Pamela Holt: “Boundaries are a constant work in progress for me”

One good habit that can lead to optimum physical wellness is movement. Any kind of movement is a wonderful habit to bring into your life- not just physically- but for optimal wellness. There’s this saying that has always stuck with me, ‘move a muscle, change a thought’. When we are feeling achy, depressed, stressed just […]

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One good habit that can lead to optimum physical wellness is movement. Any kind of movement is a wonderful habit to bring into your life- not just physically- but for optimal wellness. There’s this saying that has always stuck with me, ‘move a muscle, change a thought’. When we are feeling achy, depressed, stressed just moving our bodies can do a world of good. On a consistent level, the movement also creates an outlet for our energy to channel. Some basic movements for those not used to it can be going for a walk, doing gentle stretching, or yoga. These are great ways to ground, connect to the Universe and/or your higher power, and begin to get in touch with your body. Through movement, we can see and feel where we are strong and challenged to be able to begin our healing and transformation.

Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?

As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Pamela Holt.

Pamela is the Founder & CEO of Pamela’s Essentials, LLC. Pamela is a seasoned expert in Kundalini, a multidimensional yoga practice encompassing the physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual of the whole human. Using this one practice, Pamela is adept at helping individuals optimize their total health and well-being.

Pamela started her journey over four years ago when her anxiety, depression, heartbreak became too much to handle. Not knowing what to do with all of the emotions, mental drama, physical trauma, and lack of higher power faith Pamela was looking for a way out. Kundalini Yoga saved her life and allowed her to accept all parts of herself to grow into the person she is today.

Pamela’s expertise and knowledge are backed by her 500-hour Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training and life coaching career where she brings a modern, sassy appeal to this ancient practice to bring SPICE to individuals’ lives (Support, Provoke, Inspire, Collaborate, & Empower). Using the simple yet accurate technology of yogic numerology, Pamela helps individuals illuminate their strengths, improve on their weaknesses, find meaning and purpose in their lives, heal on the multidimensional level, and transform into a truly happy, healthy, and fulfilled person. Pamela coaches people on the total body- not just the physical, but on the mental, emotional, and spiritual centers of the 10 bodies that make up the total human.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

10 years ago, I was 20 years old. 5’2″. Feisty. Strong. Confident. Full of all the arrogance of youth. A life off the societal rails. I had quit college after two years of major bouncing- music, education, history. One parent not happy. One parent supportive. One voice- my grandfather- who said do whatever makes you happy, it’s your life to live. I got a part-time job at a grocery store because my parents said if you’re not going to school get a job. I started teaching ballroom dancing on the regular. I started going out to bars. Cultivated a drinking problem. Totaled more cars than I’m proud of. Would work all day, go out all night, run on 3 hours sleep.

I was undiagnosed with anxiety, depression, fraud. People were in love with Pam 1.0. As the years went on I got promoted at work jockeying for a position I thought I wanted. Money was great. Had a boyfriend I truly loved at the time. Moved in together after a while. Still a bar fly, workaholic, fraud. I had no sense of true self. I had no sense of self-respect. And I had no self-love. My drinking by that time was largely out of control. Every time I’d react. Full-blown cry fest or angry zone. Regardless I’d just word vomit. The truth would come out. I hated myself. I wanted to kill myself. I doubted everyone’s sincerity in my life. I swore I had no friends. I was a mess. I had no sense of true self. I had no sense of self-respect. And I had no self-love.

Then the darkness came. Or so I called it at the time. Three years ago my world imploded. I quit my job of 7 years to go to a normal 9–5. Found out my relationship of 4 years was a sham. Moved into an apartment that was all my own. I found myself with an extra 20 hours in my week to myself. I found myself with no friends, turns out they weren’t my friends to start with. A broken heart. And I blamed it all on me- I must’ve done something to deserve all I received.

