Leilani Bishop is always on the lookout for her next adventure.
The former model grew up in Hawaii, which informed her lifestyle approach: always active and connected to nature.
Her consciousness about bettering the world around her was raised even further when she became a mother and observed that nurturing female energy needed to be encouraged for everyone’s benefit. The realization sparked a calling to give back, propelling her train as a certified Hatha yoga instructor and found Women For The World, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness and support for education-based projects.
Now, the do-gooder has launched a line of pure fragrance oils that offer lasting scent without the artificial fillers found in commercial perfumes.
Here, Bishop shares how her upbringing laid the groundwork for her commitment to an evolving, healthy life
Live The Process: You were raised in Hawaii—how did the native culture of the islands influence your outlook?
Leilani Bishop: Growing up on the islands and being in and out of the water multiple times a week and even daily, I relied on nature to keep my skin balanced and clean. There is nothing better than salt water for your skin. That being said, water in general is a big part of my beauty and wellness regimen, as it flushes the body, hydrates and cleanses. Also, you can find many plants that are native to Hawaii that have healing properties.
Health-wise, if you want to truly enjoy Hawaii, you have to be fit and ready for a good adventure. Once, while traveling, I took up cigarettes, and then promptly quit as soon as I returned home and felt the negative effects while hiking and swimming. It really taught me to be in shape for life more than just to look good, which helps me approach my own health and wellbeing from an easier place.
LTP: What inspired you to found Women For The World?
LB: I founded Women For The World after I had my son. The idea began before he was born, as I was inspired by all my girlfriends and our passions to make the world a better place. But becoming a mother was the real inspiration. Women, and especially mothers, really think of the effect of their actions on the community and the world before they act more than most men do, I believe. I think that the world needs more of the nurturing, community-minded energy women have to offer. Having a child and feeling the support of that community as I raise my son, and wanting the world to have more of that as he grows older, really pushed me into action. We raise awareness and support for education-based projects and I was so inspired by the non-profit community.
LTP: When did you first begin practicing yoga?
LB: I started practicing during my pregnancy and really devoted myself to it after my son was born. We had moved back to Hawaii and there is a great teacher there who inspired me to start an Ashtanga practice. It really helped me balance the first years of motherhood, helping me clear my head and get back into my body. I find it a great way to connect with myself, like a moving meditation, really.
When my son started school, we moved back to the east coast to Amagansett, New York and I found Yoga Shanti studio in Sag Harbor. I was inspired by how the owners, Rodney and Colleen, each had the lineages from which they came, but also taught from the point of view of Hatha yoga, which is the lineage that spawned both Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’s teachings (founder of Ashtanga) and B.K.S. Iyengar. Rodney and Colleen have so much information and knowledge of yoga, but aren’t dogmatic about it. I took the training to further my own grasp of it. I started teaching too because I really believe in the saying: “If you want to learn about something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it, and, if you want to master something, teach it.”
LTP: What is your biggest obstacle in maintaining your own health?
LB: Keeping a balanced diet and a clean gut is my hardest challenge. Having clean intestines is really the key to health, great skin and clean energy, and I struggle with eating clean and keeping down the sugars and carbs that can clog up my system. There is a great cleanse I like to do called the Sirona Cleanse (when I am in Los Angeles). It is a five-day cleanse that includes food and supplements and gets your system back on track.
LTP: What prompted you to create your line of fragrance oils?
LB: I have always worn oils but thought there was a gap in the market when it came to oils in luxury quality and packaging. My family has collected antiques my whole life, so I wanted the packaging to have a sense of beauty and history: the inspiration was French Napoleon Era Opaline glass.
I wanted to create single note oils that were simple and not overwhelming to the wearer. Growing up in Hawaii, I always wore flowers in my hair and love the gentle way the scent would catch my nose, enhancing my daily experience.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
LB: Being completely self-expressed, and all the joy that that brings, and helping others break down their barriers so that they can feel that same freedom. We are all here to contribute our uniqueness and we can only do that if we are not tied up in the boxes that society tends to put us in.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
LB: Life is a process and with ups and downs. I think I “Live The Process” by not being too hard on myself and looking for the lessons in every experience, which takes courage and effort that I don’t always have. In that moment, I do not beat myself up, but give myself the permission that what I can do is enough if I am willing to acknowledge where I am at and I am not trying to push down emotions or experiences as if they are not there.
I think living the process is also taking complete responsibility for all that comes my way and being accountable for my life and my experience. Only then can it become something I am truly proud of.
Find more information on Bishop’s fragrance line, here.