Carolynne Cantila: Your wellness can be a gift to others
Carolynne Cantila is a yoga teacher in Los Angeles. She completed her training last year and jumped right into pursuing a life of wellness and helping others do the same. We met her through Instagram and were drawn to her bright spirit, positivity and holistic lifestyle. It was a pleasure to talk with her about how she makes wellness a priority in her life.
Hi Cary, it’s great to talk with you. Can you introduce yourself to the Setu community?
My name is Carolyn Cantilla, Cary Day for short. I’ve been practicing yoga for seven to eight years and realized I should be a yoga teacher about a year ago. I did my 500 hour training at Yoga Works. I love teaching. I never thought I’d be a yoga teacher. I was into art and realized I had a big passion for yoga. Last year when my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia, yoga helped me get out of a rut. Learning about the philosophy of yoga and practicing yoga daily helped lift any kind of depression I had. It kept me going. I’m dedicated to yoga because it makes me feel so good.
I teach at a couple of studios in the valley and one in L.A. I love helping my students. It always makes me feel good to hear a student after class say ‘I feel so much better, thank you for helping me, thank you for healing me.’ That is one of the best feelings.
I know you have your blog as well. When did you start that?
I started that a few months ago, as well as my website, just to put myself out there. I can be quite shy but I know if I want to heal people, I gotta get myself out there a little bit and share my knowledge. I’m really into holistic healing, healthy foods. I come up with different recipes. One of the latest recipes up on my blog is a lavender hot cocoa. It’s really good for immunity and de-stressing yourself. I’m really all about healing food to heal your body.
I just finished a beauty detox workshop. It was half detoxifying yoga and in the second half I made smoothies, homemade masks, and body scrubs for everyone. I want to help people learn healthy alternatives to beauty and food. I’ve noticed eating healthier and being a vegetarian really helps with my energy levels and skin. Overall I feel better from a combination of practicing yoga, eating holistic foods, and being more conscious about what I’m putting on my skin.
I love that everything is connected. Like taking care of yourself and taking stock of everything. You mention your skin, your mental health and physical health. How do you encourage students to think about all sides of the picture?
With my classes, I like to do a balance between a flow and restoration – being meditative. With that kind of practice for me personally, I connect more with myself. In the first half, I’m pushing myself thinking, ‘I didn’t know I could do these poses.’ When I break a wall, I feel like I have a breakthrough in my head.
It’s connecting. You think, ‘physically I can’t do this, it’s way too hard.’ When you realize you can actually do it, that breaks through your mental walls as well. Connecting those two is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Towards the end of my classes, I like to go more deep within. I like to do more meditating, I keep it cool, do restorative poses. There’s a balance between everything, mind body and soul.
Thinking about that practice and all the things you do, what is your ideal environment for yoga? Or the one that you love the most?
I love practicing in nature – connecting to yourself and disconnecting from any kind of electronics, like your phone.
I also love hot yoga and am a hot yoga teacher. Hot yoga has its benefits in detoxifying the body more. You sweat a lot, sweating out what you don’t need. It feels like purifying the body, getting rid of every gunk or toxin, rejuvenating yourself for the next day or taking out any excess negative energy that isn’t needed. I like to go to hot yoga studios for that extra detoxification.
Do you have any current mantras? Or maybe you have some you’ve held onto over the years.
Being an Aquarius, a Gemini ascendant and Aries moon, I’m kinda all over the place. I can be very ungrounded at times and it’s important for me to practice meditation. One of the mantras that always comes back to me is ‘be present in the moment.’ Sometimes I’ll be in one place but my mind is going this way, it’s racing over here and over there. But coming back to myself, staying in the present moment, letting go of any thoughts and coming to my senses helps me time and time again.
Who are five teachers you recommend the Setu community take class from?
Thank you Cary! We’re happy to have you on the Setu blog.