While the path of Ottawa-based Yin & Vinyasa yoga Instructor, YouTuber, author, and the face behind Yoga with Kassandra, Kassandra Reinhardt, hasn’t been a straight line, she is definitely on a mission to help people of all ages feel great with yoga. She is one of the first yoga instructors to embrace online teaching, with her Yoga with Kassandra YouTube channel that has grown to more than 2 million subscribers and has over 190 million views around the world.

How It All Started

Over a decade ago, she started practicing yoga while she was a dancer.  At the time, her hope was that yoga would benefit her flexibility. However, while taking these classes, she soon realized the mental health benefits yoga provided her, including managing her own stress and anxiety. Over time, as she started practicing regularly, and “bit-by-bit” became stronger, calmer and braver. Now, Yoga is ingrained in her daily life in a fundamental way; and, with her YouTube channel, Yoga with Kassandra, she strives to bring yoga into the daily routine for people from any age or walk of life.

 The Story Behind ‘Yoga with Kassandra’

In 2014, Kassandra decided to begin posting instructional yoga videos on YouTube. At the time, she was a recently certified instructor and was struggling to find teaching jobs. She wanted to share her expert knowledge to a wide audience and always loved YouTube, so she thought it would be fun to try out this new platform. When she started, she was one of the only people teaching Yin Yoga online and now, 8 years later, she is able to continue to share this passion with featured videos including topics on yoga for athletes, morning yoga, Yin Yoga for your nervous system (combating burnout), mental health & emotional healing, and more.

With over 2 million people in her online community, Kassandra has truly provided accessibility to yoga.  Having studied under Louise Cameron, Sianna Sherman and Bernie Clark, she began her career as a yoga instructor in 2013 and has now created a space in the yoga community with her specialized bitesize approach of 10 minute morning classes.  These allow viewers to make yoga a realistic part of their morning routine.  What started as her own personal sadhana to ease stress and anxiety quickly unraveled into her greatest passion, an exciting career and a whole new way of life. Her aim with every video is to create accessible, easy to follow yoga classes that you can do in the comfort of your own home.   By allowing her expertise to be one free click away, she is breaking down the financial barriers of expensive classes, the locational barriers of needing to commute to a physical studio, and removing the intimidation factor some students may feel in front of others.


I got the chance to spend some time with Kassandra, talking about her journey to success – including some history that led her to live her life purposely with passion.  It was a wonderful experience.  She is a person that signifies how doing what you love can lead to living your best life!

Here is our interview (If you don’t have time to listen, please feel free to read the entire interview here):

Follow and Connect with Kassandra:

Social/Website Links
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_kassandra/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/KRYoga
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/yogawithkassandra
WEBSITE: https://www.yogawithkassandra.com/

Pre-Order Her New Materials


MY INTERVIEW WITH KASSANDRA REINHARDT

BRIAN: Kassandra, I’m so happy that you’re with us on Soulivity.com. Your story is amazing. And so I’m very grateful that you’re here.

KASSANDRA: Yes, thank you so much. I’m very happy to be here.

BRIAN: Listen, I’m from Detroit, Michigan, so I share a border with Canada. And I have a great love for all things Canadian. Now, I know your business is in Ottawa, but where are you from? Are you from Ottawa originally?

KASSANDRA: Yeah, I’m pretty close to you. Ottawa is not that far from Detroit. So, I’m from Gatineau, which is like just across the bridge from Ottawa. So really, I’m pretty much from the area, but I was born on the Quebec side. So now, I live on the Ontario side. So I’m French, like English is my second language.

BRIAN: I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it. Now, what was life for you when you were growing up there?

KASSANDRA: Oh my gosh, I don’t know. I think probably a pretty typical childhood. I have a younger brother, was raised with both of my parents. And I grew up doing a lot of dance. So, I got into ballet very young…that was definitely my big passion. I loved performing and I loved being able to, I don’t know, move my body and be with other people, be with all these other girls. It was just so much fun, and always grew up with a lot of pets around, cats and dogs and all that kind of stuff. And I was lucky that my primary school or my elementary school was literally just behind my house, so I could hop the fence and be in school and then hop the fence and be in my yard. [chuckle] So, it was fun.

BRIAN: Wow. How cool was that?

KASSANDRA: Yeah, pretty fun childhood.

