Spirit Sister Series - Sam Hill from Priti Yogi
It is in times like this, where we are all as a community, shaken, some of us isolated and all of us uncertain of what the future will bring, with social distancing now our everyday reality, it's now more than ever, that we need connection and sharing. We need to see each other, celebrate each other and acknowledge and honour that which unifies us all, our humanity.
In sharing in each others stories and celebrating each others triumphs and learnings we can still feel connected, as we see ourselves in each other, we can see that we are not alone in any of this, but that we are rather, one big Spirit Family all navigating this path together.
So today I feel so incredibly grateful and excited to share with you all the second post in our Spirit Sister Series, featuring the beautiful and glowing mamma to be - Sam from Priti Yogi and Empowered Women Movement.
Sam is an animal loving Yoga teacher with a passion for teaching people around the world how to live in abundance of freedom, health, and happiness!
I first connected with Sam over social media and was so inspired by her message of unity and self love and her passion for sustainable living that I reached out and asked her to be a part of our recent Spirit People photoshoot.
I felt so aligned with Sam that she is now the angel in charge of our Social Media and the voice behind our posts over on instagram where she shares her beautiful and inspirational energy with us all.
In person Sam has the most gracious, calm and grounded energy, she is so kind and so beautiful in every sense of the word. So I am so deeply honoured and over the moon to be celebrating her today in our Spirit Sister Series.
You can follow this beautiful being and rockstar yogi over at @pritiyogi and if your Brisbane based, or not, check out @empoweredwomenbrisbane for her co-created events around empowering women to thrive together.
In our Interview with Sam below she shares with us how her spiritual journey began, what her spiritual practice looks like as well as what inspired her to do the work she does and some of her lessons and blessings and advice for those of us on a similar path.
I know you will enjoy sharing in her story as much as I have.
Let’s start with the basics, how old are you? And where did you grow up?
I’m 31 and I grew up a little all over the place, I spent my childhood moving around to different places (my Mum was a bit of a wanderer) up until high school where I spent my teenage years in Bathurst NSW.
Where are you currently based?
I’m currently living in Brisbane, I've been here for over 8 years which is probably the longest I’ve ever stayed anywhere but I plan on uprooting and moving back to the coast toward the end of the year to be closer to nature and the water where I feel at home.
What three words best describe you right now and your Intention/Essence/ offerings?
Empowerment. Growth. Alignment.
Can you share with us a little about your Journey with Yoga and or Spirituality, whatever that means to you?
Growing up through my teenage years and into my early twenties I dealt with anxiety and depression, I had a lot of mindset issues and had to do a lot of rewiring to get me where I am today.
Some of my growth came naturally over the years once I learned to cut ties with toxic people and situations but the most significant growth started happening for me when I ditched my television, took a few years off social media, and got lost in books. I still had a lot of inner work to do but this was the beginning of my journey.
My spiritual journey led me to living a Vegan lifestyle as this aligned with everything I felt was right within me, I realised I had been unconsciously going along with the social norm of consuming animal products because it was considered acceptable and normal when in truth it didn’t align with me on any level.
With all this growth I still felt like I had so many layers to peel away to find myself and a lot of inner work that still needed to be done to deal with past traumas and things holding me back in life so I decided to try Yoga, I struggled the whole way through my first class, but when I layed in Savasana and for some time after class I felt completely at ease, like centuries of weight had been lifted off my shoulders. This weight returned pretty quickly though which is when I realised Yoga wasn’t a quick fix, it was a practice to be implemented into my daily life which is exactly what I did and I was guided into the space of Ashtanga Yoga which is still part of my daily practice and I’m incredibly grateful for it.
Can you Share with us a little about what led you to begin starting your biz/ sharing your current offerings?
Yoga had such a profound impact on my life that I wanted to be able to share it with others and so Priti Yogi came together shortly after completing my Yoga Teacher Training. Along with being a Yoga Teacher I’m also a health, wellness and mindset guide.
Growing out of such a low vibrational state myself, I’m extremely passionate about helping other people grow, get into complete alignment, overcome limiting beliefs, attract abundance and step into their power and purpose.
My passion for helping others elevate is part of the driving force behind Empowered Women Movement, a space I co-created alongside my amazing friend Grace. Our friendship has always been one of positivity, authenticity and support and we started to realise that there are so many women who don't have this kind of relationship in their lives so we created a space for women to feel empowered, inspired, free to be themselves without judgment and thrive together.
What have been your biggest triumphs?
