Ayah Norris is a healer, meditation teacher, Move Light pro and the literal definition of someone with a smile that could light up a room. When she's not leading a class at the studio, catch her for a one-on-one at-home Reiki healing session or during her upcoming Art of Meditation workshop, beginning April 3rd.
What was your path to finding yoga / what drew you to the practice?
I took a few classes while I was in business school and started a regular yoga practice while working my first corporate job… turns out life in the ‘real world’ was stressful! While I turned to yoga mainly for stress release, the practice quickly took me down the rabbit hole of meditation, mindfulness, eastern philosophy, spirituality and holistic healing. Yoga was my refuge while I climbed in my sales + marketing career. I eventually made the leap out of that career to study and practice healing, and took my yoga teacher training mainly to evolve my personal practice and stay strong and grounded for my healing work. I was resolved I didn’t have plans to teach… until I taught my first demo class for my fellow teacher trainees. The teaching flow came easy, I loved it, and everyone was adamant I needed to teach, so here I am!
Typical day in the life?
I teach and see my healing clients into the evenings most work days, so am lucky to have slow and easy mornings to myself. I’ll take my pup Otis for a stroll, sit for meditation and have a nice nourishing breakfast and tea before catching up on emails and messages. My days and evenings usually include a mix of teaching yoga + meditation in studios and corporate offices, working 1:1 with my healing clients at my home studio, and writing and prep for my workshops in between. Depending on what my intuition calls me most to, I’ll squeeze in a mix of yoga, catching up with friends, writing, reading or Netflix (just watched Russian Doll and am obsessed!), and always some energy clearing practices, reading, and self-healing before I drift into dream-land.
How do you manage a work / life balance working for yourself?
It’s an evolving practice, but I’m learning boundaries are a blessing! I try to be really intentional and diligent where and how I give my energy. My work requires such a deep level of care for and attention to others, and I need to make sure my cup is full to give. I listen closely to my body and watch my state of mind. One of the perks of my life is the freedom and flexibility, so if I need an afternoon nap or yoga or meditation session between clients and classes to reset, I’ll take it. I plan out my weeks and set deadlines for myself on the content I share, and often head to a cafe to write without the distractions of being at home. I’ve always had a strong work ethic (business school and corporate life taught me how to juggle many balls without dropping any!), so I remind myself that even if I take some extra time off for myself one day, I will always figure out a way to get everything done.
Favourite post-practice snack spot?
Hello 123 is my go-to in the neighbourhood, and I can’t stroll through Kensington without a treat from Sweet Hart Kitchen!
Your current read?
Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita by Ram Dass. I’ve read a few of Ram Dass’ books now, and each one seems to find me at a synchronistic time. His stories and wisdom truly light up my mind, heart and soul, and I’m loving this deep dive into one of yoga’s most sacred texts.
You're hosting a 4 part Art of Meditation workshop series beginning April 3rd. Can you tell us a little bit about this?
Super pumped to share this! I’ve had a daily meditation practice for almost five years now, and it’s one of my most sacred practices for healing, self-reflection, intuitive connection, and staying grounded in a calm and clear state of being. This series will share some of my favourite practices learned over the years from teachers and traditions across the globe. There are four parts, each devoted to an aspect of our wellbeing – mind, body, heart and spirit. In each session, we’ll dive into how meditation helps heal, harmonize and deepen your connection to that area of yourself. We’ll explore connections between ancient theory and modern life, practice a diverse range of meditations together, and share space for inspired discussion. It’s open and accessible to all, whether you’re just dipping your toes into a meditation practice, or are looking to deepen an existing one.
Anything else movement / mindfulness related that's currently getting you excited?
I took a couple of Katonah classes when I was in NYC recently, and love how much wisdom and insight is weaved into the practice. I’m loving diving deeper into Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine, particularly related to our energy channels and what thoughts and emotions are held in which parts of the body. And the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita are rich sources of knowledge I turn to again and again, always finding a new layer of resonance as I deepen in my yoga practice.
Photos by Sincerely Image.