MATERIAL GIRL, MYSTICAL WORLD: SHONA VERTUE

We spoke to Shona Vertue, poster girl for our Designer Yogis sweatshirt line, on seeking inner peace and harmony in our inner cities… Portraits: Cameron McNee Hair and make-up: Andjelka Madic

White Vinyasa shirt, $70

“Okay, I no longer have nature all around me. How can I still be healthy, and still be present?”

Meet Australia-born yogini and personal trainer Shona Vertue, who decamped to London’s urban jungle in January 2014. A move that’s propelled her career to new heights – but where she’s also had to seek new ways to find the sense of inner expansiveness she got from regularly being out in nature back home.

It’s a situation faced by so many city dwellers (whether we recognize it as a problem or not) – where days can become weeks can become months without so much as an open sky to help connect us back to an understanding of ourselves as all connected by and to the Cosmos.

Shona’s solution? “I spend all my money on crystals for starters, like crystal retail therapy,” she jokes, telling how she recently realized it wasn’t her laptop but a two-kilo rose quartz she likes to keep close that was making her bag too heavy to lug around.

But seriously: “finding the sense of connection to myself that I used to get from being in nature, means closing my eyes a lot. It takes daily meditation,” she says. Which currently means sitting cross-legged in bed for 15 minutes every morning on waking. “I keep my Native American flute alarm clock going while I meditate because it transports me to another place – the Grand Canyon or something!” she says.

Black Chakra shirt, $70

It’s a conversation that makes Shona the ideal poster girl for our new Chakra and Vinyasa sweatshirt collection, which we’re selling in aid of Urban Yogis. An initiative out of Queens, NY, the program helps empower young people who’ve been affected by violent street crime to share the tools of yoga and meditation in their local inner city communities, as a way of cultivating peace, acceptance, and awareness.

“Awareness” being the basis of the Buddhist teachings that Shona studied in-depth back home in Australia. In essence, Buddhism is about becoming aware of how and why you are suffering, and then treating the cause of your suffering rather than just the symptoms.

“This is based on the belief that once we strip away the layers of suffering, at the core of every human being is an innate state of bliss that we all have access to at any time – if we choose,” explains Shona. As many readers will have experienced through their own yoga and meditation practice, and spending time in nature. Practices and experiences which can be made to feel like luxuries, available only to a privileged few – but which are actually all our birth right.

Inner peace – isn’t this what anybody who identifies with the term “seeker” is really looking for? We salute the awakened souls, like Shona and the Urban Yogis, who are dedicated to lighting the way.

Black and gold Vinyasa shirt, $70

:: MATERIAL GIRL ::

My label
Dharmabums – they are ethical and sustainable!

Leggings, $90 AUD, Dharma Bums

 

My shoes
New Balance

Paradise Awaits sneakers, $79.99, New Balance

My fragrance

Anything with Geranium and Sandalwood

Radha Fragrance Oil, $36, The Goddess Line

My jewels
Anything silver with Moonstone

Moonstone ring, $200, Pamela Love

My pampering
A bath with magnesium salts

My home
My pillow & my outrageous collection of crystals!

Raw Rose Quartz, from $6, The Hoodwitch

My food
Authentic Italian pizza & French Creme Bruleé

Pizza by Roberta’s, Brooklyn

:: MYSTICAL WORLD ::

My awakening
Morning meditation with affirmations – an absolutely non-negotiable practice.

My sign
Cancerian

My mantra
“Every morning we are born again; it’s what we do today that matters most.”

My healer
I’ve most definitely had more than one in this lifetime. At the moment it’s Francesca Zampi.

My reading
Abraham Hicks, Paulo Coelho & Timber Hawkeye

My transformation
I’m still trying to break the cocoon open, but at least I can feel my wings.

My mission
This lifetime? To realize my secret powers and help others find theirs…

White Chakra shirt, $70

EMBRACE YOUR DESIRES: READING FOR THE FULL MOON IN LEO

Use the fiery energy of the lion to honor yourself and your unique desires. The universe is working with you during this Full Moon in Leo, says Hannah Ariel.

