by Ilana Hart October 31, 2021
About me: I live in Tel Aviv. I was born in Israel, but moved to New York with my family when I was 11. At age 17, we moved back to Israel, and then I moved back to New York independently a few years later to study Fine Arts. I decided not to finish my degree and instead pursued a yoga teacher certification and began teaching full time.
Becoming A Yogi: A Journey Of Exploration
I’ve always been interested in human nature, and thought that I would go into fine arts, theology or philosophy. As a child, I was naturally inquisitive and naturally drawn to thinking about my choices and how they affect the world. When I was six, my mom started practicing yoga and meditation after she was diagnosed with lymphoma. So I was introduced to yoga from a young age. I was able to observe it. I was also naturally very capable physically. I was extremely flexible and articulate with my body.
I got a lot of gifts from my mother. She’s very athletic and flexible and has done many body-based trainings her whole life. At age 63, she’s more than physically beautiful, you feel something in her energy - you feel her vibrancy and health; she’s so young physically and in her spirit.
I’ve been teaching for over a decade, and now my main focus is on teacher training. I just got back from the French Alps where I led a month-long, 14-hour-a-day training course. Since Corona, I’ve also been doing lots of online trainings.
A Shift In Perspective: Realizing My Purpose As An Instructor
When I think back to teaching my first classes, it was really an amazing experience. I was never an extroverted person, that’s why I liked intense body disciplines like ballet and yoga, because I didn’t have to talk so much. It was really hard for me in the beginning, learning to talk to people. It’s not a natural ability. A big highlight for me was getting through the really intense patterns of fear, of being in front of a room and being able to teach and connect with people.
Once it clicked that this is really not about me, and if I can help someone breathe a little bit deeper or find a little more space in their spine, then that’s what it’s about. I shifted my whole perspective to how I could be of service to others. That liberated me and was a really transformative event.
No. 1 Health & Wellness Tip
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when we try to make a big change in our lives. A really great way that we can move towards a more loving space internally and externally is to start the day with gratitude and say “thank-you” every morning. Also, taking responsibility for our actions can help us feel empowered to make changes.
Love and All Is Coming
I’m always making sure that what I’m consuming is going to elevate my spirit and body. My aim is to consume through love and make loving awareness the route of everyday choices. This includes making choices about the kinds of people we hang out with and where we lend our energy to.
What we consume will affect the quality of life and it also shows up in our skin. The body never lies. It’s very easy to see the health and vitality of a human being in the light in their eyes, the quality of their hair, and in their skin.
Skincare doesn’t seem so obvious, but it really can have a tremendous effect, especially if we eliminate products that use chemicals or reduce plastic packaging. I think it can make a small but powerful shift in our lives.
I feel like any skincare routine needs three primary steps - to clean the face, tone the skin (balance pH), and deep moisturization.
The I AM Set, which I co-created with FRÉ, reflects this simple but very effective routine. This is the routine that I’ve been doing for years, morning and night:
Having a daily skincare ritual is a way of showing ourselves care and compassion. When I wake up in the morning, I like to start my day with a simple affirmation of gratitude. Immediately after that I go and wash my hands and face. It’s so intuitive. When we have a specific ritual that goes along with how we start our day - that structure and framework is very helpful. I like doing things that feel good and set up my day for feeling great.
I think the key to healthy skin is not a secret - your skin absorbs a lot. So, not using products that are full of chemicals. I don't put anything on my skin that I wouldn't want to eat. Every time I go outside, I wear a hat and sunglasses, and I don’t put my face in direct sunlight.
My favorite skincare ritual: Massaging my face with I AM LOVE in the morning is very grounding. Natural ingredients help connect me to the earth. It’s a really powerful and energetic experience.
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