Mandy Eubanks has been teaching yoga since 2004. Known for her playful and intelligent approach to yoga, Mandy's teaching style is a creative blend of movement, meditation, and inspiration designed to apply both on and off the mat. Mandy's intention is to integrate the ancient teachings of yoga with the latest research based practices, so that the essence of yoga is preserved and the practices are simple enough to meet students where they are. To be specific, her classes aim to awaken the soul and inspire a deep connection to one's self, the Divine, and the relationships we hold close to our heart. Her public yoga classes are often a refuge for those who serve and teach yoga themselves and her private personalized yoga sessions are transformative and truly address the whole person. In summary, her experience is vast enough that her transmission of yoga is simple and accessible to everyone.
1. You are a Tulsa native, but have traveled far and wide, and spent 10 years in Austin, Texas. What drew you home?
There is something very meaningful in bringing back to Tulsa what I have learned from studying yoga abroad and teaching in a major yoga hub like Austin for a decade. I also have family here, so with two young children my husband and I saw an opportunity to raise our kids around their loved ones.
2. Why are you so passionate about teaching teachers? What caused you to transition from a yoga teacher to primarily running a yoga school?
The depth......yes, it’s the depth. In a public yoga class, we barely scratch the surface (yet, 75 minutes of yoga can totally change someone’s life). When we get into a long program like a teacher training, the places we go and explore are mind-blowing. We really get into the “WHY” – we can better understand what makes this practice so powerful, and then learn how to share it with others. I also love watching the community form. Every yoga teacher training that I’ve been a part of has created life-long friendships.
3. Was it an easy transition?
Yes and No. Tulsa is where we are both from, and for the longest time we both swore we’d never return. Ha! Living in Austin for most of our adult lives we made some of our most important friendships there; we loved our neighborhood and neighbors; and really enjoyed living near our young nieces. Austin is where we got married and had our first daughter. Leaving all of that plus my yoga community and teachers was heart breaking at first. I grieved the loss of that chapter of my life. It was humbling. Tulsa has been so good to us though, and welcomed us with open arms. We both have made new friends, re-connected with old friends, and are really enjoying the growth of our city. Yoga is growing in popularity and has become much more accessible. I’m excited to see where it goes.
4. What’s one thing you would like to say to someone who is thinking about taking the RYT®200 or the RYT®300 Yoga Teacher Training?
Just one thing?!? Ha....well I would say that you must understand that it’s a process.
You can’t come in thinking that a 200 or 300 hour training is going to give you everything you ever need to know about yoga. Yoga is a life-long study, and a teacher training will propel you into the yoga lifestyle.
5. Many people want to become a yoga teacher because yoga has had such a profound impact on their own life. Was this the case for you?
Oh absolutely! The first Hatha Yoga class I ever took I was shaking in Half-moon
pose, barely able to breathe, and had the thought that I want to be a yoga teacher! This was before being a yoga teacher was even a “thing.” All I knew is that the lady who was teaching the class was doing it and I wanted to do it too. I’ve always had a strong desire to teach and serve and I knew that this is what I wanted to teach and knew it would help so many!
6. What’s behind the name, “Everyone Yoga School?”
I didn’t want EYS to be a specific training. I wanted it to reach a diverse and broad
group of people so that they could bring yoga into their own “bubbles.” Although the training is held at a yoga studio and we prepare our teachers to successfully hold classes in yoga studios, we also prepare them to get out of the studio box and teach at their jobs, churches, neighborhoods, etc.
7. What has been the most rewarding part of running and growing EYS? What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve come across?
Seeing our graduates getting out there and teaching has been so rewarding! I love that. Some of them have become full-time yoga teachers and since that is my career path, I love that others are also able to make that happen for themselves from their EYS training. The biggest challenge – which has also been the biggest reward – is learning to run a business, and a private and vocational state school. Finding myself in this role of small business ownership and being an organization’s leader has been confusing at times. But there are so many great resources out there, and I’ve reached out to other yoga schools around the U.S. for advice and support, and it’s been given so freely! Needless to say, I’ve learned so much from the success of EYS. . I’m really so grateful, beyond words for everything I’ve been learning. I'm invested in learning how EYS meets the highest professional standards in our industry and have received so much support in doing so.
8. What is your long-term vision for EYS?
I have so many ideas. I’m going to hold my cards close to my chest in this interview… but stay tuned. :)
9. Do you see a point where Tulsa has too many yoga teachers?
Yes and no – if Tulsa has too many 200 hour teachers who are not continuing their education, then we will end up diluting the yoga scene. I would hate for it be just another fitness craze or source of entertainment for someone. If we have highly skilled and trained yoga teachers, they will draw in more students who are ready step onto the life-long path of yoga. There are also so many people who are not yet doing yoga in Tulsa. Getting more teachers out there is really the best solution for getting more people to do yoga. And so far, most of our graduates haven’t had a problem finding a place to teach. Also, we only offer one 200 hour training a year now. I have lots of reasons for that but mainly I don’t want to be a yoga teacher factory. I want to provide Tulsa with quality yoga education, and develop long term relationships with our graduates.
10. You are very passionate about keeping a balanced work/life schedule. Do you find this challenging?
I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t challenging, ha! Running a business, staying true to my path as a yogi, and running a household has been the hardest thing I have ever done. All I can say is that I’m extremely grateful to have a husband that is super supportive and probably the best dad I have ever been around.
11. Tell us about yourself – other than teaching yoga, what are some of your hobbies or interests/passions?
My husband and I love adventures. We are always looking for the next stream to swim, mountain to hike, or city to explore. We both have unconventional schedules, and our kids are not in school yet so we go on family adventures every chance we get. Our kids are amazing little travelers. Right now we are on a road trip that has taken us all the way to Asheville, NC. I’m also passionate about eating and cooking. I have played with many “eating practices,” including veganism, ayurvedic diet, slow eating, paleo, raw, etc. and currently I’m on the “mom” diet – I eat what I can, when I can! Fortunately, I have a deep knowledge and personal history around conscious eating so that I can typically make wise choices in the moment. We love supporting our local farmers and we usually have a garden every Summer. We have always dreamed of urban homesteading, dabbled around with aquaponics and fermentation, and we will be raising chickens and producing a lot more of our own produce this year.
12. Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
I think you’ve covered everything…!
Andrea C. Neil
about our Authors
The Everyone Yoga School blog is written by guest authors who are former students, instructors, and passionate yogis with the sole purpose of sharing the yoga experience in the live and hearts of everyone.