“There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe…The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation. And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” – Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

A Full Moon in Leo is no silent breeze. It roars its message loud and clear. It commands our attention. It compels us to listen. It draws out our passion like no other Full Moon can. No matter what stage of the game you have been at these past two weeks, this Full Moon on January 24th will put you directly in touch with what you personally desire for yourself – desires, you were BORN to feel. With all your heart, you will uncover the truth of what makes you happy – and you will make it your mission to connect with that source of happiness. 

Leo is a fixed fire sign ruled by the blazing sun. In all its glory, it knows what lights it up without exception. This energy doesn’t ask for permission, doesn’t ask, “is this right or wrong” – makes no apologies for its intensity. Coming straight from the heart, Leo simply fixates its burning desire, outshines all doubts, and taps straight into an intuitive stream of understanding. A Full Moon in Leo never lacks in confidence so be confident – whatever is shaking you up, whatever shocks you, stops you in your tracks, leaves you with the biggest smile on your face, or whoever you’re being enlivened by this week is the Universe conspiring to ultimately nourish your happiness and get you to your destiny through divine inspiration.

When the Moon was new in Capricorn we were being asked to step up, define where we honestly see ourselves going in life, and put in the work. Do you feel yourself passionately aligned with excitement? You’ve seen the future, you’ve set your goals, but are you happy? Is your heart on fire? Do you jump out of bed in the morning? Are you in the right place with the right people for you? This Full Moon in Leo may very well be a celebration of knowing and loving where you stand! There will be no shying away from the truth your emotions will reveal. On the other hand, if your heart just isn’t in it any more, you will feel this moon strongly. You will know what needs changing and so will the Universe!

As the Sun will be in innovative Aquarius, the 11th star sign, the “11th hour” where anything goes, don’t be too surprised if you find the cosmos responds by presenting you with another option – one that deviates from conventions you subscribed to when the Sun was in Capricorn. No matter how unusual it may appear to be, Aquarius wants to upgrade and liberate you from any paradigm you subscribe to that’s getting in the way of your lust for life. Aquarian energy helps us experience our pure humanity – our ability act like the wind on a clear day, ever open to change. Aquarius works as the idealist always with its sights set on a new solution. Reality can take on a fresh new tone at this time.

Mercury will have just gone direct and will conjunct Pluto once again in Capricorn, getting us straight to the point of what could be getting the in way. We can expect to revisit thoughts we have perhaps subconsciously aligned ourselves with the past few weeks – the ones that keep us in the shadow of fear-based inaction. Refer back to the initial conjunction that took place December 18th/19th as it will clue you in to the depth of what you’ve been experiencing beneath the surface. This retrograde has revealed crucial lessons in learning how to let go of what is keeping you from moving toward your destiny with dignity and without worry that we are making the wrong choice or saying the wrong thing.

Honor yourself as an individual – a human being with real desires, and willing to break free from anything that keeps you from fulfilling them. This Full Moon in Leo brings a creative drive that can blast through any stagnation. Leo wants your personal happiness to shine. It will illuminate and encourage you to do exactly what you need to do and say what you need to say, as Leo is your courage. Leave the fear behind. You will have all the answers you need about yourself and what you need to connect more passionately with. If there’s anything you’re not happy with trust that the light of the sun will give you the energy you need to break out where you’ve been stuck.

Even if the actions you have to take initially appear to disrupt what has come before, repeat proudly: “I can’t wait to see what good will come of this.” So long as you are truly following your heart’s lead, everything that occurs will be happening to help you achieve what the Universe knows you need; to realize your destiny; to be happy. It may feel like you’ve just pulled the Tower card in the tarot, but at least there’s nothing to be confused about now! Be humbled by your desires – realize their potency, their truth. You’ve got the power to blaze your way forward.

To book a personal reading with Hannah Ariel email: [email protected]