To celebrate all the brains behind our Thrive Festival brands we wanted to delve deeper into the beginnings behind each one! Today we chat to Sinead from Yogandha
What is Yogandha’s mission statement?
Bringing micro-moments of deep wellbeing into many points of your every day.
Where did you get the inspiration for your brand?
I’m Sinead, founder of Yogandha and yoga & meditation teacher.
Using essential oils in yoga and meditation has been a long tradition that’s largely been forgotten today. The yogic practice of Gandha, which is a mindful application of fragrant oils, is a powerful tool for changing our feelings, thoughts and actions – it brings us into the moment. That’s because our sense of smell is like a back door into the meditative part of the brain.
My A-ha moment came when I brought essential oils on my yoga-teacher-training in India – more for self-care than meditation. But on Vipasana (deep 10-day meditation) I felt how effective they were in immediately bringing me into a mindful state. I began using them in my yoga classes. Bringing my students to a deep state of relaxation with essential oils meant that just smelling the oils later in the week would bring them back to that state – it would transport them back to their practice without them even realising it.
I started making meditative blends for my students as and when I could, but they asked that I’d make a range (so not to have to wait for when I had time!). So I decided to create a set of blends that would be easy for my students to have an instant impact on their day.
For the creation process, I asked what they were seeking in their practice and wellbeing. They said to relax, balance, detox, ground, and energise…and I spent three years meditating and blending to create a range that would achieve these intentions, using the ingredients (sandalwood, jasmine etc) that have been devoted specifically to those goals for millennia.
Those big needs are actually what we all need – and these are the changes in state that the oils embody and bring about. I didn’t plan on spending 3 years, but this was the space needed to create sacred and divinely-supported blends that would deepen the wellbeing of my students and all who used them.
I also see them as support for theming classes – eg grounding etc. The poses, the oils, the intention – all combined have a hugely synergistic effect. I only saw my students once per week and knew the benefits of a dose of calm well being every single day was better than once a week. I also knew they’d never get on their mats every day – so this was a wellbeing practice they could do more easily.
So this is my offering to the gods, to mother nature, to the planet. To help people have more moments of deep connection, mindfulness, and wellbeing every day. This is what Yogandha is on a mission to achieve..
What are some of your favourite brands in the wellness space that you don’t make?
I’m a big fan on Dr. Donn Brennan – he’s a well of wisdom on Ayurveda. For skincare, I love Herbal Earth and Bia Beauty. For Clothing I love Asquith organic cotton range.
In your opinion, what has been the biggest innovation within your sector in the last few years?
The biggest shift has been in wellness becoming part of the mainstream. There’s now nothing unusual about your cousin saying they are doing a mindfulness course. That’s a huge shift in consciousness. Also in people seeking to bring wellness into the micro-moments of every day. That’s certainly where we try to fit in. Why NOT use 100% natural sacred mindfulness oils instead of chemical cleansers and moisturizers? people get that now!
What has running your own business taught you?
Patience, humility, the highs are not as high as they seem and the lows are not as low as they seem. its all just grist for the mill as Ram Dass says. And make it fun, because if you’re not absolutely enjoying it – you can & should be doing something else instead.
What do you think is the next big thing in the world of wellness?
More joined-up thinking. More brutal honesty, self-reflection and bravery. Lifestyle illnesses are real and scary. If you eat crap and put crap on your skin (including very expensive body products that are none-the-less full of chemicals). And keep saying yes to things that increase your stress-levels – it’s gonna bite you in the ass.
Turning up your inner voice and living in tune with that and the natural cycles of your body and the planet is the only future that’s sustainable on any level.
You’ve been working from home during the COVID19 crisis. Tell us what your daily routine is like?
Less doing more being. Its something I try to teach my kids so I’ve been trying to demonstrate it too. We all have to ‘do’ but it should be contained. We have to allow time for the fun stuff too.
Not having to ferry the kids around meant more time for something else and because the days had the potential to let work expand into all areas – I created lots of Aromatherapy Rituals to contain my work hours. Yogandha Salute (Called a ‘wonderbra for the mind’ by Triona McCarthy) to start my day. and Yogandha Ground to end it. Smell is a powerful signal to the brain – so i used it to self connect, engage and disengage from over-thinking.
I’ve been doing more reading, juicing and lolling. The COVID lockdown has given us the space to do that – which has been such a blessing on one level. I hope there will be a major shift in priorities as we come out of this. Busy-ness is a pandemic too. This is a moment in time to choose another way.