Spirit Sister Series - Deni from Kandala Yoga
With all that has been unfolding in the world of late, it brings me so much pleasure to be able to show up in this space in the name of community and share our Spirit Sister Series with you all today.
I am so proud of this beautiful community we are building, of women who collaborate, share and support one another and it brings me such joy to connect us in this way.
Today I have the privilege of introducing to you all our beautiful Spirit Sister Deni from Kandala Yoga, Deni is the founder and and nurturer of the Kandala Yoga community and The Life Collective, where she shares the sacred teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda, as well as meditation, sound healing and her passion for holistic health.
The Kandala Yoga community is about reconnecting Mind, Body and Spirit by combining the ancient wisdom from the East with insights from the West, its the go-to place for education, services and resources to empower you to self-heal, know yourself and live to your greatest potential.
You can connect with and follow this beautiful being and her work on Instagram here, and facebook here, where she shares so many practical and useful tools, tips and practices to support you on your journey to health and happiness, I know you will find some value there.
But for now, get to know this beauty more in our interview with her below.
Let’s start with the basics, how old are you? And where did you grow up?
I’m 30 years young and I grew up in Brisbane.
Where are you currently based?
Still in Brisbane - for now anyway.
What three words best describe you right now and your Intention/Essence/ offerings?
Alignment, Connection, Healing
Can you share with us a little about your Journey with Yoga and or Spirituality, whatever that means to you?
Yoga found me in a really difficult stage of my life and was originally just a method of finding health + fitness. I committed to a daily practice right away and it soon became so much more. I started feeling this incredible connection to myself + to this universal consciousness that I couldn’t quite describe (this is spirituality to me). This all happened without any sort of idea that this is what Yoga could be about - the connection was spontaneous and powerful. This is why I know Yoga works because the results came unexpectedly. This is what led me to seek deeper truths where I found myself practicing Karma Yoga at an Ashram. Here I met a Guru and worked with many Sannyasi (monks) as I learnt more about the depths of the practice and the philosophy. It was here that I started teaching Yoga and truly started to embody the practice even more into my daily life. I got my official recognised training 2 years later so this has been an 11 year journey for me so far.
Can you Share with us a little about what led you to begin starting your biz/ sharing your current offerings?
Because of the path Yoga has carved for me, the immense challenges I have overcome and the healing it has brought to my life, I feel passionate about bringing this same alignment to others. Before becoming a Yoga Teacher, I studied Biology + Biochemistry and have found, surprisingly, that the 2 worlds actually go hand-in- hand really well. Along the path I have learnt so many other disciplines from the East to the West that it has helped to shape this strong view of human truth + capabilities. This is why I teach from a really holistic place where I bring together as much as I have learnt to help others feel these benefits too.
What have been your biggest triumphs?
Homebirthing my sun, finishing 8 years of study, taking the leap to create Kandala Yoga, starting my heart’s work through The Life Collective and creating my eBook “First Aid for the Body, Mind + Soul” (coming soon).
What have been your biggest Fears, obstacles and challenges along the way? And what has really helped you in overcoming them?
Fear of failure, mum-work-life balance + having no idea about marketing and business operations.
The way I have been able to overcome my fear of failure all started with one big leap. I just couldn’t sit around waiting anymore and even though it scared the hell out of me, I just did it. It almost became a motto - if it scares you, do it. Bit by bit, I have been able to create a bit of mastery over the fear so that it fills me with excitement instead.
The mum-work-life balance has been a juggle of staying true to my values (being a conscious and present mother is paramount to me), HEAPS of planning (being super specific with tasks and timing) and learning to ask for help when I need it. It’s also important to me to make sure I plan time for myself to maintain a feeling of connection and balance.
The marketing and business stuff I have just learnt along the way by reaching out for professional support and learning to surrender to the process of trial and error. I can’t know everything straight away, right?
What lessons are you most grateful for in life and in what you do?
I am grateful for the very first lesson my Yoga journey taught me and that was the power of self-discipline. Showing up for myself every morning on the mat has taught me to build self-trust and given me a strong foundation for the work I do both internally and externally.
