Finding Fulfillment through Yoga and Mindfulness

Do you live authentically? Are you in touch with your true self? Have you somehow placed a ceiling on your own potential without even realizing it?

These questions and more are what bring people to Carrie Hensley. Carrie is a healthy lifestyles consultant, also known by some people as a health coach or spiritual guide.

Having seen her own share of problems herself with being a teenage alcoholic, Carrie overcame her addiction through the studying of various spiritual paths and in the process discovered her own true path – yoga.

"It is through the gift of yoga and mindfulness that I was able to reconnect to this place of Truth, to uncover my life’s path (Dharma), and to shine a light unto this world for myself and others. I believe we each come to this life with a purpose. We each have unique gifts to offer to the world.” Carrie Hensley, n.d., Nourishment for Body, Mind & Soul.

Having over 17 years of experience being a mentor, yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, having her own yoga studio, and leading women’s workshops, Carrie has made it her life’s path to help other women discover their own Truth and create a life filled with purpose, prosperity, and peace.

 

1.Carrie, how would describe why you created your website “Nourishment for Body, Mind & Soul”?

Tal, first of all thank you for being such an amazing light yourself and creating a fantastic space where we are all challenged to become the best vision of ourselves.

The main reason I created my website was that I knew I could reach a broader audience through the internet. I have personally experienced, in myself and in my students, what one can achieve through the power of yoga and mindfulness. My intention with my website is to share these gifts with as many people as possible.

2.Why did you use the terms mind, body, and soul? How do you see these as all inter-related?

In yoga, we learn about the mind-body connection on our mats through the art of breathing. If the breath is short and shallow, the muscles tend to tighten and constrict, and the thoughts tend to be chaotic, etc. As we begin to observe, first hand, how interrelated mind, body, and soul are, we come to understand that by working on one aspect we can impact the whole, either positively or negatively.

3.You mention on your website that you wish to help women to connect to their highest Truth. Why specifically women? What drew you to focusing your practice towards women?

While I certainly appreciate men (my husband and I have been together for 18 years) my desire to work specifically with women stems from my own life experiences. As a childhood sexual abuse survivor, a teenage addict, and one who has struggled with eating disorders, I find I can identify and empathize more fully with women. My personal experiences give me a level of credibility and trust as I ask women to challenge their own limiting beliefs and conditioning that I myself had to break free from.

4.As a woman yourself, how have your experiences being a woman specifically helped or hindered how you reconnected with your Truth?

Great question Tal. I don’t view it as necessarily gender specific. My all-time favorite quote by Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor, is “between stimulus and response there is a space. Within that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I believe we each have a choice to allow our life experiences to either crack our hearts open and awaken us to our true potential or shut us down and close us off to the sacredness of life.

5.Tell us a little bit more about what a healthy lifestyles consultant does.

Better yet, hire me and I’ll show you. Exercise, nutrition, and stress management are the three keys to longevity and health. I design programs for individuals and companies seeking to create a more conscious way of living and doing business. For my individual clients, I design yoga, nutrition and meditation programs for optimal living. I also do consulting for companies. Currently, I am helping a startup company develop a yoga & nutrition brand geared towards seniors.

6.What do you think draws people to seek out your services?

Most people who seek out my services have met me in person, whether in a yoga class or at one of my workshops. Most people come to me and say I want what you have. What they are referring to is peace of mind, self-acceptance, gratitude, groundedness, and connection. These are gifts available to each of us, I just happened to learn the tools before they did.

7.How do people find out about your website? Is it usually word of mouth or through search engines? Do you advertise anywhere?

95% of my clients find me through word of mouth. The majority of my clients find me through the classes and workshops I teach locally.

8.You have a few articles on your website from people whom have seemingly known you a long time and can share something about you with the readers on your website.

One of the themes that is repeated throughout them is your focus on relationships and connections with human beings at a really heartfelt level. Would you say this is the reason for your success as a lifestyles consultant? Is this a natural ability you would say you have? It has always been and always will be about the art of relationships for me. At the end of the day, we all want to feel worthy, validated, and loved. If I can leave you feeling better than before our encounter, than I feel I have succeeded. This was the guiding principle that helped me build a successful café and yoga studio. People felt they had a place to belong.