BRIAN: But at the same time, I’m sure my parents, if that happened to me, they would be all in my grades. Like, “Okay, what are your grades? How are you doing? Talk to me about… ”

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: You know what? I’m lucky that in a way, both my parents were working. So thankfully, I had a little bit of freedom that way, and they weren’t too militant about that. So I got… I had good grades, I did okay in school. I wasn’t like the star student or anything like that, but I held my own, [chuckle] I did my best.

BRIAN: Well, interesting enough, as well as you’ve done with bringing yoga to the world and bringing yoga in a very practical and progressive way, it seems as though (as I did my homework on you) you found yoga through you creating a support system for the dance part of your life, right?

KASSANDRA: Yeah, that’s right, that’s right. I really didn’t have… I mean, I first found yoga, I think I was about 18 years old, and I really didn’t know anything about it. I grew up, I was in the world of dance, that’s all I really knew. And I was just recommended, “Maybe you could try yoga class. Maybe it’ll help you get stronger, get more flexible, get… Whatever, improve your balance, help you as a dancer overall”. And I really did not know how much of a spiritual practice yoga was, I didn’t have any context around it, I didn’t know any of the history. I really just didn’t know at all what it was, you know? So, I just thought, “Okay, well, I’ll take a drop-in class”. And it took a while for yoga to really grow on me, it wasn’t love at first sight, the way that dance was love at first sight, the way first class I took, I was hooked as a toddler, basically. With yoga, it had to grow on me, I had to find the right style, the right teacher. But then when it clicked, of course, everything changed. And here I am, however, many years later, doing this as my livelihood and as my whole life, basically. But it wasn’t like that, it wasn’t like that from the first time I stepped into the studio.

BRIAN: Did you think that dance was going to be your passion? I mean, did you feel as though that was going to be like the thing that you were going to do? You’re going to be at The Met in New York or someplace else?

KASSANDRA: I wished, but honestly, I knew I wasn’t a strong enough dancer at all. So, it was always going to be just something that I loved, a fun hobby, something that I love to do multiple times a week, and that I wanted to be able to do for as long as I possibly could. But I was under no illusion or impression that I was going to be the next prima ballerina.

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: A lot of it just has to do with your physiology, your anatomy. Your bones are either made a certain way or they’re not, [laughter] and mine were not. So, it was all just really for fun, but I still wanted to be as good as I could be, right? I still wanted to improve and work as hard as I could on it. So, I was open to trying whether it be yoga, Pilates or weight training, I really wanted to do whatever I could to care for my body, because unfortunately, even at 18, I was having a lot of issues in my hips, in my knees, in my lower back. Ballet is very difficult on your body.

BRIAN: Oh yes. Oh yes.

KASSANDRA: It’s hard. You know, yeah, you know. [laughter]

BRIAN: Yeah, I have family that studied…One of my nieces actually studies, as well. And they say this all the time, that it’s…

KASSANDRA: It’s tough.

BRIAN: It’s tough, for sure… And it’s more physical than you think, right?

KASSANDRA: Yes.

BRIAN: And so, you were trying to improve yourself, improve your dance through increasing your flexibility. And so…

KASSANDRA: Yes, pretty much.

BRIAN: …and, here’s “yoga”… And I only bring this all up because I want our listeners and our readers to know that our life is not a straight line, and that sometimes, you go one direction to find the next path that takes you to somewhere else. And for you, it was this new life that was born doing yoga. And not to say that there weren’t struggles, right? I mean, there were some struggles in the beginning that you talk about, especially trying to find a place to teach and those kinds of struggles, right? Talk a little bit about that. Talk about the early days of doing yoga…

KASSANDRA: Yeah, I mean, I love that you bring that up, because it’s like, I’ve never been someone who will do a five-year plan. Like, I’m never someone that’s able to think, where do I wanna be in the future? Like, there’s truly no way I would have been able to dream or even think or plan in any kind of way that this is what I would be doing with my life right now. The only reason I’m on this path is because I stumbled into it in the beginning and just followed, kept taking one step in front of the other, but it’s just not possible for me to have truly planned this all out, to be like a professional YouTuber. Like, there’s no way that would have been anywhere on my radar, especially in yoga, like as a yoga teacher. So, I don’t know, I just think that’s funny because I’ve never… I’ve always felt it’s strange to get people to try to plan the next five years of your life because you have no idea, your life could change tomorrow because you signed up to something, you never know. So, in the beginning, I got certified originally as a yoga instructor.

