Desirée Pais is a Kundalini Yoga and meditation teacher based in NYC. When we heard about her online workshops that teach prosperity, sensuality, magnetism and Radiance, we knew we needed to sit down and chat with her about her story, her methods and everything in between.
Can you tell us a little about Benshen, what are the online workshops you offer and what do they provide?
Benshen actually was the name of the skincare line I launched about 6 years ago. It comes from an acupuncture point and means Root of the Spirit. For me, the skincare line was about merging inner and outer beauty. That beauty was not just about what you put on your skin but about how you talked to yourself, cared for yourself, and cultivated yourself. At the time, I had cystic acne everywhere and it ruined my confidence. I hid from the world and buried myself in shame and sadness. Then, I found Kundalini Yoga and all these incredible practices and teachings for women on beauty, power, confidence, magnetism and Radiance. I was like, “I want some of that! Pour me a cup hunny!”
Over the next 6 years, I became obsessed with learning not only how to heal my body, but how to become a powerful and confident woman. I looked high and low, diving into the teachings of Kundalini Yoga, studying manifestation from Esther Hicks and books like "Think And Grow Rich", learning from some of the greatest businessmen and women of all times (if you haven’t watched Carla Harris keynote at LinkedIn Talent Connect you’re about to fall off your seat), and even stumbling upon the mysteries of the Greatest Seductresses of history and understanding what made them so powerful. Then came Tantra and understanding sexual energy as well as the cultivation of magic and power. It’s been a large research project for me and I designed a course based off everything I learned to teach women how to step into their power while holding one another accountable to their dreams. It’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. For one month, they meditate together daily with the prosperity meditations and create action steps, they’re not allowed to gossip or complain over the month but they are allowed to elevate, share, and inspire one another. It’s a no B.S. kind of training that allows you to take full responsibility for your life and redesign it so that you can get what you want. So many people set goals but fail to reach them because they don’t have the accountability that will allow them to thrive. Each month, I’ve had about 50 women from all over the world and it’s been amazing to see this course grow and take on a life of its own.
When did you first discover yoga and meditation?
10 years ago. I was working in a men’s showroom on St Marks in the East Village, there was a yoga studio across the street that I had heard Mary Kate and Ashley practiced at and obviously I had to go. At the time I was working in fashion, partying 6 out of the 7 days of the week with a healthy diet of coffee, cigarettes and adderall. I was 19 and a hustle machine! I quickly fell in love and renunciated fashion. Looking back 10 years later, I feel that was a mistake and wish I had the tools I have now to thrive in that industry. I personally feel that creativity is one of the highest forms of yoga and it wasn’t until I got back into my creativity 6 years later, did the various illnesses I had developed once I started yoga (I know, ironic…) begin to heal. I believe these problems arose because all I did was obsess about fixing myself and becoming enlightened and drink green juice, which is kind of boring…
How did you know it was time to start your own practice and share your teachings with others?
I’ve always loved teaching! Most of this has just been out of my desire to share what I love. I’m pretty natural with public speaking and I love the dynamic of a group. I’ve been teaching for about 9 years now, which is hard to believe!
What are the keys to expanding your radiance, how did you discover these?
I feel fortunate to have studied with many masters and learn different practices from various lineages on the energetic bodies and how we can activate them in order to become a magnet of our desires. However, after about 9 years, I felt like there were so many different teachings and there were a lot of missing dots - some too rigid, some too archaic, some not practical for the busy modern being. I also felt like a lot of fun was missing from the wellness world / spiritual community. There were a lot of rules and dogma that served a purpose for me at one point but then I began to look for more. I actually started hanging out with a lot of creatives and Europeans at the same time and I noticed that they had a lot less issues than my counterparts did. I began to notice the ties between creativity, sexuality, sensuality and once I made that connection I started finding all of these books and teachings on sexual energy and how especially for a women, this makes her incredibly magnetic when used properly. Because the combination of forces during sex can create a human life, in eastern lineages they teach that sexual energy is the most powerful creative energy on the planet - which can also be translated as the most powerful manifesting forces. When you’re “tapped in and turned on” you are incredibly magnetic. All of this combined with daily practices of Kundalini Yoga kriyas and meditations for prosperity and the Radiant Body has provided a magical way of living for me and also one that now brings more fun into my life rather than 1000 rules that strip the fun away.
