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Interview with The Raw Food Yogi - Rowena Janye

A leading international Yoga Instructor, Author, Advanced Raw Food Chef, Wellness Presenter and Real Food Yogi.

1. Your postures look pretty unreal to the average yogi, so what aspect of your yoga practise is a challenge for you?

Aghh I am asked this question a lot, yet every yoga class is a challenge . I still feel pain , I still have to contend with my mind in its river of thoughts, the ups and downs of life, which my practice reflects. If yoga is not challenging then there would be no point doing it! Increasing your flexibility and strength, to where mine is currently, doesn't change the equation, it just looks more spectacular! We are on a never ending, incredible journey towards enlightenment, which I am far from. So flexy and strong yes, but no longer challenged? No way, it is more like I am SUPER challenged. . A huge challenge for me too, is that postures are not held long enough for me to reach the depth to get therapy. I have to practise a lot myself now to get challenged in order to progress or I stay stuck and get more and more stiff. This is my challenge along with the above.


2. Describe your relationship with food. Has it changed?

Massively ! Read my book. It's all about that. I had a horrid relationship with food but the deepest truth is; food has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. It's the relationship with me and my spirit and no longer being "separate" that has changed. Food, emotional eating and starving were just the physical effect and outward manifestation of my horrible relationship with myself.  Now that my relationship with me has healed dramatically (and continues to do so daily , weekly, yearly) so too has my relationship with food.

I.e. The relationship with food is the gauge that tells us where we are at with ourselves and life. No buts about it. It is our outward reflection of our inner self.

3. Yoga has exploded in popularity in the past few years. How do you feel about the current direction it is taking?

Well, on one hand I see it positively that people are moving their bodies and connecting to themselves and while I do understand the human side of people needing to "create" their own and whatnot, this is diminishing the purity of the therapy behind yoga. The concept that Asana = "posture done in stillness," seems to be going out the window in many styles. I see people's health truly change when they do yoga therapy and postures in stillness.  I won't try to "fix" what isn't broken and will stick to pure HATHA - it works and it works tremendously well.

4. What is your 'go to' pose and how does it make you feel?

I have no go to pose. My go to, is working my entire body not just one area. Emmy Cleaves (senior Bikram Yoga Teacher) pulled me aside one day and told me to never just do backbends or this posture or that posture.  She taught me to work the entire body. She said, instead of doing fifty BACKBENDs which will put you out of alignment when you're tired, do advanced classes everyday instead. I followed her advice and that works best for me. She is one smart and incredible yogi.

5. What is your Achilles heel, your kryptonite and how does it weaken you?

I have so much energy, I can get hyperactive if I don't ground this energy. And being Vata constitution in Ayurveda, I can expend energy then all of a sudden get tired. If I don't channel my energy in the right way, it can be destructive. Understanding Ayurvedic Medicine principles however, has given me the insight to recognise the imbalance and the tools to correct it (which I wrote about in my book).

6. If you had to pick 3 super foods what would they be and what is so super about them?

  • Turmeric:  it's high in the photochemical curcumin making it anti everything ! Anti fungal , viral , bacterial, anti tumor, anti cancer and anti inflammatory, it reduces inflammation fast ... is high in yello pigments so a great anti oxidant.. And more!!
  • Goji berries- high in the photochemical Lycium barbarium .... Great antioxidant , a complete plant based protein. Research shows it's amazing for longevity.. Great for debilitation so nourishes and supports the body .. Research also shows increases lung efficiency by 22% - so what an amazing support for yogis !
  • Spirulina - blue green algae - my favourite is E3live .. And this product has finally been approved by the TGA (governing body in Australia ) so it will finally be back in our country in June.  Jason Winn one if the worlds most amazing yogis and one of my mentors and dear friends, introduced me to it in Laguna Beach when I had hurt my back very badly from over training during a yoga back bending clinic in 2007.. The shift that took place from e3 live was fast and incredible!
  • Spiriulina is a synergistic, mineral powerhouse. It has 300 times more protein gram for gram than fish. It is great for liver support, is a complete protein, contains essential fatty acids, DHA. It's a great anti inflammatory. The less inflammation we have in the body the less chance of disease. Plant food all the way.

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