Kia Miller: Radiance + Yoga
How do you start your day?
Before I get out of bed I repeat a yogic mantra, a way of bowing to the eternal Truth before my mind starts rushing in with associations with the day. I make tea, which I sip while reading something inspiring for 10 mins or so. Then I begin my practice of kriya chanting and meditation. While at home this whole process is luxuriously long, when on the road I put aside 1 hr in the morning for practice. It keeps me balanced and in expanded awareness.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
I take time out. I breathe. I connect inwardly to my heart with a prayer to see through that which is causing the overwhelm. I commit to doing only the next thing that needs to happen. And then the next. And so on. This way my mind does not get to race ahead and create stress. This way problem solving in the moment becomes fun rather than overwhelm. This is how i work to turn suffering into joy.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
Whenever I am connected to Universal Consciousness I feel bliss. Whenever I am expanded beyond my own limited ego desires and needs. When I am around the company of elevated people. When I am truly still and leaning in to the silence within. Whenever I am in Nature.
What are you currently reading?
A wonderful text that speaks to the Divine Feminine called Sri Saundarya Lahari. It is a text that speaks to bridging the gap between our outer and inner worlds. It feels so relevant for this time of healing the Divine Feminine within the collective. Paraphrasing a paragraph that I read this morning: In the Tantric and Vedic Tradition beauty, spirituality and sensuality all go together. This is the 'saundarya' ... Beauty, purity and simplicity go together and are the main criterial of spiritual life. Material beauty is just a shadow of the brilliance of spiritual beauty.
What are you listening to right now?
Variations on the Sri Suktam and other Vedic mantras that promote abundance and contentment. I find great refuge in the Vedic Mantras. They soothe my soul and transport me to another realm.
What does nourishment look like to you?
Being fed on all levels of my being. Connection with my loved ones. Pranic rich, life food. Spiritual nourishment and practice. Beauty around me.
How do you make space for play?
I recognize the importance of play. I love taking time out with my husband in play. We hike, ocean dip, make food, spend time with friends, watch movies and generally love to joke around. This is so important as a celebration and appreciation of life.
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
My Guru Mantra, given by a teacher, that is like a precious inner resource reminding me of my inner connection. Other simple English affirmations that I use are "I'll do better next time" when I mess up, or "I can, I will, I must" when my mind is resisting coming to a settled place during meditation.... and one of the all time greats from Yogi Bhajan "if you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all."
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
There is so much. What is present for me right now, is what came so strongly in my meditation this morning, which reflects the wisdom of the Yogi Bhajan quote above. There is a line in Japji (a poem called Meditation of the Soul by Guru Nanak) where it states "Meet everyone as your highest brother and sister. Conquer your own mind only to conquer the world." This is so relevant for me right now as I have been witnessing subtle judgments creeping into my thoughts about a couple of people in my life. I recognize that what Nanak is reminding us is that no matter what personality characteristics someone is exhibiting it is important to see beyond our likes and dislikes to the Soul of the person. Ultimately we need to train our mind to perceive the world in this way, to be unaffected by the behaviors of others. It does not mean we do not take a stand when we need to, but it means that we learn to do so from a neutral place, or what the yogis call "static awareness." All the suffering we experience comes from our mind's interpretation of life. If we can correct the way we are perceiving circumstances then we can reduce our suffering. To master the world we must master our mind.
photos by Fluid Frame Photography
Kia Miller is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher. She is the founder of Radiant Body Yoga, a holistic approach that honors the healing and transformational potential within yoga. Her mission is to inspire and awaken as many people as possible to their own power and creative potential. Kia leads workshops, retreats and teacher trainings throughout the world. Practice with Kia online at YogaGlo or read more at her website.