Spiritual Healing and Entrepreneurship: Anja Todorovic
When it comes to combining spiritual healing and entrepreneurship, Anja Todorovic has found a balance. As a self-made yoga studio owner fresh with the entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to help inspire others to discover their true selves, Anja has made waves in the Toronto yoga industry and beyond.
Anja is the owner and founder of Anamaya Wellness, a yoga and meditation studio in Toronto, Ontario. She is a Serbian-Canadian who came to Toronto with her family in 1994 as they sought a fresh new start away from the turmoil and civil unrest in the former Yugoslavian country.
On our debut episode of An Entrepreneur’s Vibes, our host, Kinny Saral, caught up with Anja during her downtime amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We got her to share her advice on adding spiritual healing and positive affirmations to your everyday routine, how she went from feeling like a self-doubting teen to a proud yoga studio owner, the importance of asking for help in your entrepreneurial journey, and so much more.
Keep reading to get some inspiring insights from her interview with us.
Growing up Different
“I was always kind of the black sheep in my family.”
When they arrived in Toronto in 1994, Anja’s parents worked hard to put food on the table and provide for her and her twin brother. Over time, they were able to accumulate enough wealth and progress to send Anja and her brother to university and give them the tools they needed to find their own voices. Little did they know, they were inspiring Anja’s own entrepreneurial spirit in the process.
Anja always felt a little different in school. She had trouble fitting in with her classmates and preferred to spend most of her time alone. Since she was drawn to spiritual and “witchy” things, she found that people often labelled her as “a weirdo,” and subjected her to bullying, but she continued to work on being her authentic self and cultivating her best self despite what the other kids were saying or doing. Anja describes her younger self as a “floatern,” who didn’t really have one set group of friends and spent a lot of time feeling like an outcast.
When Anja finally reached university, things began to change. She studied sociology and began to take classes that opened her mind about the social constructs of society and the underlying truth of being your authentic self. At the same time, Anja was dealing with her own mental health struggles, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age and trying to find ways to numb her internal conflicts. Sometimes, that numbness was fueled by substances and disassociation.
Discovering Her “Aha” Moment
“I think everyone comes to a point in their life where they have to sell a bit of their soul to the devil to become who they’re meant to be.”
One morning, Anja woke up and felt completely vacant. She decided to put her pride aside and ask for help. That’s when a friend convinced her to try healing through yoga. In the past, Anja had a negative association with yoga because anytime she got in trouble, her mom would send her to hot yoga as a punishment. However, this day felt different, and Anja felt open to give yoga another shot. At the time, she didn’t realize that she was about to experience a whole new world of spiritual healing and begin down her own path to becoming a yoga entrepreneur.
During Savasana, during the final yoga breathing exercises, Anja became overwhelmed with emotion as she felt all of her negative energy letting go. “I just cried like a newborn baby,” she says. It was this moment when she realized that all of this healing was coming from within herself, and she didn’t have to look for answers in substances, from other people, or even in her sociology textbooks. She had the answer within her all along.
This was Anja’s “aha” moment. She had realized her true purpose. Changing directions, she decided to enroll in Holistic Nutrition School and start training to become a yoga teacher. These steps were just the beginning on her journey to starting a yoga business that would help other people along their own journeys.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, putting your pride aside and understanding that it’s okay to ask for help is an important part of your own personal growth journey. It’s important to understand that it’s okay to ask for help and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, or an indicator that you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, understanding that you can’t do everything on your own and sometimes you need that help shows true strength. Reach out when you need it. You never know what amazing “aha” moments you’re going to find when you embrace a helping hand from someone else.
Yoga Teacher by Day, Bartender by Night
“I would pour my heart and soul out on that mat and I would fundamentally feel very robbed of my energy.”
As Anja knows very well, going from yoga teacher to yoga studio owner is a journey in and of itself. The entrepreneurial journey doesn’t just start by itself.
When she graduated from university, she moved back to Toronto and got a job working at a bar to help supplement her income while she continued her yoga training. Being a yoga teacher alone wasn’t enough to pay the bills, as local studios weren’t exactly offering six figure salaries.
Working in the bar and nightlife environment wasn’t Anja’s ideal situation, and she quickly realized that the energy she was putting into the world wasn’t reflecting the energy she was being given back. She would spend her days being a yoga teacher at a local studio, and her nights tending bar to pay for her yoga training. Something needed to change.
It didn’t take long before she realized that this scenario wasn’t doing her any favours in helping her embrace the best version of herself. “I was basically just their therapist after class and I just got paid eleven dollars for that. Meanwhile, there’s evil people out there in the world who are multimillionaires, who are literally the epitome of oppression and capitalism and everything bad in this world energetically. But I’m out here being a starving artist,” Anja recalls of her days as a struggling yoga teacher.
One day, after she finished up teaching a yoga class, one of Anja’s clients told her she should start her own yoga studio. The minute she even considered starting a yoga studio on her own, the gears started turning and she decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. This was her purpose in the world, and she developed the entrepreneurial spirit to make it happen.
Taking Her First Steps as a Yoga Entrepreneur
“I honour everyone’s entrepreneurial path. It’s not for the faint-hearted. And it’s not easy.”
Once the seeds of entrepreneurial spirit planted in Anja’s head, she had to overcome a number of obstacles to see her dreams come to fruition.
The first and most pressing obstacle was the Toronto real estate market. One of Canada’s fastest-growing cities, and most expensive rental markets, Toronto has developed a reputation for notoriously high costs of living. Anja learned that the hard way when she began her search for a property she could rent to open her new yoga studio. Finally, after months of searching for something affordable, Anja landed on a small space in September 2018. It was in a basement, accessible through a back alleyway, and gave off some serious “hole in the wall vibes.” But for Anja, this was a great stepping stone to start her yoga studio and test out the waters to see if she could put her entrepreneurial skills to work.
After her first lease was signed, Anja relied on word of mouth marketing to help increase awareness and attract new clients. Without a marketing budget, or a skilled SEO team, she didn’t purchase any advertising. Instead, she focused solely on making meaningful connections through her work and managed to generate enough traction for her yoga studio through word of mouth marketing.
Anja says that word of mouth referrals were a game-changer for her business, and the statistics back her up. According to a 2015 study from Forbes, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends, family, or coworkers more than they do any other form of advertising. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re starting your own business, word of mouth referrals are something that you should always keep in mind, no matter what industry or niche you cater to.
Once Anja had built up her Toronto yoga studio and started gaining new clients, new opportunities started to manifest. One of her private clients happened to be a realtor, who informed her about an old vintage space she had discovered that she thought would be perfect for Anja. As it turned out, perfect was an understatement. The moment Anja entered the room, she was in love. She wasn’t even halfway through the tour before she made up her mind that this was her dream space, and she just knew this was where Anamaya Wellness belonged.
An Entrepreneur Should Never be Afraid to Ask For Help
“They just believed in my dream as much as I did.”
As soon as the new lease was signed, Anja enlisted the help of her dad and brother to get all hands on deck transforming this vintage space into a brand new yoga studio. Within two weeks, Anamaya had a brand new yoga sanctuary ready to facilitate spiritual healing and yoga wellness.
It all goes back to the idea that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. For the second time along her entrepreneurial journey, Anja had reached out and asked for help, recognizing that she couldn’t do the job alone and that it was perfectly okay to reach out to her family to step in. One of the most important things any entrepreneur can do is overcome the struggle of asking for help and embrace those in your life who are more than willing to step in.
Anja says that without the help from her family, she wouldn’t have been able to bring her new yoga studio to life. Her dad and twin brother stepped in immediately, no questions asked, and without a real plan. “They have been the wind beneath my wings,” she says of her family. And she knows how lucky she is to have them.
