Each of the nearly 30,000 members in the MINDBODY community has a unique story about how they were founded. Some like Yoga with Amber in Sterling, Virginia, are poignant and offer inspiration to others. Amber B. Skylar overcame a poor upbringing, homelessness, and tremendous loss to own her own yoga studio.
“I was born poor, very poor,” Amber said. “Being surrounded by poor people it’s hard to believe you can get up and do anything.”
After graduating from school, Amber entered the Army and eventually became a platoon leader, despite all of the odds against her. “The negative environment pushed me into leadership. I remember clearly, holding all that anger in and using it like fuel to push me. I was a female and often told ‘You can’t do it.’”
Now as a yoga practitioner and instructor, Amber envisions her experience in the Army when she does the warrior series. “I feel strong, capable, and willing to look at reality. Come what may, my body will not fail me. My mind, it is full of infinite possibility, even when the body fails.”
Amber B. Skylar founded after Yoga with Amber after seventeen year-old nephew committed suicide, and has dedicated her business to helping others, especially when they can find it nowhere else. There are many reasons why Amber is dedicated to helping others, but her nephew’s journals play a big role in her dedication.
“He wrote in his journals that there was not enough love in the world,” Amber said. “I was holding back on letting my love shine through.”
Amber’s studio reaches out to people who feel like they don’t fit in at other studios, including those who are overweight, older, injured, or low-income. Amber is honest about why she makes that her mission: “When I was homeless, no yoga studio or alternative health care practitioner would help me, without money.”
In order to keep her business afloat, the community invested deeply into her studio. “People helped me get on my feet. People bought large quantities of yoga—private yoga to get the studio up and running. They believed in me. They were inspired by the things I spoke of in yoga class.”
“People must help each other. They must look past their own judgment and fear and let the strength of love and kindness weave us together as human beings.”