HEY I’M ANNA,
Originally hailing from Italy but feeling like a true citizen of the world, I spent many years in London, Ibiza and now Berlin. Formerly working in the music scene as a radio speaker and then talent agent, I discovered Yoga 10 years ago and immediately grew devoted to it. While going through some tough times in my previous career, my consistent Yoga and meditation practice and my wellness awakening helped me rise above all the obstacles and fears. Yoga offered me a path to constant improvement and re-discovery of my authentic Self.
Interview to self: WHAT MOMENT WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR TURNING POINT?
Flashback to May 2017 after trying to get a pay-rise at the music agency I had been working for, my request was turned down, I was suddenly kicked out of it with no particular reasons. Within a week all the artists I had been growing, caring and working for years dropped me without even given me the benefit of the doubt, all the safe pillars I had underneath myself were abruptly removed and all of a sudden I felt I was standing on a wobbly 2-legged stool.
Very soon after that my relationship ended and I was alone in Berlin overwhelmed by feelings of alienation as a vulnerable expat woman with no job, no family around, far from my best friends and single. That was me falling off face down from my unsteady stool hitting the ground and finding myself at the lowest point I had ever been in life.
Being a Yoga practitioner for many years saved me I quickly understood that I had been investing my time in the wrong field and I was giving away my energies to the wrong people. I started to apply my yoga practice off the mat, yogis spend years to deepening contact with the earth, and they know that the ground will never withdraw its support. After few weeks of grief, I started to see the light again, and I understood that what seemed to be the end was instead a new beginning, a great occasion to start pushing myself off the ground and start a new flow a new journey a more significant and a better one. I had so much to give it was about time I began to channel my energies in the right direction. The universe was pushing me into the right path, and I grew my faith and embraced the unknown.
I went travelling to India where I took my Yoga teacher training. Through a long process of self-discovery, through yoga and meditation and I managed to tap into my inner wisdom and I re-claimed myself. I started to recognise my strengths and thanks to my family and my best friends in the world I realised that my purpose had always been loud and clear I've been sent to this world to help others. Bringing a smile on people faces, holding their hands in difficult moments, being their motivator and guide on the side, cheering them up through tough times to make them feel that there are not alone and they are not a failure but only humans and being vulnerable is part of our essence.
As soon as I came back to Berlin I started my studies as Holistic Health Coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I was healing my wounds and had the liberating experience of facing the painful truth, that was me initiating myself I grew solid roots and laid the foundations for an exciting future. I could have never done this without the support of my mum, my best friend Mara, my fantastic accountable health coach and friend Cindy and my great ally and friend Anika.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH OTHERS?
Life is about self-discovery certain people are very clear with their mission certain people not so much. For certain people a life purpose is mothering or fathering, being a housewife and a caretaker, for others is being an artist, a writer, a teacher, a bartender for others is making money, there is no right or wrong, like the Japanese proverb says “10 people 10 colours”. You can be whatever you want to be; it starts from knowing yourself, reclaiming yourself, listening to your inner wisdom. How do you find alignment? It all starts from how you feel and that is completed related to your health. Health is not a goal is a vehicle that allows you to align with your life purpose.
WHAT OTHER CHALLENGES DID YOU GO THROUGH IN LIFE?
Flashback to 2001, I was a loud and rebellious teenager addicted to the gym, chronic dieter trying to fit into very unhealthy beauty standards inculcated by Italian rubbish media programmes and society. I tried any fad diet low-fat, no fat, no carbs, sugar-free and so on, I tried to starve myself for a few days, and then food binged for days to make up for it. I didn’t like to live in a small city I felt tight in my own skin, I wanted to escape, and my mum sent me to Zurich to spend the summer abroad with my extended Swiss family. I returned back home five months later 10kgs bigger! Since being a teenager my weight started to be like a YO-YO, and moving to Switzerland ended up gaining more weight. What was going on? 95% of my life was pretty great and yet there was one difficult aspect, my relationship with my dad. It was challenging for a girl at that tender age; it was an adverse situation.
Flashback to 1990, I was 5 and my grandparents did not love me as much as my brother, they openly treated him differently I was totally oppressed by the situation, even though my mother was aware of it and tried to make up for it, it could not have changed how it made me feel. My father was not much around, and I started to develop this feeling that there was something wrong with me, I was not good enough to receive that unconditional love a child deserves to have. Here's another of those adverse childhood experiences that made me who I am today.
The reality is that many of us have grown up in a home where there are family dysfunctions, but most of us don’t talk about it. Any traumas, challenging childhood experiences live in the excess of weight, in the fat in the irritable bowels, in the migraine, in the skin or in any chronic disease. Food and diet are not the problems; weight is not an issue but a symptom. Food binging, addictions (sugar, alcohol,cigarettes,drugs), unhealthy behaviours and habits are the solution to an issue that usually is a deeper pain.
I’ve learned by my own experience that diets do not work, they do for a short period of time, but they do not create sustainable or long-lasting changes. Yes, we all need good food, enjoyable physical activity, water, a good doctor, right supplements but it might not be enough. We need to learn to deal with our deeper issues.