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Your Newest Inspiration: Yana Kovaleva

Ask Yana Kovaleva to describe herself and she just needs two words: creative soul.

Passionate about painting, dancing, and movies—especially Good Will Hunting—it’s no surprise that Yana embraces all things artistic when it comes to her life.

It might also be one reason she's found a way to combine her love of artistry, with her second passion: health.

While on journey to find a holistic approach to treating her polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOs), Yana soon discovered the power of healthy living to help reclaim her health. That's why, as a mostly plant-based fitness and fashion content creator and vinyasa yoga instructor, Yana focuses on a healthy lifestyle, fuelled by the mission of inspiring and motivating others into living in harmony with their body, mind, spirit, and the planet.

And, we got a chance to dive into this deeper, but talking to Yana about her healthcare journey, haircare routine, how she defines sustainability, and the advice she has for those making life-changing decisions. 

What made you decide to go plant based?

Around the time I was dealing with my PCOs diagnosis, I was learning more and more about my body and how it responds to certain foods. I got interested in information about the food production and I realized how animal products were actually made. Seeing some terrible scenes of animals suffering made a big impact on my decision to eat different. Also, all the hormones and antibiotics didn’t look appealing compared to vibrant juicy fruits and veggies. I slowly cut back on different animal products and now I’m eating mostly plant based. Allowing myself to have some cheese with wine sometime, and I love Greek Yogurt with berries. It’s all about trying to find that harmony and balance, right? 

Why does yoga play an important role in your life?

At some point in my life, I felt that I didn’t have control of anything in my life but my breath. It was a terribly hard time of my life. I started meditating and learning different breathing techniques to lower my anxiety and distract myself from fear. Slowly, I started incorporating some movements with my breathing and I started feeling peaceful and empowered again. Yoga is mindful getaway for me. Yoga is something that I practice on and off the mat every day. I’m a certified vinyasa yoga instructor now. 

Yana in a black workout set, doing the splits on the floor, one warm up above her head.

What is your advice for someone that is about to make a life changing decision?

I believe we know what we want for ourselves, but sometimes we get distracted with so many things and thoughts that we start getting overwhelmed. A clean space brings us even more clarity on the decision we are about to make. Be kind and loving to yourself, declutter your space, and meditate.

Allow yourself to make mistakes and forgive yourself. We are doing our best, with the knowledge we have at this given moment. Always remember: you are awesome!

What has been your most memorable learning experience?

For me, it was losing my stepdad very unexpectedly in a tragic accident. From that moment, I learned that our life is so fragile and we never know when it’ll be our last day on Earth. It taught me to really try to enjoy every moment of my life. I surround myself with people that I love—and I try to see them more often—and I do things that I love more often now, too. I intentionally love to create little moments of joy and happiness for myself. 

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means harmonious living to me. It’s when I try to do my best to cultivate harmony in this world. It can be simply by choosing to eat a plant-based meal, clean sustainable products, or using reusable things. Everything is interdependent. We don't need to be great philosophers to see that everything around us functions in dependence upon everything else. By making even the smallest of choices, we can contribute to maintaining an ecological balance. 

What's your favorite hairstyle?

Oh, I love curly hairstyles! It makes me feel more feminine and flirtatious. Naturally I have straight hair. 

What are any of your current favorite or least favorite hair products/hair trends?

My all-time favorite is Love Hair’s Volumizing Dry Shampoo—it’s a lifesaver! I’ve been a big fan of this product for about three years now: I love the smell, the texture and it’s clean! It really is simply the best.

 Currently, I’m searching for a good hair heat protection spray but all of them are just terrible and they make my hair look greasy even if only I use a tiny amount. 

What does your haircare routine look like?

It’s pretty simple: I use shampoo and conditioner. I try not to wash my hair too often but with photoshoots and workouts I have to wash it sometimes every day, a few days in a row. But for those in between shower sessions, I love to use the Dry Shampoo!

I also like to use coconut oil as a mask for my hair when I feel that they crave extra nourishment. 

What is your favorite quote to live by?

I have many for different periods of my life. But at this moment it would be: 

“Life is not about who you once were. It's about who you are now, and who you have the potential to be.” 

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