VOZWoman is proud to feature contemporary yogi, wellness expert, and purveyor of wisdom Lindsey Calla.
Calla started her career in the fashion department of Cosmopolitan Magazine and was was one of the first bloggers to cross over into television and traditional media. But the dream life in the city that never sleeps is actually quite demanding, and after eight years, Calla decided to step back from the fashion industry and focus on yoga.
Now she writes a beautiful wellness and travel blog, Calla in Motion, and chronicles her conversations with thought leaders, cultural connectors, wisdom keepers, and creatives around the world in her podcast, Archaeology of the Journey. She has been featured in The New York Times, Better Homes and Gardens, People Style Watch, and Seventeen Magazine.
VOZ met up with Calla for a photoshoot in the desert outside of Santa Fe last month. We asked her about the time she spends in nature, her personal rituals and practices, and her thoughts on the wellness movement as a whole.
How did you cultivate your yoga practice, and how has it shaped your life?
Yoga came late in my movement journey. It was never a practice that I had in my life until my late twenties, right around my Saturn return. When I was living in New York City, my pace was so fast that I feltI didn’t have time for yoga. I didn’t have any kind of spiritual practice and ultimately couldn’t find the balance I needed to thrive with such a busy schedule.
It wasn’t until I restructured my life a bit and left the pace of New York behind that I freed up space in my energy to take in something new. As a way to connect with a new community I started showing up at this beautiful yoga studio in New Orleans. There, I met a teacher who encouraged me to dig deeper into my practice and I fell deeply into Mysore Ashtanga. The moment I memorized the sequence and was forced to connect with my own breath count was when it all clicked for me. I was spending a few hours a day with myself breathing.
It’s that kind of simple catalyst that can reshape an entire viewpoint on life. It cracked me open and brought this beaming light of clarity. I began to fill my time reading ancient texts and connecting with a lineage of sacred thought that has been passed down for generations. The common thread we all struggle with is leading with purpose and finding a balance between passionate energy and inactivity. As a creative person I can sway on the extremes of both sides and it’s always great to have an arsenal of wisdom to draw on when life throws curve balls.
When do you feel most at peace?
Most definitely when I’m aligning or syncing with the rhythms of nature. It’s something I never spent much time prioritizing, but now it sets the foundation for everything. In my photography, nature is a constant. Translating a moment or feeling in nature into something creative is a peaceful process for me. It means I have to pay attention. What’s the light doing? What cycle of the day is best for this moment I want to capture? Some of my favorite moments have come sitting and waiting for sunrise or moving underwater trying to capture a photo in the ocean.
Tell us about a magical moment you’ve experienced in nature.
I was in Hawaii on a hike with a lovely woman who creates flower essences on the islands. We hiked up to a waterfall where she did a ceremony with Ti leaves, singing and calling to the ancestors for rain. On our hike back down, a cloud of misty rain moved in out of nowhere and showered us.
Also in Hawaii, I was connecting with the cultural ambassador for a hotel in Maui and he took me onto a sacred burial ground and began singing. Within seconds, a swarm of birds swooped down and danced in front of us and a few butterflies encircled us. It was one of those moments where I realized everything is linked together in harmony. I feel that these types of experiences happen frequently, but we need to be open and perceptive to see them or feel them. That requires a level of presence that we should be prioritizing in our lives.
"Within seconds, a swarm of birds swooped down and danced in front of us and a few butterflies encircled us. It was one of those moments where I realized everything is linked together in harmony."
Where did you grow up? Tell us about some of the earlier memories in your life that have impacted the path you’ve created for yourself?
I grew up in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia. My early life was spent cultivating the discipline to excel in sports and school. I wish I had found purpose and passion earlier, but I also would never trade the skills that I developed as an athlete. I’m used to practicing regularly to get to a goal, so I know how discipline can lead to growth and that has been helpful while cultivating a physical yoga practice. It was also helpful to me while I was working in entertainment and live television.
Who has been a big influence to you in your life?
In the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to travel and explore the world through a wellness lens. Through these experiences I met some extraordinary people who helped me grow on my own spiritual path.
I started making an effort to document these powerful conversations on audio and launched my podcast, Archeology of the Journey. I was having powerful conversations with remarkable people doing incredible work within different wellness modalities, treatments and transformational stories and I wanted to help give people access to those tools. All of these people have influenced my life in some way, from a farmer helping heal my relationship with food to an ex-NFL player using mindfulness to heal.
What are your thoughts on the current wellness movement at large?
There’s a global shift and awakening happening where people are rediscovering their connection to themselves, to their communities and the earth. This is largely positive, but it has come with some imbalances and exclusivity. I think we need to remember that wellness is not a luxury but a basic right. Healthy food, a better work life balance, prioritizing time with nature….these are things that everyone should have access to, not just those who can afford high-end wellness products and experiences.
Do you have any beauty secrets or rituals you live by?
Beauty rituals work best for me when they are simple and natural. I really simplified my skincare routine so that it focuses on the healing power of plants and ingredient lists that were short and effective. When I better understood my Ayurvedic constitution it helped direct some of my rituals. If I’m feeling really out of whack I’ll go for a Shirodhara treatment to help restore balance to my nervous system. In the winter, now that I’m in a dry climate, a self-massage using warm oil immediately changes my whole outlook on my day. I think it’s about understanding our our specific bodies and minds and then choosing rituals and products from there.
"There’s a global shift and awakening happening where people are rediscovering their connection to themselves, to their communities and to the earth in general."
When do you feel like you’re challenging yourself the most?
I like to always be a beginner at something. New challenges infuse new energy into me and my ego can’t rule the show. I’m a shapeshifter by nature so I’m better at changing than I am continuously executing the same thing, which is a blessing and a curse.
What does it mean to you to be a VOZWOMAN?
It’s such an honor! I admire the skill, strength and lineage of the VOZ weavers . I can feel their energy when I wear a piece. To me, a VOZWOMAN is courageous, creative and determined. When you have a voice, it means you stand for something. There’s strength in that and as women it’s empowering to share what we find unique in the world. It’s our superpower!