This month, we had the opportunity to catch up with Adrienne Diaz and Amir Madison, an L.A. based power couple that brought their passion for yoga, athletics, Ayurveda and social justice together to form YogiAthlete. Through this platform, Adrienne and Amir work with various clients, from athletes and yogis, to everyday people. They use their skills to enhance athletic performance, by helping to build lung capacity, increase flexibility, prevent injuries and build sustainability both mentally and physically to better cope with the high demands that athletes face. YogiAthlete also works with yogis, by helping them to build self-confidence on their yoga mats and cultivate a deeper connection with their bodies, minds and communities. Adrienne and Amir also bring their yoga off the mat and into the world through their wellness event, Eat Move Meditate L.A., by providing yoga, Ayurvedic knowledge and plant-based foods to communities that often lack access to . Needless to say, we’ve got a crush on these beautiful beings and just love what they are doing to make yoga and Ayurveda accessible to everyone throughout Los Angeles and beyond. We hope you enjoy learning more about Adrienne and Amir
PAAVANI: Hi Adrienne & Amir! Thank you so much for sitting down with us today to share more about you and your work. We have to start with the question, how did you both meet? Did you both have regular yoga practices at that time or was this something that evolved with your relationship?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: We met at a yoga studio! At the time, we were both deep in our personal yoga practices. We both practiced and worked at the same studio, so to maintain a professional relationship between work and our personal lives we kept our relationship secret for about one year.
PAAVANI: Adrienne, we here at PAAVANI crossed paths with you thanks to Ayurveda! We connected a few years ago and were able to share some PAAVANI skincare products in an Ayurvedic Wellness Workshop you were leading in L.A. (For everyone out there wondering, you can explore Adrienne’s Ayurvedic offerings on her website, Ho’ola Mamma!). Was Ayurvedic medicine something you both got interested in together or did you, Adrienne, introduce this ancient science to Amir? Also, Adrienne, could you please share with our readers what your Ayurvedic focus is through your company, Ho’ola Mamma?
ADRIENNE: Yes, our students love PAAVANI skincare products (and so do we)!
After living together for four years, Amir naturally embraced the Ayurvedic lifestyle. Through observation and by participating in my Ayurvedic workshops, he learned how to eat and live in alignment with his mind-body constitution.
Ho’ola Mamma is an Ayurvedic wellness space for perinatal health, offering physical, emotional and educational support for birthing people and their families. From Ayurvedic healing herbs and cooking to individualized yoga and lifestyle practices, Ho’ola Mamma helps nourish the body, optimize lactation, and help ground and restore during pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
PAAVANI: What are some of your favorite Ayurvedic rituals to do as a couple?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: Each morning prior to hopping on our phones and computer, we drop into a meditation and pranayama practice. We also love tongue scraping, daily abhyanga and cooking with the seasons!
PAAVANI: Amir, can you share with us when and how YogiAthlete began?
AMIR: The journey began in 2010, and the business officially launched in 2016. Before I got into yoga, I noticed the lack of physical and mental awareness for myself and other athletes. When combining yoga and athletics - not only did I heal torn ligaments and prevent additional injuries, I was able to keep my focus, slow down the game, and react without thinking all while having fun playing the game that I love. Yoga also enhanced my performance off the field - I was able to be better throughout personal aspects of life. Then, I met my wonderful partner, Adrienne. When realizing there was a need for what we offer together, we combined our expertise to perfect the art of what YogiAthlete is today.
PAAVANI: If someone is not based in Los Angeles, are they able to still work and practice with you? Could you share how they would do that?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: For those based outside of Los Angeles, you can practice with us from anywhere around the globe via our online studio located within our website. We offer a variety of asana styles, meditation practices, plant-based recipes and monthly playlists all led by an incredible, diverse group of yoga teachers.
PAAVANI: Amir and Adrienne, are you seeing more and more athletes beginning to embrace yoga as a part of their lifestyle regimen? For all the athletes out there that haven’t begun to do so or are on the fence about yoga, do you have any advice for them?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: We’ve seen and connected with a small, but growing, number of athletes that practice yoga. We love to see more athletes incorporate yoga into their training and lifestyle regimen!
Our advice to athletes that haven’t begun yet: yoga not only enhances physical strength, it also promotes mental, emotional and spiritual balance. Yoga is self-study, self-discipline and self-preservation. Regardless of background, experience or body type, any athlete can benefit from practicing yoga asana and meditation. You never have to feel like you need to be ready or prepare yourself for yoga - yoga meets you where you’re at.
PAAVANI: We LOVE the vision behind Eat Move Meditate L.A.! What was the inspiration behind creating these events? Since we are still in pandemic mode, has this affected Eat Move Meditate, L.A.? When is the next one happening and where?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: There is a need for more yoga, wellness and healthy food spaces in South Central Los Angeles where Amir was born and raised. For too long, it has been a food and wellness desert. We were inspired to create an inclusive, diverse and affordable yoga event for this community and other communities that need more access to wellness. Eat Move Meditate LA was then conceived in 2018 to reshape the narrative and to provide yoga, meditation and vegan food during an all-day event in South Central LA. Due to the pandemic, our in-person events have been put on hold, but this gave us an opportunity to explore how we can make the event even better. As Los Angeles starts to open back up again and as we navigate the regulations around in-person gatherings, we are in the process of planning an event to hopefully take place during Summer 2021.
PAAVANI: How do you think the yoga and wellness industries can be more culturally diverse and inclusive?
ADRIENNE & AMIR: It’s a process, but we believe small steps can make a great impact. The yoga and wellness industries can begin by hiring more yoga instructors and wellness practitioners of color, as well as establish more diversity within their management teams as well. In addition, we hope to see more affordable yoga and wellness spaces opening up in neighborhoods where they are scarce, such as South LA.
PAAVANI: What’s next for you both as individuals and as a couple?!
ADRIENNE & AMIR: Adrienne is working on expanding her postpartum Ayurvedic cooking services for new parents, Amir is working on providing yoga to athletes at the Olympic level, and together we are looking forward to spending lots of time connecting with nature and the outdoors. We love hiking and camping, and plan to do much more of that together.
Learn more about YogiAthlete.
Learn more about Ho’ola Mamma.
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