Calista was a cancer research scientist before she was guided to found her healing modalities: Angel Healing®, Atlantean Crystal Healing™ and Unicorn Healing™, which she’s been teaching since 2006. Add kundalini yoga and motherhood into the mix, and Calista’s been on a journey that’s brought her back to teach in her childhood hometown in Scotland. Here she is, the lovely Calista/Dharampreet…
How did you get into kundalini yoga, Calista?
Kundalini yoga came into my awareness in 2012. At the time I was living Portland, Maine with a fellow yogi sister. I asked her about the practice after seeing a flyer for it and she said she didn’t like it – too many static arm positions for her! Yet my curiosity was piqued. I had done hatha yoga for a number of years and had trained in Kundalini Reiki, but combining both modalities was something entirely new to me.
During this time, I was travelling and teaching around the States. I was focusing on anything but the pain I was carrying from the loss of my other half leaving months prior. I had also contracted Lyme’s Disease, a bacterial infection that affects the nervous system, and energetically causes sense of disempowerment. I know my inner being guided me to kundalini yoga as a way to heal, and to find my power again.
Coupled with a raw vegan diet, I began my kundalini yoga journey with Maya Fiennes’ DVDs. I became so hooked on the incredible potency of this practice that in 2014 I started my Level 1 teacher training without ever going to a live class!
How has it changed your life?
I owe my health to kundalini yoga, truly. And as easy it is to know something, like the universal truth that our consciousness dictates our health – it’s another thing entirely to exemplify. I had let myself become so entombed with work I had neglected self-care. The naturopath doctor who diagnosed the Lyme’s Disease, upon looking at my tests, said that I shouldn’t be able to walk, let alone travel and teach to the extent that I was. She said I had become unearthed too, which was spot on. I was only living in my higher centres to separate denser shadows within. Kundalini yoga showed me a way to face, hear and reconcile all parts of myself; an embodied way to walk the earth as much as the heavens. It gave me the opportunity to pause. To breathe. To be present. And the means to embrace shadows as much as my inner light, unifying both with a full heart.
Kundalini yoga helped me to open to love again and during my teacher training brought into my midst a beautiful soul who I once dated when I was 17, and someone who had since always remained in my heart. We quickly fell in love and he was so supportive for all those 4.30am sadhanas, even joining in on a few! From there, Kundalini yoga supported me during a 10-day vision quest to mark my transition into motherhood with the birth of my two boys, Rowan (18 months) and Eden (six months).
We now all live in Blairgowrie, Perthshire with our cat, Luna. Perthshire is known as the ‘Heart of Scotland’ due to its location but energetically it feels like the Soul home of Scotland too. I grew up here and returned in 2014 to raise my family. It’s important to me that the boys have a lot of nature around them for mother earth has always been my greatest teacher; my greatest love. Unfortunately – or not, for everything can be a teacher – I aligned to post-natal hypothyroidism and post-natal depression, aspects that I am healing through my current practice.
What does your yoga practice look like now?
Hmm, all depends if the babies have slept through the night! Although I make every effort to get up early for sadhana, I’m often changing nappies meeting poop rather than meeting Me! But that is OK. I don’t beat myself up about it. Becoming a mother and then learning how to be a mother has brought in so much compassion and the reminder that your ‘sadhana’ truly is how you are, how you act… how you vibrate life. Your whole day can be your sadhana if you are in that state of Grace. Wake up: ‘Ong Namo’. Go to bed : ‘Sat Nam’! Yes, it can be challenging to stay in that state of exaltation the entire day but I believe that the more you can appreciate and take yourself lightly, the more you naturally in-lighten. And so I appreciate any opportunity to get on the mat, whether for my personal practice or teaching a class, but equally love the days when all I do is sing mantras or meditate out in nature. All brings me to Infinity.
What’s your favourite kriya?
My favourite yoga set right now is Kriya For Mental Balance. I love the inner organ massage of bow pose, the heart-opening effect of camel pose and the power of all those frogs… still working up to doing 108 with breath of a lion – what a workout! But the main reason why I appreciate this kriya is its teachings on the nature of the mental body.
After having post-natal depression with both boys, I am still on the path to understanding the medicine of this dis-ease. I believe so many mothers align to postpartum depression because they feel they have lost an aspect of who they were before they had children. This certainly resonates with me. Having been a spiritual teacher for so long, travelling the world and feeling so comfortable in my niche, to then be staying at home, acclimatising to becoming a mother with no clue on what it actually meant to be one. It was quite a shock to the system; to the ego!
