Goddess Rising: January Newland

Every Wednesday, we are so lucky to feature an incredible woman from somewhere in the world who is doing great things to inspire and empower within the health, wellness and personal development community. This week, we are featuring January Newland who is a fitness trainer and nutrition coach! In her own words: 

I am a personal trainer, yoga teacher, nutrition educator, health coach, ocean aficionado, & Hawaii-born island-lover. I live in San Diego, with my boyfriend, our three dogs, and five chickens. Ours is a life of adventure, fun, and as much time at the beach as we can manage. My passion is helping people discover their healthiest, most radiant self through nourishing food, FUN fitness, and travel! My goal is to help you find balance in healthy living!

My Manifesto:
I believe in learning to love yourself exactly as is, here and now, before beginning a new journey. 
I believe in yoga sessions, AND Mai-Tais. I believe the single best exercise for you is the one that makes you feel ALIVE and POWERFUL. I believe sweat is beautiful. I believe in nourishing your body through intuition rather than counting calories. I believe traditional, whole, organic foods, and that how we eat can change our bodies and have a positive effect on the world around us.I believe your best life involves feeding your soul as well as your body. I believe in less cell-phone, and more beach!

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Passion Yoga School: How do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

January Newland: People often start their journey of self-improvement with exercise and diet; but many times there's deeper work to be done with self-esteem, confidence, letting go of outside ideals, finding and trusting our own instincts. To me, this is where the good stuff happens, on the more spiritual path. You can follow any diet or exercise program, but if you learn to truly nourish and take care of your whole being, you'll find a new level of happiness and freedom. This is the work that I love to do!

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

January: Well, I was that person who was eating "all the right things" and working out several times a day, basically grinding away at trying to get into this skinnier body that I thought would somehow make me happy once I had it. But really, I had a lot of inner work to do on myself. Once I sought help with wounds from the past through energetic cord cutting, and good old fashioned therapy, it made all the difference. Getting to a better place in my head helped me get to the better place in my relationship with food, workouts, and my body.

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

January: Comparing myself to others. It's a dirty one - I know that we are all truly INCOMPARABLE to each other; we're extremely beautifully unique beings. Yet still, I fall into the habit of looking at the details of other people similar to me and comparing. I'm working on it just through the awareness of doing it, and meditating on self-love and appreciation of my own beautiful path!

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

January: Patience, and trusting your own journey. It ties into not comparing yourself or your journey to anyone else's. I think we hinder our own growth by freaking out that we need to be more or faster or better or... something that we aren't already right now.

We have so many things in the world now that measure us by numbers - number of followers, weight on the scale, website ranking, body fat percentage, grade point average, income earned. And those things can be helpful, but I find more and more in my experience that the really delicious, juicy stuff in life has no numbers, but instead, feelings... It's the relationships with those you love, the qualities that define you like kindness & compassion, the experiences you have, that can't be measured by numbers. 

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

January: My spiritual practice is usually about conscious movement... whether through a long morning walk with my pups, a home yoga practice, or a workout on my own to listen in to my own body's needs for the day. I am focusing on practicing more stillness as well, with a few sitting meditation sessions per week. I think another important part of my spiritual practice is simply focusing on gratitude for all the wonderful things in my life, small to big. And working through the monkey-mind chatter that's always there in my head to get back to those gratitude thoughts, all throughout the day.

PYS: What secrets (past or present) have kept you from living in your truth?

January: That I teach this radical self love and nourishment to women because I'm great at coaching it; but I'm only good at coaching it because it comes from a place of knowing the lack of self-love and nourishment all-to-well. 

PYS: Who inspires you?

January: Stephanie Birch, a yoga teacher in Sacramento, my mom, Melanie Granfors, who is a trainer of therapy dogs and rescuer of old dogs from shelters.

Goddess Rising: Skye Gilkeson of The Fit Traveller

Every week, we are bringing you a new Goddess Rising interview, which focuses on women in the health, wellness and personal development community. Over the next several weeks, we are going to be bringing words of wisdom and advice to you from women around the world who inspire, empower and live a life full of passion.

