Wellness Interviews with Inspiring Women
Read time: 5 - 6 minutes
Anne Vyalitsyna, also known as Anne V, was discovered at the age of 15 in St. Petersburg, Russia, and soon got her rising start in the modeling industry just a year later when she became the face of Chanel’s Chance fragrance campaign. Since then, she’s graced numerous covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and ELLE, walked major runway shows including Victoria’s Secret shows as well as her 10 year tenure being an iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuits model. On top of balancing both her career and motherhood, Anne has also become a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor. Read our chat and find out how she was involved in developing our Aknari Brightening Youth Serum, her ultimate beauty secret (it may surprise you!), her all time favorite skincare products, travel tips and her new passion for Kundalini Yoga along with its benefits.
Munemi: I am thrilled to have you here today. It means so much to me as you have been a long time supporter of MŪN since the beginning even before the launch. You were one of the people who I would send every test formula I created for feedback during my process of developing Aknari Serum - MŪN’s first product, which remains our best selling item!
I remember we met in 2007 for a shoot for Harper’s Bazaar UK. Then we would see each other at different jobs. You were always so friendly and open when I asked if you would help test the test formulas I was working on. That was so generous of you, and you were always thorough with your feedback. Thank you for being there for me and MŪN.
Anne: I feel so grateful to be a part of not only the MŪN journey but also of yours. You have become a very dear friend throughout the years and I’m so fortunate to have you in my life.
M: Thank you, Anne. I’m beyond grateful to have nurtured our friendship over the years, and also to have become your personal makeup artist. I always enjoy our collaborations for the looks we create for your events and appearances.
Since we are talking about beauty to start, let’s begin with this topic. You’ve been modeling for two decades and continue to keep your top status. Every time I see you in person, I think she looks good like she never ages. What’s your beauty secret?
A: My all time secret is cold showers every morning.
In the morning, I use a body brush to improve circulation and to get rid of dry skin. Then, I apply almond oil all over my skin in rapid movements, trying to heat up the skin before jumping in the cold shower for 3 minutes.
Cold showers are the only way to clean your capillaries, raise your immunity and make your skin absolutely glowing.
M: Cold showers! I’ve only taken cold showers out of necessity while I was traveling to locations without access to hot water. I’ll try cold showers more regularly and report back to you about my experience. Now the main course for the skincare community: what are your all time favorite skincare products?
A: MŪN Aknari serum is my all time favorite product. Since I was so involved in the development process for it from the onset, I feel like it’s my baby! I also love Furtuna skin eye cream, Verabella sunscreen, and rose water spray from Heritage store.
M: Modeling is a job that requires a lot of traveling. Can you share some tips to keep your skin looking healthy and what you’ve learned from over two decades of flying long distances, adjusting to different time zones for location shoots?
A: For me, the most important thing to do when traveling is to keep the same routine that I have at home. If you don’t already have a routine for yourself, create one today. A favorite quote of mine is from Mike Tyson: “discipline is doing what I hate to do, but nonetheless doing it like you I love it.” This quote explains how I feel about my everyday self care routine. :)
When I first arrive at a location for a shoot, I make sure to workout and stretch to get rid of the puffiness from the plane. Then, I go outside and move my body, see a friend or just do something so I don’t end up sitting in a hotel bored. I also never drink alcohol when I travel because it messes up my body and it’s harder to focus on the job. The hardest part of jetlag is losing sleep - my ritual to remedy this includes taking a hot shower, drinking camomile tea that I bring with me from home and listening to my evening meditation for 11 minutes, which has a very cooling and calming tone to prepare myself for sleep. Lastly, I play a mantra on my phone all night on loop on very low volume so that the minute my brain hears it, it knows - it’s time to sleep no matter what time it is. (Mantras are positive affirmations. We get access to our subconscious mind twice during a sleep - once when we are falling asleep and another when we are about to wake up. Otherwise, we don’t have access to it during the day, unless you have a very strong meditative practice.) To be able to change your subconscious mind and its negative patterns, listening to mantras while sleeping is the best tool to do so.
Another tip I have is to avoid drinking too much caffeine. Instead, drink lots of water. Applying a good face mask also definitely keeps your face looking fresh and hydrated, especially while traveling.
M: On top of your long standing career as a model, you have become a certified teacher of Kundalini Yoga and have been teaching classes. How did you discover it and what made you interested in this particular yoga practice and philosophy?
A: I discovered Kundalini Yoga during the pandemic two years ago. I was a huge fan of working out, but at the start of the pandemic, I hurt myself and couldn’t do so anymore. I became a full-time chef, housekeeper, and teacher for my then 4 year-old daughter, all while trying to build a space for people to come and discover more about health, fitness and mindfulness. It was such an overwhelming and difficult time for me trying to juggle all of these things. I knew that I needed something to help me navigate not only my current life, but all of the resentments and hurt that I had held onto for so long as they kept resurfacing so vividly at the time. So, I ended up joining an online group and started taking Kundalini Yoga classes every day. It just made me feel better and stronger, which was the most important part for me.
M: That’s so inspiring to hear how Kundalini Yoga helped you through a difficult time and overcome negative emotions from your past. Can you tell us how Kundalini Yoga is different from other yoga practices?
A: Kundalini yoga is a mix of breathwork, meditation, yoga sets and mantras, whereas most yoga practices tend to focus on only one. In kundalini yoga, we work with energy stored at the base of the spine, practice developing a neutral mind, as well as expand and strengthen our electromagnetic field to be able to act as a magnet attracting anything we want into our lives and to build a strong protective shield from negativity and disease.
The practice enables you to work on gaining a stronger immune system, vital glands, strong nervous system, good circulation and an awareness of the impact of our habits. Breathwork focuses the mind and builds strong lung capacity. Yoga sets help align our chakras and ten bodies as well as strengthen our physical bodies. Mantras redirect our mind towards a positive train of thought (think positive affirmations). Meditation helps clean up our subconscious garbage, develop intuition and calm the mind.
It's a very advanced system to work out the body and mind at the same time. I always say in my classes that I’d like to work on my body, my organs and my mind in one hour or less because our lives are so busy that we don’t have the luxury to spend all day doing it.
M: What’s the journey been like for you practicing Kundalini Yoga?
A: It’s been the most beautiful journey for me learning on and understanding myself. I live a full life and always want more, which comes with a lot of responsibility and stress. This gives me an extra battery charge to keep going, but also a way back to my little home inside myself when I’m really overwhelmed instead of looking for external things to make me feel better. With Kundalini Yoga, I have tools I can use to help make myself feel calmer, less stressed, stronger and clearer.
M: Where can people find out about your yoga and meditation classes and how to attend?
A: I teach at RA MA New York on the Lower East Side on Tuesdays at 6pm and Wednesdays at 11am. I also teach on Rama TV online as well.
M: I know you're a busy working mom and your daughter comes first. I remember you mentioned that you always make time for meditation in the morning. Can you tell us what your morning routine is like?
A: I always do a little practice in the morning before I leave my house and before my daughter wakes up. If I don’t, my day is just very different. My practice consists of two different 3 minute breaths, an 11 minute meditation, and then a quick ab, leg and arm exercise to get my body moving.
M: I can’t wait to see how much more you will accomplish in your life. What are your current goals?
A: Thank you. My goal right now is to just keep trusting myself and the universe - always learn and be curious because this is what keeps me young and enjoy every second of my life with the blessings that I have.
Follow her journey on her instagram and learn more about Kundalini Yoga and her class schedule via RA MA Institute New York and. Be sure to check out Anne’s all time favorites - Aknari Brightening Youth Serum.