Sky's passion for yoga and meditation lead her to discover her mission: "to educate, empower, and inspire others to live their healthiest, happiest, most vibrant lives." Currently, she achieves this goal by covering a wide range of health and wellness topics through digital media production. Let's get to know her better...
Tell us about your passion for health and wellness and how your interests have guided your career path.
“Back in the day, I was the only girl in elementary school drinking green juice (before it was trendy) and I would often get teased for drinking “swamp water.” Even at a young age, I somehow understood that being strong and healthy would help me live a longer, happier, more vibrant life, and that really appealed to me. Growing up, I was a competitive soccer player and would push my body really hard, which resulted in sore muscles, injury, and burn out. When I was 15 I tried yoga to improve my strength, flexibility, and prevent injury. What started as a purely physical practice, began to work on my mind and heart in a much deeper way. Yoga changed my life physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. It changed me from the inside out and led me down the path of discovering the true power of the connection between mind, body, and soul. Yoga allowed me to access deeper parts of myself and my soul that I never knew existed.
Currently, I work as a digital video producer for brands and influencers, but my main passion is creating videos about health and wellness topics. After working at BuzzFeed as a video creator, I started my own YouTube channel called Sky Life where I explore emerging health trends, lifestyle challenges, the science and research behind them, and documented my experience trying them out. My videos are docu-vlog style, a fusion of education and entertainment. Some of my favorite videos I’ve made include exploring medicinal mushrooms, neurofeedback, nootropics, minimalism, intermittent fasting, and biohacking.
My personal mission is to educate, empower, and inspire others to live their healthiest, happiest, most vibrant lives. I am grateful that my work allows me to do that and combine my skills for video shooting, editing, and producing with my love for health and wellness. I love that my job is creative, challenging, fast-paced, and allows me to learn. I am continuously growing as a creator and expanding my mind with the work I do every day. I plan to build my channel Sky Life into a global wellness brand. I’m starting with media and education but my long-term vision is to create transformational retreat experiences that bring people together in community to support each other in living our healthiest, happiest, most vibrant lives.
Pursuing a dream is a marathon, and it’s taken me a long time to get really clear on the vision. But now that I can see it and feel it, I know what direction to take and I am endlessly excited by it. I feel like I’m still on the first mile but I am running towards my excitement and I think that’s all we can do. Follow our excitement.
What do you love most about yoga and meditation
When I was in college I struggled with depression and anxiety. It was yoga, meditation, and energy healing that helped pull me out of a really dark place and I started to discover who I truly am. Because of this experience, I wanted to teach yoga and meditation to share the beauty and wisdom that the practice gave me. So, during college, I started teaching yoga and other group exercise classes. I would teach many of the athletic teams since I understood how yoga could specifically help an athlete’s body and take their game to the next level. I taught the soccer, basketball, football and track teams.
Yoga and meditation teach us how to be the master of our own mind and body so we can be grounded, joyful, and bad ass at whatever we choose to pursue. I love that yoga and meditation teach us how to connect our mind, body, and soul through connecting breath with movement. Movement is a catalyst and the breath is gateway to access the deepest, most pure part of ourselves.
How you show up on your yoga mat is how you show up in the world. Yoga and meditation teach us to find contentment even in discomfort, challenge, and sometimes pain. People who have never practiced yoga might have the perception that it’s easy, but when you dive into the practice you’ll find that it can be extremely difficult. I love a good challenge.
Yoga has taught me how to connect to my heart and meditation has taught me how to cultivate inner peace, even in difficult times. For me, success is discovering who you truly are and finding a way to use your unique gifts and passions to contribute to the world in a positive way. Both practices have showed me who I truly am and have helped me get clear on my personal vision and mission.
What inspires you?
I am continuously inspired by people who are pursuing their dreams and using their unique skills and gifts to help make a difference in the world. When I see someone killing it and loving life, I want to get up and dance! I’m like, YES! GET IT! I support you.
Is there a great phrase or motto you live your life by?
My favorite quote is from my favorite book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, “The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams because every step of the search is an encounter with God and eternity.” This is what I live my life by. Fear wants to stop us from pursuing our dreams and passions because in pursuit of them, it’s inevitable that we will face failure along the way. But truly, it is the fear of failure and ignoring your heart that is worse than the actual failure itself. When your heart is screaming at you to go do something… you have to do it, no matter how scared you are.
Fill in the blank: Every woman needs a crystal face roller. It will change your life. I put mine in the freezer and roll my face out every night. It is the most heavenly part of my day! We forget how much stress and tension we hold in our face.
When do you feel the most alive?
I feel the most alive when I am doing something physically challenging like sprinting up a mountain, because life is challenging AF and I believe that the way we tackle challenges defines who we are. There is something powerful about feeling that in your physical body. When I am pushing through something physically challenging, I prove to myself that I won’t give up, that I am a fighter, and that I will continue to breathe through struggle and move forward to get to the top of the mountain.
What item of clothing or accessory makes you feel the most YOU?
I found these beautiful earrings in Big Sur that have dangling cutout stars with a turquoise half-moon attached, and because they represent the sky itself I feel really connected to them. I wear them when I want to embody SKY in my purest, truest essence. Also, my avocado hat – it’s a black hat with a little avocado on it and I always seem to make more new friends when I wear it!
Who do you look up to and why?
My grandfather Ralph. He grew up very poor, with nothing. He has dyslexia and was always told in school he was stupid. He was made fun of constantly and was sent to trade school. He started his first business selling penny candy and worked his ass off to turn that small business into a thriving grocery store and real estate company. I can’t take any credit for my work ethic because I believe I get it from him. His pure grit and perseverance allowed him to write his own story and provide for his family. Whenever I get discouraged I always remember what he always says, “Skyler, we’ll get there.” It’s so simple but it reminds me that life is a marathon and it takes continuous grit and hard work to achieve your dreams.
Your TOP 3 HANDBAG ESSENTIALS, go
#1: Essential oil – all it takes is a whiff of lavender to put you in a good mood! #2: A tooth brush and toothpaste – I literally don’t go anywhere without this. I am OCD about my mouth feeling clean, haha! #3: My AirPods – I listen to podcasts and audio books during every second of my day when I am doing something mundane like driving or grocery shopping.
What are your daily routines that you can’t live without?
I practice meditation and gratitude daily. I have a gratitude journal that I write in. I practice different forms of meditation depending on what I need in the moment but I love singing mantras. It gives my mind something to focus on and the vibrational quality of the sound allows me to connect to my heart space. This allows me to actually feel it in my body to get out of my head."
Connect with Sky: @SKYCOWANS
Photos by @CAMBRIA_FODEN
October 22, 2018