Demonstrate it. Be it. Embody it. That’s the truest teaching there is for me.
What is your personal definition of ‘success’?
I love this question, as I work in the online coaching world, and we are constantly surrounded by the usual success markers, income, reach, impact, followers. For me, opening hearts is my currency. My success markers are much harder to track, as they are intrinsic, not extrinsic markers, they are love, peace, harmony, bliss, joy, union. If I am living in a state of joy, in-joying every moment, living with an open heart, and loving unconditionally, I am a success.
I had a deep success/failure duality within me, driven by my family conditioning and societal expectations, I thought if I had all the external success, the beautiful home, the luxury car, the amazing marriage, the gorgeous greyhound, I was succeeding in life, and I was not a failure. I didn’t realise what a huge subconscious driver this was for me, and how much I had attached to my external world. At the beginning of 2016 when my marriage completed, and I packed up and moved to Hawaii, I was forced to re-evaluate my ideas of success, and over the space of 14 months have drastically shifted my perspective, and now I need nothing outside of myself.
In fact, I don’t even let the idea of success into my mind, because it requires a reality of failure in order to exist. I don’t want to swing on that pendulum that can tell me that I can be a success, or I can be a failure. To me, it is a state of being.
In fact, the only thing I would consider failing in my life is not living life to the fullest and experiencing all that is has to offer. If I fail to take action or let fear stop me, I would be sad.
But to me, being alive, breathing, loving – that is a success.
What does ‘flow’ mean or feel like to you? When was the last time you felt ‘in flow’?
This is an interesting word for me, as I never knew about a flow state until recently, when I had someone explain it to me, and I realised I live my entire life in a flow state! I am totally in a state of surrender, trusting life to take me where and when I am needed. I trust in the synchronicity and guidance that I receive. When I feel resistance or fear, I do the deep inner work to dissolve it, and then I trust when something doesn’t feel in alignment for me.
Practicing flow requires radical alignment and ruthless discernment. I need to know in every moment what is for me and what is not, and trusting myself, and knowing myself well enough to take action on that.
I have no idea where I am going to be two weeks from now, trusting that life will guide me when it is right where I need to be. I surrendered my life in service to the divine, and I am always placed exactly where I need to be. Each day I ask ‘Who do you need me to love today?’ and I experience magic and miracles and synchronicity beyond anything I could have ever imagined. It is truly an amazing gift to be alive, and experience all existence.
What is one practice or ritual that you savour, just for yourself?
My morning meditation practice is like the largest glass of perfect temperature water when you are thirsty. It’s the most deeply satiating and nourishing experience and I notice very quickly if I do not meditate in the morning. I just love the waves of bliss that flow through my body each time I connect with the infinite ocean of shimmering silence within me. It is my most sacred time, and there is nothing I love more than to share that sacred time with someone I love and enter the ocean of silence together. My heart bursts open with so much love and gratitude.
What are your measures for a good day?
Each day I aim to meditate, be productive, express gratitude, eat well and move my body. If I do these practices on the physical plane they really support my inner experience. If my heart is open and I experience gratitude for all that is, I am in awe of the magic and perfection of life, of even the most simple things, like a cloud in the sky, or a smile with a stranger, or the miracle of having a physical body, what more could I ask for? That is a blissful day!
Share with us your first experience of yoga – as a physical practice or as a deeper energetic experience. What influence did this have on you?
My precious grandmother took me to yoga with her when I was five years old. I remember a big hall of retired ladies doing their joint rotations in a very classical style. My nan would come home and do headstands with us, and even at her 90th birthday, could still do uttanasana with her hands flat to the earth. She was so precious!
It took me a long time to come to yoga myself though, despite trying to love it so many times throughout my life. My ego was strong, my competitiveness was even stronger, and I hated not being good at it, or struggling. It was only after I did a pilates teacher training which actually turned me off Pilates that I tried yoga again, for the millionth time. The difference this time was my teacher. I had the deepest love and respect for her, and because of her, I persisted. It took me about 6 or 8 classes before I finally found it, that sweet spot, the yoga high, in savasana. Energy overtook my body and I felt a lion waking up in my belly who said to me ‘it’s safe for you to be a powerful person’.
