Thyroid Yoga Founder Fern Olivia
Fern Olivia has attuned her body, mind and soul and by doing so, conquered the most debilitating aspect of her life: the thyroid. The gland is one of the hormonal epicenters of the body, regulating your metabolism among other things. Through a mix of Kundalini yoga and other modalities, Olivia teaches gland activation as a way to nourish all aspects of you. We chatted with Olivia about her practice, the magic of positivity and much more below.
You recently moved here to L.A. from New York, can you tell us about how that has changed your life.
Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me here today, I’m honored. I recently moved here from New York because I was always running and hustling from the subway to clients and I barely saw the sun, even though I worked for myself. It was really difficult to take that time to leave the city to go into nature to hike, to explore, to be in the fresh air.
So when I visited L.A. over a year and a half ago, I found this part of myself that I had forgotten. It was this more feminine state of mind, of being able to exist with the sun, and with hiking, and enjoy these parts of my life that really make me who I am.
I thrive in an environment where I can be out in the sunshine where I can, you know, sit having an interview outside in the sun, and then ride my bike, and go home and be right on the beach.
It’s this lifestyle that was missing so much in my life, and also created a lot of internal stress in my body, because I was constantly stimulated by a world that was always moving.
L.A. can be a place where there’s a lot going on, but there’s also this ability to easily find yourself out in nature and having space to write and to be creative and to disconnect with technology and connect with a big sky and trees and fresh air. So yes, I am very happy.
So even though you’re out here, and you have that ability to get to the ocean pretty quickly, do you still get out of the city itself and go to other places nearby?
Yes, absolutely. I’ve made it a priority in my life to take these trips, whether it’s for a retreat, or it’s for some sort of summit.
I was recently with Mind Body Green in Arizona for a weekend, which was absolutely stunning. Then I’m going out to the Cayman Islands to check out a retreat center, I’m going there in a couple weeks. And between that, a spontaneous trip with girlfriends out to Sedona.
I am constantly scheduling or spontaneously finding myself invited to these places that allow me to get out of L.A. and into a state of mind where I can turn off all of my devices and just be really present with the people I am with and with myself. It’s a real gift to be able to do this easily in L.A., I wasn’t doing that as much in New York.
Can you talk about turning off all your devices? What do you do when you disconnect? What are some of the things you do analog?
I love being in the present moment. It is so amazing to not have to worry whether I posted at 6:30 pm on Instagram or whether my post from yesterday got a certain number of likes. I can actually sit in the present moment, and make a meal for myself and enjoy it.
I take some time to actually write down what I’m feeling and be in this place of journaling and introspection and being with my feelings. Writing has become a real big part of my life, and journaling - being creative.
I’ve started writing poetry since I moved to L.A., which is a new little element about my life. Most people I don’t really tell, because poetry can be so personal. It brings a lot of tears into my eyes when I write at night. It’s something I do more when I’m actually in nature and when I’m inspired by the world around me. So yes, it’s been huge.
Do you spend a lot of time in the water? Do you surf?
I have surfed. I’m more of a cold water plunger – that’s my trade. I wake up every morning and I live right on the beach. So I run literally out of my door and jump into the water and I body surf. So yes, in some respect I do surf.
I also stand up paddle and I really love doing that, especially when I travel. One of my favorite things to do is take long distance paddles and I chant to myself or I repeat different mantras in my mind. When I paddle this is a real cool way of meditating while doing something that is very peaceful and tranquil.
So besides the morning water plunge do you have any other morning rituals?
Absolutely. My cold-water plunge and then a run on the beach right after that. When I come back in a take a cold shower, so I continue that.
Then, I meditate every morning. I do some Kundalini meditation and breath work and chanting. I apply some essential oils that I make myself on and that’s a daily part of my practice.
That feels really good because it’s luxurious and it’s sensational. If you’re having sensory experience it’s something that your body starts to remember and come back to whenever you meditate to have something that really brings you home. So that’s a big part of my practice.
As far as the oils – how’d you come up with them?
So there’s a really interesting story with that is, I have an autoimmune condition – a thyroid condition. I was using so many things on my body that were toxic and contributing to these sensitivities that I was experiencing with food and with the environment in New York that wasn’t really ideal.
The more and more that I started to experiment with fragrances, I found that I could make intoxicating, seductive scents with essential oils. I love using products that are 100 percent organic, fair-trade, and natural in the purest form. What I started to do was blending in my own apartment.
People were like, “Oh my gosh, you smell so good! What is that? You smell like love. I need this. Make me some.” I was using it in my yoga classes and students were just buying it from me on the spot.
A woman approached me and said, “You need to turn this into a business, it is remarkable.” So from there I really ran with it. Little did I know that it would be become one of my biggest passions to create these scents and products.
Anything from face and hair oil to a sun protectant and an after-sun oil. It’s really become something that has been a real big passion of mine. It’s helped so many people to get off using toxic perfumes and body products, to a place to where they love how they smell, and it’s completely good for them.
Can you talk about your thyroid program and how all of this ties together?
Yes, I believe that beauty is something that you feel. When you are living a life aligned with how you want to live and your purpose, you radiate beauty. You magnetize opportunities to bring people to you. It is a continuous cycle of feeling really good and feeling really passionate about your life.
I think beauty is again, inside and out, so the thyroid is a master gland – it is also the beauty gland – so when you feel all puffy, when you feel not in a place of harmony in your body, and you feel stuck, you will feel unfulfilled.
So how can we get you to feel powerful in your creative voice and your self-expression and figure out the root cause of the underlying symptoms? The fogginess, the puffiness, the weak immunity – How can we figure out what has been triggering this. Instead of just putting a band-aid fix on your condition, we are actually healing you energetically on a cellular level.
I do this through Kundalini yoga and through different modalities of energy work, and now I created the teacher-training program as well. So teachers and healers and anyone looking to heal themselves and support their health at a total level can participate. I’m very excited about this work.
It sounds amazing! Any final thoughts to our audience?
Yes. Take some time today to write a poem, even if it doesn’t rhyme (it doesn’t need to rhyme), and to sit somewhere really quiet. Or write something, a letter to yourself on why you’re so awesome and so worthy and so wonderful.
Because so often - I know I just had this conversation earlier today - is that I often go to bed at night thinking about things I didn’t do that day, that I didn’t accomplish this and this and this on my to-do list and I have so much to do tomorrow.
Instead of doing that before you go to bed, write down what you are awesome at and why you are so special and why you are so lovable. I promise you it will change the way that you start to live and attract things in your life.