Amanda Parker Lambert, the “Chief Ramblerouser” of Human Being Training

Meet Amanda Parker Lambert, the founder and “Chief Ramblerouser” of “Human Being Training” here at Cal Poly. Lambert teaches her wildly popular classes every Wednesday Night at 7:40 PM at the recreation center, helping students reach their true potentials through yoga, music and martial arts.

HC: How would you describe Human Being Training to someone who has never heard of it before?

APL: This is always a hard one for me. When I am asked to write about it, I call it a music-filled, yoga-based adventure into discovering who you really are. The physical part of the class, where we’re doing yoga or martial arts, I don’t keep it a secret that those are tricks used so that you listen to what I have to say. I’m really a spiritual teacher. It’s great that we’re also getting our bodies in shape, but as [we move], things come out of me, and if I’m lucky, I can get out of the way of myself. It’s almost as if I step aside and something is speaking through me. I don’t want to sound too “woo, woo” about it, and using the word “spiritual” is weird because people are going to put labels, like “oh, she’s a Buddhist”, or “oh, she’s a whatever”, I’m not any of those things… I’m just me. I believe that what comes through me is universal knowledge.

HC: How long have you been doing yoga?

APL: I took my first yoga class in 1992 at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center.

HC: How long have you been teaching yoga, and what inspired you to start teaching it?

APL: I’ve been teaching since the week I got certified to teach at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center in 2004.  [Before I decided to get certified], a couple of my teachers said [I should consider teaching it]. I love teaching [and yoga] gave me a way into teaching. Because people get so happy when they’re moving their bodies and it opens them and I discovered that I have some stuff to say and so gradually, mainly through Cal Poly, Human Being Training has evolved.

HC: How long ago did you start teaching Human Being Training?

APL: It started here almost 3 years ago. It was [originally] “flash of white”, which [was] named after a martial arts technique which is a simultaneous blow to the temple and the jugular. It’s [basically] a flash of white, and [when] you wake up [you don’t know where you are], which is to me, a metaphor [of] the spiritual awakening.

HC: Did you teach any martial arts classes before you started teaching yoga?

APL: I don’t teach any martial arts classes. I study avidly, [and] I have a black belt in a couple different disciplines, but I don’t consider myself qualified to teach.

HC: Do you think you might want to teach it in the future?

APL: I would love to in the future. But it’s all going to be the same stuff. It’s going to be Human Being Training with martial arts.

HC: You’ve mentioned that you teach at another studio in San Luis Obispo. What’s the name of it?

APL: The place where I train in martial arts is a “studio” or a “dojo” called the Budo Ryu which means “martial school”. I teach Human Being Training there and it’s a whole different environment, because it smells like martial arts. [My students] get to see where my energy comes from, [which is] martial technique. It’s a whole different energy and a great group has developed there. It’s my only public class right now. It’s the first Sunday of every month and it’’s donation-based.

HC: Are you involved in any other programs at Cal Poly?

APL: No, except I feel just like I’m part of Cal Poly! This place lives in my heart because it was here that Human Being Training developed, and the community that has developed around it is what really excites me. It’s not a yoga class, or an exercise class… it’s a community of people who come together. I’ve seen amazing friendships develop. It’s a beautiful thing.

HC: How did you get started teaching here?

APL: This is my third year that I’m teaching [Human Being Training]. I love teaching yoga, so I came in and talked to the director and he [asked for an audition]. So I came in and taught a sample class and he was like, “yeah, we totally want you to teach here!”, and so I did, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. [I love] the volume of people that come here. I came from a background where I was teaching at different studios around town and getting 1 or 6 people that showed up, and the first night I taught [at Cal Poly], forty people showed up.

HC: Yeah, the first thing I do every Tuesday morning is wake up and sign up for Wednesday’s class, since it fills up so fast!

APL: I love that! That’s the community. People are saying, “we’ve gotta go and do this thing”, and I feel the same way. Wednesday mornings I wake up and I’m like, “Yeah! Human Being Training night!”

HC: What do you look forward to the most in your Human Being Training sessions?

APL: Well, getting together with [my students]. But, as we were saying before, what I look forward to the most is what I’m going to say. Because I really don’t know [until class starts]. I’m discovering my true self. We get to know these things on a cellular level and every Wednesday night I discover more of what I know and I discover what I don’t know. The more you know, the more the horizon recedes of what’s possible to know. I’ll just keep going I guess! It’s all a big adventure for me! I look forward to the adventure.

HC: What kind of preparation goes into each Human Being Training class?

APL: Developing [a] Spotify playlist is the most preparation I do. Even that is very little planning. I’ll be listening to KCPR and a great song comes on, [and I’ll want it]. I make a playlist based on that, and gradually more and more songs come to me and sort of a theme develops. Sometimes I come in and I [feel like] I have nothing to write on the board, and I look out and I see your faces and BAM, there’s the thing! So, it’s that energy of the community. The playlist is the hardest work, but even that is fun because I love music. I’m like a yoga DJ.

HC: What things have you learned from Cal Poly Students?

APL: How much I can love human beings. Talk about receding horizons. The amount of love that I can feel continues to expand. When I say I love [my students] I mean it! Every Wednesday night my heart opens more. It’s a tremendous gift. When I thank [everyone] after the end of class, I really mean it.

HC: You mentioned your son in a session a few weeks ago… would you like to say anything about him?

APL: About Cisco? He’s currently my favorite human being! He’s 15 and he’s a budding rock star. I’m not even kidding. He’s got it… if you know what I mean. He gets up on stage and I’m like, he’s my kid… wow! How I look at it is that Cisco chose me to come through [this world] and I’m very honored by that. And I’m still his mom… I shut him down every once in a while. I teach him manners and things, but the way I look at it, we’re friends. We’re helping each other. He’s picking up Human Being Training as he goes, and teaching me, like you guys teach me.

HC: Why do think Cal Poly students should try out Human Being Training?

APL: Because human beings need to be really brave and in these classes we’re training our bodies, but we’re also training our minds and for lack of a better word, our spirits. It’s not easy to be a human being. And by human being, I mean someone who’s willing to reach their true potential. Who I consider to be real human beings [are] Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed, all the greats. All the people we consider to be spiritual masters… those are human beings. And that’s what I’m aiming for, and that’s what you guys are aiming for, whether you realize it or not. And that’s playing the big game. That’s why people should come to Human Being Training… to reach their full potentials. And it’s great if you want to work your body and get strong, that’s great, but my aim for myself and if you choose, your aim for yourselves is that.

HC: Finally, what do you hope for regarding the future of Human Being Training?

APL: Well, as I mentioned tonight, I’m interested in getting the word out about [the class]. I do intend to take this around the world eventually, and my first stop is going to be Esalen Institutes. I’m ambitious about it, and it’s developing organically in it’s own good time.