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“How to avoid procrastination.” With Dr. William Seeds & Emilie Perz

Procrastination — the biggest culprit and hurdle to get over is ourselves and our perception of what’s been done to us. We all have past baggage that made an imprint on our current state of mind and reality. But our perception is never truly honest or correct. I think one of the biggest things standing […]

Procrastination — the biggest culprit and hurdle to get over is ourselves and our perception of what’s been done to us. We all have past baggage that made an imprint on our current state of mind and reality. But our perception is never truly honest or correct. I think one of the biggest things standing in people’s way is their own procrastination and excuses as to why they can’t achieve the things they want to achieve and typically this is because they are placing fault and blame in people and situations around them. All this really is is an inability to look at your current mental well-being and make the necessary shifts to clean things up. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in anyone’s way of living their wildest dreams is them. The capacity is within us all, it’s getting off our ass and putting things into work that is the hardest part.


As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emilie Perz, widely known for her strong, creative and educational vinyasa flow classes. Voted one of Los Angeles’ best yoga instructors, Emilie’s detail-oriented teachings reveal how yoga asana mirrors the practical movements we make in life and how learning to align the body precisely can create energy and equanimity in the body and mind.


Thank you so much for joining us Emilie!Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Iwas always athletic as a child but it wasn’t until my father died when I was 18 that I found yoga. Shortly after his death I started suffering from panic attacks that left me hospitalized. I was on anxiety medication but felt a lack of self-control when the panic attacks came on. A friend introduced me to yoga and during that first class we practiced breathing techniques that gave me a deep sense of calm and ease. I committed my life to practicing everyday after that and haven’t been on medication for anxiety in 20 years.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I think the most interesting thing that has happened in my career is the explosion of community I’ve built all over. I never imagined that I would have sold out yoga classes all over Los Angeles every single day!

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

What sets me apart is my years of education in anatomy and having worked alongside reputable doctors using yoga techniques to care and rehabilitate people. I’m unique because I weave and blend functional movement, dance, philosophy, and life- coaching with yoga to create this spiritually uplifting experience. My ability to create awareness in the mind and connect that to the body through fun movement, sound, anatomy and heart-language bring this one of a kind class to life. My class vibes on a rhythm, there is a pulse to it, it’s choreographed to a point where everyone falls into a trance that dances across the mat. It’s this rare moment where you witness people completely focused and fully present in the moment.

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?

My dear friend and founder/visionary behind Yoga medicine has been a huge catalyst in my career. Very early on Tiffany hired and entrusted in me the responsibility to grow her own community in Yoga Medicine. I was able to travel around the world assisting workshops and teacher trainings gaining valuable knowledge and experience in public teaching and anatomy. I also met some of my greatest friends through the experience. I see more and more how she really primed me for where I’m at and am incredibly thankful for her guidance and belief in me.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Emotional triggers — we all have super-reactive tendencies within us that can be triggered by someone else’s behavior and/or comments. We don’t, however, always recognize the habits we have set in place to cope when we are triggered. Some people overeat, some people get angry, some people get depressed and isolate themselves. There are countless ways for us to withdraw emotionally when we feel hurt, but oftentimes these reactions are things we regret later on. The MOST important thing we can do to truly manage our well-being is to recognize and understand our bad habits and put into action making better new ones.

Overcompensating — this is something I see commonly in Americans. The need to be excessive about anything when we are trying to do our best and then taking it to the extreme and burning ourselves out. Whether it’s clean eating, exercise, being positive; oftentimes we become obsessed with this idea of doing our best and in doing so we avoid the actual underlying issues that we are suppressing. We are programmed and designed in our Western culture to hide our feelings under a rug and appear perfect and in doing so we don’t actually address the issues we are trying to hide and avoid. To be optimally healthy we have to address the shadow parts of ourselves that got us to where we are and get super honest about our issues. It’s only through transparency that we can actually grow and evolve into our highest potential and healthiest selves.

