VINYASA YOGA TEACHER AND WELLNESS & SPA WRITER
I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT … fresh ginger tea with honey, breathing in salty ocean air, early morning yoga, forest trail runs even in the rain, dark chocolate, homemade dal (ayurvedic lentil) soup, my vitamix, girlfriend soul time, smelling and kissing my sweet baby son, reading Neruda’s love poems with my husband, savouring a little bit of alone “me” time daily – ideally to journal – and being in wonderment for the unfolding of life.
I RELAX BY … by reminding myself to breathe. It’s always about that first breath, I’m always amazed at how I need that reminder, the off switch. I also need to and love to move. Yoga, running, surfing, hiking or dance are all some of my favourite ways to relax and reconnect to my mind-body continuum. I find that breathing, moving and then getting still (like the savasana at the end of a yoga practice) are essential to allowing stress to move through my body. These days, as a new mom I try to fit in little bits of movement throughout my day, even if I can’t get a two-hour yoga practice in. I also find cooking to be very relaxing. For the most part, it’s such a meditative process and my 19 month old little toddler loves to try to help (though sometimes that’s relaxing and sometimes not 🙂 ! I also try to treat myself to a shiatsu/deep tissue massage every 2 weeks, and I give myself an “abhyangya” or ayurvedic oil massage daily after a bath.
I LIKE TO … challenge myself. I really believe that life is about experiencing things and learning and also allowing yourself to freefall. The most amazing things have happened to me when I’ve allowed myself to take a risk, to try something new, to put myself in a situation where I am not 100% certain or sure about how things are going to unfold. That’s where the challenge comes in, the not knowing and being ok with that. In Sanskrit, “lila” is divine play and I sometimes think about “lila” in the context of how I want to live my life more, with the lightness, yet aliveness of play, of dancing with uncertainty, yet staying grounded in the reality of life – finding that balance point. (I see it in my son, he teaches me so much about being present to the joy of trying new things without any expectation of what he should or should not be doing). This is what makes life so exciting to me.
I THINK BEAUTY IS … about having an innate ease, that sense of being comfortable, if not all the time, at least most of the time in your skin; which in itself comes about by having the confidence to be compassionate and honest toward yourself and toward others.
MY FRIDGE USUALLY CONTAINS … fresh almond “mylk,” many organic green veggies (usually kale and chard at the very least), carrots, apples, beets for juice; leeks, sweet potatoes or a seasonal squash like butternut, miso, tamari, home made curry paste, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley and cilantro, avocados; wild salmon, halibut and scallops in the freezer – we have such an abundance of wild fish here – maybe some organic chicken, organic chicken broth, free range eggs, yoghurt, whole grain flours like spelt and rye; lots of organic almonds, cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dates and orange blossom water. Also, we seem to love olives and goat milk cheeses. I avoid using any processed foods and we tend to cook from scratch most nights. I am also vigilant about purchasing organic produce and meats as much as possible, because I really want to support organic farming for the sake of our planet. It helps that it also tastes so delicious.
MY EXERCISE ROUTINE IS … all about trying to find balance these days between time with my son and the me/exercise time. I love to run and often run with him in the jogging stroller. On some days we go for bicycle rides. When I can get in a yoga practice, a nice long one, I am usually beaming for hours afterward! Those days are coming back soon, I know as the little one is growing fast. I also occasionally go out for a hike or trail run to a nearby beach and occasionally (when the surf is not too stormy) surf out on the pacific ocean not far from our home.
MY FAVOURITE BEAUTY TREATMENT THAT LEAVES ME LOOKING AND FEELING NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL IS … deep tissue massage. I love touch and feel so great after a massage, it’s so nice to ease out any unwanted tension from your body through exercise and yoga but also so lovely to receive bodywork and be passive for a while.
MY NUMBER ONE BEAUTY TIP IS … is to start your day and end your day with a list of three things that you are grateful for. It’s a small practice but will bring so much joy to your life that you will radiate more of that inner beauty out. Also, keep some pure almond oil for your skin and apply it after every bath.
Insiya Rasiwala-Finn grew up in Bombay, India, but lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she breathes in salty, ocean air and loves the mountains.
Formerly the marketing manager for yoga clothing success story lululemon athletica, Insiya left to pursue her goals of freelance writing and teaching yoga. She has written on holistic health and travel for magazines such as Asia Spa, Conde Nast Traveler, LA Yoga, The Tyee, My Yoga Online, Elephant Journal and Luxury Latin America.
Insiya is passionate about creating balanced relationships with our body-mind, our communities and our planet; ideas that are the core of Blissology, a movement she helped co-create with her husband, yogi Eoin Finn. She brings a unique east-west perspective to her yoga teaching infusing her background in classical hatha Yoga and Ayurveda from India with contemporary insights from the West.
You can follow Insiya via her blog YOGUE, where she writes about living sustainably and mindfully with style.
Insiya is inspired each day by the beauty present in the small and big moments of life.