When you do enlist help from the people in your life, be sure to make sure they know how much you appreciate them. Never take anyone who has embraced your entrepreneurial journey for granted, and make sure you always give back whenever you can.
“The Proof is in Your Presence”
“When you touch three people’s lives, those three people are going to share with at least one other person. And it literally is just a very beautiful butterfly effect that happens organically because the proof is felt in your presence.”
As any entrepreneur knows all too well, starting a business isn’t easy, and isn’t always rewarding from the get-go. For Anja, helping others with energy cleansing, yoga wellness, and holistic practices is the reward she gets for doing the work that she does. But it’s taken a lot for her to get to this place in her life.
Putting out all that energy and dedicating so much of your time and effort to helping others can be stressful, especially when your business relies on it. Naturally, that means that not every day is going to be perfect, and you are going to have those days when you don’t feel as on as you’d like.
Always remember that the work you’re doing is changing lives, and no matter what your business does, it’s okay to have those days where you just feel off. Anja always remembers this: the proof is in your presence. At the end of the day, if you feel that you haven’t been giving out your best energy that day, remember that you are human. You’re not going to be completely on every single day, and you don’t need to prove yourself to anyone – the proof is there whenever you’re present.
Navigating a Yoga Business During a Global Pandemic
“I couldn’t even have imagined that I could have reached that many people that far away from me.”
Like most business owners in the first half of 2020, Anja has been trying to find a balance between continuing to run her yoga business, keeping up with her own spiritual healing practices, and surviving economically during the COVID-19 pandemic that has shuttered the doors of many businesses. For Anja, shutting her physical space and focusing her efforts in the virtual world has had a positive impact, opening new doors and helping her connect with more people around the world.
In searching for new ways to provide spiritual healing and support to people who need it most right now, Anja started doing free yoga sessions over Instagram Live. In the process, she realized that her platform was now connecting with people around the world – audiences she would have never reached otherwise. Now she’s leading yoga classes with people from Croatia to Australia and across Canada. This success has inspired her to take her brand more virtual to help even more people around the world. You can check out Anja’s Instagram Live videos here on her page.
Even though her business has felt the impact that so many others have been feeling over the last few months, Anja’s focus is on the community, helping people with yoga breathing techniques, movement, and healing. She’s also been doing client coaching over Zoom calls to make sure she can be as impactful as possible.
Social media marketing can be a great tool for inexpensive marketing when you’re starting a yoga business, or any other startup business, especially when your doors are closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Now, more than ever, businesses are relying on the power of digital tools to make up for closed retail spaces to continue getting their brand out there. Once the pandemic is over, those digital tools can continue playing a role in your business.
“There is no Right Way to be Right Now.”
“Honour what your body is telling you. If you feel called to be productive, be productive. If you feel called to rest and sit with yourself, do that.”
As we all continue to shelter in place and re-open the economy slowly, step by step, there are many concerns surrounding mental health and wellbeing, dealing with the stress of a global pandemic, and feeling lonely, unproductive, or isolated.
It’s tough to sit through a quarantine at home, watching everyone around you learn new skills and enrich their lives with productivity while you feel burned out and unmotivated. Instead of comparing yourself to those productivity pushers, embrace what’s best for your body right now.
According to Anja, the modern day to day of the world is packed with yang energy. It’s masculine fire energy, pushing everyone to constantly be on the go and doing things to fill up their time. But right now, we should be focusing on our yin energy – feminine, cool, and flowing. “This is Major, the universe telling everyone you have been in your hypermasculine for far too long. Everyone needs to sit down right now and be feminie energy,” Anja explains.
Take this time to reflect, give your body what it needs, and stop worrying about being unproductive during a global pandemic if that’s not what your body needs right now. Spiritual healing is all about working with your yin and yang energy, and the way that everyone deals with their tension and energy is different. There is no right or wrong way to handle a pandemic, and with mental health at stake, the best thing you can do is doing what you feel called to do. If that’s nothing, then that’s perfectly fine.
Spiritual Healing in Your Everyday Routine
“Tap into yourself first.”
So, what can you do at home to channel your energy positively and put your best self out there into the world? Anja has some great tips you can implement in your everyday life, starting when you wake up each morning.
1. Don’t reach for your phone as soon as you wake up. Immediately starting your day by checking your phone can often lead you to absorb other peoples’ energy, giving yourself false expectations, anxiety, or sources of tension right off the bat. Instead, give yourself time to focus on your own energy before you start checking social media and emails.
2. Check in with yourself. Do this before you pick up your phone to get in touch with yourself and keep your energy on track. Here are some of the questions Anja likes to ask herself before she starts her day:
● What do you want to do today? What is your vision for today?
● How are you going to help others today?
● What support are you going to need today to fulfill your purpose?
● Are there any obstacles that might get in your way today?
● How are you feeling today?
3. Do a ritual of sound, breath, and body movement. It doesn’t have to be a big elaborate ritual. It could just be a few minutes of movement to get yourself in check and channel your energy to a good place. You could perform a ritual of yoga breathing exercises, or you could just move to your own flow for a few minutes. Do whatever fits in with your routine.
4. Take a shower. Something as basic as showering can be a good cleansing ritual that can help you with your own spiritual healing and energy channeling. Visualize the cleansing properties of the water as it washes negative energy you’ve accumulated from other people away from your body, clearing you to tap back into your own energy.
Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing your daily check-in ritual on a regular basis to help you get into a routine you can keep up with. If you wake up one day and just don’t feel like doing it, that’s fine and perfectly normal. The point is to make sure that you exist within yourself first before you go and put your energy out into the world.
Visualizations For Cleansing Energy
“That’s a beautiful thing about your beautiful brain; it can be used for healing.”
Another suggestion Anja recommends is using traditional Reiki spiritual healing practices of visualization. These practices can work to clear yourself of your own bad energy, or the bad energy you’ve picked up from others.
Anyone who is empathetic to other people’s energy is well aware of the feeling that happens when you absorb someone else’s negative energy and take on that burden. It can have a damaging impact on your own energy, and the way you carry your inner self. If this sounds all too familiar to you, remember what Anja says: “[the energy you absorb] is not yours to carry. That’s not your burden to hold.”
That’s where the Reiki techniques come in. When you’ve absorbed negative energy from others, a Reiki technique is to visualize yourself burning in violet-coloured flame. The violet flame is used to transform negative energy into love energy, which in turn represents unity and understanding. You can also use this technique when you’re in proximity to someone that is giving off bad energy, like during an argument with a friend. Just visualize the other person burning in that violet flame to help tramsute their energy and clear it of negativity.
White light visualization is a technique Anja also recommends doing when you wake up in the morning. Visualizing yourself in a shield of white light can help you put your aura in a “container of light,” helping prevent bad energy from penetrating that shield. This can be a form of meditation and cleansing that helps to keep you grounded and prevent you from giving in to those negative thoughts or habits. The best part is that it only takes a few minutes, and you can do it right when you wake up to start your day.
The Power of Positive Affirmations
“Working with positive affirmations is really, really powerful because it gives you control back to your state of being.”
One final technique Anja recommends incorporating into your daily life is utilizing the power of positive affirmations. Anja uses positive affirmations when she does yoga at home as well as in her studio.
Positive affirmations are also known as state shifters because they have the power to take positive energy through language and transform it into something more positive within your body. It can help you clear out those negative thoughts that get stuck in your head and have the ability to distort your truth.
“You’re not your thoughts,” Anja says. “A lot of your thoughts are absorbed energy from other people. A lot of your thoughts are things that someone taught you that aren’t necessarily truth.”
Thoughts have the power to pick up negative energy from other people and turn it into negative feelings and perceptions of ourselves. In turn, we feel self-conscious, insecure, unworthy, or unwanted when in reality, this is not the truth.
