2017 is the year, ladies. Our year. Your year. 


Alex Vanagas Photography

Alex Vanagas Photography


Daily mantra: Teach tens of thousands of hours on the mat. Live life off of the mat. Keep training. Be discerning. Pay Attention. Stay Informed. Maintain perspective. Make mistakes. Admit them. Apologize. Move on. Refine choices. Celebrate successes. Connect. Thrive. Fall down. Be strong. Be vulnerable. Keep a sense of humor. Speak up and express. Know when to shut up and when to listen. Experience loss. Grieve. Grow. Forgive. Ask for help. Help wherever you can. Burst with gratitude. Strive for your best everyday. Let compassion, humility, and no BS rule that day. Check in with your heart. Let what you do be what is in your heart. Be in service. Own your own stuff. Keep it real. And LOVE BIG.


I just watched President Barack Obama’s farewell address. The tears welled up when he turned to his elegant, strong, beautiful wife and honored her immense value and contribution in a most authentic way, at a critical time in history. 

Earlier this year, through a retreat, I had the privilege to visit the refugee communities in Lebanon. I got to meet the fierce and courageous women who together, in tough conditions, are rebuilding their lives and their families - and keeping their culinary heritages alive. 

For the third year running I co-direct an all female yoga teacher training (Expansion, Freedom & Voice™️) whose very purpose is to build the leadership capacity and promote professional integrity among new yoga teachers. 

And everyday I am surrounded by strong, capable, whip-smart intelligent women: sisters, friends, colleagues, students… who inspire me to be a better person; the “more of myself” as D. Brooks would say. 

We are witnessing a time in history when rights and opportunities are being dialed back, not progressing forward. The forces at work are hoping they can pit the ends against the centre. They are hoping to divide and weaken. They are hoping to diminish our power. 

2017 will demand our best, the more of ourselves. It will require a coming together. 
It is the time to answer The Call to The Yoke

All spiritual practices have a Call to The Yoke. 
In the context of Yoga it is the practice of creating meaningful connections to create a sum greater than the parts. 
When the stakes run high, the practice demands that we identify our unique contribution to the world and link it with others. 

The Call to the Yoke. 
The bringing together of talent, passion, resources, and strength. 

The Call to the Yoke is more than just connection. 
It is Tapas. Tapas is Heat. Fission. Fire. Power. Growth. Expansion. Transformation. 
It is Alchemy. 
Tapas burns away the white noise and distills us down to the most effective and refined sense of ourselves. 

Now is the time to place our yoga practice firmly in the context of the state of our world. 
Now is not the time to look away. 

The Call to the Yoke. 

- Amanda


A New York native who called San Francisco home for a decade, Amanda Dates has now found meaning sharing yoga in her adopted city, Paris. She is the co-founder and co-director of Expansion, Freedom & Voice™️ a 200hr Yoga Alliance certified teacher training, as well as, Going Back to the Source - Yoga & Terroir™️ international yoga retreats, with a focus on food, culture, and local economies. When she isn't sharing her signature Bhakti Flow style at Big Apple Yoga France or Paris Yoga Shala, she can be found tending her garden at her petite fermette, L'Oustalou, the “future-rustic” yoga and arts centre she and her husband are renovating. 

Amanda's next retreat will take place from February 15 to 19 at Château de Lacoste in France. Details and registration here

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