I was only motivated for the new job to pay bills. I was only motivated to eat the bare minimum. I was only motivated to shower when I had to be somewhere. I was only motivated to survive. Not live-survive. Survival then wasn’t even enough. I started wondering if it was all really necessary. What was on the other side? How to get there easiest. The darkness came. This time so did the light. Yin and Yang. You can’t have one without the other.

When I took my first round of teacher training it was intimidating. The growth alone that was to come was immense. I was able to physically push boundaries. My body gained endurance skills through repetitive movements and using the breath to focus. My mind and emotional clarity were eye-opening. I became less judgmental of myself. I worked hard. I became forgiving towards myself. My anxiety lessened. Pressure lifted. It was shortly thereafter I found my voice again. Less in the arrogant way of 8 years earlier. The want to speak my truth. I began teaching the same life recovery classes I started with. I began spreading the love. I showed those around me that were struggling with the same challenges I had years earlier there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I showed that not every day was the same.

With Kundalini and self-discovery came humility. Some days I was more flexible than others- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Some days were rainbows and butterflies. Some days all the feels came flooding back. Each day, no matter what, was a good day. All about balance. You can’t have one without the other. Good. Bad. Light. Dark. Yin. Yang.

A year a half ago I had a massive shift. Physically I uprooted myself and moved from Connecticut to Florida. Up north, I was not feeling connected anymore. I needed something more. I craved change. Growth. Light. Warmth. Newness. Moving south helped. Fresh start. Clean slate. Health. Happiness. I started my own business. Pamela’s Essentials. My way to share the essentials for a happy healthy fulfilled life. To give people experiences, Kundalini, and hold space and encourage their growth. To take them from the same anxiety, depression, rat race of everyday life to the being present. Feel their feels. No judgment. Let go and let be. Like a personal trainer for mind and spirit- not just the body.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My break up believe it or not. So I guess you could say my ex. Back in 2017, we had broken up after being together for years. That was the tipping point that triggered my anxiety and depression to levels beyond what I had ever felt. On top of that, I had just changed careers again. I had to move into my own place by myself- and my cat. I began to realize I had no sense of self. In my previous job, I worked 60 hours a week. Horrendous commute. Any time off I revolved around my ex, housekeeping, and doing the things he liked. He always wanted me to do what I wanted but I felt it was more important than because I worked so much to give the extra time for him.

So when all of that went down I came to having all this extra time, no real friends (most of my friends were his), and not knowing what to do with myself. I started going to the gym, went out to the bars. So old habits, limiting beliefs, and that old familiar anxiety and depression creeping in. I became massively depressed. The only reason I went to work was to pay my bills and feed my cat. I wasn’t sleeping, hardly eating. I even began to contemplate suicide.

That’s when I met my yoga teacher, became involved in the Love Tribe Open Hearts and Arts Center Community, took my first teacher training, and never looked back. I began teaching, helping others, sharing my story to anyone who would listen. One night one of my students suggested I should teach/coach in real life. So Pamela’s Essentials was born.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Yes! Sal Annunziato. That man saved my life. When I was going through my rock bottom period 4 years ago, Sal reached out to me after noticing my Facebook posts had been getting, let us just say, a little dark and depressing. I word vomited everything that was going on in my life and that I couldn’t take, I didn’t know what to do. Sal invited me to attend Life Recovery Yoga at Love Tribe Open Hearts and Arts Center in Connecticut, where I used to live.

He encouraged me to come to my first class before doing anything. Life Recovery is 45 minutes of gentle yoga that anyone can do followed up by 45 minutes of an open share. During the share, we would pick a topic or you could share whatever you want to leave there. It’s a safe, sacred space- who you see there, what you hear there, stays there vibe. After my first class, I immediately felt a difference on a multidimensional level-physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I came back again and again. I didn’t share for my first year. I would meditate and listen. I came to understand that we are all recovering from something (alcohol, drugs, loss, anxiety, PTSD, you name it) and we are not alone.

