My Life as a “Yoga Witch”


“], “filter”: { “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote, a.btn, a.o-button”} }”>

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members!
>”,”name”:”in-content-cta”,”type”:”link”}}”>Download the app.

I began experimenting with witchcraft not long after I began experimenting with yoga.

As a “flower child,” I’d always felt a connection with the Earth. Later, as a college student and newly dedicated practitioner of yoga, I began to seek alternate ways of living that were more attuned to nature. I studied yoga philosophy and Eastern spirituality. I obsessed over sustainability and holistic medicine. I learned about the phases of the Moon and the Celtic wheel of the year.

Being a practitioner of yoga and witchcraft, what’s increasingly being referred to as a “yoga witch,” means combining the mindfulness and self-awareness cultivated in yoga with the reverence for nature and the mystical energy harnessed in witchcraft. It’s a practice of constantly weaving both lineages into a lifestyle that honors the profound union of our inner and outer worlds.

At its essence, witchcraft is a celebration of walking through life in a way that aligns closely with the rhythms of the Earth, the phases of the Moon, and the interconnectedness of all living beings. I felt drawn to these approaches to life for countless reasons, notably the recognition of the divine feminine within paganism and the redistribution of personal power within yoga.

The study of these practices expanded my sense of connection to the natural world, and each new layer I uncovered taught me more about universal energy and how its workings manifested not only within my body but throughout my experience of life. While their approaches are often different, these paths touch on the same truths and, to me, seem inextricably linked, serving as mysterious vehicles leading me toward a more pervasive sense of wellness and buoyed self-confidence as a yoga witch.

What I’ve Learned By Being a “Yoga Witch”

When I began teaching yoga in 2018, I saw endless opportunities to marry my two worlds. As a witchy yoga teacher, I venture deep into the space where I believe yogic wisdom intertwines with the passion of paganism. Throughout this journey, I’ve learned a lot about myself, the Earth, and navigating what balance truly looks and feels like.

This fusion of practices profoundly influences my outer expression as a teacher. I infuse my classes with reminders of the sacredness of the Earth, encouraging students to connect with the natural world around them. My sequencing is crafted to resonate with the cycles of the Moon and the seasons, creating an environment that encourages mindfulness, self-discovery, and alignment with the Earth’s energies. If I can pass on any insights as a yoga witch of nearly 10 years, it’s outlined in the way I facilitate the experience for my students and in the words below..

1. Be Inspired By Nature

Disenchanted by the traditional religion I grew up with, I find nature to be the ultimate source of inspiration. It plays a central role in both my yoga practice and my spirituality as a practicing witch.

I’ll take a brief moment here for definitions. I use the terms “Wicca” and “pagan” interchangeably to classify the structure of my Earth-based spiritual practices. “Pagan” is an umbrella term that dates back to 300 AD. During the Roman Empire, it referred to any polytheistic religion that wasn’t based on Christ. Wicca is a more recent and specific title ascribed to the syndication of ancient pagan beliefs and ritual practices into one “religion” by author and anthropologist Gerald Gardner in the 1950s.

For me, Wicca has been a fascinating exploration of ancient practices for mindful living and seasonal celebrations. It’s a door that my yoga practice helped open, as that is how I began to understand myself in union with a greater whole rather than separate from it.

By attuning to the transitions of the seasons and the Moon, I began to nurture a connection to something greater. Each shift in nature became a potent mirror into my inner world, one that reflected the constant ebb and flow of life’s currents. This allowed me to guide my students toward a deeper understanding of the intricate interplay between their inner worlds and the constantly fluctuating outer world around them.

The Earth became my conduit for greater presence and purpose. I began creating my yoga sequences around the transitions of the seasons and the lunar phases, and drawing on nature to inform my dharma talks at the beginning of and throughout my classes. I would study the spiritual energy of the current moment and infuse that into my teachings, helping students take their practice from the micro experience of being on their mats to a more macro experience of us being natural beings in deep connection with this vast, beautiful planet. Anyone who knows the roots of Wicca knows that this is its very foundation.

It’s a relationship that I’m still exploring and expanding.

How You Can Practice It: Choose an aspect of the natural world that fascinates you, whether astrology, plant medicine, the phases of the Moon, seasonal shifts, the elements, etc. Then throw yourself into study and exploration of that aspect. Talk about it with others. Meditate and journal. Draw on the yogic principle of svadhyaya, or self-study, to see what insights your curiosity about nature might bring about your inner patterns.

2. Cultivate Community

After I graduated from college, I moved to New Orleans, where I shared a dilapidated duplex in Mid-City with three of my best friends. It was chaotic and shambly, but it was one of the best chapters of my life.

