When it comes to the new-age adaptation of the centuries-old practice of meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, and beyond, it is easy to feel lost in a swarm of chanting and affirmations. Amanda’s aim when it came to starting her Illumination Program was to dust off the cliquey feeling of this world and open the doors for all to enter. In short, it is an online course to discover and uncover more of who we are through a wide range of metaphysical and healing modalities such as Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, allowing a sense of camaraderie and inclusion whilst learning unfolding the Self. She calls it “an awakening and an educational program” explaining that it is “a place where women can meet in intimacy and discover connection with themselves and others.”
Amanda’s journey discovering this “new ancient world of metaphysical and spiritual practices” was not totally conventional. Moving to New York at the tender age of 17 to pursue a career in modeling, Amanda remembers the exact location she was when she first heard about this new yoga practice. Walking down Broadway between Prince and Spring with a friend when he mentioned Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini yoga called to her “like when you hear the name of a beloved and your body vibrates towards that, that is how I felt with Kundalini yoga”. If you, dear reader, are unsure of what Kundalini yoga is, let us explain. An ancient yoga practice from the Vedic Scriptures, Kundalini consists of a symbiotic combination of chanting and devotion (Bhakti yoga), meditation (Raja yoga), and the expression of power and energy (Shakti yoga). It incorporates meditation, breathwork, and mantra chanting, alongside some more traditional postures and movements. Amanda gracefully describes it as “a powerful practice to awaken that energy within you as you sit on your living room floor, but the real empowering thing is that this is you moving that energy, that energy is you.”
Having lived through some of the strangest two years that most of us will (hopefully) ever experience, moving into the New Year seems as good a time as any to redefine our priorities and integrate a new practice into our busy schedules. “It’s incredibly important in this time and age in which we get so much information, we need to upgrade our software, our internal software, and our landscape in order to not only survive through the pressurized times but to thrive, to be able to create and have fun with them and to enjoy our lives. To practice staying centered through the polarities of life is the work of Love.” When it comes to introducing a new routine, Amanda reminds us to treat ourselves kindly and not implement that usual pressure that is common with New Year resolutions. We’re reminded that these practices are personal and individual, non-goal oriented and can be as fluid as we’d prefer. “I think everyone who begins Kundalini yoga, because we come from such a linear society, wants to be good at our spiritual practice and we want to do it perfectly and we want to do it right. That is such a great healing because maybe you begin with that, until you realise that ‘Wait, I’m not present I am just doing another checklist. Meditated – check! This is an important step into dismantling the constant pressure we put on ourselves and a release into the present moment, which always holds so much beauty, through the ups and downs.’”
A soundbite that will resonate over and over again from our chat with Amanda is her emphasis on identifying the small wins and small positives in life. Through the practice and education that she’s gained over the years from Kundalini yoga, her biggest takeaway is this – “holy fuck this life is so beautiful, and not only that, within me there is such beauty. There is such energy. There is such love that colours my whole external reality. Even as I build the bridge back to myself, I still practice every day, but I become more and more aware that it is already within me and available at all times. That doesn’t mean that life doesn’t throw me a curveball every other day, but it’s a matter of how I approach life; from Love or from fear. And my daily practice is a place I to remind me of who I am.”
Polarity is a theme that colours our discussion as we live in an increasingly divisive and divergent world. Amanda, however, views this as an opportunity for growth. We have the ability to choose our path and this is a wildly empowering feeling. “How empowering to be in the driver’s seat of your own mind, I see what is happening, I see the fullness of this experience. I see the negative and I see the positive but I’m gonna steer my mind into the positive creative direction, that’s when your whole life begins to change. I am not neglecting the hardships, the obstacles, the grief, but they are great teachers that can open our hearts tremendously when we no longer oppress them, yet I will practice my attention to continue to amplify Love.”
What is next in store for Amanda? Her Illumination Program and The Practice have allowed over 1000 men and women to experience this “tremendous personal growth and expansion” and this legacy now provides a constant feeling of humility and gratification for Amanda. “Witnessing that in so many people has been the best experience. To me it’s discovering a chamber of treasures within, finding that the fullness of your inner being is what is going to fill up your outer life.” As we venture into another year, our learnings from Amanda remind us to treat ourselves kindly and attempt to ignore the external pressures that arise around this time. We hope that this introduction to Amanda’s work will give you the tools to move brightly and positively into 2022 and beyond.
Where Amanda goes to plug-in…
Discover Amanda's eclectic and energetic blend of essentials for launching yourself into a happy and healthy New Year.
It’s not always the journey but the destination too. Amanda’s favourite worldwide locations inspire our wanderlust once more.
Books to engage, enlighten, and enthrall.
What does the word “taste” mean to you?
To savor; life, food, love, experiences, freedom, energy. To be full of; life, food, love, experiences, freedom, energy.
Do you have a life motto that you live by?
No, I change all the time. I vow to solely become more and more Alive, that’s it really.
What was the last thing that made you laugh?
I always LOL at my puppy, who is such a hoarder, especially of things that he is not allowed to hoard; socks, shoes, sheepskin, you name it. He thinks he’s way sneaky as he taps by me, mouth full of stuff he knows is no-go. If you’re not a dog person this is most likely unrelatable, for all my dog people: you know what I’m talking about. Dogs are 50% Angels, 50% Dorks.
What are your favourite qualities in a human being?
Who is your hero?
What is your biggest flaw?
I call her “Judgy Judy”; it’s the part of me that gets anal if things in the house have been moved around, who when scared leans toward control rather than trust, who’s busy with people’s bullshit rather than tending to her own front yard or who gets passive-aggressive when a line has been crossed. Judgy Judy is one of my greatest teachers on Love, Trust and Forgiveness. She is an instant reaction when I haven’t been breathing deep enough when my internal landscape gets noisy and in return, I forget Being and start navigating. Judgy Judy invites me to go miles deeper, rather than lingering on the surface where we so often get preoccupied with things that are just not that important.
What is your best quality?
I am not afraid to continue to widen my horizon and perspective of that very internal landscape, and in the process of that, let shit go. I’d say I possess a profound amount of courage and Love.
What would your last meal on earth be?
Vodka Pasta and Sardine Bruschetta with parsley/capers/shallots salad on top.
What does success mean to you?
I measure my sum of success on how intimate I am with my Soul, how deep is my lovemaking with Life itself. Do I meet myself and people from my Heart, do I say no from my Heart, do I say yes from my Heart. Being so very Present and Alive with my Life is success to me. The amount of Presence, in which Fullness is experienced, Love is felt and Creativity flows.
If you had the power to change anything you wanted in the world, what would you change?
I would Free the Mind and Awaken the Heart of the Collective, so we could wake up from the illusionary idea that we are seperated from one another and start living with reverence and harmony for each other and our Mother Earth.
We need more heart. We say in Kundalini Yoga, that the heart has the power of 108 suns. So, just think about that solar power is living within you, breathing within you, beating within you, every second of every minute of every hour.” Amanda leads us through 2 breathing exercises to feel more balanced and activate your inner energy.ENTER WORKBOOK