41-year-old actress, Perrey Reeves, is most well-known for her role as 'Mrs. Ari' on Entourage. But did you know that she's a yogi who has been eating an Ayurvedic diet for almost 20 years?! And she's also the co-founder of The Sanctuary at Two Rivers, an eco-retreat center in Costa Rica?!
I had the chance to chat with Perrey and she's the real deal! She epitomizes what living MindBodyGreen is all about. Here's what we talked about:
MBG: Can you tell us more about your yoga practice?
PR: My practice started as a very athletic endeavor; power yoga and Ashtanga, and I have slowly refined it to what it is today. It essentially can be called Life Vinyasa. My studio is either at my home in Los Angeles or at my newly opened yoga retreat center and other home for the past 8 years, The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica. My practice varies depending on my mood, whether I feel I need a strong asana session, or if I feel the need to sit and meditate, or chant for a bit then that is what I do. I like mixing it up and choreographing it to my vibe at the moment, so my practice is always changing as I do and is hence most appropriate for me since it flows always within present time reality.
What does yoga mean to you?
For me yoga is a life path, it is not just a form of exercise. Under the umbrella of Tantra are Ayurveda, Jyotish, and Hatha Yoga. These three sister sciences hold equal importance in my life. I use their wisdom at every junction, at the start of my day, to making career decisions, to where I feel I want to invest my energy, which is the most valuable asset I have. The classic definition of yoga means to yoke, to join, or to unite. I would say that yoking these processes to my core being is my definition of yoga.
What do you love about yoga?
There are so many aspects of yoga to love. It helps me to accept and appreciate my life, whether things are running "smoothy" or "off-road rocky".
How often do you practice, etc?
If we are talking asanas then 5 times a week for about an hour each session.
You've been on an Ayurvedic and vegetarian diet for almost 20 years - how did this happen?
I grew up in a very health conscious household, no processed foods, no white anything. So this natural diet has influenced me and has been the foundation for my current outlook. In 1992 I stopped eating fish realizing that as an environmentalist there is no other diet for me than vegetarian. In 1993 I was introduced to Ayurveda. It matched my view. I like the holistic approach. Everybody is different so everybody's diet needs to match their specific constitution, place they are living, age of life, seasons, time of day, etc. Your body is your own science experiment, I like that.
What does MindBodyGreen mean to you?
MindBodyGreen stands for a conscious approach to living life to its fullest. With our minds we wield our bodies and green is the color of vibrant life in the Costa Rican jungle!!
Have yoga, meditation, and your diet helped you become a better actress?
I've been acting almost as long as these tools, processes, and routines have been in my life. Perhaps my level of sensitivity has been refined as a result of them. So as an actress I would say I have a balanced view on all angles. And maybe that brings more dimension to the roles I play.
Yoga and Entourage... Did you ever do yoga on set with any of the cast members?
No, but Jeremy Piven is a long time practitioner.
Why was opening The Sanctuary at Two Rivers in Costa Rica so important to you?
I grew up in nature and it has always been an important part of my life. To be able to develop such a special project in the middle of one of the most vibrant and youngest eco-systems on the planet and to be able share it with others is why it is so important and meaningful to me.
What is your long term vision with The Sanctuary at Two Rivers?
I would like the Sanctuary to become a beacon, a special place, for like-minded people to have creative brainstorming sessions in the jungle, as well as eco-summits, family bonding and connecting, and a place for one to expand one's own consciousness. Also, to become as self sustaining as possible by adding a permaculture element to the property and grow our own organic produce. We are already plumbed for it, we just need some more time and energy to embark on this phase. I would like The Sanctuary to be known as a place for anyone to come and experience a yogic lifestyle, one that they can incorporate into their own life patterns once back on-the-grid.
Where can yogis/yoga teachers find out more info?
Our new and improved website was just launched. Our Facebook page has a lot of fun photos and comments as well. You can also follow us on Twitter and YouTube. These are our portals to the yoga world where now an abundance of information, testimonials, press, photos and videos can be found and enjoyed.
What are you working on next?
Lots of fun projects. In terms of my acting, I'm loving the freedom of being available to do new things. I have particularly had a lot of fun recently working on White Collar and NCIS. I am very excited to have just been cast in Jerry Bruckheimer's new television pilot for NBC. I am also philanthropically involved with the organizations I support such as The Sea Shepherd Conservation and The Environmental Media Association.
Image via Marysia Swim