Positive affirmations help you recognize that your thoughts are not the truth, and you are enough. Whether you say them out loud to yourself or just in your head, it’s important to think or say the words to help them resonate within you. Practice them every day and do it often enough to help rework the system within your body and, as Anja says, “choose your light over your darkness.”
Listen to the Full Podcast on An Entrepreneur’s Vibes
So, what does the future hold for Anja and Anamaya Wellness? What book is Anja reading right now to inspire her own spiritual healing and mind-body balance? You’ll have to tune in to the podcast to find out!
Listen to the very first episode of An Entrepreneur’s Vibes on Anchor.fm, where our host Kinny Saral chats with Anja. You can also check out the video interview on The Write Direction YouTube Page. Be sure to check back later as we interview more inspiring and accomplished entrepreneurs, getting them to share their secrets to success and tell us all about their entrepreneurial journeys.
FULL TRANSCRIPT FROM OUR PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH ANJA TODOROVIC BELOW
Anja [00:00:01] With that being said, I think everyone comes to a point in their life where they have to sell a bit of their soul to the devil to become who they’re meant to be.
Kinny [00:00:18] Welcome to The Write Direction podcast, episode one. My name is Kinny Saral and I’m here, we’re joined with Anja Todorovic. How are you doing today?
Anja [00:00:29] I’m doing pretty okay considering the current state of affairs, but excited to be rooted in our humanity here and sharing some- some good energy for the world and exchanging this good energy here, so thanks for having me.
Kinny [00:00:45] Definitely. Thank you so much for taking the time today, Anja. So we’ll get right into it. So tell us more about yourself. Where were you born and where were you raised?
Anja [00:00:56] So I was born in Serbia, former Yugoslavia, in 1993. Just around that time, there was a civil war, lots of unrest and upheaval, which is very resonating with the current state of affairs. So my family and I moved here. I have a twin brother as well. My family and I moved here in 1994, so I was about eight months old. And I’ve- I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum with regards to affluence and poverty. Being an immigrant here and my- both my parents, you know, English was their second language. My father was in the Serbian military since he was 15 and he was an- he was a fighter pilot. So he was a very amazing pilot. But when he came to Canada, he had to get his designations again and all of that. So we were in the welfare system. My- my dad worked for Pizza Pizza as a delivery man. My- my mom worked at Woodbine Mall at Burger King. So we’ve been on that end of the spectrum. And both of my parents worked really, really hard. They had that had heterogeneous immigrant strife and hunger, if you will. And they- they worked very hard to get to where we are today. And they’ve given my brother nice, such amazing opportunities to go to post-secondary, secondary school and things like that. And so I’m super grateful for the wealth that my parents accumulated here. And I’m definitely trying to use that to- to help other people heal and to find their own voice and purpose here on Earth. So that’s where I’m at.
Kinny [00:02:44] Nice. I love that and can definitely relate to that coming from parents who were also immigrants and going through that whole experience. So I can definitely relate and it’s all about hard work and just giving it your best. And like you said, now is the time for us to pay it forward for our future generations that will come on. So that’s an amazing thing you mentioned. So moving on to like school life, like how was your school life before college and university?
Anja [00:03:13] So, I was always kind of the black sheep in my family and then also, in school, I was always a little different in the sense that I was more creative and I liked to spend time alone and to be with myself. And I was always into the kind of spiritual things and- and witchy things, if you will, that a lot of people would look at me and be like, you’re a weirdo or whatever it may have been. And being so authentic to myself when I was younger was- was great in terms of cultivating my sense of self. But in a time when so many people are confused about who they are, they- they like to project a lot onto you. So in a lot of ways, I was kind of emotionally bullied and very misunderstood. With that being said, that really allowed me to gravitate towards other people who were functioning on a different frequency from- from the status quo, if you will. And yeah, in high school, same thing. I was kind of just an outcast and a floater. I didn’t really have a set group of friends. And it was when I finally went to university that I really found a group of people to connect with on a very intellectual and spiritual and energetic level. And I definitely have my university years to thank to a lot of expansion for me in terms of what I wanted to be in this world and how I wanted to serve the people and what I thought my duty was in this lifetime in this physical body. So all the kind of weird things that I went through when I was younger of being kind of ostracized or feeling lonely or misunderstood helped me understand the fragility of humanity so much more and I think deepened the way in which I can connect with people and their trauma and their shadow self. And what makes them sad and upset. And that’s kind of how I turned my pain into purpose, if you will, in the future with my business and interpersonal relationships, with my family. Kind of just in to everything, you know.
Kinny [00:05:36] I really like that journey and for like followers and any listeners who will be later watching this just to add a little more value, like, what did you really find I guess in your university experience that really helped you springboard onto your next path of, like, entrepreneurship? Was it something in the program, your professors, your peers?
Anja [00:05:57] So, yeah. I- In university, I took- I was in sociology. That was the program that I was in. So I started learning a lot about things like white privilege and the socialization of gender and the socialization of race and how all of these things have- they’re not inherently natural in the world. It’s something that we’ve been taught and that we have inherited and integrated as ultimate truth. But there’s actually so much else that is truth as well that just doesn’t get a voice and doesn’t get heard. And I started recognizing that people in general were just very accustomed to living in fear and living in a box and being who everyone else thinks they should be. And there was a lot of inauthenticity, I found. And I found that within myself as well. And in university, I personally was- was dealing a lot with mental health problems. I was diagnosed with bipolar type two depression when I was younger. And it was a label that always affected me. And in university it was-
Kinny [00:07:12] Sorry to hear that.
Anja [00:07:12] Thank you. Thank you so much. It was very- it was a very intense time with my mental health. You know, you’re going through so many character development moments and so many shifts and transitions or so much pressure on you and all of that stuff. And I turned to a lot of substances to numb myself out and to disassociate from my body and disconnect from reality, because it just felt too painful for me at times. And I had a few friends who commited suicide in those years. And it was just- there was so much going on. And I remember one day I woke up and I just felt so empty and vacant and like, what is the point of my existence? And one of my- I was- opened up to one of my friends and I was asking for support and I was asking for them to hold space for me and, which was hard to do in and of itself. And I think that’s a big issue in society today as people are afraid to ask for support because they think it’s a sign of weakness rather than a sign of courage. And my friend suggested for me to go to a yoga class. And I had a negative association with yoga because when I was in high school and I was being rambunctious and, you know, getting in trouble like teenagers do, my mom would- my punishment was to go to a hot yoga class. And so I dreaded it. And I had a really negative association with it.
Kinny [00:08:36] Wow.
Anja [00:08:36] But that day when my friend suggested it, I just felt very open. And I listened to the call and I went to this yoga class. And at the end of class in Shavasana in the final resting pose, I just cried like a newborn baby. And I remember thinking to myself, that was the cheapest form of yoga, the cheap- the cheapest form of therapy I’ve ever had in my entire life. And it was all with self. It was all about me being on that mat and connecting with the healing and the medicine that I have inherently within myself, which everyone does. We’re all encoded with it. It’s- it’s- it’s in all of us. But we’ve just been led to believe that the answers are external to us and it’s in a pill or it’s in another person or it’s in a drug or it’s a substance or material object or fake boobs or whatever it may be. And that day, I realized it’s all inside of me. And this is where the truth is. And this is my home and this is where my power is. And this is where I need to be right now. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:09:35] Nice.
Anja [00:09:37] And from there, everything shifted. All of a sudden I was like, I’m gonna go to Holistic Nutrition School. I want to go to yoga school. I want to get this qualification. I want to get this thing right. This is how I’m going to serve people.
Kinny [00:09:49] That was a big moment, your big “aha”-
Anja [00:09:51] That was my “aha” moment. Yeah, exactly.
Kinny [00:09:53] That’s amazing.
Anja [00:09:54] Yeah. Super, super cool move moment in my life for sure.
