Eat as healthy as you can, practicing moderation of sweets and alcohol
Practice gratitude-find something to be grateful for every day
Move the body daily-get up and do anything that gets the heart pumping. Make it fun and enjoyable.
Have a support system of people who you can count on
Love yourself for who you are. Be open to always improving your body and mind.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anita Perry.
Anita Perry is the owner of YogaAnita, a company that provides yoga and meditation instruction to individuals, groups, corporations, and schools. She is the author of two books, a video series, and currently a producing a podcast.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I am an author, educator, yogi, and blogger with over 43 years in the health and fitness field. My original business was Health watch Workshops which provided training and continuing education to aerobics instructors.
I was first introduced to yoga over 40 years ago when I was training to be a fitness instructor. I wasn’t ready for the practice then, preferring hardcore aerobics and cardio. But years of aerobic activity took a toll on my body, and I kept getting repetitive stress injuries. That, coupled with the fact that I was in a high stress full time job, led me back to my yoga practice.
For the last eight years I have concentrated solely on YogaAnita which provides yoga, meditation instruction, and inspiration in group, individual, corporate, and school settings. I have a Master’s degree in Education and teach reading full time to Grades K-6.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I think the most interesting story I can share goes back to when I was teaching aerobics in Galveston, TX. Sometimes my northern accent would not be understood. I was cuing an exercise for “4 more”, but to my surprise everyone dropped to the floor! It was pretty startling and funny once I was assured no one was hurt.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The biggest mistake I made when I was first starting out was trying to be the “ideal” instructor for everyone. There is no such thing. Because I was trying to please everyone, I was doing routines and sequences that just were not my style. I’ve since learned that I have to be true to myself and I am not going to please every student in class. In yoga we let go of the ego and try to reach for the greater good.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I grew up watching Jack LaLanne, Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, Denise Austin, and Gil Janklowicz. They inspired me when I was teaching aerobics and step. In the yoga world, my primary teacher is Diane Featherstone, owner of Frog Pond Yoga Center and Jay Shetty for spiritual motivation.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
My goal is to let people know that yoga is for everyone. You don’t have to be a certain age or even be in good physical condition. There is a pose for everyone! And once you experience the yoga that is right for you, you will see how it affects not only your body, but your mind and your spirit as well.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
My 5 Lifestyle Tweaks are:
- Eat as healthy as you can, practicing moderation of sweets and alcohol
- Practice gratitude-find something to be grateful for every day
- Move the body daily-get up and do anything that gets the heart pumping. Make it fun and enjoyable.
- Have a support system of people who you can count on
- Love yourself for who you are. Be open to always improving your body and mind.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Daily yoga, of course! Just 10 minutes a day is all you need.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Find your niche and be yourself.
- Listen to your inner voice, the answers are within
- Money does not equal happiness but if yoga is your livelihood, you deserve to be paid
- Everyone deserves to be heard and respected
- It’s OK to fail. Get up and try something new
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
All of these causes are dear to me, but if I had to pick one it would be environmental changes. We have seen the positive impact on the environment during this Covid-19 crisis when everyone was quarantined. Suddenly you could see mountain that were previously covered with smog and canals in Italy that were clear. All of us need to live on this Earth and we all need to take care of it.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!