EXPLORING YOUR FEMININITY
She offers retreats in Six Senses resorts throughout the world. She teaches yoga and meditation abroad. She’s also known for Intimi Yoga, a school of yoga dedicated to women’s health with an emphasis on intimacy and sensuality within a framework of openness, emotional safety and trust. A conversation with Sandra Laznik, a luminous, courageous woman who isn’t afraid of doing things differently.
With your Intimi Yoga project, you explore the worlds of women’s health, yoga and sensuality. How are these three spheres related?
Imagine that you have the healthiest body in the world. You drink several glasses of celery juice every day, you sleep well, but nevertheless, you still aren’t happy. Most of the women I work with are obsessed with “health.” However, many neglect or ignore the sensual dimension of the term and concept. I’ve met hundreds of women who, on the outside, look like (and are) true heroines but who, on the inside, are deadened. I think what they lack is this deeper connection with themselves, with the most intimate parts of their bodies and, therefore, their lives. That’s why I put so much emphasis on sensuality and well-being in my work.
You guide women in their effort to reconnect with themselves with trust, knowledge and sensuality. When did you start providing this guidance, and what draws you to this practice?
I quietly built sensuality into my lifestyle when I realized I was trying to silence or conceal what are commonly called “feminine” qualities (sweetness, kindness, letting go), thinking that only strength would enable me to reach my goals. But that’s wrong. And if you have a male life partner (who often has more “masculine” qualities), you end up understanding that he doesn’t want to be with “another man.” He admires you for your feminine qualities, among other things. This practice is wonderful because it gives you the feeling of being at the spa and that most of your gestures and movements can easily be done in bed.
Comfort is very important here so that you can take long, deep breaths without straining your tendons trying to show you master a particular yoga pose on Instagram. This involves closing your eyes and opening your inner eyes, stretching your mind and drawing your in-breaths into the depths of your belly. Do you see what I mean? I want you to feel everything there is to feel inside yourself, and not to turn away from it. The only way to meditate and do yoga is to accept diving into and exploring yourself. And you can’t explore without delving into yourself from A to Z, without taking the time to feel and experience things. My advice is to reconnect with yourself: don’t compare yourself to others (hello, social networks!), stop avoiding and ignoring yourself, make a ritual of going to the spa and do more yoga.
Can you describe your background and how you became interested in women’s health?
I’m a certified teacher of physical education and yoga, a group facilitator of the Taoist and tantric arts and a nomadic practitioner of wellness in hotels, resorts and the most famous spas in the world (Six Senses, Soneva, St. Regis), where I offer personalized massages and private sessions. I am a woman, and I’ve always selfishly wanted to maintain a high level of happiness. I just decided to take care of my health one practice at a time rather than one pill at a time. I fully support medicine, but I think that many things can be done before you have to turn to medication, for example.
In your work, do you face certain myths about the status of women in our modern societies? If so, do you try to debunk them?
Certainly. I hear many things, such as being feminine is being weak, aging is sad, pleasure is dirty or sensuality should be hidden. I’ve dedicated my life to changing mindsets. My mission is to take care of women’s health, one enjoyable practice at a time.
In everyday life, what inspires you to create?
As a yoga master once said, there are only two ways to live: as a victim or a victor. So, every day, I simply decide that I will lead a winning life, and this affirmation immediately sparks my little daily creative fire. Also, the inevitability of my death makes me say to myself, “Why not lead a fun, full, creative, joyful life with the power of grace, dignity and victory?”
How do you think the manifestations of feminine grace, dignity and victory can have a real impact on the lives of women in 2019?
I’ll be poetic here and let Muriel Rukeyser answer for me so you can create your own picture of this influence: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.”