I met Sam at a kundalini yoga class a number of months back. I was instantly drawn to her effervescent and energetic spirit! Samantha is a kundalini instructor, body talk practitioner, a business matrix magician, and co-owner of a super cool studio space in Vancouver, Washington called Enlightened Brilliance Studios. The space offers yoga, workshops, kirtan, astrology, dance, mind-body wellness services, cosmic inspiration and more!
Samantha and I will be leading a 10 Day Winter Cleanse together at Enlightened Brilliance Studios, kicking off on Saturday February 13th. We will couple the nourishing, curious and cozy winter cleanse with kundalini kriyas designed to bring in the light and warm up your bod!
I asked Sam some of my favorite q's about cozying up to winter, nourishment and her personal philosophies on food, health, wellness and everything else! Enjoy getting to know Sam!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
As soon as I wake up I make a conscious decision to embrace being joyful. What works for me is asking the question: "what sorts of awesome, amazing, magical things will I do today?” I like to leave things open and ask "How will my life take shape?” This is a practice.
I know that I worry easily, especially if I try to plan and strategize too much. So I try to practice going with what the day brings instead of worrying so much about achieving my plan. I find that this allows me to cultivate presence and embrace surprise.
I also like to listen to fun music. I drink almond milk + wheat grass. I visualize my shower as rainbow light. Small daily things that I do that I think of as little meditations.
WHAT MAKES WINTER SPECIAL?
Winter is a time of contraction. It creates more coziness, more togetherness. People tend to come together more in winter. Winter is more contracted and more internal—this inward focus helps you to see your internal thoughts, and notice your dreams. We spend more time indoors and we spend more time tending to our inner worlds.
I also think winter is a fantastic time for incubation and ideas and inquiry. Winter is a good time for restructuring, redoing, looking at your life, looking at your business—and asking--what do I want? What will I put energy towards?
HOW DO YOU NOURISH YOURSELF IN THE WINTERTIME? WHAT DO YOU DO TO GENERATE LIGHT FOR YOURSELF IN THE DARKNESS?
I love baths. Salt baths with essential oils. I like to bring my journal into bathtub and listen to fun music. When I am feeling low I write. Writing helps me to get the message that is causing my upset. If I can get the message I can let the rest dissolve. Cry it out. Cuddle myself and give myself space….
WHAT ARE YOU READING? WHAT’S AN IMPORTANT/LIFE-CHANGING BOOK FOR YOU?
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal. This is a book that I have turned to again, again! I actively use this book to change my feelings in the present moment. So in that way, I see It as more of a transformational tool.
I’m also enjoying the book Outrageous Openness, Letting the Divine Take the Lead by Tosha Silver. This book has been fun to read as I participate in the form that Enlightened Brilliance Studios is going to take!
WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEACHER?
Someone that is compassionate -- so that they can feel what their students are feeling. Someone who has empathy — and is actively curious about where their students are coming from. From this place they can really begin to listen. Listening is huge because it can lead to what really needs to be addressed.
A good teacher can tap into the information that the student really needs, and can present it so that the student can receive the message themselves. Almost to the point that the student thinks that they figured it out themselves. This sort of deep knowing can be really transformational--it's amazing to see people own their knowledge!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BRAVE?
To acknowledge that there is fear and pressure as part of growth—and to accept it -- to decide that it is ok. Choosing to be clear and present in the moment instead of giving in to fear, pressure and distraction. Continually moving forward and taking action.
I also think that it is important to believe in yourself/your vision/your cause so much, that your inner current is stronger than the energy that pops up to get in your way.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST CURIOUS ABOUT FOR 2016?
How my stewardship of Enlightened Brilliance Studios will unfold. We took over the space on 11/11/2015, and right now it is all new and open and exciting! I’m very curious about what it will settle into.
Personally I am curious about how my food paradigm will change. How will my relationships change? How will I change? What will my life look like once everything is how I would L O V E it to be -- infused with joy, excitement and fun? Rather than operating from a place of obligation or fear of loss.
I WANT GET DREAMY DURING THE WINTER CLEANSE...WHAT IS A RECENT DREAM OF YOURS?
Well…how about a favorite dream?
I am with a group of people and we are climbing a number of stairs into the sky. The stairs are made of real gold and they are quite soft, so when we step down it effected the step, left a little indent. It was delicate and precious. Once we got to the top, a bunch of gods and goddesses are there, and they are celebrating and dancing and are beautiful. And then a buddha begins rising up behind it all -- just like the sun. Everything about it felt so real!
WITH BREVITY…WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY IN LIFE?
Everything is food: the people you are with, the place that you are in, the music you listen to. Everything is food and it is all feeding your soul. Prioritize feeding yourself that which will nourish and lift you up. Be mindful to protect yourself and be gentle with yourself.