That class changed me. I never looked back. It not only changed my relationship and deepened my love for my body, but it awoke a deep intuition that I had not accessed before. I felt like something deep and ancient was waking in my soul. I would wake up in the middle of the night with Sanskrit words in my head, that I would have to Google and learn about. My heart recently told me the sacred ashram that is in the centre of my heart space is called ‘Talasham’. When I put that word in google translate, I discovered it is a hindu word for ‘Find’. I love that. Yoga is deep in our souls. I am sure all of us who are called to yoga have spent many lifetimes dedicated to it, and have soul contracts with the teachers who will awaken it within us again in this life time. I am forever grateful to my first teacher, for holding the light so clearly and allowing me to find it within myself.
We all meet moments or even days where things feel way out of our control. How do you respond to this? What techniques or habits have helped you recently?
Any idea that we are ever in control is an illusion. I don’t ever wish to feel in control, I choose surrender. I choose trust. Who am I to control my life when a greater, divine intelligence can control it for me?
Any idea that I used to have control was based in fear. When you live in total trust and surrender there is no need to control anything. It’s awesome to stay in flow and know that all events and all situations are working for you, not against you, and you can then face life with curiosity, without stress, and just enjoy this miraculous experience.
I always look for the gift in any situation, including the ones that are painful, triggering or difficult, or seemingly unhelpful. Having that mindset brings so much ease to life, and allows us to continue to learn more about ourself and continue to expand in consciousness and awareness.
What are three attributes you most value in yourself?
My ability to love deeply, completely, and quickly. There is no greater privilege than to love.
My courage, and willingness to challenge myself and move towards fear, rather than run away from it.
Where is your favourite spot in your home, and why?
Hahahah I love this question, because I don’t have a home. I am completely nomadic, so my home is my heart, and each day I can put my hands on my heart and close my eyes, and come home. Home to myself, to the divine within me, and the deep knowing that everything is always ok.
What does it mean to be a great teacher? How has your perception of teaching changed since you started?
I’ve had some great lessons in teaching this year. I aim to be a teacher who teaches without words. It’s one thing to teach from an intellectual understanding, but unless you embody the teachings, you are not teaching from a place of Truth.
I asked myself if I had no words, what am I teaching through my actions and my vibration? How can I teach unconditional love and acceptance of all that is, without talking about it? How can I remind people of who they really are? And the answer was – Demonstrate it. Be it. Embody it. That’s the truest teaching there is for me.
What does it mean to be a real life yogi?
It means something radically different to me than what most people would think when they first think of a ‘real life yogi’. For me, yoga is not at all about being on the mat – in fact I barely practice asana these days (although when my practice is more committed I freakin LOVE it, and am prioritising it again in my life).
My yoga practice is about staying in the state of unconditional love and acceptance of all that is, as much of the time as I can, until I can embody that state completely. Each day I am doing the internal work on the blocks, restrictions, limitations, fears, doubts, wounds, triggers or anything else that stands between myself and unconditional love and acceptance of all that is.
For me, this is real life, the inner landscape, our inner reality that creates our outer reality. Union is a word close to my heart. My heart is in constant yearning for union, it is forever seeking the divine, searching for god in everything, in everyone, in every moment. I make a constant commitment to loving unconditionally and dissolving whatever stands in the way of me living and breathing union with the divine in every moment.
Erin Kyna is an international transformational leader, healer, and certified life coach hailing from Australia.
Her soul focus is on helping others to consciously create life-changing transformations by turning trauma into triumph. Erin achieves this by drawing upon her own early childhood trauma, as well as her arsenal of self-improvement tools collected from around the world. Erin was elected as lululemon’s first Australian meditation ambassador, and is proud to be a part of the allumni teaching team at The Australian Yoga Academy.
As a passionate humanitarian, Erin co-founded The Kindling Foundation. This charity that builds sustainable income-producing projects for a slum community in South Africa through donations, development, counseling and access to education.
Erin is currently travelling throughout the US, where she continues to expand upon her spiritual skillset through connectivity, community and mentorship.