Instructor Insights: Anna
Anna is BECYCLE's resident baby whisperer, who will guide you through the gentle process of quietening your mind, strengthening your body and reconnecting with your inner you and ‘mini-me’ in her weekly BEnatal classes.
What is your go-to breakfast on a busy morning? Breakfast for me is the most important meal of the day. Even when I have little time, I make sure I don’t skip it. But for those hectic mornings, I have some healthy and nutritionally balanced go-to breakfasts.
My first option is overnight chia seeds. This can be prepared the night before (and in batches for the week). It's easy. Just add four basic ingredients to the chia seeds, which are to be soaked in almond milk overnight, and you've got your morning energy in hand. My four add-ons are soaked nuts, fresh berries, a dash of cinnamon and dollop of honey (if you have a sweet tooth like me).
Option number two is raw cacao bites with kefir or yogurt and berries. To make it, you only need three basic ingredients: soaked nuts (cashew almonds or walnuts are my favourites), around 400-500 grams of Medjool dates, and 150 grams of raw cacao. With those quantities, you can make raw energy balls that will last at least a week. I like to cover my raw bites with coconut flakes. Sometimes I fill them with spices like cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper. With some fresh berries and yogurt or kefir, they are a match made in heaven, and you can bring them with you wherever you go.
What's your best strategy to stay motivated?
For me personally, I set larger goals for the year ahead then smaller goals which are much more achievable on a weekly and monthly basis. I like to write my achievements in a journal and keep track so I can see what I’m achieving and how I am evolving within the time frame given. Identifying my passions and my WHY has made all this process very easy and enjoyable. So my suggestion to stay motivated is to get a clear vision of why you are doing things. You have to know why you do what you do. The clearer the message is, the more you can define your goals.
Secondly I love setting intentions. I religiously set intentions before my yoga practice, and I always get my students to set one before we begin practice. From my experience, intentions are a key factor in tapping into motivation. By setting a new intention for the day, I take consistent action to move my goals forward. This is the key to success. This brings me to my last strategy: align with my heart. The more I do this, the more motivation I have to do the things I have to do in life.
The best thing we can do for ourselves after a workout is … replenish your energies with a nourishing meal. Food is the building block to how we feel - not only physically, but also mentally. I believe it is essential to nourish yourself authentically. The food you eat will determine the quality of life you live, by having your food be balanced, you are more likely to feel more satisfied and mentally stronger. To make this even more enjoyable, share your meal with a good friend or a lover, as healthy relationships are even more important than the food we eat!
Is there a special dietary regime you follow?
I’m a nutritarian, which means I’m a person who realises that my dietary regime has to be one of nutritional quality. Food is medicine, whatever we eat influences how we feel. I eat to feel good and I eat for energy. This doesn’t mean that my food is boring. Contrarily, I make very delicious food. Cooking for me is a spiritual practice, my secret ingredient to my meals is always love, because cooking with love adds nourishment off-the plate.
I follow the seasons, I listen to my body and I make sure I eat lots of veggies and fruits, some proteins and whole grains together with the right amount of good fats; olive oil, nuts and coconut butter are my favs. I integrate supplements like Omega 3 fatty acids and chlorella as they turn off inflammation and help to improve mood, memory and efficient brain function.
What are your top three workouts you do at home?
As much as I love a flow there are 3 poses I can dwell for a long time on my yin days. At #3 I like to practice extended puppy pose aka anahatasana. This pose is a lovely backbend for the upper and middle back. It also opens the shoulders and is extremely soothing for the heart as it is focused on that energy centre. My #2 is one-legged king pigeon pose aka Pada Rajakapotasana. This asana helps to add a whole lot of flexibility to the hip area, and it helps to stretch the entire lower body whilst massaging the abdominal organs. My #1 is plough pose aka halasana. This pose stretches the spine and stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid gland. It also balances the throat chakra. What I like the most about this pose is its underlying metaphor referred to a plow that tills the dead earth to bring forth life. So when I practice plow pose I see that moment as an opportunity to plow the field of my mind with positive thinking.
What are your tips to have energy all day?
First, say something good about yourself as soon as you wake up. I generally wake up by saying "thank you." This will help to set up a positive mind frame for the day ahead. Drink water and lemon, I have been drinking lukewarm water fresh lemon and aloe for years and it really has made a major impact on my health and beauty. Try to have a little yoga practice and meditation before having breakfast. Eat a nutritious breakfast. Check in with yourself throughout the day. Take small breaks, fresh air is needed and drink plenty water. Water is the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development, and it also plays an important role in energy transformation. When in doubt have some more water.
What's your favourite motivational quote if any?
This is a difficult question, as I love a good quote and every second week I post a new one on my Instagram. Having said that, my most recent favourite quote is by Susan David: “Embrace an evolving identity and release narratives that no longer serve you."
I have to mention also one of my all time favourites by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” This quote resonates so much with me and it always puts me into action mode when I feel low in energy. I read that and I recenter on my life purpose and the importance to keep doing those things that will impact how other people live their lives.
Favourite smoothie at My Goodness: Love You So Macha! It’s yumtastic ;)
Best Restaurant in Berlin: It’s hard to choose one.. My favourite vegan place is 1990 in F'schain. My favourite Indian is Guru in Kreuzberg, and my fave italian is Delizie D’Italia in Prenzlauer Berg.
Best Bar in Berlin: Immer Treu in Prenzlauer Berg.
Best Place to dance in Berlin: Wherever my fave DJ Lotte Ahoi plays. When she’s on the desks, I dance.
Favourite exercise: Yoga by far, although I don’t classify it as an exercise I call it practice.
Least favourite exercise: Weight lifting.
Dog, cats, neither? Why? I love cats and dogs equally. When I was younger I used to love cats more, but now I connect more with dogs because I love their loyalty to their owner.
What's your personal theme song? Deep and soulful.
You're stranded on an island. What's the one thing you'd wish you had and why? A real good friend, because I believe that what makes us, is the resonance we have with someone significant to us. I can’t imagine a life without any human connection.