There’s a new woman in town who is more than a fellow fitness enthusiast but also a colleague of mine at The Independent. Amy Kalaczynski is a private yoga (vinyasa and restorative) instructor, nutritionist, life coach, and guided relaxation leader, she’s excited to share her knowledge with the local community.
What made you decide to move to the East End?
As much as I love Brooklyn I was getting worn down by the hustle and bustle and the masculinity of the city. Trees, fresh air, and the water have always been my escape so it made sense to make that my every day. When I began my Vedic studies it became even more apparent that the city was not the place for me. Ultimately, I wanted to live in a more peaceful environment that was more conducive to my studies and current lifestyle.
What are the Vedas? How did you get into that particular practice?
The Vedas are a 5000-year-old body of wisdom. It is where the knowledge of yoga, ayurveda, and Vedic meditation come from. I was introduced to the asana practice (what we call yoga in the west) about 10 years ago, and it naturally developed into a spiritual practice. I was introduced to Vedic meditation three years ago and began my initiator training last month, which is an 18-month program.
Meditation is a beautiful thing because it can be done anywhere. Where is your go-to meditation spot?
You are absolutely correct. The beauty of this type of meditation is that you can do it anywhere at any time — in your car, at the office, the gym, a park. I meditate the recommended amount of time, which is two times daily for 20 minutes each. My morning meditation happens on my couch, and as much as I would love to find a beautiful place by the water for my afternoon meditation, it’s usually done wherever I can find a comfortable place to sit. Wherever you are, it’s important for your back to be supported so that your body can fully relax.
What are your beliefs on Western versus Eastern medicine?
I believe there is a time and place for Western medicine. However I also strongly believe in the body’s ability to heal itself. When a body is unbalanced you need to get to the root of the issue instead of putting a Band-Aid on it. To me Western medicine is a Band-Aid. With the proper food, rest, sunlight, body work, acupuncture, body movement, and detoxification processes (like an infrared sauna), so many issues can be resolved. So I believe in both — advanced technology is beneficial for testing to see where imbalance is occurring. However Eastern medicine must be incorporated to lead the body back to its natural state of health and to maintain it.
Are there any films/books that you encourage others to watch/read to become more in tune with your sort of practice?
I love to read, listen to podcasts, and take as many classes as I can on the subject of yoga, ayurveda, and Vedic meditation. A few of my favorite books are “Our Spiritual Heritage” by Lynn Napper and Vicki Napper; “Ayurveda, The Idiots’ Guide” by Sahara Rose Ketabi; “Tao Te Ching” by Lao Tzu translated by Stephen Mitchell; “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer; “Art of Attention” by Elana Brower and Erica Jago; and “Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza.
What inspires you on a daily basis when you’re feeling stressed?
Knowing that I can move and change the energy in my body at any time is what inspires me when I’m feeling stressed. For me that is dancing, asanas, inversions, laughing, and pranayama. Also, believing that my natural state, along with everyone else’s natural state, is love. When people are given the opportunity to tap into that natural state though meditation, the layers of stress peel away. It’s easier to discover who you are and the purpose of why you’re here. I try not to take things too seriously.
What else are you working on?
I will be launching Bambootyz, a sustainable yoga and meditation brand this spring. It will include a line of comfortable clothing, along with meditation rugs made from natural bamboo fabric.
Book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or messaging her on Instagram @amy_kalaczynski. Rates range from $80 to $130/hr.
This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here