Yin & Vinyasa: From Passion To Career
Ottawa-based Yin & Vinyasa yoga instructor, YouTuber, author and the face behind Yoga with Kassandra, Kassandra Reinhardt has been inspiring millions over the past decade to harness their inner peace.
One of the first yoga instructors to embrace online teaching, Kassandra Reinhardt has dedicated her life to guiding students toward a path of peace and wellness for the mind, body and soul. With the recent release of her I Radiate Joy: Daily Affirmation Cards as well as My Yoga Journey: A Guided Journal, Kassandra honoured us with an invitation to speak with her about her journey and her work.
Kassandra’s journey down the path of teaching yoga began in 2008 when she decided to book a yoga class because a friend recommended it. Already participating in dance and constantly suffering from injured hamstrings, she decided to give it a try.
Although her first class was not the typical “transformational” moment in her life that people assume, she still felt great after her that class and, over time, she eventually found the right style of yoga and the right teacher that clicked for her. From there, she discovered a newfound appreciation and understanding of what the practice had to offer. Since then, she has not looked back.
Her passion for yoga evolved into online teaching through her YouTube channel, Yoga with Kassandra, where she has attained 2.21 million subscribers to date.
Q: Before saying to yourself, “I want to pursue yoga professionally,” what was your original career game plan at the time?
A: Around the time I started getting into yoga I was 18 years old, but a few years later, I ended up getting a job with the municipal government of the City of Ottawa. I was there for maybe five years, and I enjoyed that. But I did both, I was working full-time hours and just hustling on evenings and weekends trying to get Yoga with Kassandra off the ground, and I did that for three years until I was ready to take the plunge and leave the city job to do this full time.
At the end of the day, I didn’t do anything. The students are the ones doing the work every day. It’s a symbiotic relationship
Q: For anyone who is hesitant about taking a yoga class or is skeptical about the benefits of yoga, what would you say to them as an encouragement to give it a try?
A: Online is the best way to go about it. The beauty of taking an online class is that you can start with just a 10-minute yoga class. In studios, you pretty much have to do a 60-minute class, minimum. There isn’t any flexibility with the time, and that can be daunting for a lot of people if they’re not sure this is for them. In a private setting, it’s a lot easier. There’s no judgment. You can do whatever you want, and you have the freedom to try a million kinds of teachers and yoga styles to see what works for you.
Q: Your I Radiate Joy: Daily Affirmation Cards deck was released this past January. Can you tell me more about it and what inspired you to create it?
A: I originally learned about affirmations through Louise Hay, and it’s been this full-circle moment to now have my own affirmation cards deck. I wanted it to be reflective of what I am about – something that can be used along with your yoga practice. We did four suits, all surrounding health – physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health — just simple affirmations that people can use during their practice. I think this is my greatest accomplishment.
Q: Can you tell us how the idea for My Yoga Journey: A Guided Journal came to mind? What is the best approach to using the journal?
A: The journal is meant to be used two minutes before your session and two minutes after your session. It is meant to get people to tune in more to their yoga state of mind, to hold onto that mindful space we worked so hard to create. In the beginning, there are a few prompts, and then you do your session, and then there are three additional questions after your sessions to help you reflect.
Q: Do you have a special moment you remember that you had with one of your students, when you learned that your teachings helped them overcome a certain challenge?
A: Oh, my gosh … there’s been such an influx. It’s overwhelming. That was the most eye-opening moment, especially when I first started teaching online. Receiving those emails and messages that say, “I am able to sit down and stand up unassisted for the first time in a decade.” Little things like that, that we take for granted. The fact that they were able to start small at home — for me, that was very powerful.
Q: What do you think the future has in store for you? Is there anything you can share with me and your students about upcoming plans or goals?
A: One idea that I have for potentially this year is Life with Kassandra, the podcast that I’ve been kind of dreaming about because I do have a lot of other interests and passions outside of yoga that I feel like I want to share. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what is the best vehicle and venue for that.
Q: If you had a positive message or affirmation message of the day for our readership, what would you say to them?
A: My favourite affirmation of all time is “All is well and I am safe.” It is an affirmation by Louise Hay. That’s the one that comes to mind. But, in terms of a message, my main message as a teacher is “It doesn’t have to be overly complicated or strenuous to be effective.” Give yourself permission to start small and do what works for you, and that’s how you will really find consistency and hopefully some kind of fulfilment.