9.In these same series of articles by others about you, it is mentioned that financial success has been difficult for you at times. How would you say financial success is or is not tied to your Truth?

Hahaha. You are a good excavator, Tal. My husband and I lost all of our financial wealth when the economy crashed because it was tied up in real estate. At one point, we even entertained the idea of bankruptcy. It was a time of deep soul searching- I had to work through shame, feeling like a failure, like I let my family down, etc. However as Napoleon Hill shares, “the turning point in the lives of those who succeed usually comes at the moment of some crisis, through which they are introduced to their “other selves”. When everything is stripped from you and you are still left standing, you step into a freedom that can’t come any other way. An experience like this gifts you with the potential to see what you’re made of.

10.Your website also has interviews about other people on it. How do you decide who to interview and do you solicit them or do they find you?

I always solicit the people I interview. I seek out strong, authentic, trustworthy individuals, who are connected to their own truth. When I look for these amazing souls I look to see who could help my readers in their own quest to find themselves.

11.In one article, you mentioned an experience with your son and how you realized that you were bringing your own conditioning into your son’s life. That seems like a really big revelation that you probably see manifest itself in the lives of many parents and children. Could you give a little explanation of what that is and maybe some quick advice for other parents?

Sure. We each bring to every life experience our own coloring, imprints from our past experience. This, often, gets translated through our parenting. Often, what we bring from the past is regret. The article you refer to was the realization that I didn’t trust my son because of my own experience with drugs at his age. It was completely unfounded and really unfair to him. In stepping outside of myself, that day, I was open to receive his words and witness life from his perspective. I think, as parents, we need to remember to get out of our own way, more often than not. I try and ask myself simple questions like is the need to be right, or the fear of what others will think of me more important than his own growth and self-realization?

12.As for people considering hiring a lifestyles consultant, would you say it is appropriate for any age and any place a person finds his or herself in? Would it be appropriate for a teenager to someone already in their later years of life?

Yes! Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming speed. We live in a quick fix disconnect culture and time. Imagine the impact for a 13 year girl to learn to like who she sees in the mirror, now, versus having to wait until she’s 40. At the same time, I have witnessed the effects of yoga and proper nutrition on an 87 year old woman- the delight and excitement at being able to reclaim mobility and independence was remarkable.

13.On a personal note, would you say what you are doing today is your life’s dream and how did you know it was the path meant for you?

From the time I was a small child, my path was to help others. When I host workshops, I invite students to reflect on the things they loved to do in their childhood. Our childhood often holds the seeds to our life’s path. For example, I used to skip my lunch hour in middle school to help grade the kindergarten papers and help out in the classroom. It’s no coincidence that teaching is still a passion for me now.

14. Peace is a big individual goal for people and yet it is also a goal for larger entities like all of society even. Do you think individuals attaining peace, or at least striving for it, have an impact on all of society in some way?

Personally, I do. We’ve all been in situations where we walk into a room and there is an overall uneasiness or something feels off, but we can’t put our finger on it? At the same time, we’ve all had the experience, maybe meeting someone for the first time and we seem mesmerized or taken aback by their “charm” or “grace”? These examples show that we have the power to spread peace- smiling to a stranger, making a donation and/or starting a cause, giving ourselves or our children permission to make mistakes, becoming aware of how we present ourselves during business meetings, etc.

15.Where do you see yourself and your practice being ten years in the future? Do you have any plans for your website and business?

My website will always be a mode for connection as writing is a form of meditation for me. One of my passions is leading women’s circles and workshops that invite women to connect more authentically to their own Truth. Through this, I am being called to public speak more. In fact, one of my 100 life goals is to offer a Ted Talk.

Thank You Carrie

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Carrie Hensley is a healthy lifestyles consultant. On Carrie’s website one can find a combination of articles, interviews, and events or products all related to nourishing one’s self. You can find her on twitter at @carriehensley

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