That is the same vibration I work to bring to my community and business. I want people who are struggling to know they are not alone. That they too can grow through what they are going through.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Yes! I think the funniest mistake I made was meditating in easy pose. So when I was in teacher training, I finally got to a point where sitting in easy pose (aka criss-cross applesauce) was uncomfortable. My hips hurt so much! When I learned to meditate, started taking yoga it was always shown that you sit in easy pose. Now teacher training we sit in a lot of easy pose for anywhere up to sixty minutes for some meditations.

I remember going up to my yoga teacher and explaining that it hurts my hips to sit for long periods in easy pose, how can I ever be a good teacher? He looked at me and asked if it was uncomfortable to sit on my knees/heels in rock pose. I said yes. He asked if I could sit with my butt between my heels. I said yes. Then he said to do that if it hurts to sit the other way (it’s the antidote to tight hip flexors to help stretch). He explained it was more important to meditate and be comfortable than sitting in a way that was painful and distracting.

Not only was that funny for me, but it was an important message. If it hurts don’t do it! I took from that I am allowed to be the good kind of selfish, I am allowed to be happy and I can set boundaries and remove toxicity from my life. It was a game-changer on my road to personal development.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

One book that had a significant impact on me, and is my absolute favorite is called Forever by Pete Hamill. Don’t get me wrong, I could tell you about the multitudes of personal development books I’ve read and their impact, but this one will stick with me. I related to it so much because of the main character and the lifestyle he lived. The book centers around a young Irish man, who is granted immortality to avenge the death of his mother by going after the killer’s lineage. There’s a catch- the impartiality only lasts so long as he doesn’t leave the island of Manhattan. He arrived in 1740 and the book progresses through the changing city, his lifetimes, love, loss, war, all the way past 9/11.

The main character proceeds to not just survive to avenge his mother’s death, but he lives. He moves lifetime to lifetime, adapting careers, friends, lovers. He experiences the changing periods of greed, racism, politics. He makes decisions that resonate, trusts himself, moves through various karmic producing tendencies and experiences. I like to think that’s the ultimate way to live life- to the fullest, take advantage of all the experiences, and feel everything. I have moved through numerous careers until I found my purpose. I’ve lived in multiple cities. I’ve met, loved, and lost numerous people. Yet each day I get up with the same sense of gratitude, connection, and adventure.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My favorite “Life Lesson Quote” is… “In a world where impermanence and change are basic facts of life, the willingness to be surprised gives one a big advantage”, Dr. Mark Epstein.

This quote resonates with me so much because it’s true. When my anxiety was at an all-time high, I tried to control everything. Routine, certainty, consistency was survival mode for me. When I read this quote, it was at the beginning of my development journey. It was like an a-ha moment. It helped me to begin surrendering to the fact that I can’t control everything and that is where my anxiety was coming from. Once I spent less time controlling, life became more fun and exciting.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

My Ten Bodies Mastery Course! We are more than just our physical body-actually 10 times more! The human being is made up of 10 bodies- one physical, 3 mental, & 6 energetic. Each of the bodies has specific strengths and lack thereof that makeup who we are in this lifetime. Using yogic numerology- an accurate, quick, & effective system- we can discover which of the bodies guides us to our purpose, amplifies our strengths, improve on our weak points, and truly live a happy, healthy, & fulfilled life.

The Ten Bodies are Soul Body, Negative (mental protective) Mind Body, Positive (mental projective) Mind Body, Neutral (mental meditative) Mind Body, Physical Body, Arcline Body, Auric Body, Pranic Body, Subtle Body, and Radiant Body.

Over 12 weeks you will learn: your personalized yogic numerology, cover each of the ten bodies in detail, learn to calculate the numbers, provide Kundalini yoga (for all levels), and meditations to amplify and improve on the bodies, provided tools, strategies, & workbooks. You will learn your life’s purpose, balance, healing, and connection to yourself self & the infinite. Not only is this program beneficial on a personal level, but it’s also great for building relationships, building your business, or connecting with coworkers, it’s another tool for healers, therapists, & psychologists to learn another level of understanding. (As a yoga instructor it is beneficial in prescribing yoga asanas, kriyas, and meditations to help students.)

