Having a home yoga practice may be difficult at times but when you have an online teacher like Kassandra, you find yourself empowered to reach a little further, move a little slower, and enjoy the flow. With her YouTube channel (@YogaWithKassandra) she draws in yogis from all over the world. I have been using her videos for my home yoga practice since 2013. From self-love to cultivating strength, Kassandra brings light and love into the world and teaches us to move with mindfulness.
What is your personal mantra?
A rising tide lifts all boats.
How did you passion for yoga manifest?
I used to be a dancer and was looking for ways to improve my flexibility, develop strength and also heal some injuries that never seemed to go away. In the end I fell in love with the practice of yoga and drifted away from dancing. What really appealed to me was that yoga encouraged you to be exactly the way you are without striving for perfection or competing with others. Of course self-improvement is not a bad thing but at the time what I really needed was a practice that would encourage self-love and would allow me not to worry about how I looked and moved compared to others. Ironically once I stopped trying so hard to be better I actually did get better! I become a lot stronger and a lot more flexible and felt so much better in my mind and body. It lead me to spirituality and personal development which helped me cope with the anxiety I used to feel. It allowed me to fall asleep faster at night and be a better person in my relationships with others. There isn’t a single area in your life that yoga can’t touch.
What draws you to moon energy?
Syncing up my yoga practice with the lunar cycles is a way for me to feel more connected to my femininity. I was longing for ritual and ceremony as a way to honor everything around us that is so sacred and so magical yet also often overlooked and ignored. Paying attention to the lunar cycles gives me permission to tune into myself and disconnect from the outside world. I feel more feminine, sensual and intuitive because of it.
How do you implement self-love into your yoga teachings?
I try to focus on giving verbal cues that speak to how poses “feel” as opposed to how they look. I think a big misconception with yoga is that there is an end goal to every pose that students are striving for when really the poses are simply tools to allow us to connect to ourselves in a new way. I also make sure to give as many options and modifications for the poses that we do so that anyone can find something they can do and follow along to.
How do you start and end your days?
I’ve fallen off of the wagon of morning rituals but I generally will wake up at around 7:30am and write down any dreams and insights from the night. I’m the most productive in the morning so I will go straight for a cup of coffee and then get to work until noon. Around lunch time is usually when I like to practice yoga and meditation or sometimes go for a walk outside. I never work past 6pm unless I’m under serious deadlines. I try to give myself those last few hours of the day to connect with others and decompress. I try to be in bed by 10pm and always read for 30 minutes before falling asleep. Sometimes I will set an intention for my dreams throughout the night. I’m trying to get better at dream recollection and lucid dreaming!
What advice do you have for women who need help making their home business grow?
Success comes in small but very persistent steps. The first year and a half was very hard for me because I wasn’t seeing the results I was hoping for and thought about quitting dozens of times. Looking back now I can see how much progress I had actually made but when you’re in the thick of it it’s hard to appreciate how far you’ve come. Set time aside to write down your accomplishments and everything you’re proud of, at least once a month. The best thing you could do is to stop looking at what other people are doing. Put your blinders on and follow your own intuition. Pave your own path and stop comparing your process with the process of others, we are not meant to be the same. If you are consistent, persistent and authentic in your work, you will absolutely succeed but it won’t be on your timeline. Stop focusing on the timeline and the milestones and just focus on getting the work done. Settings goals is great but don’t be too strict with them. Let yourself be surprised by new and exciting opportunities! When we are too clear on what we want we miss opportunities that we could’ve never even dreamed of.
What tips do you have for those who want to implement journaling into their yoga practice?
Sometimes you’ll be inspired and sometimes you won’t, that’s fine. A great tip is to read personal development books or listen to a thought provoking podcast before you practice yoga. Once you start moving on your mat you’ll be able to think about those concepts in a completely different way and really embody them. Have your journal close by and mark down thoughts as they come or leave them for the end.
What have been the struggles of starting a home business?
You are a one-woman show. You have to learn dozens of skills, even skills that you have no interest in. Until you start making income you are doing all of the work yourself which can be draining on a physical, emotional and mental level. Having a great support system around you is key, even if they don’t help you with the work. There is no clear cut path to starting a home business so very early on you need to get comfortable with the fact that you will pretty much always be uncomfortable. More often than not you won’t know what the next step should be but by practicing yoga, journaling and listening to your intuition somehow you will find your way! You just need to hang in there long enough to find you way and resist the urge to quit or run away.
Looking back on the year so far, what are you most proud of?
I have a lot to be thankful for this year, I reached some very big milestones and it has been the best year of my professional career, by far. This year I quit my day job to pursue this work full-time and looking back on it now I realize that I should’ve done it sooner, but I was so scared! I’m incredibly proud of myself for making the jump and can’t believe I created a home-based, online business that fully supports me. It’s surreal and humbling yet I know that I’m only scratching the surface and next year is going to be even bigger and better!
What was the best advice you were ever given?
As a little girl my grandfather would always tell me “mind over matter”. It didn’t mean much to me at the time but now that lesson is at the very core of my being. Although I can’t control most external situations and circumstances, I always control my reaction to them. I believe in the power of my mind and I feel in my bones that I’m the one that decides what kind of life I’m going to live. We can choose to be victims of life or we can choose to be conscious creators WITH life.
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