Summan Kandola is a mindfulness and clarity coach, the director of the Identity of Wellness film, a film producer, and the creator of The Mindfulness Deck. She draws from her personal experiences to help guide others on their wellness journeys. Her work with Identity of Wellness has her exploring the impact of colonization and capitalization in the wellness industry on BIPOC communities and individuals.
We spoke to Summan to learn more about what she’s uncovered about herself and the wellness world.
- Please share your story and how it led you to become a mindfulness coach.
When I was 20 years old, I moved from Vancouver to Victoria. I like to say, “I left a juicy couture girl and became a tree hugger”. While being away on the island, where everything closes early and nature is everywhere, I got to spend a lot of quality time with myself. That self-exploration led to many ideations of my identity. My mindfulness journey and practice became my sanctuary. From gaining deep self-awareness to understanding the nuances of the language we speak—my personal development spark was lit.
Now, as I enter my early 30s, I am so excited to share, coach, and learn with my clients on their mindfulness journey.
- What sparked your initial interest in mindfulness?
When I moved back home to Vancouver my world looked very different than when I left. I was in deep need of mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. I was in a stage in my life where I didn’t have any tools, concepts or practices that could help me feel better and see clearer.
Mindfulness to me is the practice of wellness, the practice of these tools, and the more I make them a part of my daily practice—the healthier and happier I am.
- How is wellness incorporated into your daily routine?
Wellness is at the core of my daily routine. My mornings and mood will always be good if I create space for my morning routine.
It consists of waking up between 4:30 AM - 5:15 AM, meditating, weight training, walking outdoors, coffee, and if I’m up for it, some journaling. That sounds like a lot but my mornings are dedicated to myself without the pressure of work, phone calls, and refreshing Instagram.
- What is the inspiration behind your Mindfulness Deck?
The Mindfulness Deck was inspired by sinking in and out of depression since I was a young person. In early 2020, I was starting to sink into a lower energetic space and by this time I had picked up so many tools, and so much wisdom, I thought, “Hey. Why don’t I try gamifying feeling good?”
I took out a piece of paper and wrote down everything I’ve ever done to raise my vibe and get to the root of what I was experiencing. That night I started having visions of what I wrote down while meditating before bed. These same images continued to come to me and that’s how The Mindfulness Deck was born. The deck puts the power back in your hands to help you practice daily self-care.
- What is your vision?
My vision for individuals is to have deeper, more genuine, and honest relationships with themselves. I genuinely believe if we all knew how to be our own best friend, our micro universes would be that much better.
- Please share more information on subconscious reprogramming and your beliefs on this practice.
A lot of what we do and believe comes from our subconscious. When we begin to look at our beliefs and the experiences that shape them, we can start to change them. When I was in a car accident in 2020, I learned a lot about the somatic experience of our bodies. This sparked a huge deep dive in what I call “Feel it to heal it.” I am very excited to share more on this journey soon with my Mindfulness Coaching Practice.
- Please share your experience directing the Identity of Wellness film.
Identity of Wellness was sparked out of the sheer curiosity of wanting to understand why the wellness landscape looks the way it does today for BIPOC communities and individuals. As a woman of colour, I always wondered why I felt out of place in many yoga, meditation, and athletic spaces like outdoor sports (hiking, kayaking etc). Identity of Wellness follows me as I sit down with leaders in yoga, mediation, sports and Muay Thai to explore the colonization and capitalization of the wellness industry.
Directing Identity of Wellness was such a special journey for me. I grew so much as a filmmaker & leader, but most of all, as a student of wellness. There are so many containers society will continue to put us in and there are so many containers we ourselves will put society in, but this experience has taught me wellness is an inside journey and a choice. We can choose where we want to spend our time and money and how we want to feel and be seen in wellness spaces—regardless of the mainstream messaging
- What steps can we take in the wellness industry to move towards change and equality?
When thinking on how the wellness industry can move towards change and equality it comes down to how the consumer thinks and feels about themselves. I wholeheartedly hope we continue to create spaces for women of colour to lead, for inclusive advertising to rise (from a genuine place, not just to look good) and for more individuals to know wellness doesn't have to cost a dime. You can start with your breath.
- Have you seen any shifts in the wellness industry in the past few years?
There for sure have been loads of shifts in the wellness industry in the past few years, however, to quote Judith Kasiama from Identity of Wellness, “Diversity has always existed, BIPOC people aren’t NEW. Inclusivity is needed.”
- Do you use any b, halfmoon products in your practice?
I am so excited to unpack my b, halfmoon products and incorporate them into my practice! I’m looking forward to resting with my Silk Eye Pillow and restoring with my bolster! Stay tuned on my Instagram for how that goes!
Mindfulness truly has powerful effects on the body, mind, and spirit. Its benefits are ones that Summan knows well, and she hopes to share with anyone who wishes to invite it into their lives.
Follow Summan and the work she’s doing to make the wellness space more welcoming and inclusive @iamsummankandola and check out the Identity of Wellness film here.