👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hi! My name is Stiina Casandra. I am 30 years old. I currently live in Los Angeles, and I am originally from Norway. I have been working as a yoga teacher for five years now. I had some serious health issues that I was struggling with, which lead me to explore the lifestyle and practice of yoga.
In 2014, I jumped head first into my first yoga teacher training in Mexico, little did I know that I was about to change my life, completely! My physical body started to heal, I felt more clear minded than ever before, and for the first time in my life I understood the valuable connection between our mind and body.
My yoga practice was giving me the tools to become a better version of myself. I realised that the health challenges that I was dealing with was just as much linked to my mind as to my body. That realisation made me hungry for more knowledge and experience, and since then I have never looked back. You can read the whole story on my blog.
I truly appreciate and love the transformational value that yoga as a practice, education and lifestyle can give us when we are willing to receive it. There are many styles of yoga – all very different in how they are practiced and understood, just like there are different styles of training.
However, the biggest difference between yoga and training is that with yoga we are aiming to work from the inside and out, not from the outside and in. Meaning that the yoga practice is more than just movements on a mat, it goes deeper than just the physical focus, and it aims to connect both the body, mind and soul as a unity – all equally important for attaining and maintaining a happy and healthy you.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
I usually practice either yin or vinyasa yoga in the morning to wake up and tune the body and mind for a new day. The length of my yoga practice usually varies between 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on what I feel my body needs and also how much time I’ve on my hands.
The most important thing for me to do first thing in the morning is to connect to my whole being and set my intention for the day ahead. How we choose to spend our first moments of our day is like setting our tuner onto what frequency we want to continue to receive for the remainder of our day.
I also love a good workout in the gym, or running, hiking and cycling outside. I have been training since I was a teenager, back then more clueless of what I was doing, but now after years of trials and errors I have learned what works best for my body.
I prefer to vary my workouts so that I avoid getting bored. I usually stick to a workout routine until it no longer gives me the extra juice that I want, then I change it up.
I enjoy different kinds of fitness fun, and I have tried most of what’s out there, but my absolute favourite indoor training is HIIT workouts — both for the feel-good vibes and satisfying results for my body + mind. For outdoors, I love going hiking and cycling.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
For me the secret to keep going when life gives me lemons is all about what perspective I have and where I choose to place my focus. Meaning, we always have a choice of how we want to think and feel about everything in our lives, and that directly affects our physical body.
The body + mind connection is undoubtedly way more powerful and complex than what we have been taught to believe. Fortunately, these days science is catching up in that field of importance.
When I face challenges that makes me question how I can overcome, continue or improve the situation, I always choose to focus on the most feel-good thoughts that I can find to make the best out of everything that comes my way.
It doesn’t mean being overly positive and pretending that all is easy when it is not, it simply just means calibrating towards the best feeling thoughts that help us up – and above whatever the situation may be.
For example: If you’re injured, sick or have a condition that limits you in one way or another, choose to focus on how you can improve the situation, rather than feeling like you are a victim of it. No matter how difficult it may seem in the beginning, it is absolutely possible, and it is absolutely worth a try! And the good news is; the more we practice this type of mindset, the easier it becomes to access it.
We embody a powerful healing force within us, we just gotta allow ourselves to believe in it, in order to fully feel it and use it. My biggest challenge was also my biggest blessing in disguise: I went through a couple of years with serious health challenges that just increased in amount and intensity, and one day, my body just collapsed.
Long story short: I had multiple autoimmune diseases, digestive issues, extreme dizziness and nerve pains, and no Doctor or medical physician could seem to give me any long-term relief or a solution to my problems.
The symptoms I experienced continued to increase in intensity, and one day my body completely collapsed, or to be more precise: My colon collapsed. So now my biggest challenge was internal bleeding and not being able to eat or go to the restroom. You can read the story here.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I am doing really well, thank you. I would say that I am living my best life, for I have never before felt so good within my body, mind and soul as I do now. My goals for the next five years is to continue to be happy and healthy, appreciating and loving my life in every way possible.
I wanna continue to work with what I love: To share my yoga teachings and creative work in bigger and better ways than ever before! I wanna reach out to more people on a bigger scale, and I desire to cooperate with like-minded souls to co-create something of value for everyone included.
My plan is to host more yoga/wellness/fitness-fun retreats, events and workshops. I also have some writing ideas in the making. Simply said: I wanna create a community of like minded people gathering together in feel good ways to share their practice, passions and ways of life & living – inspiring and empowering each other.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I briefly described how I program my mind & body in question 3, which is my number one priority always and essential for my health & well-being.
In general terms, I make sure to get enough sleep (around eight hours), eat clean foods and take suitable supplements for my body. I practice meditation, breathing techniques and restorative yoga to rest and recover. I also do hot/cold showers and the Wim Hof breathing technique to boost my immune system and well-being.
I have had a few injuries, not related to yoga or other training, but rather accidents that has happened. I twisted my knee and torn/ruptured my meniscus, I did an MRI and was told that I most likely needed to do an operation.
However, I am lucky enough to know some pretty amazing people, and one in particular who works with energy healing, he fixed my knee. So after about three weeks with easy walks in nature and lots of love – my knee was healed. Everything is energy, folks. 😉
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I am mostly vegan, meaning that I occasionally eat clean wild fish and reindeer meat when I am up north in Norway visiting my family, particularly if I am there during the winter months. I find that my body is asking for more “fuel to the fire” to keep my energy levels high when it is cold & winter. I aim to listen to learn, not to control – so when my body is giving me clear signals to change something for its benefit, I do. That is when my body and being is function at its best.
I use vitamin supplements, but only of good quality and with clean ingredients.
One of my absolute favourite supplement brands is Garden of Life Vitamin B.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
There are many people that inspire me, but if I were to pick my top three right now it would be:
- Michael Beckwith: I find that basically everything that this man communicates is of value. He is such a beautiful being and a great teacher!
- Esther & Abraham Hicks: their teachings are out of this world, literally. Their teachings guide you to discover your own source of power. They explain and demonstrate how you are the master manifestor of your own life.
- Vishen Lakhiani who has created Mindvalley, which is a revolutionary badass learning platform available for everyone who really wants to learn how to live their life in their fullest potential.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Believe that you can do, be and have whatever your heart desires. You already have the power within you to change your life for the better. You don’t have to suffer and sacrifice to earn anything, you just gotta be willing to see, recognise and accept your own worth – then everything else will follow.
Let go of the belief that the conditions need to be perfect for you to start making a change. It doesn’t matter what condition or situation you start from, we all have to start somewhere, and it’s not always at the bright side that we begin.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes. I am taking clients for yoga PT, events and workshops. I absolutely love to share my yoga practice – on and off the mat. For me yoga isn’t limited to only movements on a mat, or how many cool poses we can get into, but rather the real value that comes in terms of increased physical, mental and emotional well-being.
As well as the feelgood relief that our body + mind can experience after practicing yoga. As a yoga teacher, I always aim to meet the person or people at the stage where they are at, and from there, together, work towards a desired outcome, goal or feeling.
In my classes, you will experience a lighthearted energy with room for everyone to express themselves in their own unique way.
Contact me at [email protected]
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My Instagram: @Stiinacasandra