Morning Rituals: Amanda Nørgaard

We discovered Amanda Nørgaard last year when interviewing Mia Gardum on the power of plant and have since loved witnessing her journey. We love her modern approach to wellness. Amanda teaches Kundalini yoga, and has been a model since her late teens working for brands like Prada or Chanel. A few years ago, Amanda developed her own company: Illumination. A blend of digital and real life programs & retreats.⁠


We dug deep into what living in New York has taught her, on owning who you are in what can be a very criticising environment such as modeling, as well as her changing from being vegetarian to eating animal protein every day.

 

Journey & Practice

You’ve lived in New York for almost 10 years; what powerful train of thought did you bring back with you to succeed in your ventures?
What New York really taught me was the beauty of blowing up any perceived framework. In the city, diversity and multidisciplinary arts are celebrated and integrated in a different way than I was used to in Copenhagen. I really do not do well with boxes or labels which the human mind tends to find a lot of comfort in. The city expanded my creative horizon and how to live and lead life; personally and professionally. I’ve met so many incredible human beings; friends, teachers, mentors and creatives who’ve each inspired me with their outlook or rather “inlook” at the world.
 
You create yoga & creative retreats both in the physical and online world. Can you tell us a bit about your intention behind creating Illumination? What were you missing you felt you needed to create?
I just followed a really strong impulse and pull from my gut and my heart which was to create spaces to cultivate greater experiences of consciousness, creativity and chi. And to have fun while doing it. Illumination continues to be a metamorphic body of work, as I continue to transform with life. It really is a product of my own inner journey. I had a vision to create something that was equally as authentic and impactful as it was accessible, grounded and human. That is spirituality to me. I’ve never experienced spirituality as an isolated entity from the rest of my everyday life. Yes, I have a daily practice where I connect with myself; but I experience just as much sacredness, beauty and power by engaging with life in all forms, shapes and expressions. The holographic nature teaches us that everything is a part of everything. All these threads of experiences are woven into Illumination as well. Illumination is a pretty accurate blueprint of everything I find true, whole and beautiful about life. It’s a house of creation where everyone can join and experiment with their own dance and creative rhythm through deep healing, awakening of consciousness and creativity supported in a really tender and badass community. 
 
 

You are a yoga teacher. What drew you to kundalini yoga in the first place?

I’ve been practicing yoga since I was 13. I’d practiced a vast variety of yoga, but when I heard about Kundalini Yoga, I had a very somatic response to the word “kundalini”. Kundalini Energy is our primal creative energy, and I believe I received a somatic response because my body remembered something ancient yet very innate living inside of me which wanted to have a greater experience of itself through me. 

 

Your work is very intertwined with your personal journey and growth. I’m curious about what your thoughts are on finding this link between personal & business growth and that of your business.

Before it became a professional path, I had organically started sharing my personal journey on my platform. I don’t really care for anything superficial. I’m here for the true, the tender and the real. I believe that’s how we open ourselves up for a greater human experience and connection. Of course it’s been a process of understanding and learning personal and professional boundaries, which in my experience do change with the cycle of life. I’m also a writer, and this deep love for connecting human hearts through storytelling is just something that is the very blueprint of everything I do. I see how my courage to be vulnerable, human and open give other permission to step into those sacred rooms as well. There is nothing more beautiful to me. I’m not interested in transmitting Kundalini Yoga, just for the sake of telling people how to position themselves physically or mentally. Kundalini Yoga is the tool I share with people as one way to awaken more consciousness, creativity and chi but it’s the storytelling, poetry, community, wonder and vulnerability which is really the heart of what I do.

 
 


Modeling days

You have been modeling since age 17, so about 13 years, and campaign for brands like Chanel, Prada or Burberry. I'm wondering if you had reflected upon what modeling taught you in terms of owning who you are? If so, can you share some of these crossovers & pieces of wisdom?

Moving to New York was the best thing that happened to my 17-year old self. I got to experience, experiment and play with arts, expressions and interests in a whole new way. I’ve enjoyed and continue to enjoy modeling 90% of the time which are great stats for having the same job the past 15 years. I’ve always seized it as an opportunity to connect, listen and talk to people which has deepened, expanded and inspired me in so many ways. Being around so many creative people, where many of them had the courage to carve out their own path different from the norm has really had a positive imprint on me. This have installed in me a really great self-sufficiency spirit which I find crucial being an entrepreneur in a field that is still very new and abstract for a lot of people.

