The theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is 'Yoga for Well-being'. To celebrate this special day we talk to local goddess Annie of SOLCRE8TIONS, a yoga teacher and psychology student who is passionate about holistic health and wellbeing. Connect mind, body and soul with Annie as we discuss mindful living, cosmetic surgery and insecurities, self-love, sustainable living and the joy of bed yoga. Namaste ✨
Annie, please introduce yourself…
Hola - hello. I am an earth dwelling, nature loving and creatively inclined soul. I was born in the tropical, equatorial lands of Ecuador, South America, and grew up in the beautiful Northern Rivers on Bundjalung country where I currently reside. I speak Spanish and English (mostly “Spanglish”) at home with my family and feel incredibly grateful to have had a colorful upbringing of both Australian and Ecuadorian cultures.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Each day is a little bit different, but I always start my mornings slowly, setting positive intentions and cultivating good energy for the rest of the day. I don’t wake up with an alarm as my black kitty Django is very adept at bringing me back into a waking state. I do my morning rituals which involve feeding Django, cleaning my surroundings, watering my plants, journaling, meditating, conscious breathing and movement practices before enjoying some fruit or something light for breakfast. Lately we’ve been having an abundance of citrus so orange and mandarin juice has been on the menu.
By this time, it’s usually around lunch and, as I mostly work from home, I whip myself up a delicious, wholesome meal and enjoy it out in the sunshine either in my garden or on the deck. I do the bulk of my work - editing, filming and planning classes for my online wellness business, in the afternoons and sometimes evenings when I seem to have the most creative potential. I share a meal with my family for dinner, usually cooked by my ma or me and then settle into some YouTube or SBS on demand for entertainment. Then, usually around 8pm, I turn of all my electronics and enjoy the rest of my evening either reading, journaling, drawing, meditating, doing some gentle stretches and relaxing breathwork, playing with Django or conversing with my family.
What are your most cherished daily rituals?
I absolutely love a good meditation to start and end my day. Whether that be putting on a guided meditation on YouTube or listening to high vibrational music and going into my own zone, I feel meditating is a personal necessity for me to remain balanced and live my life with more presence and clarity. The length of time I meditate usually varies from 30 minutes to 1 hour, but even just 5-10 minutes of breathing in and out for a certain number of counts can be as equally effective to soothe my sometimes overactive mind and anchor me back into the present moment. I usually do these mini meditations before bed as a way to release the happenings of that day and have a clean slate for the new day ahead.
I also love doing breathwork and, depending on how I’m feeling and whether it’s morning or evening, I’ll either do an energizing or relaxing pranayama or a fusion of the two. In the mornings I also love listening to positive affirmations on YouTube to really establish a good mindset for the rest of the day. I have a few guided affirmations on my YouTube channel “SOLCRE8TIONS”, as well as guided meditations and pranayama tutorials if you wish to check it out. And finally, I can’t forget stretching and moving my body. Whether this be in the form of yoga or dancing, stretching and movement just elevates me to a whole other level and helps me feel so grounded and good in my body (you can also check out my channel for some juicy yoga practices as well).
You recently shared a powerful post about cosmetic surgery: can you share more about this experience with us…
I feel like we are always constantly evolving and changing and how we feel during one phase of our life isn’t always a reflection of how we feel and define ourselves now. This is very much the case for me as I look back at this time period, which was saturated by low self-esteem, anxiety and bouts of depression, and I see myself as a completely different person.
At that time, undergoing a breast augmentation was a reflection of my conditioned insecurities. I was always looking to the outside world to validate my sense of self-worth as I didn’t feel confident or simply enough in my own skin. I must admit that this was a tough cycle in my life, but I know that I am not alone in feeling this way as there is so much pressure in this day and age to look and act a certain way in order to be perceived as “feminine” and “attractive”.
I say that external beauty is just the surface and inner beauty is where it’s at. External beauty fades but the inner glow is constant. For me personally, I feel most attracted to people with rich souls and kind and generous hearts, so my advice is to look less and less towards your physical looks and material possessions to define you and more towards the quality of your inner landscape.
What does self-care and self-love mean to you?
For me, self-care and self-love means knowing that I can put my own needs first, not in a selfish or vain context but in a way that means I am able to show up in the world as the best version of me because I am continuously investing time and energy into my physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. In other words, it means filling up my own cup so that I have more to give to others without feeling drained and depleted. It also means that it is okay for me to say no to other people, situations or experiences that do not resonate or align with my highest good as well as always speaking my truth and maintaining healthy boundaries with others.
Loving myself is a knowing and embodiment of the truth that I am absolutely enough with or without the validation of the world around me. Just by existing, just by being, I am enough. I am worthy and deserving of the all the goodness this universe has to offer and I allow myself to receive what is intended for me. It also means understanding that other people’s perceptions of me and my life choices is just a reflection of them and says more about that individual than it does about me, so I try not to take anything someone else says or does with low vibrations to heart.
What unconventional beauty advice would you like to share?
Less is more in my experience. I go by the minimalist approach in that I do not own a great deal of clothing and beauty products but what I do own is greatly cherished and put to good use. Another tip is always wear clothing that you feel super comfortable in as how you are wearing something speaks louder volumes than the articles of clothing itself.
Also, this may be too much information but, for me personally I like a hairless look from the eyebrows down, so laser hair removal has been both a time saver and good investment of money for me. I recommended it to my mama and she absolutely loved her results. Also, if you feel comfortable with menstrual underwear, I would totally recommend this over pads, tampons and even moon cups, which in my experience have been prone to leaking. I’ve just started using period-wear from a brand called ModiBodi and I’m absolutely in love with how comfortable, effective and discrete they are to wear as well as how friendly they are for the environment.
Sustainability is a journey; what are some of the recent steps you’ve taken to be aware of, care for and protect Mother Earth?
I’ve recently started making my own moisturizer and lip balm, with coconut oil, beeswax, olive oil, essential oil and beetroot juice to tint the lip balm. No longer do I need to buy plastic containers of skin lotions as this tincture seems to be the right combination for my skin. I also use this moisturizer as a styling product for my hair when I’m doing braids and twists which is an extra bonus. In addition, I buy most of my clothes from sustainable brands if I can, but I rarely do buy new articles of clothing, apart from intimates and activewear, as I seem to be gifted a lot of secondhand clothing from friends and family which is amazing.
I am not 100% plant-based, as I seem to fluctuate in an out of this way of eating, but personally I never buy and cook animal products as it has never resonated with me. Plant-based has been my preferred way of eating for the past five years now. And, as mentioned previously, I use period underwear from ModiBodi which I HIGHLY recommend. They are super easy to clean as well, you just rinse them under the tap and throw them into the wash and voilà!
Not many people know that I…
Am super goofy and love to crack jokes left, right and center. I think Django hears the majority of my jokes to be honest because I spend the most time with him.
I’m currently obsessed with…
Bed yoga! It is sooo good, especially during this winter season when all you want to do is snuggle up and be comfortable and cozy. Bed yoga has been my go-to movement practice of late and I’m in love.
This year I’m manifesting…
More creative energy to go full steam ahead with my wellness projects. More financial stability from doing what I truly love to be doing. More connections with like-minded, high vibing, beautiful people who inspire, uplift and nurture me. And some good ol’ romance might be nice too.
✨ For high vibrational content, from yoga and pranayama videos to positive affirmations and guided meditations, follow Annie's channel on YouTube @SOLCRE8TIONS
Love Annie's look 💕 Shop her fave selects from Nomada; as seen from top to bottom: