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“The Path to Illumination”

Brightness in all senses of the word seems to radiate when Kundalini yoga instructor and creative entrepreneur Amanda Norgaard dives into the topics that she is so invested in – mindful meditation, yoga, and accessible empowerment from within. The positivity that she portrays in her practices is palpable from the get-go, making the usually daunting entry into the New Year seem exciting and easy-going; our conversation with Amanda has inspired us to kick-start our own 2022 with the vim and vigour that she so effortlessly encapsulates.

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.”

  • Semaine Tastemaker Amanda Norgaard sitting in a yoga pose in her Copenhagen studio
Photography by Josephine Schulte

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.”

  • Bookshelf detail inside Amanda Norgaard's studio
  • Semaine Tastemaker Amanda Norgaard sitting in a yoga pose in her Copenhagen studio

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.

By Tori Sharp for Semaine.

Where Amanda goes to plug-in…



Bon Appetit
Amanda Norgaard selects Bon Appetit


“I adore Bon Appetit so much for their yummy content, inspiring recipes and clever words. I know no other food site quite like it.”



New York’s Classical Music Radio
Amanda Norgaard New York Classical Radio


“I’m pretty old school, and this is my forever radio to listen to classical music which I do throughout the day when I work, write or walk.”



Amanda Norgaard selects Expanded with Lacy Phillips


“Lacy Philips and her crew open up a lot of interesting and important rooms with this podcast, anything from neuroscience, epigenetics to motherhood and cosmology.”



The Creative Brain
Amanda Norgaard chooses The Creative Brain on Netflix on her Stream list


“An incredible documentary around our super gland, the brain, and how much untapped creative potential lives within side all of us.”

“Mindful Market”

Discover Amanda's eclectic and energetic blend of essentials for launching yourself into a happy and healthy New Year.

The Practice Collection
Amanda Norgaard
The Practice #9
Amanda Norgaard
Cali Computer Glasses
Short-Haired Sheepskin
The Organic Sheep
Léa Bigot
Sacred Plants Incense
Espiritus Del Ande
Natural Deodorant in Number Green
Magic of 2022 Planner + Lined Journal Bundle
The Place Co.
Lion's Mane Mushroom Tincture
Cup-One Coffeemaker
Celeste Track Pant
Live the Process
Celeste Camisole
Live the Process
“Port of Call”

It’s not always the journey but the destination too. Amanda’s favourite worldwide locations inspire our wanderlust once more.

Mexico City
Amanda Norgaard selects Mexico City
“Insider tip: Drink liters of Agua de Jamaica, refreshing chilled hibiscus tea, as you savor all the tacos from the spirited streets of Mexico City. We ate our way through so many different taco trucks and all of them were truly heaven.”

Tennyson 133, Polanco, Polanco IV Secc
Miguel Hidalgo
11570 Ciudad de México
Amanda Norgaard selects Omakase at Pujol
“For a mind blowing in-house dining experience do not miss the Omakasa at Pujol. 12 servings of heaven; everything from tacos, tamales and churros. We still dream and drool of that night.”

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
48865 CA-1
Big Sur
CA 93920
United States
Amanda Norgaard selects Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
“Stay at Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, surrounded by Red Woods. Well-known by most, but truly a special place for so many reasons.”

Big Sur Bakery
47540 CA-1
Big Sur
CA 93920
United States
Amanda Norgaard selects Big Sur Bakery
“Stop by Big Sur Bakery, grab a coffee the size of your head (the do decaf too) and a warm frittata before you head to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.”

Pfieffer Big Sur State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur Rd
Big Sur
CA 93920
United States
Amanda Norgaard selects Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
“A challenging but very doable day hike. Make sure to hug one of the majestic Red Woods, for an instant healing and Mama Earth connection. My boyfriend and I sat down to meditate in the Sun as we reached the top, and it’s still one of my favourite meditation spots of my life. I still go there in my mind every now and then.”

Semaine Tastemaker Amanda Norgaard selects Bornholm for explore
“Go for cold dips, rocky hikes around the island and while you at it visit one of the local, original fish smokehouses, located all around the island and have one of the best lunches of your life overlooking the Eastern Sea.”