On a practical level, I started finding ways to connect with my sensuality - from the way I dressed, making sure every day I adorned myself with jewelry and perfumes, and found as many ways as possible to experience pleasure. As Esther Hicks says, “Look for the fun.” All of this (which obviously is just the tip of the iceberg, otherwise I’d be typing you a novel) made me realize that Radiance has so many layers to it. It’s not just the buzz word of the year but is an entity of its own, most of it existing on the quantum level, where all of magic resides.
We love the advice column on your site, especially those on the topic of money. How do you see prosperity and financial success linked to meditation and mindfulness?
If you understand that money is just a medium of energy, you can begin to master it’s domain. So many people are afraid of money and prosperity for more reasons than I can count - conditioning, upbringing, lack mentality, fear of power, fear of responsibility, not feeling worthy, and so on. Your relationship with money can mirror your relationship to self-worth and ALSO your love life. Money and love are the same Chakra, connected to self-worth, personal value, power, ability to contain and move energy.
In Kundalini Yoga, it’s a yoga for “householders”, meaning we don’t aspire to sit in a cave and evaporate into nirvana. We live here in the modern world and we have dreams and goals and things we want to accomplish and we use these practices - to strengthen the body and mind - to be able to do everything we came here to do. Yogi Bhajan fully believed in this and was a very successful businessman himself. His prosperity teachings have been a passion of mine for a long time as they make crazy things happen and life becomes pretty magical in terms of things just working out for you. For example, let’s say you want to give a Ted Talk and it’s a big dream of yours, but you’re not even sure where to begin. You start doing the prosperity meditations and next thing you know, you’re sitting next to the organizer of Ted Conferences at a random coffee shop you decided to pop into just two weeks later. I’ve launched two businesses with these meditations, gotten out of financial debt, and have been able to set incredible goals and accomplish them in short periods of time. Money is not something we should ever be afraid of but actually use it as a medium to help us have the stability and means to get to where we want to be as well as have a reserve in which we can give to those in need or support others when the time comes.
What about love, dating and sexuality - how are they connected to the practice of meditation?
Dear god I could write a book on this! Maybe I will...
Love, Sex, and Dating are all connected to 2nd Chakra. This is the seat of our sexual energy which is also our creative energy - our ability to create our dreams and a life we want to experience. Tantra teaches this - the cultivation of sexual energy (which does not require a partner) to manifest and heal the body. It’s the most powerful healing energy. However because this isn’t taught at the same time were taught algebra, no one really knows how to navigate this. Sex is one of the most confusing and taboo realms on this planet, embedded with guilt and shame. So many people are totally confused, which leads to insecurities, fears, doubts and so much more. Bring that into modern day life of the tilt a whirl we call dating apps and too many options and everyone is pretty much left feeling undesirable (essence of weak 2nd Chakra) and powerless (weakened 3rd Chakra).
For me it was about getting myself together using all the elements I teach in my course to become a powerful, confident and financially stable / prosperous woman so I couldn’t have any insecurities in those departments. I also made sure my life was FULL of the things that light me up rather than simply trying to find a boyfriend. Then finally, learning how to have fun with it - this is where reading up on all the Greatest Seductresses of history came in handy :) My favorite book is Betsy Prioleau’s Seductress. If you read that in combination with Why Men Love Bitches (which is not what you think), you will start having a whole lot more fun in the world of dating. I’ve had no lack of hate for promoting that book - I think people are afraid of the word bitch because they think it means you have to be nasty and mean and that we should play all these games so that men will fall in love with us. Sherry’s definition of Bitch is really a woman who knows her worth, her beauty, her power and doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. So many women unfortunately - due to insecurities and not fully living their own life - let people walk all over them, cancel dates, chase after men. We forget that women are the most powerful creatures on the planet and Sherry’s book is just one medium that allows women to tap back into that power. And Seductress, well, that’s a whole ‘nother vortex...
What gets you out of bed in the morning and what keeps you up at night?
What gets me out of bed in the morning is a livestream meditation I lead for my course at 7.30am, plus I know that waking up means I get to drink coffee :)
What keeps me up at night is binge watching Outlander… the story line, the magic, the sex scenes… dear god.
All images by Jen Steele.
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