the way and not knowing where to go. I tried just to try, because something in my body told me that I had to stop, even though I thought it wasn't going to be for me. And look! I got hooked. At first I wanted to know and get more asanas... But then, as the years went by, I began to become more interested in yoga outside the mat, in getting to know myself, stopping, enjoying the present, meditation, gratitude... And I realized that Yoga is a whole world, not just a race to achieve postures, but rather, a path where you can feel good about yourself in all your areas.

"Yoga came into my life at a time of enormous transformation, of being lost along the way and not knowing where to go."

In addition to practicing yoga, you have your own podcast, with more than 50 episodes! What inspired you to create it and what benefits did it bring you? Is there a particular episode that you enjoyed and would like to recommend to someone who starts listening to your podcast?

I think I just started the podcast because of what I was telling you, because yoga is much more than asanas and I was hungry to continue learning, and what better way than listening to other people.

It was just in 2020, I jumped into the pool with a lot of fear and thinking that I would give up at the first opportunity, and look, 4 years later here we are still! The podcast has brought me to meet wonderful people, some of those interviewed I can now call friends. It allows me to express myself and continue learning and meeting yogis and yoginis.

Depending on your goal, there is an episode of the podcast you can start with. For example, do you want to get sirsasana or handstand? Then I recommend Laura from Libertad Yoga Freedom. Do you want to practice at home? Silvia's. And if sometimes you get demotivated with your yoga practice, you have to listen to Dara's, because we are talking about very real yoga. The truth is that I am proud of what has been shared, for example the depression and yoga podcast left my hair standing on end, the restorative yoga podcast seemed beautiful, and Pablo Ontiveros' podcast made me pay more attention to pranayamas. Oh! As you see, I can't pick one hahaha. I could go on.

"Yoga is a whole world, not just a race to achieve postures, but rather, a path where you can feel good about yourself in all your areas."
namastecita yoga mats non-slip mat will give a yogi in modern life

Let's talk about collaborating to create Dara's custom mat. What specific features did you want to include in Dara's mat and why were they important to you? Can you tell us a little about the meaning of the design?

Dara and I had talked about her own mats for some time now, but the thing had been put on hold. But when she wrote to me that she had met you and was going to make her own mats with you and wanted to count on me to help her with the design, I was dying of excitement!

The truth is that the project came to me just after giving birth to my second child, and although we all know what a recent postpartum is like, diapers here, sleepless nights, pain... I couldn't refuse! It was something that I was very excited about. So with baby in hand and latched to the breast, I started designing. I asked Dara what idea she had, and from there we started creating. Dara told me that she wanted the lines so that the students could have reference in the alignment. I didn't want them to be rough, that's why they are perceived in a subtle way, both those of the hands and the feet, and also, the central one that starts right in the middle of the drawing. Dara also wanted something that referenced the moon and the sun, and after several designs that was the one that Dara identified with the most, which is actually what I wanted, for Dara to feel reflected in her mat.

As a yoga lover, how do you think the design of a mat can influence your daily yoga practice? Are there elements that you think can transform a yoga session?

Wow, I'm a big fan of yoga mats, I have one depending on each practice I do. For example, I have a super grip if I'm going to do a more vinyasa power practice, I have a cork one that I can take everywhere, and then a microfiber one that I love for more relaxed practices. This is how it is for me, but each one will have a different taste.

When we start yoga, which I have also been through, we think that any cheap mat will do, and that is not the case. You need a good mat, there are things you have to invest in, and this is one of them. Because you will notice it in the grip, in its durability, and of course, its design. I think a good design also helps you get on the mat. But that's still my thing hahaha.

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"Creativity is not something you have or don't have, but something you train."

You have a great ability to combine creativity and well-being. What advice would you give to other yogis who want to integrate creativity into their yoga practice?

What a good question! Well, the first thing I would say is that creativity is not something you have or not, but rather it is trained. In the practice of yoga you can train it by going outside of what is established. For example, yes, the sun salutation is like that, but what happens if I put a warrior 3 inside? For example. Go beyond what you have been told and find out with your own body what you can do, you will discover a very different way of practicing. On the other hand, you can also integrate creativity into meditation. If you like doing meditations, try guiding yourself. You can start by taking a guided meditation and then try to recreate it by adding your own touch. Little by little creativity comes out on its own.

What are your future plans as a designer, yoga learner, and podcast host? Is there a new project or goal on the horizon that you are excited about and want to share?

There are many projects in mind, but right now everything is on hold due to my second motherhood. I would like to be able to do everything, but I have seen that right now is the time to stop and dedicate myself to my family. The podcast will return in September, although it is not an absolute certainty, because now there is a flood of content, and I am a little overwhelmed. I know it fills me up, and I have some spectacular listeners, but I also want to give it space to know where it's going.

And on the other hand, I have in mind to release something related to meditation, with that creative touch as you say, but I don't know when it will be born, because I am laying the foundations of everything that has to do with A Yogi in Modern Life, where I want to go and how I want to do it. So, at the moment I don't have many exclusives hahaha. Thank you very much for this interview, it has been an honor.

amanda soto a yogi in modern life non-slip mats namastecita yoga mats
The honor is ours! Namastecita 🙏🏼

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