We caught up with artist, creative and yogi, Yamuna Devi (birth name Yasmin El-Saie) and her adorable influencer dog Chilliwawa to find out what a typical working day looks like for them in lockdown and what Yamuna loves most about her job.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up every morning to my influencer pooch Chilliwawa curled up at my feet. I then prepare a smoothie and get dressed to go on a dog walk around my neighbourhood. It's then time for my spiritual practice. I sit in front of my altar and sink into a sweetheart meditation, which then flows into an hour or so of hatha yoga practise. After my morning session, I take a shower and put on some fresh yoga clothes.
Depending on the day I have an eclectic mix of plans. As an Instagram influencer, I am always creating fun content with my pup. I start setting up for a photo shoot with Chilli and carefully choose the right outfit and theme (he works very hard, often performing his best dog tricks) I also have private Zoom classes with my yoga clients where I get to spend some blissful hours sharing the feeling of peace. I have days where I am completely committed to painting with no distractions, just pure flow into the connection with the creative forces.
How has the COVID pandemic affected your job?
The first lockdown had a huge impact on my yoga sharing. I used to worked with cancer patients under a charity located across several London hospitals. Of course they were high risk individuals so we had to stop all classes. I also worked at a few firms who had to close their offices during lockdown.
The magic of Zoom was a happy suprise for me. I wasn’t sure if the energy of meditation and relaxation could be transmitted digitally but I found out it 100% can. The pandemic has lead me to work with more clients on a 1-2-1 basis to really focus on their needs and wishes online and it’s been hugely rewarding. I feel very grateful for technology.
What style of artist are you?
My beloved teacher used to call me a “Heartist”, an artist of the Heart. I express what flows through me and allow it to manifest on my canvas. My artwork carries the energy of peace. I have been blessed with sharing this through teaching meditation, yoga and creative expression.
The creative behind my dogs Instagram channel Chilliwawa also flows from the heart. It's all about the pure love I have for my dog and sharing his life, moments and mishaps with others. Sometimes I make some cute outfits for him using diamante and various bits and pieces I find at home.
What do you wear for work?
Yoga clothes or an old paint stained shirt depending on what I am doing that day.
What's your favourite part of your work environment?
Getting to work from home with my dog. Even when I teach meditation or yoga, my pup curls up next to me and enjoys taking part. I love the energy that is reflected around me in my home and I’m very grateful I can experience it every day.
What's the best bit about your job?
Making other people feel happy, at ease, content, peaceful, joyful and feel like they can breathe again. I also rejoice at the giggles and innocence of sharing my dog’s life with the world in a fun and creative way. Pre lockdown he'd get invited to red carpet events and he'd ask me to be his plus one.
What's the weirdest part of your job?
The fact that I do several different things at once yet they are all connected. I feel like they carry the same type of energy which is love. My different roles enhance each other and add to each other which is amazing.
How do you wind down after a long day at work?
Every evening I check in with my spiritual heart, making sure I am present and not floating around. I also switch my phone off early, I find having stimulating conversations at night activates the mind and it is harder to sink into a restful state to sleep.
What's your favourite memory of London?
I was three years old and my family and I lived in London for about a year. Every evening I begged my mum to put on the Sound of Music and I would run up and down the corridor in the flat driving the neighbours crazy.
Where's your favourite place to go in London?
Mine and Chilli's favourite place to go is Kensington Gardens. I love sharing beautiful nature walks with him, enjoying the seasons and being present with the trees and other doggie and human friends.
You can check out Yamuna's website here. Instagram: @iamyamunadevi