This week, we have Skye Gilkeson from The Fit Traveller!

Skye Gilkeson is a journalist and a health, wellness and luxury travel expert. She is the Founder and Editor of The Fit Traveller (, an online hub that showcases the best in wellness, gastronomy, fashion and luxury travel from around the globe. Follow her on Instagram (@thefittraveller, @skyegilkeson), Twitter (@thefittravellr), and Facebook for more tips, tricks and healthy travel inspiration.

Passion Yoga School: Hi Skye! Thanks so much for joining us! First off, how do you use your work as a spiritual tool?

Skye Gilkeson: I really believe you need to pursue what you love to really lead a fulfilling professional and personal life. When you truly take a chance on creating a career out of a passion; something that motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning, something you want to share with others and something that helps you grow and become a happier human, there's nothing more spiritually fulfilling than that. For me, travel and wellness have always made me feel like the best version of myself. They both push my mental and physical limits, boost my confidence and help me to thrive. The Fit Traveller combines those passions so my work has now become a way for me to stay spiritually connected to something in a very authentic way. 

PYS: The cracks are how the light gets in. Tell us how your core wounds have inspired your work.

Skye: I became quite ill in my late 20s. I had been pushing myself with consistent full time study alongside full time work, long hours and overnight shift work for many years and it finally caught up with me. Falling ill forced me to re-evaluate what I was doing and more importantly why I was doing it.

As an A-type personality and perfectionist, losing control of my health, my body and effectively my life for a time was one of the most challenging things I've ever faced, emotionally and physically. It made me angry. It made me sad and I felt like a failure in many ways. But ultimately it made me put my health and wellbeing first again and that lead me back to a place where I wanted to inspire others to do the same.

If I hadn't have fallen sick I may not have launched The Fit Traveller and be cultivating a life that benefits my body, mind and spirit as well as others I hope.

PYS: What is your worst habit and what are you doing to improve it?

Skye: I am very self deprecating and critical. I try to watch my self-talk and the way I talk about myself in front of other people. It is definitely something that takes constant conscious attention, but I think being aware of the impact of it in the first place is a great step towards changing it.

PYS: What advice would you offer to other goddesses working to actualize their potential?

Skye: Back yourself. If there is something that you really love to do, something that you would regret not doing if your life were cut short, it is probably something that you should pursue.

Be patient. Particularly when you are pursuing the road less travelled in terms of growing a business, undertaking a creative endeavour or something very unique and personal to you, it won't necessarily come easily, nor will the income. But hopefully the process is one that is enjoyable enough to keep you motivated beyond those initial humps.

Don't believe everything you read/hear. When you are chasing a dream, particularly not in the mainstream, you will find many people have advice for you. Take all of it with a grain of salt. Be grateful, be thankful but ultimately follow your own intuition.

PYS: What does your daily spiritual practice look like?

Skye: Unfortunately, it changes daily as I am travelling full time and I have been now for 10 months.

My ideal day will begin with some kind of exercise; a run, a walk, a HIIT session and often a coffee. I love coffee and it's a morning ritual that my husband and I share together. We talk about the day, our travels, our goals over a morning cuppa.

I try to get some kind of writing or photo editing done everyday. Anything creative is spiritual to me.

I am working at nurturing a meditation practice. It is something I haven't developed consistently yet, but I am working on it.

I also experiment with journalling. It's something I used to do for many years and a habit I want to rekindle.

PYS: Who inspires you? Who should we interview next?

Skye: I have a lot of strong, inspirational women in my life, from my mother to my sister and great friends. They have all followed different paths in life but in one way or another they have inspired me in my own life.

I am inspired by the compassion and positivity my husband shows to me and everyone he meets everyday.

My family has always inspired me to work hard for what I want. They are some of the hardest working people I have met.

I am inspired by female business leaders like Arianna Huffington and people promoting accessible health and wellness like Sarah Wilson. Anyone who has overcome adversity inspires me and reminds me how amazing my life is.