I’m thrilled to have Alana Kessler on the podcast to discuss hormone balance and optimal well-being! She is a registered dietician, clinical nutritionist, and expert yoga teacher with 20 years of experience. She specializes in supporting busy people, especially women, to heal chronic health issues. If you’re lucky enough to meet Alana in person you’ll be struck by her youthful exuberance and appearance.
I’m thrilled I was able to sit down and speak with her about the career paths that led her to where she is today. Alana is the founder of Be Well by AK where she provides 1:1 coaching and curated courses with the goal of creating a foundation for change with the support you need to sustain long-term success.
Alana has dipped her toe into a bit of everything. In 2005, she became a registered diaticiation all while dealing with her own nutritional issues. Alongside of her dietician journey, Alana was struggling with an eating disorder. She realized that her nutrition certification was originally motivated out of control so she could control the food she ate.
While struggling with bulimia from the young age of 16 to 30 years old, she felt like she was living a double life. On one hand she was studying nutrition and health but on the other she was a highly functioning addict.
Even her yoga journey was initially motivated by exercise and controlling her body. Yoga was a sense of comfort that she never felt in her whole life so she continued to practice yoga, and today she still visits her mat every single day.
She slowly started to get interested in mediation, Ayurveda, and internal energy and how that plays a role within Western medicine.
Everything changed for Alana around the age of 26. She had hit her limit of living her double life and no longer felt aligned to what she was doing. She quit her job at the hospital and became a RYT.
The Start of Her Wellness Journey
Helping people get into their bodies was her next vision and personal passion. She realized she wanted to build a community to help people build lasting habits into their wellness routine. This led her to opening her own communal yoga space.
In 2008 she opened Sangha Yoga Shala which she owned and operated for over eight years with the goal of getting clients “out of their heads and into their bodies.”
She approaches her work like an artist, “I receive people and I immediately get this sense – like an art. Every person for me is like an art piece and we collaborate together on building this architective of wellness.” By closing her studio in 2017, this allowed her to better tap into her most authentic self (something she coaches her clients on).
Eastern Meets Western Healing
By combing both eastern and western modalities she is able to help people holistically. First, she begins by looking at blood lab results and how these results show up in their life. From there she can pick a modality that will beneficial to them. She relies heavily on listening to her clients and what their vision of health is which can include anything from relationships, work life balance, connection to energy, etc.
Her work draws on her knowledge and several years of experience working in Eastern and Western nutrition, Functional Medicine, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, mindfulness, Interpersonal Psycho-Spiritual Healing and life coaching modalities.
We even discussed cholesterol and how this ties back into hormones, generational lineage, and how we can support it with eastern and western modalities.
The health landscape has changed so much from 10 years ago. These days people are requesting that doctors approach their health as a whole body system.
When looking at hormonal balance we need to look at our hormones as a whole. Harmonizing our nervous system is super important to creating balance in the body. Implied mindfulness is about creating a container to deal with uncomfortable feelings so we can become more skillful in living our day without heightened cortisol.
This can include picking the correct workout for you, setting boundaries, and finding self-preservation.
Tools for the Nervous System
It’s easy to spit out all of the tools for optimizing well-being but first the individual needs to be motivated to feel well and in-balance. Without the drive to change behavior then most likely it will not become a daily lifestyle.
The night before is a great time to start creating space for a calm day ahead. Maybe this means going to bed earlier so you can have time in the morning for yourself. Paying attention to how you spend your time at night is really important into setting up a successful day ahead.
Notice what is important to you. Is this spending time with your partner or children, cooking a delicious meal, having 10 minutes for coffee by yourself or journaling? Carve out that sacred time for yourself by planning it into your day the night before.
Ayurveda plays a big role into how Alana approaches clients. The 3 main doshas of Ayurveda are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. By understanding the elements and how they play a role in dosha imbalance she can help clients find balance by applying natural principles.
For example, Vata is composed of Air and Either elements so these types of people may be naturally inclined to eat cold or raw food. This can throw Vata dosha out of balance and they will feel more balanced with warm and grounding foods.
Ayurveda is based off of main principles of diet, nourishment, herbs, and lifestyle practices that are personalized for the individual in which they are introduced.
It’s a mind + body + spirit approach. She also works with clients on boundaries, empowerment, dealing with past traumas, and accountability. She creates a personalized plan tying in Ayurveda, TCM, mediation, along with Western needs.
Work with Alana
Alana offers online courses and 1:1 coaching. She provides tangible bite-sized steps that won’t overwhelm you. It provides a whole new frame work on how to look at wellness.
I love her well-rounded approach and outlook on optimized well-being.
After this conversation I was inspired to take an introspective look into my own health journey. If you’re feeling the same Alana has generously offered a code. Use code: FRIDAYSOCIETY50 for $50.00 off one of her courses.
Follow Alana Kessler on Instagram here!
Join me at the The Friday Society Membership where I work with successful entrepreneurs, like Alana. We meet several times on a monthly basis to discuss a marketing topic along with 2 working office hours. It’s a no-commitment membership, however, I’m confident you will gain so much wisdom from joining the amazing group on entrepreneurs!
Listen to the full podcast!