Amy Schneider holds strong in her belief that we all have the ability to make a difference, and those who know her would say that Schneider's actions speak louder than her words.
Community outreach and yoga are two passions of Schneider's.
Schneider, a 45-year-old mother of two, began practicing yoga in upstate New York and studied in Neyyar Dam, India. The Huntersville resident teaches hatha yoga and is the owner of Community Yoga in Cornelius.
Yoga is a physical and mental exercise that anyone can participate in regardless of age, shape or physical condition, said Schneider.
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Beyond offering scheduled classes at her studio, Schneider travels throughout Huntersville, Cornelius and Davidson sharing yoga. She provides classes in area elementary and middle schools for students and staff. She recently visited some area schools, providing stretching classes to aid pupils with the decompression of stress after end-of-grade testing.
"The idea is for them to relax, stretch and breathe after a big day testing," said Schneider, whose daughters Sophia and Isabella are 5 and 7, respectively. "I held four sessions of about 20 kids. What I worked on with them was not only decompressing after the previous test, but also taking their peace and calmness with them into the next round of testing."
Schneider's studio supports several area charities such as Habitat for Humanity, The Ada Jenkins Center, Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen, Charlotte Community School for Girls, The American Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. Her business has adopted a road section on N.C. 115 to help keep it litter-free.
"We want to break down some of the barriers to learning and practicing this age-old healthful practice. Participants are healthier, calmer and happier. We want to make this gift available to more people in our community," said Schneider when ask about her local outreach. Her mission is to reach out to a wider community, to celebrate the connections between all people, and make yoga accessible to all regardless of physical or financial limitations.
Participants of Schneider's classes range from 3 to 80 years old.
From 6-7 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month, Schneider and her instructors offer a community class that is free and offers an opportunity for people to come and experience yoga. The studio is at 20823 N. Main St., Suite 117, Cornelius.