Kinny [00:09:59] So then that is amazing because many people sometimes look for that “aha” moment their whole life, some have it, but they don’t know it. So in your case, you just kind of ran with it. It was like perfect timing. So that was amazing. So I guess this leads into how did this lead to your business then? So tell us more by your business Anamaya Wellness and what you do and how that kind of came into fruition after all this.
Anja [00:10:24] Yeah, totally. So when I graduated from university and I moved back to Toronto, I was working at a bar, which is very opposite energy of what I want to bring into this world, if you will, for lack of a better explanation. With that being said, I needed to cultivate financial freedom to become the person who I wanted to become. So with that being said, I think everyone comes to a point in their life where they have to sell a bit of their soul to the devil to become who they’re meant to be. And they make amends for that on an energetic basis later in their work. But it was a big internal conflict that- that I was in of I’m working in a bar right now to pay to go to yoga school, to pay to go to holistic nutrition school so that I can be the best version of myself and to be of most potent service to everyone else. So I felt really weird. I felt very conflictual. But I knew that in that moment in time, that’s what had to be done. So in between working at a bar, I was going to Costa Rica for different yoga programs and things like that. I was going to holistic nutrition school. And after that, I- when I got those designations, I was focusing on getting some private clients for private yoga and things like that and working at different yoga studios. And when I was working at yoga studios, I was getting paid, you know, eleven dollars an hour for a yoga class. And I would pour my heart and soul out on that mat and I would fundamentally feel very robbed of my energy in the sense of I just held space for 15 people that just unloaded on me. I was basically just their therapist after class and I just got paid eleven dollars for that. Meanwhile, there’s evil people out there in the world who are multimillionaires, who are literally the epitome of oppression and capitalism and everything bad in this world energetically. But I’m out here being a starving artist. And- and I remember that day, actually, when I really sunk into that thought, one of the attendees of the studio was like, you should open your own yoga studio. I would totally come. And it was something that never crossed my mind because, you know, starting your own business is very expensive. It’s so much pressure and work and putting yourself in a position of visibility and being exposed and having to do right by every thing and every one. For someone like me, at least, like I want to be conscious in all the ways that I show up. So I was like, there was a lot of, like layers here. How am I really going to do this? You know? But I don’t know, when someone kind of put the phone up to my ear and said, yeah, you should open your own yoga studio, everything just started inside of me.
Kinny [00:13:30] Just started. Nice.
Anja [00:13:30] And I started planting seeds and- and looking at different, you know, commercial real estate in the city. And, you know, I was finding some spaces that were 700 square feet going for fourteen thousand dollars a month. And I’m looking at these numbers and I’m like, OK, mission impossible. My dream is never happening. This is not going to go down the way that I want it to. And I lucked out and I found this really tiny, teensy space on Rothsdales in September of 2018. And it was in a basement. It was in a back alleyway. It was not storefront. It was super kind of like hole in the wall vibes, and- but the rent was super affordable. And I was like, you know what, this feels right for a start-up space just to test out the waters, just to see if I can really call in my clients if I- if this is really what I’m made to be doing. And I did it and I signed the lease and I- I got traction very quickly in- with simply word of mouth.
Kinny [00:14:36] Nice.
Anja [00:14:36] I wasn’t paying for advertisements on Facebook and things like that because I experimented with it and I found that the reach wasn’t very far and I recognized that I could just spend my resources on something a lot more meaningful and lucrative, where I would see a bigger return of investment. But the word of mouth for me was the biggest game-changer in my business.
Kinny [00:15:00] Nice.
Anja [00:15:00] It’s like when you- when you touch three people’s lives, those three people are going to share with at least one other person. And it literally is just a very beautiful butterfly effect that happens organically and authentically because the proof is felt in your presence. And that’s something that one of my teachers said to me that I will never forget it. It always- whenever I doubt myself or I feel like I could have done more, I should have done more, or maybe I could have been more energetically there today or whatever it may be, I always tell myself Anja, it’s OK. The proof is in your presence. It’s going to be followed. You don’t need to prove yourself to anybody. It’s there. It’s OK.
Kinny [00:15:41] Yeah.
Anja [00:15:41] And also, you’re a human and you’re not always gonna be on. And that’s okay, too. But yeah. So the- the space on Rothsdales went great with regards to getting traction, gaining, you know, followers and clients, and things like that. And then a similar situation happened about eight months after that where I had a client and she happened to be a broker and her and I had a private yoga session. And just as she was leaving, she was like, would you ever consider expanding? Again, a thought that never crossed my mind.
Kinny [00:16:16] Yeah.
Anja [00:16:18] And I’m sitting there like, I mean, yeah. If the right space came along. Absolutely. And she’s like, honestly, Anja, I found this space and I thought of you the second I saw it and that’s why I’m asking you. Are you interested in seeing it? Again, not on my radar at all, and I’m like, sure, let’s go next week. No problem.
Kinny [00:16:38] That’s amazing.
Anja [00:16:38] We go a week after. The second I walk into the space, I’ve barely scanned the room. I’ve barely looked at what the room even looks like, and I was like, this is my new yoga studio. And I immediately just knew it in my heart. And she’s like, but you didn’t even- do you want to maybe go see, like, this side of the room maybe? And I’m like, no. I just know. I know this is the spot. And then same thing, I- I talked to her. I got the- the lease agreements ready and everything, and I signed a lease.
Kinny [00:17:10] That’s amazing.
Anja [00:17:10] And within two weeks plus my- my dad and my twin brother, they- they were the hands on deck. They helped me flip this old school vintage space into this beautiful yoga studio in two weeks. No questions asked. When there was no plan for any of this to happen. So it just- it all happened so quickly with the support of some very near and dear people in my life. They- they just believed in my dream just as much as I did. And- and honestly, without them, I- this would not have been brought to fruition at all. They- they have been the wind beneath my wings. And I’m also in a position where I am very lucky. And I do think it’s important to speak on positions of power and positions of privilege. And despite my immigrant background and- and coming from a lot of strife and blood and poverty and war and things like that myself, I, I am privileged and I do recognize that. And I was in a position where I didn’t have to get loans or anything of that nature. I saved up a good chunk of money. And then I was able to ask my parents for a couple thousand dollars, ask my twin brother for a couple thousand dollars. And I was lucky enough people to pool enough money with me and my family to bring my design to fruition.
Kinny [00:18:35] Amazing.
Anja [00:18:35] And I’m so beyond grateful for that because I think that’s a big hump that a lot of businesses, especially small businesses, have to get over, is the loan process.
Kinny [00:18:45] That’s true.
Anja [00:18:46] And paying off the loan before they can even break even themselves. And I’m just- the reason that I’ve been so successful in such a short period of time is because I had that opportunity and the privilege of being given that- that kind of push from behind when I was starting up, you know what I mean? And I definitely really want to address that piece for sure.
Kinny [00:19:07] Now, I really love that because you’ve shared so many great points and now the cherry on the top, but like having your family there support you as such a major thing for entrepreneurs. And like, you perfectly painted that picture, like, of your brother and your dad helping you. That’s amazing. That’s a genuine, genuine, real love help from the family. And helping you start the space and for any viewers and listeners, definitely check out Anja‘s YouTube page and her Instagram page. Like there’s some amazing photos of the space and what she’s described. You’ll definitely notice. We’ll put the handle of her pages definitely in our descriptions and we’ll mention them at the end as well. But, yeah, what you describe is definitely magical. So that’s amazing. And not everyone gets that opportunity. And like you mentioned, like, it’s not easy. Some have to go through loans and some may never be able to repay those loans. They go out of business. So it’s- it’s definitely crazy.
Anja [00:20:02] Yeah, absolutely.
Kinny [00:20:03] Thanks for sharing that.
Anja [00:20:03] I honor everyone’s entrepreneurial path. It’s- it’s not for the faint-hearted. And it’s not easy.