Svaneke Smokehouse
Fiskergade 12
3740 Svaneke
Semaine Tastemaker Amanda Norgaard selects Svaneke Smokehouse for explore
“My maternal lineage is from Bornholm my mom being the first one to leave the island, so I consider it my second home. I just had to call my mom because I needed her to remind me of my favourite smokehouse; Svaneke Smokehouse has my heart! I always go for the fried plaice, a local white fish, smoked cod or mackerel and the island’s special herring, all served with rye bread and greens.”

Amanda Norgaard selects Soller Mallorca for explore
“Mallorca holds a very special place in my heart and I’ve spent so much time there since 2018. It’s where I met my teacher, took my Kundalini Teachers Training, went through profound healings and connected with so many incredible people and dear friends. It’s truly an island filled with wonder and mystery. The island is actually made of Quartz why we in my circle of friends just call it The Crystal Island. When I went in May last year, I stayed in a small mountain area and town called Soller. We woke to the donkeys, an orange sunrise and the fresh, crisp air every morning.”

Forn Can Panxeta
Carrer de Vicari Pastor
07100 Sóller
Illes Balears
Amanda Norgaard selects Forn Can Panxeta for explore
“I always make sure to grab a local desert called ensaimada, and last time I was there I tried one from the local bakery, Forn Can Panxeta which was perfection.”

Marqì Hotel
Estr. do Rodízio 86
2705-337 Colares
Amanda Norgaard selects Hotel Marqí Portugal as one of her Travel destinations on Semaine
Secluded on a curvy road by the foot of the fairytale-like Sintra mountains, Marqí is an 1980s mansion turned into a private boutique hotel, a hideaway perfect for any retreat.
"Reading for Awareness"

Books to engage, enlighten, and enthrall.

Amanda Norgaard Freedom from the Known by J. Krishnamurti
Freedom from The Known
by Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Krishnamurti is a great source of wisdom to me. He operates free of all modalities, schools or technologies. This book reminds and challenges me around the constant liberation of labels, even the one we like being identified with, identification and where we place the power outside of ourselves, in subtle and less subtle ways, in order to actually experience Freedom beyond the mind.”



Amanda Norgaard selects Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where The Crawdad Sings
by Delia Owens
“This book moved me tremendously on many different levels, one major reason being the deeply intimate description of the relationship between nature and the protagonist. There is one sentence that made a profound imprint on me: “Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.” “



Amanda Norgaard selects Untamed by Glennon Doyle
by Glennon Doyle
“Glennon made me laugh and cry, mostly at the same time, for opening the literary gates to the humaness that we all live with and in. It’s a beautiful reminder that there is no path, no goal, solely the experience of being Alive with all there is, at all times.”



Amanda Norgaard selects Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Four Quartets
by T.S. Eliot
“These poems are deeply important to me. I read them in a crucial time of my life during profound upheaval and brought them with me as I climbed the Kilimanjaro. I would read them out loud to the mountain every night when I reached a new basecamp and the mountain would echo them back.”



Amanda Norgaard selects The Great Cosmic Mother
The Great Cosmic Mother
by Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor
“This book is a heavyweighter and a must read for women. The two authors discover ancient Matriarchal Societies and dismantle a lot of imprinted beliefs of what it means to not only be a Woman, but the confusion and corruption around Woman.”



Amanda Norgaard selects Pocahontas Read-along
Pocahontas Read-along
“This might be the most important book of all time for me, because this is how I taught myself how to read. I was an incredibly introverted child, and prefered to spend my time on my own in nature or watching movies, Pocahontas being one of my favorites. I got this book when I turned 4, and spent hours listening to the tape, following each word with my little tiny finger. A whole new world opened up to me as I began to understand how words create universes so full of wonder and I was never the same again.”



"I vow to solely become more and more alive"
Get to know Tastemaker Amanda Norgaard like you never have before.

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?
Mother Earth.

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.

"Yogic Breathing"
Workbook thumbnail

Yogic Breathing

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.

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