Athleta Ambassador Pilin Anice studied dance in school, but found a way to combine her passion for rhythmic movement and yoga through Afro Flow Yoga. Below, she talks about her love for the energizing activity as well as her Permission to Pause in a day filled with teaching and being a mom in hectic NYC.
You are an Afro Flow Yogi. For those of us who don’t know, tell us a little bit about what that is.
Afro Flow Yoga is an amazing practice that fuses vinyasa yoga sequences with the healing dances of the African Diaspora, kundalini, and live-drumming. It’s a dynamic class that takes you on a journey and leaves you feeling lighter, grounded and energized.
How long have you been practicing Afro Flow Yoga and how did you first get into it?
I have been practicing and teaching AFY for a little over six years. My education is in dance and my first introduction to yoga was actually in a Fundamentals of Dance class in college. So dance and yoga were always connected for me. I completed my Yoga Teacher Training in 2010 and had a vision of bringing yoga asanas and dance together. Shortly after, I meet AFY founder, Leslie Salmon Jones, in a Haitian Dance class and it was an instant connection! After taking one class with Leslie I was hooked!
You have two kids who are often featured on your Instagram striking yoga poses with you. Why is it important for you to introduce them to yoga at a young age?
Oh, there are so many reasons! I find that yoga is a wonderful way to teach my children self-awareness, breath focus, and stillness. It’s also a great way to introduce mindfulness. My kids are very active so yoga provides necessary time and space to just BE and spend enjoyable quality time together. It’s such a great foundation. The other day I overheard my three-year-old son remind his older sister to take deep breaths when she was upset!
Our photographer captured a great photo of you doing an aerial pose on the subway. What does a “day-in-the-life” look like for you (does your commute always involve you being upside down?!)?
Haha. Not quite, though I am known to kick up into an inversion whenever space allows! My schedule changes weekly so a day in my life is always a little different. I usually rise early and reserve mornings for my personal practice of meditation and movement to the ground before my husband and kids wake up. Then I prepare breakfast and lunches, and get myself and the kids ready to head out. After that, my day is filled with teaching, both yoga and dance classes, castings, shoots and admin time for planning, blogging, etc.
Spending time with my family is very important to me and my favorite part of the day is sitting down for dinner and gratitude time. Once the kids are in bed, my hubby and I take time to connect with each other. I use my body constantly so a few nights a week I end my day with a hot bath with salts and essential oils! It’s such a treat!
Yogi, mom, and wife are just a few of the things that keep you busy. Tell us a little about what else fills your days.
In addition to teaching yoga, I am a performing artist and castings, and shoots can fill my days when they come up. I am also a certified Wellness Coach. I have eaten a plant-based diet for over 15 years and love guiding clients who are looking to transition or incorporate more plants into their diet.
One of your mantras is “finding balance in life.” How do you do this while living in a bustling city like NYC? What’s your Permission to Pause?
Finding balance for me is internal. It’s about staying centered spiritually, physically, and mentally so that I can handle all the day has to offer gracefully AND gratefully no matter what comes up or how things turn out. It’s not about trying to be supermom or achieve some ideal. My Permission to Pause is carving out time for myself to enjoy a luxurious pedicure (not the basic one) or a facial at my favorite spa. It’s essential for me take time to pause every day, some days longer than others, but it’s those extended pauses, where I truly pamper myself, those are the ones I really look forward to!
Pilin is a master at choreographing much more than an Afro Flow Yoga class. Through her background as a certified nutrition coach, she has some deliciously healthy recipes to share. Check her blog for yummy inspiration.