Kinny [00:20:09] Oh, yeah.
Anja [00:20:09] And I see everyone in that. So kudos to all y’all out there.
Kinny [00:20:15] Yeah. Thank you for that. So as business owners, as operators, we also have lots to look forward to, like in our business. There’s always lots of goals, whether it’s like in marketing or social media, whether we’re working on hiring new team members or working on our finances one day or even working on our like processes, like what are you kind of most excited about right now for, like, the short term or long term, like in terms of your business? What are you kind of working on to kind of give a glimpse?
Anja [00:20:43] Yeah. So, I mean, COVID. And its effects and its future effects are so unfort- were so unforeseen, are still so unforeseen. There is so much uncertainty, especially from a business standpoint and from an economic standpoint. We are in a very interesting situation right now where, I mean, I’m gonna call a spade of spades here. This may be controversial or be offensive to our government or other government bodies, but there has been a major mismanagement and all of this and the government has been spending money that doesn’t inherently exist and we are going to be the ones who are affected by that, not them. We as the people, businesses and you know, when this pot of money runs out for things like CERB and all of that stuff, I’m very interested to see how the government is going to deal with people actually not having jobs and not having access to those checks, because that’s going to be the reality that we’re going to find ourselves in. And so I’ve been in an interesting position of kind of just witnessing everything that’s happening right now of how are other businesses navigating themselves through these times? How are people? How-.
Kinny [00:22:05] True.
Anja [00:22:05] How is my network? How how are my my clients navigating themselves through this time?
Kinny [00:22:10] Exactly.
Anja [00:22:10] What they need? What do they want? What do they expect? How can they be supported? Well, I’m also staying mindful of how I’m feeling in all of this and what’s going on for me emotionally. You know what I mean? So I’ve- the second quarantine happened, I was one of the first businesses to close down. Like, I closed down before they even fully initialized the movement because I knew what was going on.
Kinny [00:22:37] Yeah. That’s crazy.
Anja [00:22:37] I just felt it. And so immediately from the get-go, I started doing IG- IG lives three times a week, just providing the community with free yoga. For me at that point, even though my business is suffering, of course, and actually, during this time, I- I thought that it was much more important to give community-based classes right now to everyone and anyone who needs movement, breathwork, sound, healing of any kind, community, whatever it may be. And I wanted to just make it extremely accessible to everybody. And so that’s kind of how I use my platform, was to just share yoga for everyone and anyone who may be interested. And with that, I found I tapped into markets that I never would have otherwise because I would have been on the floor at Anamaya teaching with my clientele here.
Kinny [00:23:27] That’s true.
Anja [00:23:28] Whereas, with social media, I have been practicing yoga with people in Croatia and Vancouver and Ottawa and Florida and Australia. And I, like I couldn’t even have imagined that I could have reached that many people that far away from me.
Kinny [00:23:46] Amazing.
Anja [00:23:47] But I’m able to because I could spend more time honing in the energy in that space, if you will. So, I mean-.
Kinny [00:23:55] It’s amazing you mentioned that because we wanted to mention that you’ve been doing a great job on the IG live. And like you mentioned, it’s nice to get a glimpse. You’ve been helping so many people around the world. So I guess when- we don’t know what the normal is, but when things open and when you are able to open, maybe you can even extend a portion of your weekly hours where you also dedicate to remote yoga or online yoga as well.
Anja [00:24:20] Yeah. One thousand percent.
Kinny [00:24:22] So that’s amazing I guess. That’s one of the new, I guess, things we’ve kind of learned is definitely through this, there are other opportunities we can all kind of tap into. So I’m really happy to hear you’ve been doing that.
Anja [00:24:34] Yeah, it’s been- it’s been really cool. And I- I- I definitely am kind of just slowly rebranding in all of this and finding different ways to be more impactful in my service. And I definitely had like a great realization during this time that when my lease is over, if I don’t have to forfeit it, if this continues for longer than we can forsee at this point, I’m- I definitely foresee myself going a lot more digital and a lot more virtual in the future. And leaving Toronto, to be honest with you, and- and spreading my wings elsewhere and sprinkling my magic elsewhere, because I think my time, I think my time is almost up here. For the last few years, people have asked me why I stayed in Toronto.
Kinny [00:25:27] Really?
Anja [00:25:27] Toronto is not really the city for me, to be honest. I just have attachments here, like my condo and-.
Kinny [00:25:32] Got it, got it.
Anja [00:25:32] My family is here and my twin brother and just very, you know, just attachments. Attachments and I- and my studio and stuff like that. But I always used to say Toronto still needs me. Toronto still needs me, and I feel like elsewhere needs me more now, to be very honest. So… I’m personally also in an existential crisis myself of re-identifying with my purpose.
Kinny [00:26:04] Yeah.
Anja [00:26:04] And how I want to show up in the world and how I want to be of service. So as much as my- my brand is rebranding, so, so is Anja as a- as a sole entity, so.
Kinny [00:26:16] I guess that makes sense. Yeah, that makes sense. You got to keep on the path of, like, self discovery, self learning, as you also mentioned on the site so it’s- that’s what it’s about and I’m glad that you’re already realizing that and you have, like, some plans at the back of your mind, like at least macro wise, like, you know what’s- what’s headed down the road. So that’s definitely good.
Anja [00:26:37] Yeah.
Kinny [00:26:37] It’s cool that you have a twin brother. My wife’s a twin as well, so.
Anja [00:26:41] Really?
Kinny [00:26:42] It’s cool. Like, it’s nice to see how twins work when I see her and her sister. So it’s pretty cool.
Anja [00:26:49] Yeah. I am so grateful for my twin. He- he is an amazing anchor and he- he’s definitely taught me the type of male energy that I want to call into my life and be surrounded by. He’s very nurturing and also very tapped into his- his divine feminine energy. Likely because he has a female twin sister, so it works in favour. We’re just perfect, perfect yin and yang energy, you know?
Kinny [00:27:22] Yeah, thanks for sharing that. Love that. Perfect. So thanks for going over your business and all that and giving us more insight into that. We’ll move forward to like personal work routines, like as entrepreneurs, I know we’re always on the go, trying to accomplish a lot in a given hour, or a day, or a week. In your case, you have some great, like short, medium, long term plans. So what do we- we do our best to remain productive and we all have our own different like routines and work styles. What’s your sort of routines like in terms of your morning or throughout your day? Like how do you usually stay productive?
Anja [00:28:01] Yeah. This has been a big conversation that I’ve had to have with myself and a lot of my clients. I’ve been doing a lot of client coaching over Zoom calls and stuff.
Kinny [00:28:09] Okay.
Anja [00:28:09] Because in the quarantine, a lot of people are having a lot of stuff come up for them. When I say stuff, I mean a lot of people are experiencing a lot of like abandonment issues right now, isolation issues, feeling lonely, feeling unwanted, being isolated, whatever it may be. And so they’ve reached out to pretty much just get emotional and spiritual support from me. And self-accountability is a really hard one. And how I found, the best way to talk about it to myself that I feel resonates with a lot of people is someday you’re gonna be really good at self-accountability. And some days you’re just not.
Kinny [00:28:58] That’s true.
Anja [00:28:59] And that’s OK. And I think this productivity culture that has flooded social media during the quarantine of we’ve never had this much time before, therefore, I’m going to do six online courses. I’m going to work out for three hours every day-
Kinny [00:29:15] I know.
Anja [00:29:15] I’m going to be the next Martha Stewart, bit- like, all of this stuff. And I’m just like, guys.
Kinny [00:29:22] No time to even relax and watch.
Anja [00:29:23] This is the time to relax and watch and witness. On an energetic level, the average modern-day existence is very yang energy. It’s very fire energy. It’s very action packed. It’s do, do, do, do, do.
Kinny [00:29:38] True.
