This month at vitruvi we’re focusing on “soul fitness”, which is why we reached out to two vibrant souls: Kingsley Delacato and Erin Ward. Both of these women are passionate about nurturing the mind, body and spirit connection through healing, movement, and meditation. While they do this from opposite sides of the country (Kingsley from NYC and Erin from LA), a recent workshop at lululemon on the east coast brought them together. We chatted with Kingsley and Erin about their latest collaboration and dove a little deeper into the practice of breathwork, reiki, and re-evaluating your goals. We also touched on each of their daily rituals, where the notion of spending time alone came up for both of them. For some of us who get anxious at the thought of being alone, it’s a refreshing perspective: to really nurture your soul and energy, it’s worth remembering: what you take in is what you put out, so enjoy those solo moments to recharge. Read on for more words of wisdom from this dynamic duo.
You recently co-hosted the All Things Energy workshop at lululemon in New York. What connected you two for this event?
Both: We have been friends for a few years now! Erin was coming into NYC from the west coast for a week and we knew that we had to team up to plan something magical while she was here. We’re both so passionate about creating spaces for people to connect with themselves and feel good, and so the collaboration was so natural.
How did the night go? What was the focus?
Both: The night was amazing. The focus was to hold space for these beautiful people to express whatever they needed to, through the practices of breathwork, yoga and reiki. We wanted people to move into their weekend feeling a little lighter and more clear, and based on the feedback, we think it was a massive success.
Is there a different energy in New York that you can sense when you do a workshop there vs. other cities?
Erin: Coming from LA, there was an obvious difference to me in the accessibility of some of these practices. LA is immersed in the wellness lifestyle, almost to a point of saturation, where as in NYC, it seems that there is less time allotted to slow down and take time for restorative self-care. Everyone who came to our workshop noted that it was “exactly what they needed” to unwind from a high-energy, fast-paced, push-to-the-extreme week, which is also a lifestyle in the city.
Kingsley: New York City has such a unique, vibrant energy of its own, and it’s such a fast-paced environment, which makes it even more important to slow down and reconnect through practices like breathwork, reiki and yoga.
How did each of you end up on this path of cultivating the mind, body, and spirit connection?
Kingsley: I had always been very intuitive and connected to spirit as a child, so it’s always been a part of my life and my being. The shift into becoming a healer happened for me when I healed a serious injury through mind-body-spirit healing practices. It worked for me in my own healing process and really was a game changer with what my body, mind and spirit were going through at the time. So it’s been very important to me ever since and I wanted to be able to help others the same way that people helped me.
Erin: I discovered the yoga practice when I was battling anxiety and bouts of depression while in college. The yoga practice—particularly meditation—was my saving grace. I knew very soon after I began my own healing process through the various practices that I wanted to be able to share their healing capacity with others. We all need more spaces to feel whole, connected, and loved, and I am so honored that I am able to support in the creation of those spaces.
What does a breathwork session entail? Is it something that’s easy to incorporate into your day-to-day routine?
Both: Breathwork is an active meditation practice that benefits the total being: mind, body and spirit. Breathwork allows the part of your mind that normally tries to control how you think or what you feel to take a back seat for a second so that you can process whatever is sitting below the surface. It is a powerful healing technique that allows us to tap into self-love and the healing capability of spirit. It can facilitate emotional release, healing ancient wounds, heart opening and connection to intuition. Breathwork sessions incorporate an active breathing pattern combined with the use of essential oils and music to allow you to go wherever you need to go to heal, feel and express. Breathwork can be done daily in as little as 5 minutes for a quick recentering. For a home practice, we recommend a 10 minute active breathing session and at least 5 minutes of integration by laying still and naturally breathing.
Kingsley, can you explain what reiki healing is? And what one of your sessions is like?
Reiki is universal life force energy. It is a light-filled energy that heals the mind, body and spirit all in one! It can be very grounding/balancing, and can also help shift any energy that feels static or stuck. My sessions help you shift into a deep state of relaxation while calling light and love into the body.
Erin, can you share a bit more about the sabbatical you’re hosting this summer?
I am partnering with a wonderful company called The Weekend Sabbatical to take people out of their normal environment, immerse ourselves in nature, and undergo processes of personal and professional expansion. I am co-leading the Costa Rica experience with a career/life coach who will aid participants in creating a professional blueprint while I guide the internal excavation through yoga, meditation, breathwork, and spiritual movement. We have a few spots left in our june trip (June 7-11) and are also going to Puerto Rico in the fall!
We’re halfway through the year now—do you have any advice on how to reevaluate goals and reset the body and mind?
Kingsley: I think that the most important thing about goals is to check-in and make sure that they’re coming from the heart. What’s your “why” behind the goal? When you think about achieving your goal, how does your breath feel? How does your heart feel? If a goal feels outdated or like it’s not where you’re going anymore, give yourself permission to shift, re-evaluate, and re-adjust so that you can open the door for new energy to enter.
Erin: I also think it is important to take the pressure off of being perfect. We all set pie in the sky goals, and if halfway through the year you are nowhere near them, it is helpful to allow yourself the space to envision what it is you really want in this moment and set your goals from there. Too often we feel like we’ve “failed” if we do not meet the expectations we place on ourselves. But all goals are met to bring us closer to personal contentment, and it is important to keep that in perspective.
I noticed this on your website Kingsley, but wanted to ask you both: what are your spirit animals?
Kingsley: I used to feel that my spirit animal was a lion, but these days it feels more like an eagle! One with the wind, yet also very grounded and centered at the same time.
Erin: It’s interesting, I used to identify with deer, but now I have moved into the time of the wolf. I am stepping into my role as leader and there is a ferocity in my belly to keep creating and supporting the pack.
And finally…what are some of your daily rituals?
Kingsley: I write daily. I always burn palo santo at least once throughout the day. I always rub an essential oil on my wrist and then on my heart, the oil depends on the day but I really love lavender and eucalyptus. But honestly the most important daily practice that I have is to spend some time alone each day. That time can be used to do many different things, read, write, go for a walk, explore my own neighborhood, or just lay down and breathe. Alone time for me is my time to recharge, and it’s so important to put in the proper input of energy so that you can continue to give the output of energy in your life.
Erin: I make time for movement and meditation everyday. Sometimes movement is putting on music and ecstatically dancing, sometimes its a yoga class or hike with a friend. Like Kingsley, alone time is really important to me, and my meditation practice is that space. I’ve also been working with mantra, and so each morning I will repeat my affirmation 5 times out loud as a way to set me up for the day. My current affirmation: I have everything I need. I invite in abundance and bliss.