We met Shayla Quinn, one of LA's top yoga instructors and founder of Namastshay, via Instagram and were so inspired by her story and life spirit that we knew we had to share it. We were fortunate that she invited us into her favorite studio, Sweatheory, for an afternoon of yoga and conversation full of light and laughter. To us, she's exactly what a ZANNI girl embodies and we're grateful she let us share her story.
Tell us about you and your businesses.
I am a yoga and fitness loving, green juice drinking, plant-eating, wellness junkie living in Los Angeles, CA with my sweet rescue dog Penny Lane. I created my blog and lifestyle brand, Namastshay because I love connecting with others, and thrive when I am able to express myself in a creative way. Namastshay is my very own blush pink, bohemian-inspired corner of the interwebs where I share thoughtfully curated content, my plant-based meal creations, and write about yoga, fitness, life, holistic ideas, self-love, and wellness. When I am not blogging or teaching yoga, I am most likely deep into my own personal yoga practice, working out, or brainstorming my next big idea.
We love that your website bio says your life has become a “perfect unplanned blend of everything you love.” What led you to teaching yoga, blogging, and starting your own brand?
In March of 2016, I was in a very transitional place in my life. I was at a fork in the road and I needed to make a choice about how I wanted to experience life from that point on. I was in desperate need of a healthy creative outlet, in need of some serious healing, and in need of inspiration. Nothing I was experimenting with gave me what I needed, so I created it. Namastshay started out as a passion project, and it has quickly become so much more than that, which I am so grateful for, because I truly love what I do. It never feels like work nor does it ever feel forced. (I’m told that is how you know you are doing what you are meant to do!) Knowing that I found what I am truly passionate about and having the ability to pursue it feels absolutely magical. Teaching yoga has actually been the most recent piece of my current puzzle. I had done two 200-hour yoga teacher trainings, one in 2014, and the other in 2015. While I have always had an intense urge to nurture and help people, I never really had any concrete intentions of teaching group classes. I really went to those trainings with the sole intention of deepening my own personal practice, for personal growth, and to learn more about yoga. Teaching came about organically, (just like everything else!) and I am glad I gave it a try because I am enjoying sharing this practice with others, as well as being part of guiding people in their yoga journeys. It’s really special.
How does that sentiment of an organic journey affect your life today? Do you plan for the future of you and your brand or do you let things happen as they should?
I of course have plans and goals. I think it’s very important to have some sort of direction in life, but the last year has taught me to trust the path unseen, stay open to what is coming, and to listen to my heart and intuition. So to answer your question, I’d say it’s a little bit of both.
What’s an ideal day for you?
An ideal day for me starts and ends with yoga. In between there would definitely be a hike with my dog Penny, a workout at the gym, writing, creating content for my blog and Instagram, a green juice, some coffee, nourishing food, lots of laughs, good company, and maybe a chapter or two of an inspiring book.
How and where do you find motivation on days when you feel tired or defeated?
I tap into gratitude and try to shift my mindset. Finding gratitude for the ability to even have the opportunity to move my body, as well as shifting my perspective from “I HAVE to do _____” to “I GET to do _____” is usually pretty effective. I also know how good I feel after I have achieved a task/goal or when I stick to my commitments, that gets me motivated as well. But honestly sometimes I just rest. I try to listen to my body in an honest way and make the wisest choice based off what I truly need in that specific moment, regardless of what my plans/schedule tell me I should be doing. Some days you push, and some days you rest. I think that’s part of the larger lesson in life, as well as a big theme in yoga asana. Finding the balance between striving and arriving, holding on and letting go.
Favorite way to practice self care?
Candlelit hot epsom salt bath with some relaxing music playing, a face mask, and a slow restorative flow.
What are some brands you live by for organic living?
Ahh, there are so many! But off the top of my head: I love Indie Lee, Pai Skincare, One Love Organics, Pureology, Cocokind, Youth To The People, Bragg, Garden of Life, Square Organics, Traditional Medicine Tea, Moondeli Adaptogens, Life Food Organic, Juice Served Here. The list could go on and on. Be sure to check out my Instagram and blog as I am always sharing things I love on both platforms!