Anja [00:29:39] Whereas yin energy is feminine. It’s cool. It’s flowing. It’s surrendered. It’s rest. It’s digest. It’s integrate. It’s look, listen, feel.
Kinny [00:29:50] Nice.
Anja [00:29:50] And that’s what we’re being asked to do right now. This is Major, the universe telling everyone you have been in your hypermasculine for far too long. Everyone needs to sit down right now and be feminine energy.
Kinny [00:30:04] Reflect.
Anja [00:30:04] And reflect. Exactly. And so I- social media, I think, has been a very poisonous thing in all of this. It’s been very informative and keeping people together in so many ways. But there’s- it’s a double-edged sword, you know? So I always tell people in these situations, do what feels right for you. And if that looks like resting a whole lot and watching a whole lot of shows or reading a lot or- or staring at your ceiling, that’s OK. And from a psychological and trauma-informed perspective, the way that people deal with trauma looks very different. There is no right or wrong way to be right now.
Kinny [00:30:45] Exactly.
Anja [00:30:46] And some people in the face of trauma are hyper productive, hyper like do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-do. And then other people shut down and they completely disassociate and they don’t know where they are, who they are, what to do. They’re crippled with anxiety and fear and whatever else it may be. And so my biggest message in all of this is honor what your body is telling you. If you feel called to be productive, be productive. If you feel called to rest and to sit with yourself, do that. So for me, what I’ve been doing with my mornings is checking in with myself first and foremost. So how I check in with myself, I don’t even let myself leave the bed yet. I don’t look at my phone. And again, there’s some mornings where I do this no problem. There’s no resistance. There’s no hesitation. And then there’s some mornings where I just do not feel committed to it. And I don’t do it. And I don’t judge myself about it. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:31:44] Got it.
Anja [00:31:44] But on most mornings, I do try to- I have my journal beside my bed. I try not to leave my bed, check my phone, I don’t try to shift my energy at all. And I have a conversation with myself. How are you feeling today, Anja? What’s going through your mind today? What- what do you want to do with today? What’s your vision of the day? What might get in your way today? How are you going to need support today, potentially? How can you maybe support other people? And I really just check in with myself of, are you angry today? Are you sad? Maybe you feel really creative and energetic today, but the thing is, is in the modern world, a lot of us wake up, the first thing you do is check our phones.
Kinny [00:32:22] I know.
Anja [00:32:22] Like that’s literally the first thing, because our alarm is on our phone, right? So that’s the first thing we do, and then all of a sudden we start getting looped into social media.
Kinny [00:32:29] I know.
Anja [00:32:30] What’s happened over here? All this energy, that energy, this energy, that energy. And so instead of checking in with your organic, energetic imprint for the day, you’re tapping into other people’s energy.
Kinny [00:32:41] That’s true.
Anja [00:32:41] And then all of a sudden it’s like, I’m anxious. I can’t breathe right now. I- I’m- I’m shut down. I can’t be productive today. I feel messed up today, blah blah. And it’s because you didn’t take time to check in with your- to check in with yourself first. And I think this is a big piece for everyone in the world.
Kinny [00:32:59] Everyone.
Anja [00:32:59] No matter what is happening, I really invite you to check in with yourself first, because once- once you do, you will be able to be of most potency and energy and service that day because you will have given yourself that time and space to connect with what’s going on in here. Because the more that you do that, the more that you can bring these good things outward. And it all starts here. It’s like what I said before. The answers are all inside of us. So we need to look there first before we go spread our energy outward for the day. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:33:35] Yeah. That’s so important.
Anja [00:33:37] Yeah. Like a big piece there is like journaling, checking in with my subconscious, my unconscious. What happened in my dream state? Like did I think about some trippy, weird stuff that made my energy weird today? I don’t know, maybe I did, so maybe I need to have a conversation with myself about that, you know what I mean?
Kinny [00:33:51] Yeah.
Anja [00:33:52] But a big thing, and this is super digestible for a lot of people that I think is super important for people to do in the morning, is a ritual of sound, breath, and movement.
Kinny [00:34:04] Okay.
Anja [00:34:05] So that could literally look like jumping up and down and shaking your shoulders while being like ahhhhhhh, you know what I mean? Or could be yoga. Or it could be chanting. Or you can listen to a guided meditation, whatever it may be. But incorporating any types of sound, breath and movement.
Kinny [00:34:22] Nice.
Anja [00:34:23] Whatever, again, listen to your body. Let your body guide you into that space. And some days it might look really like animalistic. And then some days it may look like art and I think it may be really beautiful. And then some days it may be really messy and you might be crying and be like, why am I crying right now? If that’s what you need to feel in that moment in time. So giving your- yourself that time and space to tap into your energy first, I think is so empowering for the individual and collective energy.
Kinny [00:34:52] I like this method that you just mentioned of sound, breadth, and movement. Is this like when you first wake up in the morning or is it like after you shower first thing?
Anja [00:35:00] Yeah. It’s like just- just do, like, get into yourself first. You know what I mean? Tap into yourself first. And that’s the thing, a lot of people will say to themselves right now, I’m going to nip this thought in the bud right now. A lot of people are like, I don’t have time for that. It’s like this practice, this ritual does not need to be 10 minutes long. It can literally be three minutes long. Just let yourself do it in any way, shape, or form.
Kinny [00:35:24] Just do it, yeah.
Anja [00:35:24] You know what I mean? And, you know, practice. Build on it.
Kinny [00:35:28] Yes. Practice a better way to start. And personally, I’ve even struggled with not checking my phone. It’s something I’ve done good on some days, some not on others. Now I’m putting it in airplane mode so I don’t check it in the morning. So I’ve got these little tricks, but this is definitely another great extension of it. Definitely has a lot of value of it. So thanks for sharing them. I think people got to try that out.
Anja [00:35:51] Yeah. My- I recently invested in a mentor to kind of uplevel in my business and to take it more digital and online and things like that.
Kinny [00:36:01] Nice.
Anja [00:36:02] And a big piece and take away from her is she tells us all that she usually takes about two to three hours in the morning without her phone. And she literally says the reason she is so successful and has made so much money is because of this routine and ritual of hers. She, like, swears by it.
Kinny [00:36:25] Nice.
Anja [00:36:25] And ever since I started implementing it more and more and more, I do see how much it allows me to just be in my- myself and to be in my human. And to exist within myself first before I go in and share that energy outward and connect with other people and exchange energy and whatever it may be.
Kinny [00:36:44] Into the world, yeah. That’s a really good point as well. Exactly. Because sometimes when you’re doing your routine in the morning, maybe after brushing you might- some people might check their phone or after your meditation you’re done or while you’re eating breakfast or right after your morning workout, whether it’s- so it’s things to be mindful.
Anja [00:37:05] Yeah. It’s like giving yourself time and space to cultivate your inner stillness before the chaos and turmoil of the day, like penetrates your fields so that you know who you are and you know yourself.
Kinny [00:37:20] Yeah.
Anja [00:37:20] So that when you step out into the world, you can come from that fullness and not knowing and that integrity. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:37:28] That’s well said. It’s like when we were kids. You didn’t have a phone and you’re waking up, you’re doing your routine as you’re waking up as a kid. And then what would you do once you’ve done all that? Then you can go outside and play with your friends and connect with the world, whereas now we’re getting connected right away. So that’s a great point. And I think that’s going to hit home with a lot of people.
Anja [00:37:48] Yeah. Yeah, man.
Kinny [00:37:48] So moving forward to the last part was on the personal routines was- I think you already kind of went into it. But like, do you have any other specific gratitude or spiritual practice you do like every day or morning that you specifically do?