I often intersperse this kriya with another favourite: Release Premenstrual Tension and Balance your Sexual Energy, which has been supporting me to reclaim my identity, not in the titles I’ve created for myself, and not even as a woman, but further to marry the self into the Greater Self so I can live one with God.
And your favourite meditation?
My go-to meditation at the moment is Meditation for a Calm Heart serenaded by sweet angelic tones of Nirinjan Kaur’s version of Bhaj Man Mere or the soul-awakening Sat Naam Vaheguroo – Raag Sarang by Sidak Kaur Khalsa and Sampuran Kaur. I am just getting into the traditional Indian raags – they are pure divine alchemy for the Soul!
What’s been the most powerful practice you’ve ever done?
I have to say the most powerful consecutive practice I have ever done is reciting the Kundalini Bhakti (Adi Shakti Namo Namo) mantra every day for the duration of Rowan’s pregnancy. As I have shared before, I really had no clue on what it meant to become a mother. I knew I had a lot of ‘stuff’ to clear out through my vision quest and then later ‘buffing’ through my yoga practice, yet nothing prepared me more to tap into my own womanhood, and with it what it meant to be a creative Goddess, than this powerful mantra.
I either sung this mantra in nature, walking near my home at sunrise or in the shower. There is something so intrinsically fluid, intuitive and open about this mantra. It really does reflect the sacred space of a woman. I would stay in the shower for at least 30 minutes singing with all my heart as I attuned to wisdom of the Divine Mother and the beautiful Soul that was growing within me. Even now typing these words, my eyes are welling up remembering those sacred times…those primal times between me and Rowan. Thank you for reminding me of this.
When carrying Eden, I was guided to sing the Chotay Pad mantra (Sat Narayan Wahe Guru, Hari Narayan Sat Nam). What a peaceful power springs through this mantra. I didn’t think too much about why I sung this only that I was fearful of getting post-natal depression again, especially to the degree I had it. While chanting it there was no place for fear, just joy and happiness. It gave me greater faith… it still does. Eden now carries ‘Narayan’ as his middle name and I swear, when I hold him or anyone else for that matter, all we feel is the most exquisite peace. Some days I wish I could enfold myself into his gentleness and just curl up. Gentleness from God, as God he truly is.
Has adopting your spiritual name Dharampreet changed you?
I haven’t completely adopted Dharampreet.
Names have always been a funny thing for me. When I was born, I was given the name Catriona, meaning ‘pure’, yet no-one ever called me Catriona! To my friends, I was Cat and to my mum, I was Kate/Katie.
In 2006, when I left my scientific career to set up as a holistic healer, I encountered the angels and they gave me the name Calista, meaning ‘most beautiful’. As the angels shared, just as Yogi Bhajan did, our names are vibrational – the more we identify in our name, the more its essence permeates our being, merging with the vibration of the nadh and our Divine purpose. From merging with Calista and legally changing my name to this in 2010, I fully truly get this. Interestingly, although the meaning of Dharampreet is one who fearlessly lives in love and harmony on the path of conscious living, I also feel its root core is inspired faith, just what I feel Calista does too. Both support me to live my highest consciousness and bring others along through the radiance of my love.
So will I change my name in the future to Dharampreet? I don’t think so. This has all been a lesson for me to go beyond names and just see myself as God does: nameless… limitless… boundless and always in a state of evolution.
And what are your big loves?
My main passion, other than snuggles with my boys or cracking icy-covered puddles (got to love wintertime!) is connecting to the Divine and the many sparks of creation, from the angels, nature spirits to the earthly crystal devas, bringing through their messages and tools to aid our ascension. My other passions include inspiring others to see how beautiful, how Divine they are, writing… currently writing my first book on working with the unicorns, bathing the boys while singing silly songs to them, hot chai tea and of course, kundalini yoga. 🙂
Fave quote? ‘Dream deep for stars lie within your Soul’
You in a Tweet… Jackess…some days, Jackass of all trades, Master of just Me!
Book? Life And Teaching Of The Masters Of The Far East by Baird T. Spalding
Place? Cairngorms Mountains, Scotland – in the raw wilderness of bonnie Alba
Teacher? Hari Har Ji, my beloved kundalini yoga teacher
Kundalini yoga song? Sat Narayan by Siri Sadhana Kaur
Breakfast? Boiled egg and soldiers… such a kid!