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One good habit that can lead to optimal mental wellness is meditation. Meditation can help bring clarity to our mental state. Remove brain fog if you will. Most of us walk through life trying to absorb all that is going on in our lives. This is when we feel overwhelmed, anxiety sets in, sleepless nights. We need a way to sit with the thoughts, to be able to see them from a nonjudgmental space, and just observe. We are like onions-we have multiple layers. When we can peel back those layers we can become more focused, gain clarity, and understanding our world around us. It’s when we let those layers smother us we lose our mental consciousness.

One of the easiest ways to begin meditating is sitting with yourself, eyes closed, and do long deep breathing (start from the belly, let the breath rise up through the diaphragm, into the lungs and work up on the inhale, and exhale back down the spine). As you sit with yourself and the breath, thoughts will come up, the mind will wander. Let it. These thoughts are your party guests. They are going to show you what is floating around in our noggin without all the craziness of the rest of our lives taking up space. Just remember, it is your party. You don’t have to entertain all of the guests. Just notice them. You might be surprised what comes up, what you see in a new light, and what leaves creating space within.

A second habit that can lead to optimal mental wellness is boundaries. Boundaries are essential for your mental health. When we can keep the energy-sucking vampires in our life at bay, we can be successful in every way. With the conformist culture society has bred into our lives, often we feel bad, anxious, or stressed when we can’t say no to something or someone.

Boundaries are a constant work in progress for me. I always want to help everyone. That is where a lot of my anxiety stems from. I never want people to be upset with me, I don’t want anyone to feel slighted, and I want everyone to be happy. One of my biggest struggles with boundaries is with my Dad. My Dad is my whole world- I am the stereotypical Daddy’s Girl. He is the one person I have always had the hardest time saying “No” to. While I was, by all means, no angel and did everything I was told, if he asks me to do something, help with Xyz, or go somewhere with him I would say yes. I would cancel plans to avoid saying no even if it was something I wanted to do so bad and had planned for months. I would drop whatever I was doing. I can still remember the night we talked about boundaries and I told him how guilty I felt. He asked me to go somewhere and I had to say “No”. I worked up my anxiety so bad, was crying. He just looked at me and said something to the effect of you can say No, you’re allowed to do your thing, don’t ever feel bad for it, You can be happy.

That was, in my mind my first confrontation with boundaries. Now I am very mindful of listening to my inner baby soul and being the good kind of selfish. There’s no reason for me to walk on eggshells, cancel my happiness, and not be me.

A third way to optimize mental wellness is journaling. Journaling allows you to reframe and reprogram your thoughts. It was funny when I first started my wellness journey in earnest, everyone suggested journaling as the most life-changing activity. I tried it and I hated it. I couldn’t figure it out. Every prompt I answered felt fake, my brain was believing my answers, my body physically and energetically didn’t believe what I was writing. It wasn’t until I learned my yogic numerology and human design that I was able to make it work for me. My design revolves around my pranic (breath) body and the fact that I am a non-specific manifestor.

Now I love it! I go full in, journaling more around my feelings. Using prompts that are geared more towards the feelings than specifics. It helps me to dive deep into my inner self and subconscious. To feel my feelings is a deeper acknowledgment through the heart center than just using the logical mind. It allows me to fully incorporate and get my subconscious on board with what I am working towards- goals, intentions, manifesting.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

Kundalini is my baby! This practice has supported me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually-a multidimensional fitness experience. When I first started Kundalini I was struggling with anxiety, depression, heartbreak, and suicidal thoughts. While I looked physically well and good on the outside, I was severely unbalanced inside. This practice allowed me to not only physically bend and stretch my body but my mind as well. I was able to regulate my nervous system, control my anxiety fight, or flight responses, accept myself on a total body level. Shortly after I started my Kundalini Teacher training certification. I had started to deepen my practice and shortly after began teaching.

