A Yoga Master Spills On Her Daily Healthy Habits



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In the age of constant communication, 24/7 jobs, and mandatory multitasking, finding a moment for reflection is almost impossible — almost. Courtney Somer made mental wellness her mission, creating Eyla, an online resource packed with inspiration and real-life tools to maintain your personal peace. We'll be sharing some of this goodness every week on R29 Guest Stars, so whether you're looking to get spiritual, clear your mind, or just read some motivating interviews, Eyla is here to help you shine brighter.

We chatted with the passionate, unapologetic and frank Yoga master and founder of the renowned Conquering Lion Yoga, Kelly Morris. Here, she opens up about her daily habits in all its beautiful honesty.

“There are generally two ways my day can unfold. One sucks, the other rocks. Perhaps you can relate.

Version One
I don’t sleep. I lay awake staring up a hypothetical moon, counting yogis jumping over the fence, wondering why as a yoga and meditation teacher, I can’t sleep. Something seems wrong about that. I wonder how many yoga teachers are undercover insomniacs? Probably, as many are secretly eating BBQ.

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I get up in some pre-dawn hell and immediately reach for not just my iPhone now, but one of my iPads too. I check FB, Instagram, Twitter. If anyone saw me, they’d shake their heads in disappointment. I make a small Instagram video ranting/raving about high heels, traffic, feminism, yoga, death, and post it. I feel some relief. I make my way to the kitchen and make an attempt to cook something yogic.

The rest of the day is spent mentoring my Conquering Lion trainees, making up melodies for my upcoming album with King Britt called The Sanskrit Sessions, reviewing the beautiful applications coming in for Conquering Lion Fall Term, writing for my gal Maranda Pleasant’s coup d’etat of a magazine Origin , making the requisite green juices, fighting with whatever man is unfortunate enough to be dating me that day, feeling PMS arriving like a runaway train bent on derailing any and all goodness in me. All in all, the day is normal by conventional standards but unacceptable for a teacher of supposed spirituality. I end the day feeling like a fraud, an impostor, a fake. On these days, there is little of the things I like doing most: dancing, singing, laughing, writing. Sigh.

Version Two
I go to bed at 11. I take my new sleep aid from the awesome people at Modern Herbalist. I sleep like a Queen with the world by the ovaries. I wake up without a clock, and immediately sit to meditate, doing both my teacher Sharon Salzburg‘s Breath Meditation and special shamanic meditations given to my by the shaman I have been apprenticing with for 2.5 years.

I feel fantastic after connecting the sacredness that is my holy body, my breath, the Earth, the Sun, and and all of my protectors from the various lineages I have been blessed enough to enter. I cry a lot (okay, sob is more like it, especially if I am taking in the pain of the world, including most of all the pain of my main teacher, the Earth Herself) and connect past the BS I cobble together to cope with this life, this time, this world.

As a woman, this moment is usually far more sickening and painful than for most men since for the most part, we are the ones getting shafted. Holla! There is no fighting on the days I meditate, no yelling at bewildered staff, no bird-flipping in the Hamptons traffic, no endless searching for someone, something to convict for my white girl suffering.

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The rest of the day is the same as before but with love ruling my mind, my life, my interactions. There is singing, dancing, laughing, talking, sharing, and peace everywhere I look on these days and bad days seem a faded memory, fit only for the dogs.

Each day reveals itself as a day to forgive myself for the inevitable failings, the wretched smallness that can dominate me on any given day. I realized the other day in yoga class, as I sat there mulling over some ancient feud, spazzing out over some perceived slight, worrying about my cellulite, that I was being the exact and shocking opposite of ‘love’.

It brought me up short and made me cry, as yoga class so often does as we begin to access and source our identity in something greater then our little, paltry, struggling selves. I give it all, all the grief, all of the suffering, all of the small crosses I bear, to the Great Mother, Earth Herself, Pachamama, Gaia, the living, breathing, flat-out glorious being beneath our Choo-clad feet holding us close to Her as She spins her love-dance around the Sun. And as She has always done and always will for her children, plant, animal, or human, She takes it, she actually pulls it from me, and mulches it into love, light and beauty.”

This post was authored by Courtney Somer.