Overcoming, my self-limiting beliefs, I was full of self-doubt, I always felt I was stupid, not good enough, and that I had nothing of value to offer, so removing these self limiting beliefs, rising above them and stepping into my power has been huge for me. Also becoming a Yoga Teacher and overcoming my fear of speaking in front of groups of people.
What have been your biggest fears, obstacles and challenges along the way? And what has really helped you in overcoming them?
Thinking I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, worthy enough or capable enough. The only way you can overcome fear is by facing it so that’s what I continuously did. I was committed to growth so I continuously pushed myself out of my comfort zone regardless of how much it scared me. I also practiced stopping negative thoughts in their tracks and replacing them with positive ones.
What lessons are you most grateful for in life and in what you do?
Realising that our thoughts are extremely powerful and they create our reality so it’s important to always be mindful of our internal dialogue, the only limits on what we can do and achieve are the limits we place on ourselves and everyone and every situation has something to teach us, if something seems awful, look for what it’s teaching you and then flip your perspective and be grateful for the lesson.
What advice would you give another facing a similar challenge?
Start rewiring your mindset, transform your negative self limiting beliefs about yourself into positive ones, start with morning and evening affirmations and repeat them to yourself throughout the day whenever you notice negative thoughts creeping in, stop them in their tracks and replace them with something positive! If something scares the crap out of you, make the decision to overcome it, make a commitment to yourself to push outside your comfort zone and do what you need to do, yeah it may be scary but the rewards are so worth it! The more you push yourself outside of your comfort zone the more comfortable you get with doing things that scare you but elevate you at the same time.
What are the biggest challenges you face now? either personally or in what you do? or both?
This took me a while to answer but I think with being pregnant I have had to make some adjustments with my lifestyle and learn to slow down a little which has been difficult for me to adjust to and I've had my moments where I've been a little hard on myself for not doing enough. But I do realise that this time to slow down is necessary and clearly what I need.
We all deal with fears and insecurities; how do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?
I remind myself how far I’ve come and everything I have already achieved that I once believed I couldn’t which was all achieved by facing my fears and insecurities and stepping outside of my comfort zone. If I find myself slipping into negative thought patterns I’ll go outside, meditate, listen to a positive audio book or sit and write down some affirmations and what I’m grateful for.
What do you currently most crave in life and in what you do?
Nature...A lot of my time lately is spent indoors and being outdoors is where I feel more aligned with who I am and everything around me, it’s how I recharge.
What’s next for you, any exciting plans on the horizon that you would like to share?
I feel like I’m going through one of my biggest shifts, actually I think the human race as a whole is! I’m currently peeling away more layers and feeling compelled and more empowered than ever to step into my authenticity and own who I am and what I’m here to do.
With Priti Yogi, what started out as being purely Yoga focused has evolved so much over the years as I have changed and evolved so I am in the process of transforming Priti Yogi into something new and creating a space that aligns even more with who I am, what I truly have to offer and more in tune with my purpose. Also being on the verge of becoming a Mum, a lot of my focus is on this incredible new journey that I’m extremely grateful for.
Spirit Rituals, can you share with us any practices or routines that you do to keep you feeling inspired, grounded and connected?
My daily Ashtanga practice, although this has been modified quite significantly now that I’m pregnant, Ashtanga has been amazing over the years for teaching me self discipline, developing a strong asana practice, learning Pranayama, and helping me dive deep within myself and face the things I need to face. I also love earthing, getting outdoors whenever I can and sinking my bare feet into the earth, practicing gratitude, and I love getting at least 10-20 minutes of morning sun.
Who have been the most influential or inspirational people/ teachers/ Books or places on your path? and why?
Ashtanga, it has taught me so much about Yoga philosophy, alignment, myself, and discipline. Myself, I think we are our own biggest teachers when we are open and are willing to go within, reflect and commit to growth. One of the first books I read on my spiritual journey was The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, this was life changing for me and came to me just when I needed it. Other amazing books that have helped me and I'd highly recommend are Freedom by Osho, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harve Eker, and The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. And of course my Mum, the older I get the more I realise a lot of my strength, resilience, and independance comes from her and I love her for everything she has ever done for me and taught me, she has helped form the person I am today.
What does #iamspirit mean to you?
#iamspirit to me means being open, open to change and open to growth, being accepting, authentic, raw and in flow with the universe.
It means I am an individual, I don’t need external validation.
It means my practice is my practice, it does not need to be the same as anyone else's, we are here as one, all connected but experiencing life individually and our experiences and practices as a collective all matter, it all comes together into one consciousness, one energy source and if we all have or develop a spiritual practice individually we will have a positive impact collectively on the entire universe.
Images Captured for Spirit People by The Goddess Michelle at Eyes of Love Photography