An embodiment of light, earthy vibrations, and sparks of color! A yogi with an artist perspective on life and a divine connection with the world, Stephanie shares her advice with us!
What is your personal mantra?
My mantras shift and change, depending on what I am moving through and experiencing in my life. Whether in Sanskrit, or English, they may help to invoke compassion and forgiveness, abundance, or help in times of transition. They may also be a means of honoring the healing of the Divine feminine within myself and the world. At this time, I find myself singing a mantra that is very fitting around the spring time, when things are coming alive again. We see this reflected in nature, in spiritual and religious holidays, and inside ourselves. I have personally been healing and moving (physically) and emotionally out of a really challenging time in my life, so I use this mantra as a way of transforming the heaviness I feel into something more expansive and light. I am also, overall, focusing on more play, self-love, and abundance in all its forms.
Asatoma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya
From untruth to truth, lead me
From darkness to light, lead me
From death to immortality, lead me
How did you become passionate about yoga?
I grew up learning about natural health, healing, and meditation/mantra from my mother. I was also very into physical movement as a child, and did a lot of dance choreography, cheerleading, etc. In high school, I took yoga at a local college with a teacher who was legally blind. Around that time, my sister, Sarah, began teaching yoga in the Chicago area, so I would travel to take yoga with her, and decided to start teaching when I was 18 years old. It felt natural, given my upbringing, and was something I first chose to do, simply for work as I was attending college for musical theater.
What is your yoga teaching style?
Most often, I teach a heart centered/alignment based flow. I’m intuitive in the way I approach teaching and everything in my life, really. I also occasionally teach restorative/yin classes, therapeutics, acrobatic and aerial yoga.
What are some of your daily rituals?
Water! Every day includes water… Whether soaking in a hot spring in nature, going to a bathhouse in the mountains, soaking in my own bathtub, or taking a hot shower. It really is my savior when I’m going through anything challenging and it helps to clear energy in the best way. I also drink lemon water every day, and enjoy a warm cup of coffee in the morning with local honey and coconut-hemp milk (yum)! I always prepare myself nourishing food, and/or get out to one of the many amazing restaurants here in Portland. Every day, I do some movement such as yoga, dance, or walking around my neighborhood. My favorite part of the day is spending time with my kitty, Princess!
How do you stay connected to your spiritual side on a daily basis?
Nature, always. Water, as mentioned above. Every day, I take time to use essential oil’s/burn sage/palo santo, etc. and create a space for tuning in. I love picking oracle cards, and use them every day. I set intentions, pray, and write in my journal. My spirit is always present, I just have to continue to tune in and listen to what she is saying.
What goddess do you connect with?
So many of them! Lakshmi, of course. Saraswati has always held a special place in my heart, because of my love of singing, music, and creativity. I’ve been using the Kuan Yin Oracle Deck by Alana Fairchild every day, so currently her energy is swirling with me constantly.
Your connection with nature is sacred. What about nature inspires you?
Everything. Her resilience. Her reflection. Her support. Her destruction. There’s always something to see, to feel, and to learn from her. I feel most at home, when I’m deep in the mossy woods, walking alongside a rushing river, sitting by a waterfall, or casting wishes at the shore of Mother Ocean.
You and your sister Sarah are very connected, how has your relationship evolved over the years?
Sarah and I grew up in a very wild and magical world. We were homeschooled, and had a lot of free time to explore and create on our own. We learned to play, imagine, and dream together. We also learned to cope with the effects of deep wounds and trauma, as we navigated our way through some really dark times in our life. Naturally, we’ve had times where we drifted apart and times when we have been completely in sync with each other. Our hearts have never been separate, however…and I love my sister so very much. I am grateful for our ability to play and create together, while also having our own adventures that bring us much joy. It’s truly a gift. I am grateful for my whole family, and the deep love we have for each other. It’s the most important thing to me.
As an artistic soul, what kind of things do you do to express yourself creatively?
I love to create in so many ways! I feel a deep need to express myself, and I try to tap into the creative energy of spirit as often as possible. I love to cook and prepare beautiful, nourishing food for myself and others. I am a licensed cosmetologist and I love expressing through hair color and wild make up. I change my hair based on how I am feeling and what colors I am drawn to in the moment. I love to play! My spirit is naturally very silly and playful, and I notice that when I’m going through a difficult time in life, I can lose some of that natural sparkle. That is a good indicator of whether I am happy or not. I always try to tap back into my goofy, childlike self, when I notice that I haven’t been laughing and playing in awhile. It’s so incredibly important! My most loved and profound way of expressing is through sound and image. I have known that I am here to be a music and video artist since I was a small child. I moved to Portland two years ago from Chicago, to step into my power as an artist. I wanted a new space to create from and the support of nature. I am holding lots of sound healings’ here and am recording music now. I feel like I am tapping into something really ancient and beautiful through the sound I am creating. I know that it is my gift and purpose, and I am following the call and inspiration of spirit…feeling it all so deeply in my heart, and expressing it through my voice. I will follow that inspiration, as long as I am here. Stay tuned for music and videos, and keep following your own passion and what lights you up! The world needs you.