Procrastination — the biggest culprit and hurdle to get over is ourselves and our perception of what’s been done to us. We all have past baggage that made an imprint on our current state of mind and reality. But our perception is never truly honest or correct. I think one of the biggest things standing in people’s way is their own procrastination and excuses as to why they can’t achieve the things they want to achieve and typically this is because they are placing fault and blame in people and situations around them. All this really is is an inability to look at your current mental well-being and make the necessary shifts to clean things up. Unfortunately, the only thing standing in anyone’s way of living their wildest dreams is them. The capacity is within us all, it’s getting off our ass and putting things into work that is the hardest part.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Breathing exercises — I think we forget that the best way to ward off stress and reset the mind is by taking a deep breath! We all incur bouts of anxiety throughout the day whether it’s from handling our household economy, dealing with a spouse or children or driving in traffic! All these things create stress hormones to be secreted into the body leaving chemical residue on our tissues. Deep breathing exercises offer us an opportunity to pause, tune-in, and re-set our nervous system. Each time we practice deep breathing we enforce a healthy habit for combating stress when the body starts to feel it coming on. The more we practice it the easier it is to handle stress when we feel it coming on.

Affirmation words — Use love language in your daily speech to elicit those love sensations in your body. When I was serious about calling love into my life I decided to actively tell people I loved them. By creating this habit I really started to embody the feeling of love for everyone I met. My boundaries softened and I was able to feel a deeper sense of intimacy and acceptance of everything in my life. I also grew stronger bonds with the ones I loved by actively showing love and receiving it back.

Set intentions/Not just goals — goals are different than intentions. Goals are calculated expectations we wish to achieve. Oftentimes there is no repercussion to not achieving the goal besides a bit of personal disappointment. Intentions are different. Intentions offer us an opportunity to reflect on our behavior and actions. I think intentions are crucial to fixing the self-sabbotaging habits we all create to protect ourselves. By setting an intention for the day we have an opportunity to reflect on whether or not each action is in alignment with how we wish to feel or how we wish to make others feel and if our actions are in alignment to that. You’re able to also catch where your distractions are and what you procrastinate on that gets in the way of your intentions. Setting intentions helps to clean up those mindless habits we all have that gets in the way of our best-selves shining through.

Mindful Eating — this is one I still struggle with even though I actively coach it on retreats and in teacher trainings. Most people could clean up their nutrition but mindful eating is about eating your food with the intention of enjoying it and creating the feeling of joy around eating. This is different than nutrition because, while nutrition is important for our overall weight, it doesn’t tackle the delicacy that is emotional eating. I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled from emotional eating most of my life. When we mindfully eat we put in consideration all the things we are putting into our mouth. We take time to prepare our meals and to actively think about what benefits the food offers our bodies. I love to think about how my vegetables are providing certain nutrients for me and thank them for their nutrients before I eat them. Then when I do eat, I practice mindful chewing, making sure all the food is properly chewed down and has moved around my palate before I swallow it. Not only does this trick help you to slow down when eating, but you also become full faster because you are properly chewing and swallowing your food.

Cold shower spurts — Not only are cold showers incredibly good for the physical body ie . But they also jolt our vagus nerve giving us a feeling of dopamine, the happy hormone. Just a few seconds of cold water can work miracles on our body helping to alleviate brain fog, fatigue and improve our circulation. I practice them daily when I need a pick me up. It’s way healthier than caffeine and calorie free!

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

A dose of Dopamine — when you engage in exercise you enjoy your brain release dopamine which is our happy hormone! Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter that gives us a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. So engage in activity you enjoy like hiking, walking, running, yoga and you’re bound to start feeling happier naturally.

Keeps your brain young — exercise gives our brain something to do! Neuroplasticity is our ability to change how our brain functions and activates. The best way to shift things is to do different exercises often to fire your neurons in a new way and create new pathways for the brain. The more you change things up the more you help your brain to stay healthy and engaged.