KASSANDRA: I graduated, I believe, in 2013, and I knew right away I wanted to teach. I had no doubts that this is something that I thought I could contribute in a way, I thought that maybe this would work for me in a way. I was very passionate about it, I felt fairly confident in my abilities, and I was really, really eager to teach. I was just really eager to get in there. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to be hired early on when you have no experience and you’re just newly certified and there are thousands of other newly certified teachers like you in your area. And there are only a certain amount of studios and open time slots and availabilities, right? So that was a bit of a harsh reality. I was very much willing to pay my dues, but it’s like, “How do you even start if there’s nowhere available for you to sign up for?” So, the beginning was really hard. I took whatever jobs I could and I ended up really kind of hustling and just creating my own classes. I mean, I remember printing thousands of flyers myself, going to Staples, or… I don’t know if you guys have Staples, but like an Office Depot, OfficeMax, whatever, printing all of these flyers and going through all of these neighborhoods and putting them in people’s mailboxes and stapling them everywhere.

KASSANDRA: And like, I would do this for like five hours every weekend. And I found a little studio that I could rent, and I somehow would get like a couple people show up every week. So, I would barely break even, or I would lose money, but like I really, really pushed, I was doing stuff like that. It’s crazy because I look back on that time of my life, like 22, 23, 24, and I was doing so much and getting so little in return in terms of like the results. I didn’t have a name for myself, I certainly wasn’t making money. At most, I was breaking even doing all of this, but I really think it did pay off in another way. I don’t think I would be where I am now had I not done those like extra 40 hours a week on top of my 40 hour a week job, of just like hustling. And it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks, like trying 12 different things, failing at 11 of them. But one works, sort of, so I’ll just keep doing that and growing on it. But it was really hard, it was a really messy couple of first years, but eventually it somewhat came together. [chuckle]

BRIAN: Well, I mean…again…now I’m glad you said that, because again, life is not a straight line, sometimes, it’s messy. And that it seemed as though as you were going through this journey to really discover that this is your passion, and what you want to do and what you want to give to the world, that, hey, you failed a couple of times, or as my parents would say, “You had these growth opportunities,” right? Okay, well, this didn’t work, so let me try this. This didn’t work, so let me try that. And part of that was you found online… Doing online yoga training and teaching, which now is like your thing, or I should say, “thing” because that’s what we do in Detroit. That’s your thing. When did you know? Did you know as you were going through this messy part early on, that this is what you wanted to do, or you hadn’t gotten to that part yet? When did you know?

KASSANDRA: It’s funny because I remember a moment… I started my YouTube channel in 2014 and I had no subscribers, no views, no audience, no one knew who I was, I was just doing this for fun, I really didn’t know what I was doing. And I was working so hard at so many things, I was like, “Maybe I’ll do custom online yoga classes by request”. I made my own DVDs, I made a free eBook of like a hundred yoga poses that took me like weeks to put together, and it was free. I did so many crazy, hard things in the beginning, really because I was so passionate about… It’s not that I knew where I wanted to be, I was just curious to see where could I end up? If I really give it my all, what’s possible here? Because what’s fun with online and what’s fun with the entrepreneurial space is that there’s not really a ceiling or a limit. You kind of just get to see how far you can take it. It’s different from a regular career track, which always put me off, the fact that like… I don’t know, like I had like a salary cap, or the fact that I knew I can only grow so much in this position before I might have to move to a different company.

KASSANDRA: It just felt very… While it felt very safe and I learned a lot and I had great coworkers and great environment and a great atmosphere, it just felt very limiting also. So, I loved the idea that in this entrepreneurial space, sure, I might amount to nothing. [chuckle] I might work hard for a long time and nothing really comes of it, but I love the possibility that something big could happen or just the curiosity and the freedom of saying, “Well, let’s see where I can take this. Let’s see what can grow of it.” But I remember being… I used to work for the city of Ottawa. That was my regular day job, I was just a municipal government employee and I made my very first website by myself. I made my little website and I was so proud of it.

BRIAN: Amazing.

KASSANDRA: And I had a colleague who was also a yoga teacher, so I went over to her and I showed her, I was like, “Look at my website. It’s called yogawithkassandra.com.” And I just thought it was a cute little website, and I showed it to her. And I’ll always remember this moment, because she looked at it and she said to me, she’s like, “You’re gonna leave this job and you’re gonna do that full time”. And that thought had never even entered my head.

BRIAN: Wow.

KASSANDRA: And when she said that, I responded right away, saying, “Yeah, in three years”.