I know it sounds cliche but each day I learn a new lesson and I am grateful for every single one of them. Over the years, a culmination of these days/moments have helped me to realise my inner strength, my grit and my ability to create anything I set my mind to. These revelations, though super positive, have always come from facing or overcoming my biggest shadows. These include limitations I have carried since childhood (perfectionism, not being good enough), shadows forged in toxic relationships and admitting my deepest “faults”.
What advice would you give another facing a similar challenge?
The answer you seek is always within you. The gateway to this inner world is Meditation. This is where we learn to listen to our soul/heart/spirit and not our head. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help (professionally, personally), keep learning and always prioritise your mind, body + spiritual health.
What are the biggest challenges you face now? either personally or in what you do? or both?
At the moment I have slipped back into a place where I am not putting myself first. I haven’t been making it to my mat each morning and the effects really show. This undoubtedly is the biggest challenge I face both personally and in my work. I know that once I set this straight, everything will feel much more balanced and things will come to me easier. Caring for yourself should always be a priority.
We all deal with fears and insecurities; how do you combat overwhelm and self- doubt?
Other than a daily Yoga practice, I would say that acknowledging these moments of fear and insecurity as they happen and naming them helps to disempower them. As a practical exercise, if I feel overwhelmed, the first thing I always do is stop what I’m doing and take a few moments to focus on my breath. The breath is the anchor for the mind and helps me to come out of my head and back into my body.
What do you currently most crave in life and in what you do?
Connection and meaning. When I spent time in the Ashram, everything was executed with so much care and presence that even the most mundane things felt sacred. The community was so connected in spirit that the whole experience made life extra special. This provided me with the groundwork for rapid personal growth. I wish to keep this same connection and meaning alive and hope that others can feel this bit of magic too, by continuing to provide the right knowledge, tools and community that they need most.
What’s next for you, any exciting plans on the horizon that you would like to share?
In the more immediate future, I envision The Life Collective to growing into the go- to holistic wellness platform. I will bring more professionals onboard to really maximise this holistic view for my members. Learning from Psychologists, Reiki practitioners, Ayurvedic doctors, Qigong instructors... honestly, the list goes on.
I am also going to launch an online store that has my eBook, spiritual wares, Ayurvedic goods and anything else that I think provides value and meaning.
Spirit Rituals, can you share with us any practices or routines that you do to keep you feeling inspired, grounded and connected?
I enjoy working with the natural world to help me feel connected to the bigger picture. To me, this means being aware of the seasons, the moon and astrological cycles and taking time to enjoy nature in all it’s states. I will then focus my daily practice in a way that honours this.
On a daily basis there are rituals and practices that I find profoundly supportive for me. I enjoy rising with the sun for a daily Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama practice. I will light a candle to honour the inner light and burn some incense to remind myself of the omnipotence of universal consciousness. I also have Ayurvedic practices that I do daily to care for my physical body. One of these, that I would like to share, is abhyanga. This is a daily self massage with warm oil and is considered the greatest act of self-love in Ayurveda. Here is what you do:
- Gently warm your oil of choice (the oil you choose greatly depends on your constitution. Jojoba oil is a safe bet for most people). You can add essential oils to this if you would like.
- Start to massage the body in long strokes starting from the feet and going all the way to the scalp. Each stroke should be directed towards the heart.
- I personally leave the oil on for about 30 mins before having a shower. If you are feeling particularly dry or anxious, I would recommend leaving it on as long as you can. Note: to get the oil out of your hair, add shampoo before you wet your hair.
Who have been the most influential or inspirational people/ teachers/ Books or places on your path? and why
- My 2 Yoga mentors, Sadhvi Shivjyoti and Celia Roberts, have inspired me through their own commitment to the philosophy, the wisdom they share and the way their light ignites the light in others.
- The Alchemist + The Bhagavad Gita are 2 (of many) books that have inspired my journey of truth and surrender.
- Nepal, the Himalayas. A poignant place I have visited on my path. I did a solo trek around the Himalayas almost 3 years ago and it was humbling, empowering and soul sparking all in one.
What does #iamspirit mean to you?
It means having loving connection in my daily life, to the Earth and all sentient beings so that I can embody my utmost truth. It’s about turning the most mundane chores into acts of divine connection and always living with gratitude and compassion as the driving force behind it all. This means the practice never leaves me. It is with me when I am cleaning the home, making a cup of tea or having a bath. It’s there when I am eating, when I am talking to people and, of course, when I am teaching.