Kundalini is a combination of dynamic breath work, movement, and mantras that are completed in a certain fashion for a certain amount of time to move energy from its dormant state in the body to travel throughout the layers of the body. Using the concept of the 10 bodies (1 physical, 3 mental, and 6 energy), we can create the optimal well being that our body deserves. Kundalini helped me to discover who I was on the inside, my path and purpose in life, and achieve healing and transformation.

My favorite Kundalini meditation by far is Kirtan Kriya. This meditation brings a total mental balance to the psyche. This meditation helps create change within the body on an accelerated level. It also helps to transform habits and produces a massive spiritual cleansing. This meditation involves a simple seated position, playing of the fingers, and Sa-Ta-Na-Ma mantra which simply put means birth, life, death, rebirth. It happens in three parts- say it out loud, whisper, say it in the mind, back to whisper and finish it out loud again. That relates to the three languages of consciousness. You do this meditation for 11 minutes and work your way up to more.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One good habit that can lead to optimum physical wellness is movement. Any kind of movement is a wonderful habit to bring into your life- not just physically- but for optimal wellness. There’s this saying that has always stuck with me, ‘move a muscle, change a thought’. When we are feeling achy, depressed, stressed just moving our bodies can do a world of good. On a consistent level, the movement also creates an outlet for our energy to channel. Some basic movements for those not used to it can be going for a walk, doing gentle stretching, or yoga. These are great ways to ground, connect to the Universe and/or your higher power, and begin to get in touch with your body. Through movement, we can see and feel where we are strong and challenged to be able to begin our healing and transformation.

A second habit that can lead to optimum physical wellness is skin care. I believe skincare is one of those lost parts of our routine that we need to be physically healthy. The same way we wax our car, the same way we clean our homes, we need to cleanse our skin. Not only is it great physically, but it can be mentally meditative for the repetitive movement and allow us to connect to our bodies emotionally through touching. Two great techniques for skincare for the physical self are dry brushing and Abhyanga.

Dry brushing you would do first. It is the practice of using a firm, natural bristled brush and brushing the skin in circles moving towards the heart center. I love to do this in the morning. It helps to exfoliate and clear the pores, reduce cellulite, give lymphatic support, and boosts energy. Follow up with Abhyanga.

Abhyanga, seen with other Ayurvedic practices, is the practice of self-massage. You would use a carrier oil, coconut or sesame oil, and self-massage in circular pressures towards the heart center. It has similar benefits to dry brushing including increased circulation, lymphatic drainage, tones the body, and releases toxins. Abhyanga also helps to calm the nervous system which reduces stress and anxiety. Again I recommend in the morning after dry brushing and finish it all up with a warm shower.

A third habit that can lead to optimum physical wellness is eating. The way we eat has a major effect on our physical body. Our digestive system is one of the biggest full time working systems in the body. We need to be mindful of what goes in. I highly recommend eating more plants being as the body recognizes them and they are easier to digest. When we take in heavy, processed, artificial foods our body has to work overtime to breakdown, digest, and expel. This can make us tired, uncomfortable, and stressed. It can affect our sleep. When we eat healthier, and I’m talking more plants, limit sugars, and limit dairy we can help our body to fire on all cylinders.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

About 6 months ago I went on a very plant-based diet. The only exception I have made is for sushi. I cut out meat, chicken, and dairy. Lowered my sugar intake. I didn’t go cold turkey- I started, with the support and advice of vegan friends, by eating what I already had in the house but not buying it again if that item happened to be not plant-based. And then I began learning what was plant-based, vegan, what wasn’t. I noticed a difference after a couple of months. My diet was pretty clean before then although I was a meat-eater. After changing it up, I did notice I slept better, my energy levels increased, and my body seemed to redistribute my weight differently. For example, my belly changed where I always had little bloating and seemed like weight there.

