Teacher Spotlight – Amy C.

I like to think that yoga found me…


While acquiring my degree in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, I began practicing Bikram Yoga. I had no idea what a yoga practice was much less the method of Bikram’s beginning yoga series. I had simply walked down the stairs into the basement gym looking for stress relief. There was no dialogue then. There was no fancy heater or humidity system. It was the dead of winter and there were only 5 or 6 space heaters surrounding the student’s mats on the wood floor of the small dance studio. Although I have tried to pinpoint an exact date, I only recall being there somewhere between 2004-2005 once or twice a week for a few semesters.


Fast forward about 6 years…No yoga until a new studio opened 4 miles from my house. At the time I was married and co-owned a photography business on the east side of Providence, RI. There was only one car, so I rode my bike to the studio during my birthday week of August 2011. I bought myself the new student pass, and by the third day was asked by the owner if I wanted to compete in a regional yoga competition that October. I said, “What? Ok!” and began cleaning the studio in exchange for classes. The following January I represented Rhode Island at the USA Yoga Nationals Competition in New York City where I first met Mardy and Jeff Chen. That April I attended Bikram’s Yoga Teacher Training in Los Angeles. By then my marriage of five years was ending, and after training, I sold my house and moved to Brewster, Cape Cod, MA. Here my name LIONCAT was born.


Actually my name is who I am: LION because I was born within the astrological days of Leo and CAT because my middle name is Catherine. However, I did not realize that I had a LION inside of me until my name was first called out by my yoga mentor on the Cape and later by my nutrition coach in Rhode Island. At those times I felt like anything but a LION! Rebuilding my life has been an intense process. Yet the internal strength I have built through my struggles to advance my consistent yoga practice and develop my sustainable food practice are sweet victories that I openly share to strengthen others.


Fast forward to November 2015…I moved to Austin, Texas to teach yoga for Mardy and Jeff Chen at PURE. Everything eventually works together for good, even if the journey is anything but a straight line! Here my business LIONCATLEAN was born.


My most recent challenge has been to step out of the hot room. This past June I competed in a natural bodybuilding competition to celebrate the culmination of my first year of weight training. Two months before the competition I found myself in the emergency room to address an acute infection in my fingers followed by the discovery of an immune disorder. Subsequently my training program was severely modified, adherence to my diet became even more critical, and my full-time hot yoga teaching and practice came to an abrupt halt and are still on pause. Although these circumstances were less than ideal, I learned how to LEAN in to the support of my trainer and the support of the staff at Pure. Survival of the fittest? Maybe, but I surely could not muscle my way through this season.


This next season is requiring a necessary switch. Since acquiring my nutrition certification in 2015 through Precision Nutrition, a sports and fitness specific nutrition program, I have been coaching clients through sustainable nutrition practices as my side hustle. Although yoga was my first love and lifting has become my second, my true passion has always been tied to nutrition. I am thankful to be able to use my design skills to support my business as I build it brick by brick. The most important brick is the quality time I provide for each client to ensure true change and lasting results. I am passionate about being LEAN for LIFE and helping others do the same!


You can follow Amy and her business LIONCATLEAN at:
Instagram: @lioncatlean