Anja [00:38:04] Yeah. So there’s a couple of super digestible, I guess, rituals or practices that I can share here for everyone to know that it’s available to them, it’s not rocket science. Anyone can do it in the sense of you don’t need to have a special energy designation of some kind to do this for yourself. This is available to every person. So showering, for example, in and of itself is a very cleansing meditation and ritual. Me being an energy worker and a light worker, I- I personally shower like three times a day because I am absorbing so much energy all the time and I can feel it becoming sticky and dense in my body. So literally just showering and visualizing that this water is infused with cleansing properties and it’s white and it’s light and it’s golden colour and and it’s- it’s clearing you is very, very cleansing to your energetic field. And again, that’s- that’s available to all of us, you know?
Kinny [00:39:13] Yeah.
Anja [00:39:14] So, and even if you’re not taking a shower and you’re visualizing yourself taking a shower, you’re just visualizing the same thing happening, you are the placebo effect. Everyone needs to know that you are the placebo effect. If you say it to your body so many times over, your body will literally start to convince itself that this is happening. And that’s a beautiful thing about your beautiful brain, is it can be used for healing.
Kinny [00:39:37] Oh, yeah.
Anja [00:39:38] And you can move your body into a state of trust and knowing and- and abundance and all these beautiful things. So that’s one way that you can cleanse your energy. Another way to cleanse your energy or to cleanse someone else’s energy. So, for example, this might resonate with a few people. You know, sometimes you’re walking down the street and someone crosses your path and all of a sudden your energy shifts. It’s almost as if you, like, hit a brick wall and you’re like, whoa, what just happened to me? You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:40:12] I think that’s happened to me, yeah.
Anja [00:40:13] Exactly. And so that- that means you’re- you’re empathetic to people’s energies. So you’re kind of like a sponge in the sense that you absorb energies that are in close proximity to you, right? And so when that happens, you’ve taKinny on someone else’s energy. That’s not yours to carry. That’s not your burden to hold. But it’s taKinny a home in your body now. So it’s your responsibility to, you know, clear it. Release it. Let it go, whatever it may be. So visualizing yourself burning in violet-coloured flame from the feet up or the crown down is very powerful and cleansing and clearing energy. Or let’s say you’re arguing with a friend or any, whoever it may be. And their energy is just like really annoying you or like getting the best out of you or whatever it may be. Visualizing them burning in violet-coloured flame will transmute their energy. So in Reiki, which is an ancient energy healing modality, in Reiki we use violet flame to transmute energy that is lesser than a love vibration. So anything that feels less than love, less than acceptance, less than understanding, less than cohesion, less than unity, less than peace, less than bliss, etc., if you visualize the violet-coloured flame, it transmutes that into love, which is fundamentally understanding and unity. And then another thing which is great for making-.
Kinny [00:41:46] That’s amazing.
Anja [00:41:47] Yeah, which is great for waking up in the morning before you’ve even started your day, is just visualizing yourself, gritting yourself in white light so that you’re essentially in a container of light and nothing can penetrate your container of light. So visualizing your aura, like really expanding outside of your body and creating this, like, bubble around you. And these are all visualizations, all things that we can create within our own mind and so I work with those a lot, and-.
Kinny [00:42:22] That’s amazing. I feel like we need to learn this in early stages, kids like when we’re age four, five, six.
Anja [00:42:28] Absolutely and like instead of detention, we should be taught these types of things as well. And meditation.
Kinny [00:42:33] Yeah, like the next time someone gets a detention, the teacher should remind the kid, the student, hey, next time this happens, here’s what you’re going to do so you never have to end up here again.
Anja [00:42:46] Exactly. Another really big thing that I work with are positive affirmations. And those are also known as state shifters because you’re working with the energetics and power of language to soak up the energy in your body. So there’s been a lot of science and research done with language and words and music and different notes and things like that and how they affect water molecules which we are made 70 percent of, right? And so it talks- these- these studies talk a lot about how using certain words can really affect our energetic imprint because they’re very low vibrational. Right?
Kinny [00:43:31] Are you talking about Masaru Emoto?
Anja [00:43:33] Exactly.
Kinny [00:43:34] Yeah, I love- I was- I went in a whole, what do you call it? Like a-.
Anja [00:43:40] Like a rabbit hole?
Kinny [00:43:41] Yeah, yeah that’s what you call it. But I loved it when I did. And I read like- I read three, four of his books. Crazy notes.
Anja [00:43:47] Amazing. Amazing, yeah.
Kinny [00:43:49] And like you’re saying, see, I told the audience what this I guess, before they dive deep into it, but his work is incredible.
Anja [00:43:55] I think everyone should geek out on that if you have time. Absolutely geek out on his work. It’s super, super fascinating. And I know will resonate with everyone on a soul level if they actually look into it. But working with positive affirmations is really, really powerful because it gives you control back to your state of being. So in yoga classes, for example, I tell people all the time, you’re not your thoughts. A lot of your thoughts are absorbed energy from other people. A lot of your thoughts are things that someone taught you that aren’t necessarily truth. So they’re not necessarily yours and they’re not necessarily real. And perception is not necessarily reality. You know what I mean? And so I work a lot with clients, with things like self-love and being insecure or feeling unworthy or feeling like you’re not deserving or unwanted or not celebrated or whatever it may be. And I always tell people if you have a negative thought, automatically coming into yourself and being like, I recognize this as non-truth, and you can either say this out loud to yourself audibly or you can think it to yourself internally, I recognize this as non-truth. And then telling yourself the opposite of that thought. So let’s say I said- I thought to myself one day, you are not enough. I stand in a mirror or I think to myself, I say it out loud, whatever it may be, and I say I recognize this as non-truth. I am more than enough. You know what I mean? And so- and this is a practice. Just because you said it one time, you’re not all of a sudden going to be like I’m enough! No, no, no. This is- this is an everyday practice where you have to choose your light over your darkness. And the second you tell that thought, I recognize this as non-truth, you alchemize the shadow of that thought. That’s your ego trying to keep you in your wounded, limited self. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:45:57] True.
Anja [00:45:58] So the second you say I see you, I feel that thought, I’m looking at it, that is not true, I recognize this non-truth, this is not true on a heart and soul level, this is the truth. And the more that you keep telling your body this is the truth, this is the truth, the truth, I am this, I am this, I am this, I am this, I am, I am, I am, I am, I am, your body starts to integrate that is truth until it overrides the old systems and stories of truth. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:46:25] Yeah, it’s like rewiring the brain neuroplasticity.
Anja [00:46:27] It’s fully rewired.
Kinny [00:46:29] And like cancelling out the bad vibrations and frequencies, so-.
Anja [00:46:33] Exactly.
Kinny [00:46:33] That’s what I love. You’re like trying to cancel that out. And it’s amazing. This stuff works in terms of healing, in terms of your thought patterns.
Anja [00:46:40] A thousand percent.
Kinny [00:46:41] Of course, it’s a philosophy.
Anja [00:46:42] A big piece that my mentor said to me the other day as well that really stuck with me is on the days where you feel like you need state shifters the least, do them the most because that’s when you’re on the cusp of fully integrating that that’s truth.
Kinny [00:47:01] I think that’s a good point, because sometimes when you think you don’t need something, that’s when maybe you probably do.
Anja [00:47:07] Exactly. That’s why you’re likely resisting it. You know what I mean?
Kinny [00:47:10] Yeah, definitely. Thanks so much for sharing that. That’s some really great value. So thanks so much. Now we have just some final end of podcast questions.
Anja [00:47:22] Amazing.
Kinny [00:47:23] Just some nice ones we like to ask. So if you go back to your 15-year-old self, what would you say? Like what advice would you give?