In my opinion, the main blockage that makes it difficult for us to integrate healthy eating into our lives is willpower. A close second would be society and cultural awareness. A combination of mind over matter. It’s why marketing is such a powerful tool. We see ads for fast food, cheap eats, and how convenient it is. We know better. We know it’s not good for us- but we’ll only do it just this one time. I’ve been there. When I was a workaholic I lived out of my car. Fast food was easy. It wasn’t good for my body. My weight fluctuated, I didn’t sleep well, bloating was a normal thing. When I started taking better care of myself, working out, changed my circle of friends, I began to adjust. I knew what felt good. I saw the results. And that motivated me in the long term. I decided my health and well being was a priority. I didn’t want to go back to the old me. Unfortunately, we live in such an instant gratification society that people don’t always want to try new things and take the time to see if it works.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One good habit that can lead to optimum emotional wellness is feeling your feelings. My best guidance, from personal experience, is to feel all of the feels. When I was growing up I didn’t feel like having feelings was ok. Whether it was the way I was raised or society’s standards it didn’t matter. I think that may have been where my anxiety and depression stemmed from. I’m not a doctor. I did try therapy before yoga became my go-to. And it honestly seemed like a lot of what was bubbling over was feelings harbored since childhood. Fast forward to four years ago when I had my mental break, that was the first time all of my feelings came rushing up and it felt like I had no control over those feelings. That can be scary if you’ve never actually sat with your feelings.

That is one of the big reasons I recommend meditation. Meditation gives you a chance to ground and connect with yourself on a level you can’t find anywhere else. Just by sitting, even for 3 minutes a day, and to close your eyes, follow your breath, and let what comes up come up. If you can tap into that witness consciousness and bring no judgment to what comes up. That’s the key. Let the mind wander, contrary to popular meditative belief. Let it all up and out. Only then can you focus and find peace past the noise, see the forest through the trees. That will give you a way to cultivate simple emotional wellness through witnessing, no judgment, and open to what is.

A second good habit that can lead to optimum emotional wellness is self-acceptance. I know- easier said than done. I’m still working on that every day. It’s when we lose that connection with our inner self to be able to be the most authentic version of ourselves. We are all a little broken, in one way, shape, or form some are more broken than others- a good friend of mine said that to me once. I firmly believe it’s the acceptance of that broken piece and the healing that comes with it.

Like the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, where they would repair areas of broken pottery by mending the breakage with lacquer dusted with gold, silver, or platinum. They would treat the area of breakage and repair as history rather than something to disguise. If we could do the same to heal ourselves how wonderful would that be? As I coach I work super hard to convey the same care to my clients. I don’t want to change anyone, but rather help them heal and transform through accepting their true self. The yogic numerology shows our true inner layers, we learn how to accept all of our energy bodies, and build through the strengths and improve the weaknesses, while we accept we are meant to be.

A third way that can lead to optimum emotional wellness is through gratitude. A daily gratitude practice is a wonderful way to cultivate emotional wellness. When we are living from a state of gratitude, fear cannot exist, anxiety cannot exist. A true state of gratitude brings forth a loving, accepting energy for all that we are, all that we have, and all that is around us. One great way to begin a daily gratitude practice is by making a list each morning. When you wake up, start the day, write down 3 things you’re grateful for (if you feel called to do more go for it). A fun gratitude challenge is to write down 100 things you are grateful for! Whatever path you choose, just do it. What you write you invite. Let in that energy. And as you move throughout the rest of your day, any time you experience fear or anxiety, stop and close your eyes and think of three things you are grateful for. Notice how your emotional state shifts. Gratitude and fear cannot exist together.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

Yes! Smiling is a great addition to improving your emotional wellness. You can tell when someone is smiling even if you can’t see them, like on the phone for example. In this day and age, face masks remove the ability to see the physical smile, but you can still tell by the twinkle in the eye, crinkles at the corners of the eyes, and natural body language.