BRIAN: Amazing.

KASSANDRA: I walked away saying, “Why did I say that? I’ve never even considered that before, I’ve never even thought of doing this full time. This was all just going to be something I’m doing for fun on the side, because it’s exciting. And it’s a fun hobby, a cool passion project”. But I blurted it out. It was like this crazy reflex, “Yes, in three years, in three years, I’m gonna be leaving this cushy, government job and doing online yoga full time”. Like, it was insanity, but I did do that, it is crazy. And I have wondered, had she not said it, how long would it have taken me to come to that realization that, “Yes, this is something I want to pursue for real”. I’m sure I would have gotten there, but I don’t know, that’s a definite moment that I have and I’m like, I’m really grateful, she said that and that she spoke that crazy dream out loud for me and believed in me early on when I had like 10 subscribers, and like three people on my mailing list, and had a first website. But she was like… She saw potential and she’s like, “You’re gonna do this full time”. And I was like, “Yeah, I’m gonna do this full time.”

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: Not knowing anything.

[laughter]

BRIAN: I guess I look at those people as our angels.

KASSANDRA: Yeah, definitely.

BRIAN: Like, here’s this person, who doesn’t know to the full scope of even what you’re thinking about, which at that time was like, “Hey, I’m just doing this because it’s enjoyable for me”. Right?

KASSANDRA: Yeah.

BRIAN: And she gives you these flowers that just bloom because you’re like, “Wow, I never really thought about it that way.”

KASSANDRA: Exactly, it was permission. Like, she gave me permission to entertain this as an option.

BRIAN: Wow, wow.

KASSANDRA: And it was very powerful. Like, it was a definite, defining moment for sure.

BRIAN: While we have some time left, I have a couple of more questions for you.

KASSANDRA: Yeah, sorry, I talk a lot. I’m a talker.

BRIAN: Oh, please, YOU? Shoot! If we didn’t have this ended at a certain time, we would just go, ’cause I can just go…

(laughter)

BRIAN: I wanna frame this (next question) a little bit. So, you have 2 million… Over 2 million people are part of your online community now. You did programs like, Yin Yoga teacher training. You’ve written this beautiful book, Yin Yoga: Stretch the Mindful Way. And then you have a new book, Year of Yoga: Rituals for Every Day and Every Season. Throughout all these different projects, and especially your online community, one thing for me that really stuck out was that you want to make yoga accessible to everyone – regardless of where they live, how they live, or what class or race or whatever. That does not matter to you. And that you’re saying to people, “Listen, no, this brought joy to my life, I want it to be easy for it to bring joy to your life”. That seems as though this is about you giving service to people, what we say is purpose. Like, this is the purpose behind, what I’m passionate about it, but here’s the purpose part. Does that feel like to you like… Yeah, you enjoy doing yoga and you enjoy teaching yoga, but it seemed like over time, it transformed into a higher calling for you.

KASSANDRA: Absolutely, it was monumental. The first time I got an email from someone, or they left a comment on a video that I had done where they really went in depth and said how much this class helped them. You know, they’re detailing how I can’t afford to go to my local studio. I would have to get a babysitter, I would have to commute, the class is too expensive. You don’t really realize how many hurdles there are to actually being able to afford and fit a yoga class into your day-to-day life. Or people who are emailing me saying, they simply just don’t feel comfortable in a yoga studio setting, they don’t feel like it would be a right space for them. And when I got just those first few comments and that first email, it really flipped a switch for me, because originally when I was starting, I was very naive about the online world. I didn’t really think that this was something you could do full-time, I hadn’t really even considered it. I just thought having some online videos would be a nice way for me to set myself apart from other teachers who are applying for the same studio jobs as me.

KASSANDRA: And I thought, “It’d be cool, let’s see what comes of it”. But once I actually started to receive feedback from people, and it was beyond feedback of, “Great video, thank you.” It was like, “This is changing my life. This is having a great impact on me, on my marriage, on the way I’m treating my children, on the way that I’m moving through my day.” I was like, “Woah, this is a big deal”. And it was coming from people all over the world, people that I otherwise would have never had the opportunity to interact with in any way. That’s the other limiting factor of teaching in person, it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s like… I love the fact that online was global, it was worldwide, and more than anything, it was free. There’s something so cool about this kind of energetic exchange with YouTube where people can benefit from my classes, they can consume and do every video I’ve ever had, which is like 700 videos at this point. They could do those videos every day for the rest of their lives. And they never have to give me a single dollar, yet I will still get to live a great life.

