As the creator of the Anya Method and the founder of Studio Anya, Courtney Bauer helps others fall in love with the art of conscious living as a unique expression of the soul. Over the years, Anya, as a philosophy of movement, has become a gateway and guidebook for daily self-care and sacred connection for individuals and communities worldwide. In this interview Courtney expands on her search for magic and beauty as a mother and beyond! Join the Beyond Mom community for an exclusive aerial yoga class at Studio Anya Tuesday, June 2nd at 10:30 AM. Only a few spots remain- sign up today!
1. What makes you a Beyond Mom?
Beyond Mom, to me, celebrates the feminine archetype of motherhood as an expansive role. It’s not about being a super mom or striving to be perfect. It’s about wholeness — knowing how to find center even on those days when you feel completely off track. A Beyond Mom optimizes her unique gifts in order to nurture the welfare of her child. In order to do this, she must know herself.
I am a Beyond Mom because of my deep commitment to cultivating Self-awareness. I have always been inspired to explore and contemplate topics like humanity, evolution, healing and the role that Spirit and Nature play in the dance of life. While that sounds lofty and intangible it’s also very practical because it inspires insight and has a direct impact on everything that I do. As the creator of the Anya Method and founder of Studio Anya, I weave together the sacred and the mundane as part of my approach to Mind & Body Fitness.
I am fascinated by the role that simple yet powerful things like prayer, mantra, intention, micro-movements and breath awareness can have on our overall alignment and well-being. I feel so honored to be able to introduce my son Jacob to a wealth of options that will help him grow up to be an emotionally vital and intuitively resourced, whole thinker.
2. What are the parts of you that have grown and expanded since becoming a Mom?
I’m in awe of life. Pregnancy was an extraordinary induction into the tremendous capacity we/I have for transformation. The experience of childbirth has expanded my capacity to hold space for the creative process. I bring this heightened inspiration into my work. It has made me better at what I do, more mystical, softer and yet more fierce and more humbly human. My son Jacob is magical. All babies — all people — are proof of the magic within! I marvel at how brave and beautiful it is when a soul takes on life in a human body. It’s an exquisite journey that transpires in the womb — the revelation of the first breath and the path we travel from there.
3. Can you share a collaboration/success story with another woman; what helped the collaboration become successful?
Yes! I am so proud to collaborate with Victoria Yoffie of YoffieLife. Together we have created an educational platform for Mind + Body Fitness that we offer at Studio Anya. We have trained several 500 hour Anya Yoga teachers and codified an extensive web of information about Wellness.
We are successful because we value each other’s differences as a way to broaden our personal and collective perspective and expand consciousness around important subjects. Our goal is to build bridges between opposite points of view, like Eastern and Western medicine, in order to present the full picture and all of the options. We understand that there’s more than one answer to every question and, therefore, we take both sides and explore the space in between. We champion the art of decision-making and consider discernment as the cornerstone of positive change. We share a similar spirit of inquisitiveness – an unquenchable desire for learning and growing – as well as a deeply rooted calling to help others decrease their stress levels and discover true potential. We both love our work and together we make more of an impact as Wellness Educators.
4. What relationships help you stay connected to yourself?
My most profound relationship is with God. This is not a religious statement, as I do not associate God with any particular church or doctrine. I see/feel God through all things — most intimately, through my own breath. I listen to the rhythms of my whole body in order to stay connected with myself and to the pulse of life within and around me. This is my daily devotion.
5. Do you have a ‘Beyond’ dream that you are pursuing? If so, please share…
Yes! I would love to make the Anya Method a household name. I know in my heart that it will enhance people’s well being in profound ways. I know it works. It’s not a quick fix, it’s a practice, and like any practice, it takes time and the right intention. The end result is a gradual awakening, a process that will decrease suffering, increase vitality, heighten intuition and inspire a great partnership between your Mind & Body.
