Alena modeling Fetish Authentic | Photo credit: Taylor Flash
We, you and SpinSpinNYC, go way back, connected by friendships formed in the music scene. Tell me how you met your partner in crime, Felipe Dieppa. Felipe and I were introduced by our mutual friend, who told me within weeks of meeting her that she knew a guy I had to meet. About a year after she told me about him, we met at a local show my friends were playing at, and all I remember was meeting a guy with a big beard. It took another year before we hung out again, and we haven’t gone a day without talking and falling even more in love since then!
Tell us about his relationship to Dora the Explorer. He’s the original voice of the character Diego! My 4-year-old niece would hate me if she found out…
You and Felipe went to Burning Man for the first time last year. Describe your experience. It was amazing. At first we were hesitant because of expenses and time off from work, especially since we were both freelancers at the time. But our friends really didn’t allow not joining them to be an option. They are part of a camp called Relaxomatic, and we couldn’t have had a better experience. I could never wrap my head around what Burning Man was before going, and I still really can’t put it into words. Burning Man is a lot of things to a lot of people, I realized. To me, it’s more of what we need in the world… community, consciousness, and fun.
You were kind enough to lend your beauty and style to our last Fetish Authentic photo shoot. You really caught our attention when you were doing yoga poses in stilettos at the shoot! Have you ever modeled before? How was the experience? Would you like to do it more? I’ve done a little bit of modeling through the years, including a couple music videos and at the International Beauty Show last year. The Fetish Authentic shoot was so much fun! I really loved how each of the models had SUCH different personalities that came through on camera, and how Taylor Flash (with some input from Nutritious) did such a great job of highlighting what works best for each of them. If smart, interesting, creative individuals getting together and highlighting some of their awesome attributes is what modeling’s about, I’d love to do it more!
You’re serious about yoga. What path led you towards the discipline? How long have you been studying and teaching it? Where are you teaching it now? I started taking Bikram (hot) yoga 6 years ago in my hometown, because I heard it would burn lots of calories. When I started college that Fall, I was still doing Bikram, but some people in my dorm told me I had to go to this donation-based studio close by, called Yoga to the People. The power-vinyasa style of yoga was radically different from my Bikram experience, but I fell in love with it. YttP starting opening hot studios shortly thereafter. Over the years, I have found yoga to be so much more than a good source of exercise… taking my yoga into the world has helped, strengthened, and healed me physically, mentally and emotionally. I did the vinyasa teacher training 3 years ago, and started teaching the hot yoga a year ago, and I couldn’t be happier helping people. I currently run our studio in midtown, which offers our traditional hot and hot vinyasa styles of yoga!
Do you like to listen to music while doing yoga? Sometimes I like to just hear my breath when I practice, but I do usually love to listen to music. Sometimes it’s Red Hot Chili Peppers. Sometimes it’s Phish. Sometimes it’s Dirty Projectors or Daft Punk or Lauryn Hill or Bob Marley or Bob Dylan… Music totally has a way of setting the mood for a class, so it really depends on when the time of day and then intention of the class is. I’ll never forget a few years ago when I took a class at a studio by Union Square, where we were doing sun salutations for a solid 10 minutes, and the teacher put on “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine. I got super amped! I was sweating like crazy after!
What music has gotten your attention lately? Inspired you? Felipe recently turned me on to a band called Taken By Trees. I’m kind of obsessed!
Best live show you’ve seen lately? Dirty Projectors at Carnegie Hall! They were incredible. I had goosebumps and tears, and some of the notes those girls were hitting made my second chakra tingle.
Any fun projects or news you’d like to share? I plan on competing in the Yoga Asana Championship next year! And, we’re seeing The Postal Service in June.