After twenty-years in the fashion industry that included styling Lauryn Hill for her "Miseducation" tour, PR for Gucci and the co-founder of the No.6 Store in New York City, Morgan Yakus found her true calling as a wellness expert.
Originally from the East coast, Morgan is now based between New York and Los Angeles and working with clients - of which many are in fashion and other creative industries - around the world through retreats or via Skype. She specializes in facilitating active meditation, modern integrative hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and past life regression. Read on to learn more about her rituals, tools for balance and cultivating a sense of female empowered through open communications channels and shared space.
Inside/Out: Introduce yourself.
Morgan Yakus: Woman, recovering fashionista, hypnotist, NLP wellness expert and so much more.
I/O: What would you like to share from your past in regard to being a woman, your upbringing, your profession, your practice?
M.Y.: Every moment has lead me to now. I have learned to enjoy the journey and be okay with the unexpected.
I/O: What are you working on now? And dreams for the future?
M.Y.: I work with clients through one-on-one sessions either in person or around the world via Skype. I also teach a lot of group workshops. I also have a collaboration with a friend called UNLIMITED through which we are creating immersive hypnotic sound experiences and designing this active audio meditation record. I enjoy working on a different things at once, it keeps me engaged and on my toes.
In the future, I am dreaming of bigger creative projects to reach more people, such as public art projects; collaborations with other artist and practitioners on retreats around the world; and empowering creative companies. I enjoy teaching groups and individuals take-away tools to help them in their everyday lives.
I/O: What percentage of your clients are women? What are your thoughts on female empowerment?
M.Y.: 80% of my clients are women. Overall, I am working to help as many women and men as I can through sharing tools. When people feel empowered, balanced, confident and start to dissolve the blocks that have held them back from their potential, they can create positive futures for themselves in both mind and body. I believe that as women we can come together even more and support each other. One way is by openly talking about what we have and are experiencing as women. How we can manifest dreams with the support of each other. I find in my group workshops when women share and connect, it shifts for everyone in the group, through the knowledge that they are not alone in their experiences. When you feel in balance, the world looks and feels different.
I/O: How do you strive to improve harmony in your life?
M.Y.: Walks, self care, herbs, oils, friends, travel, visiting the ocean, eating on a regular schedule.
I/O: What experts do you admire? Who are your teachers?
M.Y.: My teachers are friends, including accomplished and amazing older women, family and people I meet on a daily basis. I feel as if life is always teaching us, I admire anyone who moves through the world with authenticity. My friends, mentors and teachers got me where I am today.
I/O: What does your community look like?
M.Y.: Open, diverse and creative.
I/O: Tell us about your challenges and obstacles, past or present.
M.Y.: Fully experiencing this new chapter in unconditionally helping people as well as being able to meet my own needs. Knowing that I am more than who I am in this moment and that anything is possible.
I/O: What particular challenges do you find women are facing? Is this particular to NY/LA or more of a global issue? How can this be improved?
M.Y.: Both women and men seem to have similar issues with fear, blocks, stress, self-policing, body issues, trauma and sexual abuse, self love, relationships. I think it is a global issue because we now know through scientific studies that these states can be passed down through generations; they are not only learned but in the DNA. Clients are seeking the opposite, which is to feel balance, love, calm mind and a sense of connection to themselves and others.
How this can be improved is not a quick answer for me. I think there are so many ways to improve how we move through the world with our issues. One answer would be to know you are not your past, to begin to imagine positive outcomes individually, collectively and to be kind with each other. Talk to yourself in a positive way as if you would talk to a friend, partner or family member. Even smiling at a stranger and or starting one small conversation a day in your travels. This can get those positive chemicals flowing as well as create a connection.
I/O: A mantra, tagline or motto.
M.Y.: Be here now.
I/O: What does your community consist of? Do you feel part of a tribe? Or more of a leader?
M.Y.: I have many different communities, as I love having different kinds of connections.
When I teach classes, perhaps I have to be a leader. I try to create a space so that people can feel as if they are leading themselves to where they need to be.
I/O: You are caregiver and strength builder for so many people. So tell us, who takes care of you? Who or what makes you stronger?
M.Y.: Friends that listen and or create space for fun and deep connection as well as healers that help me to recharge.
I/O: Three words to describe you, what you do and what you stand for.
M.Y.: Support, Beauty and Change
I/O: What role does music play in your life? Do you have a playlist to share? Or a ‘power’ song? M.Y.: I am actually pretty old school and still listen to Pandora, I have a hundred stations on random. I choose music by my mood; a power song for the car could be different than one I would be listening to in the am while starting my day. It’s always changing!
I/O: Tell us about your rituals. How important are these to you?
M.Y.: Seasonal foods, herbs and activities. Walking, swimming, sun worshiping, farmers’ markets, floating in saltwater, acupuncture, laughing, and road trips. So important!!!
I/O: Do you ever ‘fall off the wellness wagon’?
M.Y.: Yes! I can sometimes eat too much sugar. That might only be a tofu pie or a vegan cookie...But the more balanced I am, the more things like sugar, alcohol and lack of sleep can throw me off.
I/O: What role does travel play in your life? Where have you been and what’s next?
M.Y.: Travel is so important, it helps me to create new perspectives, recharge and feel inspired. I have traveled across the U.S. twice, Europe and in my late twenties I spent a year in Asia and Australia.
Next, I will be in Mallorca, Spain in July for a retreat with Guru Jagat and the Rama Institute.
I/O: What websites, books, podcasts or other tools would you recommend to our community?
M.Y.: I have been reading a book called Crucial Conversations that tells you how to talk with anyone anywhere. This is empowering for everyone: if we can talk to each other while also understanding the other person we can create better outcomes. I have also been listening to Moby’s free meditation and sleep recording. It’s hours of relaxing music that feels good. (Editor’s note: Moby’s 4-hour Long Ambients1. Calm. Sleep. is available here to stream or download).
I also recommend this self meditation technique that I designed to shift a state of being or manifest the outcomes you desire.
Another great book to purchase is Invincible Living by Guru Jagat, one of my teachers and friends. She provides great, simple tips from food, meditation, yoga and other areas of life.
I/O: What would you recommend for people without the means or geographical access to prestigious materials, products and practitioners?
M.Y.: Writing three pages or ten minutes in the am is always a great tool to create a shift in the mind and body.