An inspiring afternoon with one of our favorite designers (see her work all throughout RYB!) 'creator of beauty' Nora Wendel...
RYB: How and when did yoga become a part of your life?
NW: My dad was an early adopter of Yoga (at least in the western world), we were living in Kathmandu, Nepal as my dad had moved there to study Sanskrit and Philosophy - I can remember my dad waking up early to do his asana and pranayama before he went to his 9-5 job. I remember it so clearly because his yoga room was the turquoise tiled room at the top of the house (with the balcony!) that I wanted as my room. I must have been about 8. I grew up with the knowledge that my dad was a practicing yogi, but I didn’t want anything to do with it till past my early twenties…
RYB: What led you to create HEY YOGI?
NW: Since the glue and glitter days of my childhood, I have always enjoyed art related activities. From studying art at university (film, photography and installation art) to continuing my education in audio engineering afterwards – creativity has always been my thing. It was after I decided to relocate from New Delhi, India (where I had gone to set up a ethical yoga jewelry company – check it out - www.mahamala.com) that I wanted to start something new and exciting. Something which would allow me to continue to travel the world but also settle should I chose – it had to be a culmination of my life and what I had learnt over my years.
I must say it took a while, but when the idea came it was like a blossoming flower. It blossomed after I did a weeklong Gurdjieff dance workshop in Goa, India. (Google him…and his dance form called ‘the work’) – I came up with the idea that I could offer the yoga community any type of media related service (things I had learnt over the years!). I was already doing various bits of design and photography for smaller companies around India and Nepal - why not put the focus on my ever increasing and loving yoga community? HEY YOGI was born.
RYB: What is the vision behind HEY YOGI?
NW: The vision is simple, clear, defined, manifesting - whatever you want to call it. Every yoga teacher, studio, holistic practice or shop needs to advertise in the world we live in today. HEY YOGI is that one stop shop where you can find all the services you might need. Need a new yoga photo for your homepage? Done. A video about your new amazing yoga product? Done. A recording of your lecture to post on your blog? Done.
HEY YOGI is about creating amazing media content for you so that you can SHINE out there in the world – leave it up to us, you can stay on your mat longer!
RYB: What is unique about HEY YOGI'S efforts?
NW: Have you seen any other one - stop shop like HEY YOGI out there? I haven’t!
RYB: What are your dreams for HEY YOGI?
NW: I want HEY YOGI to be the first thing that comes to ones mind when one wants new media material and I want HEY YOGI to be global platform. In order for that to come to fruition I want to be able to work with designers, photographers, videographers all over the world. So no matter where you are based you can connect through HEY YOGI to find what your looking for. The yoga-media service platform! Know someone who want’s to join ;)
RYB: How do you see technology positively influencing ancient practices/traditions, such as yoga?
NW: I am not against technology by any means; my main toolset is technologically based. Saying that I do try and get as much non-screen time as possible - I love what I do, but I also love not being on the computer!
Sometimes I feel like technology shouldn’t interfere with the ancient traditions, but we are a curios bunch of humans and like to probe and find out why all the time. Without technology we wouldn’t know as much about anatomy as we do now - isn’t that helping us with the physical asana for example? But then I question, what really is the essence of yoga? Does it need technology to manifest in oneself and others? Do we really need to know how the mind functions in meditation? Is that helping me in my meditation? My answer is that I don’t feel like technology positively influences the ancient practice as for me yoga is personal. It is your journey to yourself and your stillness and your actions in your community.
RYB: 3 things that currently inspire you:
- My yoga community in Cape Town - my teachers and my students.
- Instagram- it fascinates me to see what everyone is posting. What a crazy community of people!
- Life in general! What can’t fascinate you when you live in gratitude and wonder at how each moment unfolds?
RYB: What is your daily mantra?
NW: Practice gratitude, meditate and be kind to others and oneself. I try and tell myself these things every day.
And I chant one of the variations of the Lakshmi mantra for abundance in my life almost every day. Abundance of friends, laughter, wealth, love and community. Who wouldn’t want more abundance in their life?
RYB: Best advice you would tell your younger self?
NW: Enjoy the days, the moments, as you get older time seems to exponentially fly by. No need to wish you were older when your 12 - 16 or even 18!
RYB: Two of your top travels spots you would recommend to travel and why?
- Nature’s Valley, Western Cape- South Africa - One of the most stunningly beautiful coastal waters I have been to in my travels.
- India- pick a place, pack your bags, be prepared to love it and hate it at the same time. There is no other country like india! It’s an experience you will never forget.
HEY YOGI creations...