Anja [00:47:35] Hooo. This is so many things, all of the things. I would have told myself to stop feeling so unworthy. And I would have told myself to believe in myself more. And I would have told myself that I didn’t have to beg for love from half-hearted people to feel a value or like I was important or like I was needed or wanted in this world and I would have had a, just a very big conversation with her about her feelings of unworthiness and undeservedness. And I would have had a conversation to shift her into a more self-love, self-knowing, self-honoring person, because I- I definitely take accountability for the fact that when I was younger, I very much so put myself in a lot of positions to be hurt, whether it was physically or emotionally or mentally or whatever it may have been. I was so self-loathing and self-deprecating that I constantly put myself in positions where I was going to be more hurt, which just reified my entire wounded cycle and story and just reinforced this identity that I had of being a victim. And I would have just, you know, had those empowering self-talks with her for sure. But at the same time, I’m grateful for all of the decisions that I made, especially the ones that I made from a place of self-loathing, because it- it was a purposeful and necessary piece to my becoming and honestly, I- I don’t know if I would be in this position if I didn’t go through all of those things because I wouldn’t have been exposed to certain levels of pain that I was exposed to. And I wouldn’t be able to be so compassionate and empathetic to so many different types of situations because I wouldn’t have been in them myself. You know what I mean? So I definitely would have loved and held the crap out of my 15-year-old self and been kind to her and just told her that she’s got good purpose coming and she doesn’t need to be so hard on herself. But I’m also grateful for my 15-year-old self. Bless her. Way to be, Anja. Way to be, past Anja.
Kinny [00:50:06] Yeah, definitely. You’ve done some amazing things and what you’re saying now is going to help so many other youth moving forward. Future generations. So thank you for that. And are you reading anything right now, like particularly for business or personal pleasure, anything you’d like to suggest to the community?
Anja [00:50:26] Absolutely. So I recently picked up a book that I was reading a few years ago, and this was- actually not a few years ago, time really flies. This was actually about seven years ago that I read this book, and it was when I was just kind of embarking on my spiritual journey, if you will. It’s called Freedom From the Known by Krishnamurti.
Kinny [00:50:56] Okay, nice.
Anja [00:50:56] And it is a super digestible, easy read of pretty much questioning everything that you think is real because everything around us is essentially an illusion. And it was one of those reads that set me free in the sense of allowing me to step out of the box that I’ve been put in since birth. Like every other human being has. They’ve been put in some sort of box. Right? So it was- it was one of those reads where I just had multiple “aha” moments.
Kinny [00:51:34] Nice.
Anja [00:51:34] I was like, I will not stand for this anymore. I will not be a part of the problem. I will not be a part of this game and this human experiment that the one percent is partaking in right now. You know what I mean? So, and so I picked it up again over the quarantine because I was like, this is very fitting for the times and I feel like I need some refreshers and just inspiration right now. So I’m reading that and then I’m also reading another book called Essential Emotions, which is all about working with different essential oils to support different emotional states of being.
Kinny [00:52:10] Very nice.
Anja [00:52:10] So that’s been very interesting because as I mentioned before, I do a lot of energy work. So I work a lot with essential oils to help clear the energy and protect people’s fields and to support their- their stress system and stress responses when they’re clearing really intense energy and things like that. So I’ve been geeking out on plant medicine, if you will.
Kinny [00:52:32] Maybe I’ll pick that up as well, because we’ve been- we’ve been getting into that last couple years, me and my wife, so.
Anja [00:52:39] Yeah. If you ever want to chat about quality essential oils and getting your hands on them and how you can use them in a lifestyle way in terms of incorporating it in all of the places and spaces in your life, I would be more than happy to chat with you because it’s been definitely life changing for me. Essential oils are the liquid version of crystals. They they can bring a lot of really high vibrations into your life for sure.
Kinny [00:53:06] I like that explanation. Thank you.
Anja [00:53:10] Yeah, absolutely.
Kinny [00:53:11] Awesome, and finally, any final words you’d like to say to those thinking or thinking of entering entrepreneurship, those already in it? I know you already had a lot of golden nuggets for everybody throughout this podcast. Anything else you’d like to say to those entering in the field or already in it?
Anja [00:53:27] To those entering in the fields, my mom said this to me when I was crippled by fear to do my own thing, she said Anja, it’s better to try now and fail soon, than try later and fail later and then not be able to pick yourself up again. And that was one of those like, kind of backhanded pieces of advice. With that being said, it was really impactful because it was one of those “aha” moments of there literally is no better time than now. And I’m either gonna fail later or I’m going to fail now. So I might as well just bite the bullet and do the damn thing and-.
Kinny [00:54:09] Do it now.
Anja [00:54:09] Believe in myself and follow my bliss and trust that it’s all going to work out the way that it’s supposed to. And even if it fails, I will have learned so much and will have received so much from all of this anyway. So it’s a win in my books regardless. But my biggest piece of advice is believe in yourself and don’t let anyone else’s judgment on you or projections of their own inadequacies stop you from stepping into your power and doing what you’re meant to be doing. No one else knows what your purpose here on Earth is except for you on a soul level. Do not dissolve your family loyalties. Do not let your parents live vicariously through you. Do not let them live their dreams through you. That is not your responsibility. That was their responsibility. And that is their bed to make an rest in. And because I work with this a lot with clients is a lot of people are being very inauthentic in their existence because of their parents. Because my parents don’t want me to be like this or my parents thought I was going to be like this and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Dissolve those family loyalties and know that your only duty here on life is to fulfill your dharma. Your Dharma is your life duty and your life path and no one else needs to understand that except for you. And celebrate yourself and that and claim your gifts and own your gifts and share them with the world because the world needs your medicine and your medicine can be whatever it is, that it is. And just let it be that and allow yourself to be seen, because the world needs more people who are willing to be seen in a world of so much invisibility and disassociation. So let yourself be seen and let yourself be celebrated and all that.
Kinny [00:56:02] Amazing. That was amazing. Thank you, Anja, for that.
Anja [00:56:06] My pleasure.
Kinny [00:56:06] So just let us know where people can follow you. What platforms are you available on and what is your handle?
Anja [00:56:13] Absolutely. So currently I am on Instagram and Facebook. I’m looking to start a YouTube channel and a Spotify channel from our guided meditations. But for now, on the Instagram page is where you’ll see the most action, and that is @Anamayawellness. Same with our Facebook handle. We have an Instagram TV channel now. So there’s about six yoga classes now that are of different speeds and intensities and purposes and intentions for everyone to have available to them there. I’m currently sharing a lot of resources from- from people of the BIPOC community on Anamaya. I will be muted for the last- for the next week to stand in solidarity with everything that’s happening in the world right now. So I personally am spending a lot of my- my social media presence and energy right now and educating a lot of my followers who are white to step up and to be a part of the change. Much more than just posting on their storylines, but I’m talking serious doing and taking action, like sending the emails and making the phone calls and things like that, like truly showing up for the BIPOC community. So that’s how I’m going to be stepping into that platform for the next week for sure, and yeah. Hoping to get the Spotify stuff going on with the guided meditation and things like that. It’s another avenue where I want to step into the digitalization of my brand. And yeah, that’s- that’s where I’m going to be at.
Kinny [00:57:53] Perfect. Yeah. Thank you so much, Anja, for sharing that. Everyone, we’ll make sure to link that below in the description. Thank you so much, Anja. This has been a great pleasure. We really loved having you on today for our first episode of The Write Direction podcast. And we can’t wait to see and hear the feedback from the community.
Anja [00:58:13] I’m so grateful and humbled to have been here and to share some wisdom and want everyone to know that if something resonated with you here or, you know, touched something inside of you and you feel called to reach out, I am more than happy to hear from you and to connect with you. I’m all about community goodness and love, and I do all of my social media. And I respond to every message personally. And I want everyone to know that especially in this time of division and unrest and upheaval and chaos, that we can stay grounded in our humanness and we are in this together. And the more that we rise up and love, the more that we can see this healing process propel itself forward. So, I’m here and I’m grateful and thank you for listening and thank you for being a part of this great realization and great awakening that we are here in the midst of.