Rewind to over a year before the pandemic. My sister Lana Vogestad mentioned that she was well on her way to creating an immersive online yoga and meditation platform, which would be heavily influenced by her love of art and most importantly her genuine passion for wanting to help others. Living in southern Maine, she was able to team up with the incredibly talented videographer Brett Wiese Saunders, and the end result, Yndi Yoga, is a deeply engaging yoga and meditation experience that offers us a much needed escape. With landscapes and soundscapes that transport us to beautiful places, she reminds us to breathe. Something we all need to do a little more of today.
SSP: Can you tell us about how your life as an artist, yogi and teacher led you to the creation of YNDI?
Yoga and art have been at the center of my life for over twenty years, and even though they have always influenced each other, YNDI has been the ultimate culmination of it all. It’s been so fulfilling to bring it all together and explore dissolving the boundary between yoga and art.
The more you practice yoga, the more you notice how it impacts your life outside of the actual physical practice. It inevitably affects all areas of your life and how you connect to the world around you. It affects your relationships with others and with yourself, and teaches you many invaluable skills to improve your wellbeing. Yoga elevates consciousness, and art has the power to do that as well, and thus they both expand your horizon and introduce you to new territory to be experienced.
For many years, I've been creating experiential art to take the viewer into the present moment using visuals, sound and a minimal aesthetic. Directly influenced by my own yoga practice, the work invites you to relish the present moment, stripping away distraction, just like a focused yoga or meditation practice. My teaching has been influenced by my art as well, taking what I’ve learned about valuing the importance of authenticity, making deliberate decisions with the actual led practice, the physical space and the sound, so it all enhances a healing and transformational experience for practitioners. YNDI is an all-encompassing multi-sensory experience with diverse powerful yoga classes and meditation with stunning cinematography and custom composed soundscapes, to connect you to something bigger.
SSP: What kinds of classes can one find on YNDI, and are they appropriate for beginners as well as experienced folks? What about people with physical limitations?
All of the YNDI experiences are accessible, powerful and transformational. There’s a diverse selection of yoga classes rooted in different disciplines, including therapeutic Hot Yoga, express classes when you’re short on time, and classes tailored for newer students, students with injuries or just looking for a slower paced practice, in addition to a great selection of challenging classes for more seasoned practitioners. A Fundamental tutorial is available as well with in-depth alignment instruction covering the key postures and how to modify them, which can be integrated into any of the yoga classes. On YNDI Yoga there’s also guided meditations including Yoga Nidra, which is a magical yogic sleep for deep rest. As an YNDI member has shared, “YNDI is just as beautiful to watch as the practice is to follow”, and the custom soundscapes by Dj. Inc in Atlanta and Mikael Lind in Iceland perfectly compliment each experience.
SSP: I understand you also offer live YNDI classes? What kind of classes are these and how often are they held?
Even though it’s virtual, the livestream classes are a great opportunity to feel community and we have members from around the world who join, so it’s really fun.
I teach an hour livestream yoga class every Thursday at noon and also offer special livestream events collaborating with composers and musicians, including our amazing YNDI DJ in Atlanta, Dj.Inc, who spins live from his turntables while I teach. It’s also been fun to lead family yoga livestream and have my niece Amaya, a former patient of South Slope Pediatrics, assist me from NY!
SSP: The visuals and landscapes featured in your classes are breathtaking. Can you tell us more about how the cinematography and environments we are transported to in class adds value to the experience?
We’ve created a world that people can retreat to from the comfort of their home and travel through beautiful landscapes and soundscapes to connect with more peace. The visuals and sound all work together in enhancing a truly transformational experience during a powerful yoga practice or guided meditation. The cinematography is stunning with beautiful imagery that eliminates distraction and contributes to a profound awakening experience. The filmmaker I’ve been working with, Brett Wiese Saunders, is an award winning documentary filmmaker and has such an innate artistic sensibility infusing magic into each video. The cinematography and environments are a tremendous part of the YNDI experience.
SSP: This pandemic has taken an incredible toll on parents' wellness, specifically for parents of young ones. How does your platform help address those of us trying to finally prioritize our health in 2021, and offer flexibility at the same time?
This has been such a challenging time for parents, so first off, parents need to pat themselves on the back at the end of the day for simply surviving. It’s impossible to get everything done and I know this having a six year old myself. Yoga and meditation have helped me enormously during this time! If you can give yourself just a few minutes in the day to simply be with yourself, your breath and turn the chatter of your mind off, you end up giving yourself so much more time and feel revitalized. YNDI is a unique platform with how it’s multi-sensory with captivating music, beautiful cinematography and professionally recorded voiceovers with clear instruction. YNDI offers short 5 minute meditations to 90 minute transformative yoga practices. There are different length classes to suit your schedule. For example, a busy parent can set their alarm just a little bit earlier, roll right out of bed and fit in a fulfilling practice in as little as 40 minutes before the day starts. YNDI makes it easy, you just need to press play and you’ll be engaged. It’s amazing how focusing on your breath and connecting with your body can improve your mental state. Petty worries dissolve and positivity grows. You’re more present and happy which you deserve as well as your loved ones.
For more information, go to www.yndiyoga.com,