 

Have you always had high self-worth to cope with the constant criticism models can face? What has been your internal journey for raising your self-worth?

Some girls and women not only depend on modeling for own financial freedom but for their family’s financial freedom as well which I believe the industry at times have used for their advantage. I was lucky enough to choose modeling solely based on the fact that I saw it as a great opportunity to support my adventures. This I believe, has made me less vulnerable to the industry. I’ve never taken any shit. I’ve never been afraid of walking out on a set, calling people out if they didn’t treat me or other women well. Because my family’s survival didn’t depend on it. Having those boundaries have created a safe container for me to work within. Self worth is not a one dimensional thing. We can have a high self worth in one area of life, but lower within another. This is all wired in early childhood. Kundalini Yoga + Meditation, various healing modalities, presence, psychedelic journeys and therapy, daily internal reflection and subconscious reprogramming has all been a great part of my healing and awakening journey helping me to illuminate, tend to and rewire internal programming.

 

We share the idea that life is not about perfection, it’s about showing up as who you are. You can practice yoga and still wear sexy leather pants. No boxes. Have you always been like this?

It’s been a really fruitful journey learning how to deepen and invite all aspects of myself into whatever field I move in. Sensuality, sexuality, wisdom, power, humor, creativity, depth are all many aspects to the discoball that is authenticity. I recently began feeling even more liberated and inspired by owning my sensuality and sexuality, for my own sake and pleasure. As women we are raised to believe that the gaze of which we are perceived and perceive is through the male gaze. The idea that sensuality and sexuality existed within me, but for somebody else felt like a really old patriarchal storyline. I began reframing my relationship to pleasure. Not only as a sexual act, but simply, the sensory pleasure of being in a human body. I realised how much pleasure I found in dressing up, and playing with my expression in creative ways that felt way more like an accurate expression of who I (also) am. And as I love to blow up the framework I’ve felt deeply empowered holding space, sharing stories and teachings on the matter of consciousness while dressed in leather pants and cropped tops. It’s never about the leather pants or crop top. True spirituality teaches us that how we perceive the external is solely a reflection of whatever narrative goes on in our internal landscape. Why shouldn’t a woman be able to be wise and deep and not wear leather pants at the same time? 

  

Food & Rituals

What does a typical day look like on your plate?

That truly changes every day. I eat everything. I eat a lot of organic, local and grass fed meat + broths, chicken, fish and veggies, grains, pasta and bread. But also a bunch of desserts, cakes, candy and ice cream. I’m very casual like that. After 13 years of being vegetarian I’m back on meat and that has been a game changer for me. All my meals are usually savoury; breakfast, if not leftovers from dinner, could be; eggs, cheese, rye bread, bacon and tomatoes.Lunch is usually an open faced sandwich with some sort of spread; fish, eggs, potatoes, liver pate or such. Or a bowl of something warm and comforting.Dinner; Usually always meat, greens and grains. My most cooked dish is definitely organic, local roast chicken, with roasted fingerling potatoes, a simple salad and a herb and lemon yogurt dressing. We make chicken broth out of the chicken bones and that is the most comforting meal to me.

 

3 cantines / cafés you like in Copenhagen?

Lille Bakery, Morgenstedet, Hija de Sanchez

 

What is your favorite Maison Loüno ritual?

The Cacao with Chaga is so grounding and nourishing. I love it.   

 

What are the morning and/or evening rituals that keep you grounded day after day? How have they changed over time?

I’ve had a daily Kundalini Yoga and Meditation practice for nearly 4 years. Of course it’s changed over time. The duration depends on my days. I focus on different things throughout cycles and seasons of my life. But it always involves mantra, meditation, asana and pranayam. I also do subconscious, somatically informed meditations which has also been a great support in my life the past couple of years. My energy and days are always in flux. Sometimes I practice in the morning, at other times it’s an afternoon or evening practice for me. I’m not rigid at all.

  

2 books that have greatly inspired your journey?

Freedom from the known by Krishnamurti and All about love by bell hooks.

 

Amanda Nørgaard was photographed in her office in Copenhagen by Louise Skadhauge
Discover Amanda's work on her site and instagram account @amandanorgaard_
Discover Amanda's favorite Maison Loüno ritual:

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