Improved Sex Drive — sexual active is an entire body experience and requires that everything is working optimally. Exercise increases our stamina, lowers stress (which is a mood killer) and enhances how we feel about ourselves by releasing feel good endorphins. Exercise also improves circulation which makes sex easier and more fun because we increase our stamina. Research also shows that exercise enhances how well we perform in bed because we are more intimately connected to ourselves and want to experience more pleasurable things because of it.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Downward Facing Dog — this is by far one the best single exercises you can do everyday to open the body. We all sit too much, whether it be in a car, at a desk, or on our couch. Our entire body is made up of connective tissue that holds everything together muscles, bones, organs, and we all sit too much. This one posture opens the entire back body stretching those deep tissues from the crown of the head all the way down into your heel bones. The more pliable you can keep your tissues the more injury free you become and the easier your body can move pain free.

Low or High Lunge — Again because of our already sedentary lifestyle habits such as sitting at a desk or in a car, the front area of the pelvis is susceptible to tightness that can pull on the low back over time. It’s crucial to be stretching the front of the hips daily to ensure our low back is healthy and our core strong. I would recommend doing this a couple times a day to offset tightness in the hips and low back.

Cat/Cow — our spines are the lifeline to the body and contain our central nervous system (the signaling to the body). Because the spinal discs are like a sponge, it’s important to move them in many different directions daily to rinse out the old and let in the new. Our bodies were designed to move freely and painfree. The more we rotate, bend and twist the more we move our blood and increase circulation and mobility. Cat/cow stretches many joints and lubricates the back body giving us more freedom in the spine to move with ease.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Hydration is number one when it comes to recovery. I teach a lot of hot yoga which means a lot of sweating and depletion of very important minerals such as potassium and magnesium. I ALWAYS recommend that people drink electrolytes prior to and after class (half hour max) to replenish and hydrate their bodies properly. The reality is that our connective tissue takes a beating from our daily workouts and we need to hydrate appropriately to keep the tissues engaging properly and to keep our bodies less prone to injury.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

Find what is right for you can be difficult and time consuming. I’m a big component of a healthy balanced diet that consists of a lot of lean protein. I have been both raw and vegan in my life but as I got older I noticed that both diets weren’t offering me enough complete proteins to keep me satiated and energized. I had to go in and work with a nutritionist to up my sources of complete proteins in order to find balance. By going from 24 grams of protein a day to almost 85 grams I noticed significant changes in my music mass, energy, skin tone and sleep. I equate eating protein to the deep nourishment and repair of our cells and internal organs.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

The giving tree — my favorite childhood book that I’ve read over and over again to this day. I believe this book really set within me the idea that life is about faithful and grateful service to help all.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Yoga teachers in hospitals and clinics around the world. I am definitely on a mission to have yoga recognized as a clinical form of both mind & body therapy. The more I work clinically the more I see how important it is for patients to have a one-on-one relationship with their providers. I believe as the divide of healthcare becomes more prevalent we will need to trust in the knowledge of yoga teachers to infiltrate clinics providing patients with the tools of the practice to manage their stress, sickness and mental well-being.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. — Mary Oliver

I’m like everyone. I race around all day not noticing things, not paying attention and being unaware of my surroundings. I’m stuck in my head a good amount of time and I struggle with fear, worry and guilt like everyone else. But the biggest gift of life is presence. Nothing is more important than the present moment, so I try to practice presence each day by giving thanks for the moment. Like when I’m sitting in my car in traffic, or riding in an elevator or standing in line at the store I simply try to give thanks for it. Those moments that get lost and seem unimportant and simply reminding myself that all of it is a blessing. Each in-between thing is just as important as the big things we tend to place all our focus on. But can you be just as excited and grateful for the in-betweens.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Brene Brown. I love how intimate and raw she is while being able to speak interpersonally to people. She risks being vulnerable and making mistakes in an effort to connect and crack people open. I value her words because it sounds less like preaching and more like a one-on-one conversation with a friend. I think that she has a true knack for public speaking and life-coaching that engages the audience without speaking down to them or sounding superior.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Intagram: Emilie Perz Yoga

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