Yogis of Karma - Amber Baker

Karma Yoga is nothing without its community of yogis. You allow us to share yoga with you day after day, and we are so grateful for the opportunity. We wanted to showcase Denton and this tribe in all of its awesomeness in a series we have deemed - Yogis of Karma. Amber is a brilliant light, her smile is contagious and her passion for life is inspiring. She shows up with everything she has every time she rolls out her mat, and we are so excited to kick off this little project with such an amazing role model, friend, and beautiful soul.  Featured art work is the first of many mural installations to come in preparation for 35 Denton at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. 

- Tiffany Johnson

"There is only one reality, but there are many ways that reality can be interpreted." --B.K.S. Iyengar

My name is Amber, and in one interpretation of reality, a long time ago, I was an all-A student, won every good citizenship award, went to Sunday School, was in National Honor Society and graduated college magna cum laude with a degree in art history. I was never tardy to class, and only absent once from kindergarten through 12th grade. I was perfect. I did everything right. I was "the good one," "the smart one," and "the responsible one," for as long as I could remember. 

Until I wasn't. 

It didn't happen overnight, but it was dramatic all the same. After college, not immediately landing a promising career in art history (if one exists), and stuck in a stale relationship with a kind (but unambitious) boyfriend, I started sinking. I started settling. I had an upswing-- I broke up with my dead weight and started trying to do things for myself, like a trip to Canada and trying out for the Dallas Stars Ice Girls. I'm a life-long sufferer of depression and anxiety, so I started medicine, and eventually counseling. I had very good intentions, but still no clear path-- no practice. As KYD says, "Your vibe attracts your tribe." I was not attracting a good tribe, and got into more trouble than I ever thought possible. About two years ago, I found rock bottom, hard and swift. I'll spare the gory details, except that I knew I had to change-- my life depended on it. I had to look long and hard at the way I was interpreting reality-- a hopeless, dark and regretful reality that made being alive as much a job as my Monday through Friday 8-5.

 

It started innocently enough. I saw a flyer for a free yoga class on Sunday afternoons at my apartment complex. I went and was in love. I started seeking out more opportunities to do yoga, and found KYD on Instagram. I had no idea that my whole reality was about to get the interpretation lesson of a lifetime. Much to the dismay of my crippling social anxiety, I started going to the Saturday afternoon class at Mean Green with Tiffany and Jessica. Both of these ladies became my yoga mentors. They not only helped correct my form on the mat, they helped me adjust my attitude towards life. Their messages in class inspired and uplifted me. I started to realize that things didn't have to be so bad, even if I was enduring one of the most hellish years of my life-- it may be reality, but it was up to me to interpret it. I started reading books about yoga and immersing myself in the culture. Family, friends and coworkers noticed a difference, but as with all things yoga, the best is always yet to come. 

It was a normal Saturday at Mean Green, with Jessica leading practice. We were heading toward the peak pose-- side crow. I can't remember what Jessica said leading up to it, but whatever it was, it got me in THAT spot. My mind was clear and my body light. I flew! For the first time ever, I flew. I was overjoyed to the point of tears, as I sat in my car about to leave the gym. It's a day I'll never forget, and the day I started glowing bolder and brighter than my family had ever seen me. A fellow yogi, Brittany, took notice and has become a very close friend and an incredibly good influence on my life. I owe all of this and much more to KYD. 

This group, this TRIBE, has welcomed this once-shy soul and weak body with open arms and mats from day one. They've taught me a new way to live, given me a new hobby that not only strengthens my body, but also my mind, in equal measure. They've become my friends and my family, and I can't possibly envision a life without yoga and without them. I tell everyone I meet about their sessions and invite friends to go. I want everyone to see what a friendly, but extremely powerful, group this is, and all of the good that they have done for their members and the community. I love you, KYD!

-Amber Baker