6. What wellness activity can you not live without? What is one thing you do daily that balances you?
I am constantly “mapping” — an alignment technique that I created to focus my mind, alleviate pain and modulate my energy. I simply get quiet, tune into the levels of tension in my body and zoom in on an area that feels restricted or tight. I then do some purposeful fidgets that bring movement to that part of my body, take a few deep breaths and envision what it would feel like to let go of the tightness. (It’s not quite that simple but those are the basics!) The cool part is that I can “map” anywhere; it takes less than 30 seconds and gives me something to do while I am waiting in line!
I cannot live without breathing. Of course that’s obvious, lol, but I am referring to “dynamic meditation” – breathing techniques that fully engage you in life. You don’t have to sit in a lotus position unless you want to. It’s not about any particular pose or place. It’s just about finding your breath, again and again. The breath is our most reliable access to vastness — the kind of esoteric enlightenment that people look for in temples, churches, ashrams, mosques and the Holy Land. Dynamic Meditation doesn’t require a plane ticket — it’s available all the time and anywhere you go. The breath brings me back into my body. It’s my most cherished ally, storyteller, healer and muse. It sanctifies everything — the ultimate example of all things sacred. We get 20,000 times a day to be in touch with this supreme magic!
7. How does style influence the way you stay feeling ‘Beyond’? Who is currently your favorite designer?
Style is everything. It’s how we express our uniqueness – our personal brand. Style has to do with preferences and to know our favorites requires self-reflection, curiosity and play. The best style comes from inner confidence, vitality and resilience– true beauty radiates from compassion, humility and, umm, yes — the art of alignment. I don’t care how gorgeous the outfit — it will look even better if your shoulders are organized and your heart is open!
When it comes to fashion, I am admittedly out of the loop with the hottest trends. I am pretty consistent and somewhat eclectic. I love sweat pants, clogs and red lipstick! I swoon over neutral tones, soft fabrics, earthy textures and splashes of color. Lately, I am obsessed with Sweaty Betty’s harem pants. I love Izaskun Zabala’s jewelry and her ability to make wearable pieces that capture sacred geometry in nature. And my husband found a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses in the back of a taxi that make me feel like Jackie O. I’d like to think that I am somewhere between Kathryn Hepburn and Bohemian Chic, on my good days!
Favorite NYC Spots that Embody The Beyond Mom:
I love Studio Anya! Not just because I am the founder but also more so that it’s a warm and inviting space that focuses on healing. It’s not stuffy or boring and has all kinds of interesting toys, like the AntiGravity Hammock and Pilates Reformers to explore the Mind + Body connection.
Beyond Cocktails and/or Food:
I have a serious sweet tooth. It’s a total treat to go to Donna Bell’s Bake Shop. They have amazing cupcakes, cookies and pastries. I also adore Breads Bakery for their chocolate rugelach. Luckily, I also love greens! Any place that chops my salad is a keeper. And Lyfe Kitchen has a delicious banana kale smoothie and some really innovate cocktails with lots of aromatic herbs!
I haven’t used a treadmill in over a decade and am not one for gyms but I do believe that movement is medicine. I walk a lot. It’s my time to process and let go. I continually practice alignment techniques through out my day that focus on activating my core, grounding my feet and making overall adjustments in my posture and position to optimize breath awareness and increase circulation.
I was raised on TJ Maxx & Marshalls and flea markets! I like to window shop in the West Village but most of my name brands come from discount stores.
I actively seek examples of magic and beauty everywhere I go. I am a collector. My imagination is a storehouse for all of these wondrous images. Nature, architecture and people inspire me. I love observing the world and listening with all of my senses. I also love words. I get obsessed with them. It’s like I dream about a word and then all I can think about is investigating what everyone since the beginning of time has said about it! This leads me on a scavenger’s hunt for wisdom and in the process I learn so much about so many essential themes. My greatest teacher was my Mom. She was next level and beyond! She passed away 2 months after Jacob was born. I feel her Spirit move through the wind, the sun, the moon and through my loved ones. She will always be my most profound inspiration.