JOIN FASHION MODEL AND YOGA TEACHER CHRISSY IONNO ON HER JOURNEY WITH WELLNESS
I was born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area of Canada. Growing up I had a lot of energy. I absolutely loved being active. I played various sports and was always doing some sort of outdoor activity after school (weather-permitting of course). I enjoyed expressing my thoughts with poetic words and visions so writing and creating art became an incredible outlet for me. I had a naturally thin, tall build so really couldn’t care less about what I was putting into my body. I ate junk food constantly without any thought of how it might affect me. I was discovered by a modeling agent at the age of 11, and began to do some modeling shoots when I developed to the age of 14/15. I struggled with extreme bouts of shyness and it took me a long while to warm up to the idea of putting myself out there in such a public way. In my teens years I hit a wall – I was living an unhealthy lifestyle that had caught up to me. I noticeably gained weight, felt sluggish and my entire sense of mental wellbeing was off. I experienced a wave of depression and felt a bit lost at times. Through some proper encouragement by my mentors and a lot of courage I decided it was time to make some big changes. I drastically cleaned up my diet and began working out daily. I limited trash TV shows and only watched or read material that I found inspiring.
I suddenly became incredibly interested in researching anything related to nutrition or wellness. My modeling career had taken off which lead to a lot of exciting travel and experiences. I was encouraged to stay fit and healthy so I developed routines I could keep up with. Eventually I ended up in NY which is where I have called home for the last 11 years. This energetic city that I immediately loved also brought about a new level of hustle which created much anxiety in me. I had to find new ways to unwind and decompress. I began boxing which was an amazing way to release built up tension and get a great workout in, but I still desired more. I had discovered yoga and that’s when my initiation into the world of wellness truly began. It was the remedy I had been searching for and has now become an entire way of life for me. Yoga makes me feel like Wonder Woman! It’s truly a practice for all of your senses.
I have recently graduated from a 200-hour yoga teacher training which was truly a transformative experience that has jumpstarted my abilities to share my newfound knowledge and expertise in the world of yoga with others. I want to help people feel excited about being motivated and dedicated to reaching their greatest potential for overall wellness. In curating yoga classes I like to incorporate meditation and dharma wisdom along with a vigorous vinyasa flow, making it fun and fresh with an amazing playlist set to create an inspiring mood. I have been continuing my studies with learning modules in Ayurveda, Astral Anatomy and the Buddhist practice of Tantra. I have a Level 2 Reiki certification that I am working on incorporating into my private yoga sessions. There are vast amounts of information to be learned in the world of wellness and I look forward to continuing this lifelong journey of learning!
My favorite CARAVAN classes have to be the ‘Meditation’ and ‘Breathing’ exercises. Leo’s meditation classes have particularly been a go-to for me. They really help bring me back to the present moment and develop a sense of calm. He has an incredibly soothing voice and demeanor. I highly recommend checking his videos out. Since I have a tendency to become anxious, which can then lead to shortness of breath, I find the Breathing classes assist in bringing the awareness to how I am breathing and help deepen and slow the breath down. When we are not breathing properly we cannot think properly. Taking moments of the day to check in with your breath can be so beneficial in clearing any cobwebs in your brain and to see things clearly again. The Breathing classes can also be quite invigorating if you need a boost in energy! A lot of variety to choose from 🙂 I also enjoy the yoga and stretching videos, especially when on-the-go traveling or working from home. An excellent way to incorporate movement into your day and get the endorphins and blood flowing.
Having time to myself in the morning is essential in setting the tone for the day. Daily routines help me stay motivated, focused and on track. I can then apply the best version of myself into my work, relationships and self-care when I stick to them. I keep them simple and they only require about 15-20 minutes of my time in the morning. I like to drink a glass or two of warm lemon water upon waking to ensure hydration and detoxification. I then meditate anywhere between 5-20 minutes, depending on my schedule. Meditation makes an enormous impact on my decision-making skills and ability to start and end the day in a calm, composed and rejoiceful manner. I also keep a daily journal. Rotating my thoughts and ideas on paper has been an incredible way to do some self-reflection. I believe that one of the most important routines we can all adopt is to express gratitude, love and compassion daily.
– that includes expressing gratitude, love and compassion for yourself also!