Having always been a self-prescribed “outsider,” this was the first time I felt like I really belonged. New Orleans is a city known for its mysterious history and witchy allure, and I suddenly had access to communities and teachers that my Midwestern upbringing didn’t provide.

I began my yoga teacher training that fall, and regularly attended Moon circles and herbalism classes at the local apothecary nestled along the Bayou. These thriving communities provided a supportive environment for me to explore and develop my practice. I was surrounded by circles of like-minded women every weekend. We studied breathwork and divination. We made malas together. We listened. We supported each other. And at night, my roommates and I would come home and swap holistic remedies or astrological insights from the day. Together, we proudly embraced our identities as wild women, supporting each other through our spiritual quests.

It was here that I realized yoga and spirituality aren’t just solitary practices. They provide an opportunity to be part of something greater—a collective of individuals who are seeking meaning, connection, and growth. Sangha, a close-knit community of like-minded souls, became an essential aspect of my yoga journey. It wasn’t just about my personal evolution as a yoga witch; it was about the shared experience of raising our collective vibrations and, in turn, elevating the collective consciousness.

The concept of sangha began to influence my perception of teaching and practicing. My personal sangha taught me to be confident and inquisitive. It taught me how to listen to my inner voice, and eventually share that with others. After a few years, along with a few girlfriends, I spearheaded Crescent Craft NOLA, a group that led community events for magically-interested people. Here I began to hone my voice as a spiritual guide and teacher. I also began to lead full moon meditation circles at my yoga studio, fusing my two worlds into one stronger community. Our practices on the mat and in the woods transcended the physical and became a way to channel our energy and intentions into a powerful force for positive change.

How You Can Practice It: Research local community events that align with your spiritual or cultural curiosities. Then take yourself to them. The important thing is that you go, even if it feels scary to attend alone. The more you practice your independence and personal power, the stronger it will become. And, at the same time, the more you will find community with like-minded others.

3. Seek Balance

One captivating, if slightly conflicting, aspect of my experience has been navigating the delicate balance between yogic austerity and witchy indulgence.

Paganism, which I consider to be inherently sensual, embraces the significance of life’s pleasures and the understanding that things “of the world” are necessary for true presence and rapturous joy.

Conversely, yoga philosophy often tells us that what we need is already within us, and everything else is a distraction. This lesson is regarded as so vital that it’s etched into the yamas, or ethical precepts of yoga, by the concept known as brahmacharya.

Instead of shunning the physical realm, paganism celebrates it as a pathway to enlightenment. In this way, I see a lot of parallels between witchcraft and tantra yoga, as both emphasize finding presence and unity within the material world.

During my early 20s, I sometimes found myself ricocheting between these extremes of indulgence and abstinence while I searched for a balance. Whether bouts of binge drinking or months of sobriety, this has taught me invaluable lessons—most notably, to listen to my body and ritualize as much of life as possible. It’s alright to have a drink, order a steak, or give yourself fully to another person.

Instead of telling myself that “I shouldn’t,” I started inquiring why I was doing something. I asked myself, is this “vice” was going to help me become more present through celebratory ritual? Or is it mindless repetition, a weak grasp for meaning that is totally uninspired?

Indulgence is good, as long as you don’t lose your respect for it and for yourself.

How You Can Practice It: Take a look at the activities you already do or have been meaning to do on a regular basis. Ask yourself how you can ritualize or romanticize the mindless things you tend to “suffer through” and bring celebration back to the things you’ve taken for granted. This can be simple and surface-level (like beginning your work day by lighting candles and practicing breathwork) or grander in scale and deeper in meaning (like migrating your daily after-work drink toward a more mindful, weekly ritual of cocktails and conversation with your partner or friends). You’re meant to enjoy your life, and doing so is a balance.

Ultimately, my journey as a yoga witch is a tale of presence and purpose. It has taught me to cherish the physical world, to find magic in the ordinary, and to consider each moment as a gateway to enlightenment. There is no end to the mysteries that await those who dare to venture into the realms of their truest self, and I invite others to embark on this romantic exploration.

RELATED: What Witches and Yoga Have in Common

About Our Contributor
Sierra Vandervort is a writer and modern witchy woman living in Oregon. She’s been practicing yoga for nearly a decade and completed her teacher training in 2018. She writes and teaches about connection—connection to the body, to nature, and to the powerful energies of the universe. In 2017, she founded her media brand, The Local Mystic, an educational hub devoted to mindful, mystical living for women. Sierra loves to guide people to their witchy side by helping them deepen their spiritual studies and ritualize their lives. Through The Local Mystic, she’s written books, plus hosted women’s circles and wellness retreats worldwide. For free yoga and witchy wisdom, find Sierra on Instagram @thelocalmystic and on YouTube. And check out her book, Your Year of Magic.





Source link

Scroll to Top