KASSANDRA: And I will be compensated for that work in a wonderful way. Like I’m very privileged, like it is a great life. But that felt really good to me, the fact that I can make a profit and it feels ethical because people don’t have to pay me. Of course, they can, if they wanna sign up to any of my programs or they wanna buy my book, great, amazing. They wanna get my mobile app, perfect. But you don’t have to, you don’t have to, you can just go for free on YouTube. All you have to do is like watch an ad on the video, which I know people hate ads, but it is the way that we get to keep these exchanges… I don’t know, I just love it. I love… That felt really good for me, and I was like, I feel really empowered by it. And I feel like I’m doing something that’s beneficial and that’s useful, and that feels worthwhile in a lot of ways. So, I love that I’m doing that. That’s the quirky thing being online on those kinds of platforms.

BRIAN: You almost… You got me a little emotional on… Because I think that our listeners and people out in our community don’t really… They don’t understand that, number one, this is an inside-out job, right? You discover what’s on the inside and you put it out and you serve people. But what also happens is that service, and you being grounded in that, affects every other relationship that you have. So, like me, with my wife, I relate to her in a different way, in a more positive way. Our son, just like you were talking about your children, I mean, it is a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful existence. My last question, what’s next on the horizon for Kassandra? What is next? I mean, you’ve been pushing the envelope for a long time, girl. And so I’m excited to hear like, okay, what’s next on the horizon for you?

KASSANDRA: It’s funny because I think now I’m in… For the first time in a long time, I don’t have something else coming down the pipeline. And I kind of love that.

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: I’m kind of really…

BRIAN: Rest, the next thing is rest.

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: Yeah. Yes, because I had… Year of Yoga came out this summer. So obviously, that was a ton of work, obviously to write it, to produce it. But then also the promotion, the launch, there’s a lot that goes into that. And also as part of that agreement, I also came up with like a journal and some affirmation cards, which are coming out in January. So now, I’m in the pre-sale phase, they’re available for pre-order, but they’re not out yet. But then once those are out in January, I kind of don’t have anything else lined up. Like, I’ve been doing this for eight years, eight and a half years now, and I’ve always been operating like six months ahead. I always have… Whatever the new project is going to be, I always have something, and now I don’t have anything. And I’m really excited about that.

[laughter]

KASSANDRA: I’m gonna keep doing YouTube. I’ll keep doing my regular YouTube videos, I’ll keep doing the regular day-to-day work. But in terms of like big, new projects, like I don’t have any retreats lined up, I don’t have any new programs created. I’m not… I don’t know, I’m just really enjoying it. I feel like maybe I deserve to take a little bit of a rest, a little bit of a break. So, I think 2023 is gonna be a little slower, I think. Although, you know what? I say that and then who knows? But right now, I don’t know, nothing.

BRIAN: Wow. Well, again, I think that that’s perfect.

KASSANDRA: Yeah, yeah.

BRIAN: What is it? God worked for six days, and the seventh day, he rested. So, I think you deserve a little rest too.

KASSANDRA: [chuckle] This is my seventh day.

BRIAN: This is your seventh day, after eight years. Kassandra, thank you so much for being on Soulivity.com and sharing your story…

KASSANDRA: Yes, it was a pleasure.

BRIAN: Absolutely, absolutely. Listen, everybody, we’re gonna have Kassandra’s links to her website, all her latest products right here on Soulivity.com. And we’re gonna stay in touch with her, and with you, as well. Because we wanna hear about what’s going on. Even if it’s rest, you’re like, “Brian, I’m resting right now. I’m asleep, I’m taking a nap. I’m taking a nap.” But anyway, Kassandra Reinhardt, thank you so much again for being on Soulivity.com and sharing your own passion, purpose, and how it led to a high-quality life.

KASSANDRA: Thank you so much for having me. This was a lovely discussion.

BRIAN: Absolutely, absolutely.

Brian Westley Johnson
Brian Westley Johnson
Founder/CEO at | Website | + posts

Brian Westley Johnson is the founder and CEO of Soulivity.com, which reaches over 850K people monthly across the globe.

After having travelled the world for decades as an enterprising business development professional for over 25 years, Brian Westley Johnson founded Soulivity Magazine. With a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to engaging and empowering others, Brian is now dedicated to a new mission—delivering informative editorial, and inspiring people to live life with purpose, passion, and joy.

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