Inside the mind of the health expert spearheading “retox”-ing
Creator of I.AM.YOU lifestyle brand and yoga studio, health expert Lauren Imparato provides practical health and wellness strategies in her upcoming wellness book RETOX. Revered as one of the globe’s top lifestyle, wellness, and yoga experts, she has led classes for tens of thousands in Central Park, Times Square, Ibiza, and the Cannes Film Festival. She resigned from her job on Wall Street to launch I.AM.YOU to provide what she felt was missing in Manhattan’s health scene – a 360 degree, straight up, realistic lens for wellness:
1) On your upcoming book, “RETOX DETOX”, you primarily focus on “retox-ing” rather than the typical detox – what is the difference between the two?
Detox (verb): Abstaining from unhealthy substances. Living confined.
Retox (verb): Adding in healthy substances. Living free.
Detox detox detox. How many times do you hear this word, re read it, maybe even use it… jumping on board out of some societal or self imposed guilt? We all have at least once, because for some reason detoxing is considered the way to greatness. The thing is, your body KNOWS how to cleanse itself. It was built precisely to do so. Yet, over and over again, we strap ourselves up, lock ourselves in, and strip ourselves down. Even though all we want is to be happy, healthy, and free…..
By its very nature detoxing implies a lack of freedom. Retox, on the other hand, is all about living and adding things in that will make you strong in body, mind and life. It is about harnessing all you and the world have to offer, and then adding a splash of simple, straight-up doable tips and solutions to make it all even better. It isn’t about depriving or regulating yourself or your lifestyle like detoxing mandates but instead about embracing it all and flourishing within it. Retox is about freedom and actual down and dirty true happiness.
2) You used to work on Wall Street – what inspired you to trade finance in to start I.AM.YOU Studio?
Life. I started to realize all my friends, none of whom worked on Wall Street, and all my colleagues on the trading floor were struggling to be healthy and happy even though they had access to all the best resources out there. Then I realized there wasn’t a realistic lens of wellness that spoke to us go getters, the work hard play hard type that wants to be healthy, wants to yoga, wants to feel like a billion bucks, but does not want to have to sacrifice their career, personal, family or social life to do so. So I quit in 2009 to start I.AM.YOU., a wellness lifestyle company & yoga studio. RETOX is real wellness for real life, period the end.
3) Are there any misconceptions people have about yoga?
People think yoga is about relaxing- it’s not. Sure, you may likely relieve stress in yoga and feel more relaxed after, but it was actually never intended to help you “let go.” Yoga, real yoga, is all about harnessing the power of the mind so you can go create your ideal you in your ideal world. That’s what RETOX is all about – applying simple effective tools to help you become your best you inside out and outside in. That’s true yoga.
4) What is one major mistake a lot of people make when resolving to living a healthier lifestyle?
Extremism! For whatever reason, people think to be healthy they need to put strict rules and regulations onto their life and deprive themselves. And let’s be honest, those changes only last for a short while, and usually require a fair amount of emotional and monetary commitment. RETOX is about simple, doable, effective tips you can apply to the life you actually lead. Yoga poses you can do at your desk and quick sequences for when you have a few more minutes at home. Foods you can order in, eat out, and pick up at the cafeteria or deli. Recipes that actually take 10 min and make no mess. 1 minute meditations and action plans to keep your mind in shape.
5) Any go-to yoga poses for a long work day?
Chair Forward Fold
Come to the edge of your chair. Separate your feet hip distance apart. Extend your legs forward and flex your feet so the heels press into the floor. Inhale, sit up tall. Exhale, fold forward, reaching your hands toward your ankles or shins. Let your head hang here and hold for five to fifteen breaths.
6) Do you have a favorite healthy snack for reenergizing throughout the day?
My favorite snack, being from California, I call Avocado Boom! Slice an avocado in half, maybe sprinkle it with salt and BOOM, you’re done. Doesn’t get easier than that.