27 Things are short interviews conducted with inspiring humans that explore the connection between their art and health, wellness and design, creativity and spirituality. Part Proust-questionnaire, part-personality quiz and an overall inspiring to get to know and share stories behind some of the people I love and admire.
Why 27? There are so many reasons why I love this number. Not only is it a mystical number filled with wonderful meanings and associations, it’s also the date of my birthday.
I’ve known Leah Kinsella for a long time. We met as teenagers in California where we both attended the same high school. As a 16 year old, she was a fierce equestrienne with strong Irish roots, armed with a broad smile and a big laugh. Surviving our adolescent years together bonded us, and our paths would cross again years later. By then in our thirties, she had become deeply immersed in pilates, yoga and meditation and made this her primary focus, earning her certification with Rod Stryker, and studying with some of the best teachers in the field including Sally Kempton, Jack Kornfield, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Never far from the ocean, she lives an enviable lifestyle in Miami — steps away from the beach, surrounded by palm trees and colorful art deco buildings, rising early in the morning to teach at Polestar Pilates and The Standard Miami Beach and leading retreats both at home and abroad this Summer in her native Ireland.
Leah practices what she teaches. She is at once both a gentle soul and a genuine warrior. Her journey to wellness is inspiring, and she continues to move — guiding others with a fierce devotion, and evolving herself through her work, and having a great deal of fun along the way.
What’s your astrological sign?
What is your current state?
What made you start and when did you decide to do what you’re doing now?
I was 28 and working at a real estate office. A good friend said, “Leah why don’t you do what you love? You’ve been going to yoga every day for 8 years. Do that.” So, I started the journey and have not looked back.
How would you describe your work?
My work is an extension of my life. I teach people how to connect their body, mind and energy. I help people have more awareness and self love.
What’s your connection to creativity?
I rarely teach the same class twice in a row. Creativity is akin to choices for me. To be creative is an opportunity to utilize the various tool that I have in my tool kit and interchange them in various ways under various conditions. It makes my life and practice more interesting.
How do you choose what projects to work on and who to work with?
Does it make sense? Is it good? Are they (the other people) contributing to the greater good. Can I use this platform to grow with them.
How do you measure success?
It’s a feeling. If I measured it by the things that I get done, I’m always going to chase the never ending cavaran of success. However, when I stop and feel proud of myself for my choices and look around at what I have, I feel successful.
Who is your favorite artist?
What do you believe in?
Myself and my connection to a divine source that is bigger than me.
Do you have any rituals? What are they?
Tons! I meditate and do a short asana practice daily. I light candles and sing. I play my sound bowls. In the morning I write down 3 things that I am grateful for.
What is your spirit or totem animal?
According to this quiz, I am a Wolf!
How do you keep yourself healthy?
Meditation. Self love. Noticing when I am in a rut and being kind to myself. Surrounding myself with loving kind people. Body talk sessions. Dance. Ocean. Nature.
What does wellness mean to you?
It’s a realization that our mind, body and spirit are interconnected. What we think about and eat have a direct effect on our physical body. Wellness is expanding our definition with our life’s needs.
How do you get inspired?
I look around me. I listen. I have patience. I travel.
How do you give back?
I donate money. I offer free meditation classes with a local group.
What do you want to leave behind?
A source for women to love themselves.
Which words or phrases do you use the most?
Cool! Great! I’m happy for you. Sorry to hear that. Are you ok. That’s fun.
What is your motto or favourite saying?
“She believed she could; So She did”
What does your ideal day look like?
Up early. Meditation. Time in Nature. Creative time on projects. Work out.
Are you a morning lark, a night owl or a hummingbird?
A morning lark.
What is your next adventure?
Sedona in mid-March to teach at the Sedona Yoga Festival.
What foods (& drinks) do you like to enjoy the most?
What is your favorite symbol?
What is your biggest indulgence?
My vanity. Nails, hair, skin.
What is your greatest fear?
Being stuck in the same place, mentality, and routine forever.
Finish this sentence: Wisdom is….
Learning and growing from experience
Find out more about Leah’s work:
Follow her @leahkinsellameditation
Images by Christelle Eloi @eloiphotography