One fun way to play with the science of smiling to improve emotional wellness is through face yoga- yes it is a thing! Practice starts with smiling. Open wide through the lips, exposing the teeth. That will loosen the cheeks and the area around the eyes. Open the mouth, move the jaw, stick your tongue out. Feel silly- tell me if you don’t smile after that. While you are truly moving through motions to relax, stretch, and open the facial muscles and facia, you are also moving those emotional energy centers. When we feel happy, silly you will naturally smile and that brings up feels of gratitude, happiness, and you glow differently.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

One good habit that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness is meditation. While we talked about meditation earlier, I want to go through it in a different light as it relates to spiritual wellness. The ability to connect to a higher power (whatever that is for you) is not always easy. We often wonder if that higher power is listening, if we’ll receive a sign if our thoughts will be answered in some way. Meditation gives you the edge to connect yourself to the Self to the Infinite, your higher power. That is one of the most powerful connections we have.

When we meditate we create a connection from the breath, through the mind, to the body. When we can ground ourselves within and feel all ten bodies working in unison- our physical body, our three mental bodies, and six energetic bodies- does full energy flow. That open flow allows us to connect with our higher power uninhibited. We can connect not through the traditional idea of verbal prayer- putting words to our emotions, wants, and needs-whether out loud or speaking inside, but through our feelings. It’s those involuntary emotions we can’t verbally express, those are the deep authentic feelings we want to send to our higher power. The vibration, or frequency, we are emanating on that level is exactly how our higher power will communicate back. Our world is all vibration. It’s when we are vibrating on a certain frequency we attract what we want, connect with certain souls in passing, and can truly hear our higher power reach out. Everything we receive is our higher power responding to that vibration we sent out.

I highly recommend you sitting each morning after waking, even if it is just for 3 minutes, and close your eyes, full belly breaths of long deep breathing, and even if you can’t put words to what you want from your higher power, just put out the feels. Use your gratitude list to create that same vibration. And notice how you feel, how that moves through the rest of your day.

A second good habit that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness is prayer. Prayer in the traditional sense it was seen as an act of creating deliberate communication with your higher power. I was raised Roman Catholic. We’d go to church and CCD every Sunday. They taught us to pray to God for whatever we needed or to send prayers to people we cared about it. Get down on your knees on the side of the bed, the pew in church. No matter where you prayed God was listening. To me though it always seemed to be something you had to find a way to convey into words.

When I started my deep yoga journey years ago, prayer was taught and explained differently. There was the ability to connect your soul to that of your higher power simply by tuning into the breath. This would create the golden chain of connection with your higher power, teachers that had gone before us, and souls that had moved on. I fell in love with idea that we are all a vibration or a frequency that can get into alignment with everything around us. So by meditating, completing mindful movement with our body, we send out those vibrations, and the Universe, our higher power responds. So I would challenge you, don’t worry so much about making sense of your current state, experiences, or wants/needs but feel your feels and send them out.

A third good habit that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness is grounding. This is one of my favorite ways to cultivate spiritual wellness is through a grounding practice. TThere are many different ways to ground. I am going to take you through my favorite way. It involves going outside. Find your favorite place- maybe it is outside in the yard, at the beach, on the rooftop of your NYC apartment. As long as you are outside. Next walk around, barefoot if you can, letting all four corners of your feet connect with the ground. Natural ground- dirt, grass, sand- actually produces negative ions, a negative charge, that when we absorb connects us to the Earth and that higher power. After walking around for a bit, and you’ll know when to come to a comfortable seated position. I promise you’ll know the spot. Sit, roll your shoulders up to your ears and roll them back opening through the heart center, bring your hands to the tops of the knees, palms can face down if you need to ground or up if you’re ready to receive. Then close your eyes and bring up long deep breathing, inhaling and exhaling through the nose- breathing up from the earth and sits bones, big into the belly, up through the diaphragm and lungs, up into heart center and when you get to the top exhale all the way back down.

