Graduate Ana Poirier: Finding her glimmer of hope
Integrative Nutrition graduate, Ana Poirier, quit dancing professionally and was searching for a glimmer of hope to regain health, wellness and balance in her life.
She transformed her life and career upon enrolling in the Professional Training Program and has been on a successful journey ever since, living her dream life with a thriving health coaching business, Yoga Body Nutrition.
“It has been 11 years since I graduated from IIN, and the wonderful thing about my journey since then is that the school continues to be a major influence in my life and my work.”
What were you doing before IIN?
Before IIN, I was cocktail waitressing in NYC. After 17 years in the performing arts as a dancer, I had quit the professional dance track and was waitressing and taking acting classes while I figured out my life.
I remember the day I decided to quit dancing I had this light bulb that flashed. The message I got was, “I know I can feel better, I know there’s a way.” At the time I was struggling with massive digestive issues, low energy, a “mild” eating disorder, depression, hormonal issues, migraine headaches and acne. I was mentally, physically, spiritually beaten down, but had a glimmer of hope.
That glimmer of hope appeared a full year and half later in the form of the IIN catalog.
What led you to explore IIN's program?
While living in NYC and searching for my life’s purpose, I began to get more and more interested in food and studying nutrition. I was exploring different programs, but nothing seemed to quite fit into my holistic ideal. Then I came across the IIN catalog while volunteering at the Open Center in New York. I read it cover to cover, salivating with every new page. I knew right away this was it for me. So I registered for an orientation and the rest was history.
What happened since you enrolled in IIN's program?
It has been 11 years since I graduated from IIN, and the wonderful thing about my journey since then is that the school continues to be a major influence in my life and my work. I started seeing clients right after graduation and holding cooking classes. I made connections and traveled as an onsite chef for a woman’s dance and yoga retreat. I cooked at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur for a stint, and then set up my holistic health coaching business in one of the most beautiful places on earth.
I worked out of a gym at the beginning to establish some connections when I first started my one-on-one practice here in Monterey, CA. And teaching yoga has been a fantastic way to meet prospective clients while doing something I love. After all this time, business has never been better, and it just keeps getting better.
What did you learn at IIN?
What really sticks with me from my IIN experience are the concepts of honoring uniqueness and primary food. Nobody else is teaching this, and these are SO important. As someone who suffered from an obsessive eating disorder, realizing that my wellbeing extended beyond my plate was a revelation, and something I readily share with my clients with great success.
What do you love about the school?
What I totally love about IIN is that even after all this time I am still involved! I still have access to massive support and continue to create new connections and amazing relationships with other grads. I love being an ambassador for the school as well—it’s a whole new level of helping others. It’s all so special, and I am incredibly grateful for the community and access to resources.
Your studies led you to start a business. What's the name of your business?
My studies of yoga and of nutrition at IIN are what led me to create my current business Yoga Body Nutrition, and I have continued to hire amazing business coaches who have been instrumental in my growth and expansion.
What do you love about your work?
I love that I get to work from home, live in a beautiful area, spend time helping others, watch my clients shine and live fully, work with clients all over the world, have the freedom to set my own hours, know that anything is possible, be able to uplift others . . . these are just a few of the things I love about what I do.
Tell us about your practice.
Yoga Body Nutrition is all about empowering women to move from stressed, anxious and overwhelmed to energized, slim and centered so they can live with passion and rock this life! My programs are about getting into the body in a big way. When you are truly embodied it is much harder to abuse yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I integrate the teachings of yoga with nutrition for a very unique experience for those I work with.
I work with clients 1-on-1, in groups, in teleclasses and retreats. I also have a few online products that include an e-recipe book, a 2-week cleanse program and a 10-week program.
IIN has definitely played a huge role in allowing me to live my dreams!