For Morgan Yakus, creativity comes in many forms.
The longtime fashion industry insider, who—among other things—cofounded chic clog and clothing line, No. 6, has been drawn to healing since childhood. But it was after a profound past life regression (or PLR) session, which helped her to break longtime patterns, that she discovered her calling: hypnosis.
Yakus doesn’t “put you under,” so much as lull clients into a relaxed “theta” state to help them clear mental blockages and make lasting changes. She focuses on positive self-talk to support growth in areas from confidence to compassion.
In addition to working with private clients in New York City and LA, Yakus—who is also an herbalist—has innovated experiences from her Mobile Tonic Bar to Mind Waves workshops. Recognized by publications from Vogue to ELLE UK, she collaborates with wellness-minded artists of many kinds to bring a new level of ingenuity to the field.
Here, Yakus explains why flexibility is a must in every arena, as life inevitably changes:
Live The Process: Have you always been passionate about healing?
Morgan Yakus: Since I can remember, I was immersed in the healing arts. My mother and her husband are Buddhist and have always been into nutrition and wellness, which influenced my interests and desire to help people. It’s part of the fabric of my life.
From a young age, I loved fashion, which lead me to explore more. I knew at some point close to my 40s, I would change careers and help people, I just didn't know how it would happen or what it would look like. If you told me I was going to be a hypnotist, I wouldn’t have believed you. It was all a surprise: It started one day, six years ago, with an herbal tonic while on a design inspiration trip, and it kept going from there.
LTP: How does your background in fashion inform your current work as a hypnotist? What exactly does your job entail and how do you hope to help people?
MY: Over the course of 20 years, I worked in every facet of fashion from PR at Gucci to styling runway shows to being on the road with Lauryn Hill for her Miseducation tour. I co-founded the No.6 store, where I worked in every area of the business from design to learning about how to financially run a wholesale and retail business.
You can take the girl out of fashion, but you can't take the fashion out of the girl! I will forever be a fashionista and am moving into my modern hypnotist look. I enjoy fashion even more now that I am working in wellness. Am I done with fashion? Never say never. I definitely miss designing clothing and prints and vintage shopping for design inspiration. If someone asked me to collaborate, I would definitely be open to the idea. It’s important to keep using your brain in different ways; it makes daily life more interesting. My background in fashion design and business has also helped me more deeply relate to my clients that work in the entertainment, art, fashion and other creative industries.
Past life regression was the gateway to hypnosis for me: I had a profound experience in a session. Becoming more curious, I read quite a few books. That’s when I decided to study and become certified in Past Life Regression with Dr. Brian Weiss, who wrote the book Many Lives Many Masters. Through receiving present life hypnosis sessions, I experienced changes which I had been trying to unlock for a long time. I’m also trained as a holistic health coach and in green and Chinese herbs (by Ron Teeguarden). Looking back, each event and training led from one place to the next, and every moment has led up to now.
Today, my work includes a private practice with clients and workshops in New York City and Los Angeles, focusing on a variety of different subjects such as confidence, intuition and trust, relationships, expanding creativity and techniques for handling stress. I help clients to create more balance in their everyday lives by turning down the negative self-talk and shifting old patterns. I teach clients techniques they can continue to use in their daily life after our work together is done. Every session is different, depending on the client’s needs. I try to meet each person where they are, and hear and see where they would like to shift. The sessions focus on the positive: where they want to be and how to get there. It is usually a combination of dialoging, sharing tips, techniques and trance work.
One-on-one sessions in-person and virtual are the same. My Skype clients experience the same shifts as the in-person clients. We all have had an individual set of experiences and process information differently. I work with each client and group in a specific manner, depending on what they would like to create. I hope to help people learn how they can feel more balanced by understanding their patterns and how to re-pattern. I want to show them that they are in control of their thoughts and that, by shifting into a more positive space, they can create what they seek.
LTP: Can you tell us a bit about your other projects from the Tonic Bar to teaching workshops?
MY: I created the Mobile Tonic bar a couple years ago, which is non-alcoholic bar that has custom drinks that include herbs and super foods for events, happenings and retreats. I have experienced some fun projects in the past year, which included a 24-hour residency at the Ace Hotel in New York City. I have a collaboration, Unlimited, with a friend who is also a hypnotist and has a fashion background. We create hypnotic art that is essentially sound-art and interactive experiences. In the past year, we have been to Scotland and Croatia to share our piece, The Dark Room Sound Sanctuary, which is based on ancient healing chambers. The room is lit by a disco ball. When you enter and sit down, you may have an experience such as an audio astral journey, visiting different landscapes and having other adventures of the mind. I have really enjoyed sharing the experience with multiple people, as well as offering self-hypnosis and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) teaching tools that they can use.
I try to collaborate with different practitioners and artists. Most recently, I collaborated with Erika Spring (who was in the band, Au Revoir Simone, and is now in Nice As Fuck). For our hypnosis workshops, she creates a magical keyboard sound track. Another favorite class is Astrology and Karma Clearing. Recently, I was a healing arts resident at CAP Beauty in the West Village for six weeks. In December, I’m heading to LA to work with clients and on some fun projects for a couple of months. I think all of these creative projects are in some way informed by my experience in fashion. It helps me to have a wider vision and think outside the box.
LTP: When you’re not helping others, do you have personal wellness regimens or rituals that keep you feeling balanced, centered and healthy?
MY: I have different wellness regimens such as writing, self-hypnosis, flower essences and different oils based on the time of year, location and what my body is feeling. I start my day with a morning tonic, which grounds me and is a nice daily ritual. I will receive acupuncture and or go for a salt float in the depravation tank when I can.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
MY: Happiness is being present, loving and talking positively to myself and connecting with others.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
MY: I think “living the process” is to enjoy the practice of being present. It’s to know that there are goals and enjoy the process on the way to meeting those milestones. If we are always so focused on where we are going, we miss the in-between and that is the best part. We must be comfortable and flexible with the unknown, trusting the process. One thing we know for sure: Life is constantly changing, ebbing and flowing.