Once you feel settled, flow through the five senses with no judgment. First, notice what you hear. Hear it all- you’ll notice the sounds become one with you and seem to float away. Then notice what you smell. Use a big inhale and let it all in. Next, notice what you see- yes even with your eyes closed. You may notice shadows, shapes, colors floating behind the eyelids. Go ahead and stick your tongue out, take a couple of inhales through that open mouth and notice what you taste, coming back to closed mouth, long deep breathing. And finally, notice what you feel- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once you’ve moved through, you’re going to feel this sense of self, calmness, and connection to the world. You’re grounded.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

Being in nature is the ultimate spiritual connection. The Earth has a natural negative ion charge. Taking the time to get outside, walk barefoot if you can, and connect. When we absorb negative ions, there is this potential that it can help us calm, reduce inflammation, creates a healthy stress response trigger for those days emotional health goes out the window that we can bring up through muscle memory, and it can energize us. That energizing factor creates a vibration in the body that allows us to connect to our spiritual side- truly feel our higher power as it moves through all things, like what we notice through focusing on the five senses.

That connection through barefoot walking and even the act of just getting outside and allowing the body and mind to sense through opens our energy centers so we can connect with our higher power through vibration. Our higher power is all around us. Being in nature is the most rooted experience that we can have. It is our inner sense that relates to Earth from which we come from and will return. There is a natural pull to that breath and inner self whenever we go outside. Just close your eyes and feel.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

The movement I am working to cultivate in my life is that of helping others find their connection to their true authentic self. I am bringing a modern twist to the Kundalini Yoga Lifestyle to help people integrate the practice not just on the mat, but off the mat as well. I bring my authentic sassy self and S.P.I.C.E. to my industry. My friends say I am the sassiest yoga teacher they know- that I bring a depth of reality to the practice. As far as S.P.I.CE.- that is to support, provoke, inspire, collaborate, and empower as many people as possible to be their most happy, healthy, and fulfilled selves. If I can make an impact even on one person to accept themselves, show them their strengths and help them improve their weaknesses, giving them that missing meaning and purpose in life, and provide a path to healing and transformation in this lifetime, I will have fulfilled my purpose.

I’ve embraced my authentic self on a total multi-dimensional level (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) and I am grateful for having been shown my yoga lifestyle, my yogic numerology, and yoga lifestyle support to truly live life fully, happily, and healthy. I would love to spread that connection of self to Self to the Infinite in this lifetime to others. .

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Elon Musk! One hundred percent I want to be the first yoga teacher in space. I was going to write him a letter- I still will. Whether it is the space station, the moon, or mars I would love to contribute to the health and well-being of astronauts in space. It’s kind of a side innovation for me at the moment. I look at how they reside in space for months at a time so that can take a toll on the full multidimensional level. Physically no gravity can produce stress on the body, so having movements- particularly Kundalini yoga- can help to keep the body in shape, oxygenated at a cellular level. Also, Kundalini can provide much-needed mental and emotional support through dynamic breath work, mediation, and visualizations. And spiritually Kundalini provides a one-way ticket to vibrating with your higher power and the world around us. Even just the process of tuning in can produce a feeling of connection to those who are left behind on Earth.

And I’ve always loved space. Every year when I was younger my family would go to Washington DC and the Air and Space Museum was my favorite! The simulators, the stars, the shuttles, the history. Just a total rush and experience! To a part of something bigger and leave a mark would be amazing!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

There are three great ways to work with me online:

First check out my website! You can find all the information on receiving your yogic numerology reading session, ten bodies mastery program, and my one on one yoga life coaching program. You’ll also find more about me in my blog and more inspirations and information.

Follow me on social media! Find me on Instagram, for special workshops, inspirations, and more information

Lastly on Youtube! I upload trainings, classes and more visuals. Tikitok coming soon!

You can even check out the accompanying video to this article here:

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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