Q&A KORI HAHN Author of Rituals of the Soul

Is your life a wild exploration, or does it feel mundane and lack excitement? Is the life you are living based on logical reason and society’s expectations, or are you doing exactly what makes your heart beat a little faster with passion and enthusiasm? If you listened more intently to what your heart wants, what would you be doing? What are your dreams, and why aren’t you living them at the moment?

These are the questions that author Kori Hahn poses in the introduction to Rituals of the Soul: Using the 8 Ancient Principles of Yoga to Create a Modern & Meaningful Life. She dedicates the rest of the book to showing readers how the eight ancient steps of yoga can help them answer them. We hope you’ll enjoy this Q & A with Kori about the book.

Tell us about your book Rituals of the Soul and what inspired you to write it.

I spent many years doing a regular asana and meditation practice, which of course made me feel a little better each day, but I eventually realized I had no idea how to use yoga as a whole, comprehensive, spiritual system, even after twenty years of practicing and teaching.

When I started creating and practicing specific rituals to more fully integrate my yoga practice, the results and benefits started coming with more ease. Instead of being militaristic about my practice, I started tuning into my soul. The intention of my yoga process was to listen for what my soul wanted and to use its techniques to walk towards those goals a little bit each day. When I started manifesting big bold dreams, I realized I was really onto something special.

In Rituals of the Soul, I explain each of the 8 yogic principles and explore how the big picture of yoga and small, personalized rituals can help us to integrate those principles in our daily lives. While yoga is ultimately about showing us how to manifest freedom from mental anguish and soul-liberation (the yogis call this Samadhi), I have also discovered that I can use the system to manifest earthly dreams as well — like world class surf trips, building and growing my own business, and living a an unorthodox life being spiritual and surfy in Sri Lanka!

You say in the book that intuition is our way of perceiving the world through the lens of our soul. Tell us more about that please.

I believe intuitive messages are subtle whispers sent from the deepest part of our subconscious. These ethereal messages emanate from your soul and are directly guiding you to realize and live your soul’s purpose for you.

When we rely less on the logical, societal norm voice of the thinking mind that tells us what we “should do” and learn how to listen to the calm voice of our soul, we empower ourselves to make the choices we need to heal, find our worth, and to eventually connect to our own God/dess (our soul) living within. Unfortunately, many of us get lost in our pains, discomforts and insecurities and are unable to discern our soul’s chosen path as a result. It is our intuition that brings us closer to ourselves and what we want need for our unique human experience.

You say in the introduction that your book will teach readers how to use yoga to connect with and start acting on their intuition. How so?

Rituals of the Soul teaches readers how to live more intuitively. I teach the reader how to first use yoga to listen to their intuition and then to start acting on it. Yoga is intended to be used as a way of tapping into the God within you. It helps you hear “the words of God” (aka your intuition). Our intuition is how our internal guidance ultimately takes us to the passions and projects, which will ultimately give our lives purpose and meaning.

Your book empowers readers to create their own personalized set of rituals. Why is this important?

Yoga is not meant to only be practiced on a yoga mat. It is meant to help us with the real struggles in our everyday lives! When I stopped practicing yoga so hyper-vigilantly on the mat, I learned to move my yoga practices into my daily life off the mat more often — while cleaning my toilets, sitting in traffic, etc. I started meditating (counting my breath) when I had a spare moment throughout my day and not always as a super structured item on my to do list. As a single mom and an entrepreneur, who is always passionate and excited about some sort of new creative project, I needed yoga to fit into my life not just from 7-9 am, but in all the in-between moments as well.

That is why rituals work so well. They train us to habitually do things differently and are ultimately a reminder of the intention we are working towards. It's not really about the practice, but about the purpose behind them, or our reason for doing them. Rituals keep us motivated and inspired and moving in the right direction. When your rituals are frequently repeated, that consistency can be even more powerful than doing one long practice each day.

What is the most important thing that someone who wants to create a set of rituals needs to know?

Start small so you can do them consistently with ease. Let one small ritual come and see for yourself how it starts saturating all of your life. Then add one or two as your capacity for them grows. If you want to learn to meditate, start by taking ten breaths at a time here and there. You don't need to sit for one hour in the beginning, although you can. Let it be easy and be compassionate with yourself. Do ten breaths when you first wake up in the morning, and then again when waiting in the carpool line, and ten more while taking a shower, and you will have started a new habit of checking in mindfully into the present moment and not just while sitting in a quintessential yogi posture.

Kori Hahn is the author of Rituals of the Soul and founder of a community gathering place called the Santosha Society, which is dedicated to travel, surfing, and the soulful. She hosts numerous trips around the world for hundreds of women who study Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, and all things related to soul growth, knowledge, and fulfillment. Visit her online at www.SantoshaSociety.com.

Excerpted from the book from Rituals of the Soul. Copyright ©2021 by Kori Hahn. Printed with permission from New World Library.