Welcome to the first in our Tips From The Top series where we chat to the best fitness experts to find out what fuels their passion (and grab a few tips whilst we’re at it…). Here’s our week one pro: yoga teacher Michele Pernetta, founder of Fierce Grace yoga.
World renowned yoga teacher, Michele is the lady who brought Bikram to Brits – the hot, sweat-inducing style of yoga that is widely cited as the best and most powerful discipline of its type. Spreading like wildfire amongst health conscious Londoners, Michele took her revolutionary yoga from living room to rented space and now to four top London venues in the shape of Fierce Grace – London’s hottest (literally) destinations for cutting-edge yoga classes.
A true yoga passionista, Michele lives and breathes her craft through a genuine desire to help people heal: ‘Yoga is a practice that everyone would benefit from doing for the rest of their lives. I am continuously inspired by my students – every day I am astonished at what I see people transcend in class and their willingness to go through their emotional and physical difficulties.’
She also finds power in good food – fueling her toned bod with healthy fats, ghee, butter and coconut, as well as Ayurvedic pesto (cilantro, rocket parsley, basil and pumpkin seeds covered with sesame oil) – ‘a superfood recipe an Ayurvedic doctor gave me that tastes great on absolutely everything!’
Michele’s success is helped by a healthy, energetic addiction to her work and what she describes as ‘opposing traits’. That’s having a keen attention to detail on one side, with an impulsiveness that can ‘cut through red tape’ when required. ‘I am sure it can be confusing (and annoying!) for people I work with’, she says. ‘But I think it has allowed me to push through the considerable obstacles one faces when developing a business.’
To boost energy and mood, she turns to a nice cup of black tea or heads off to her place in Italy where she can ‘enjoy the utter silence, empty the mind and form fresh ideas’. As far as down days are concerned, Michele simply turns to yoga to make her feel useful, energised and motivated: ‘Getting in to the yoga studio sorts out most physical and emotional slumps, I don’t need much more than that.’
Michele’s tip for Healthistas:
Think of the difference between a wild animal and a domestic animal. One is out running around, staying fit, getting some stressors (danger, lack of food one day, running, heat, cold) the other gets everything it needs given to it, food three times a day and sleeps and eats too much. The wild animal is lean, healthy and prepared for anything. The domestic is overweight, unhealthy and lazy. The former lives longer and doesn’t die from diseases related to over indulgence or a sedentary lifestyle (ok they may die from being eaten by a lion but some people would prefer that to a long slow death from disease!) Which do you want to be? The wild, fit, alert person, or the flabby housebound one? Exercise gives us the muscle, reflexes, circulation, mental agility, challenge and health benefits we were designed to have’.
Find out more about Fierce Grace.