In the Follow Your Gut® spotlight, yoga star Beth Cooke shares how listening to her instincts led her to a healthier lifestyle—from grounding herself with her daily yoga practice to keeping her gut health on point with Health-Ade kombucha.
If you visit one of Sky Ting Yoga's airy NYC studios, you'll likely be treated to Beth Cooke's meditative voice expertly guiding you through your practice (if you're lucky enough to snag a space).
But if you rewind this story five years, you’d be more likely to find Cooke at a club rather than in a sage-filled studio, and the path that brought her to the mat was a bumpy one.
From high school through her early 20s, Cooke—who is now a full-time yoga teacher and the co-leader of the next Well+Good Retreat—described herself as fascinated with the party girl lifestyle that eventually left her feeling burnt out and searching for something more fulfilling.
That search led her to yoga, and from the first time she stepped on the mat, she was hooked. "Yoga means everything to me," says Cooke now. "It's my reset. My freedom. My date with myself. My church. My chance to breathe myself clean. My way to ground down, connect, and accept myself fully."
"I walked into a yoga studio, and I cried on my mat a ton that day. I was coming home to myself."
After that first time, she bought an unlimited class package on the spot—but after a month, fell back into her previous lifestyle. That same nagging feeling in her stomach brought her back to the mat a few years later, though—and this time, for good. "I found myself spiritually bankrupt with a broken moral compass, and I knew I had hit rock bottom," Cooke says. "I knew I had to make a change. This time I walked into a yoga studio, and I cried on my mat a ton that day. I was coming home to myself."
Now that Cooke has experienced what a powerful practice yoga can be, she’s dedicated herself to sharing her spiritual knowledge with her students—in hopes they learn to follow their gut the same way she did.
Scroll down for the main lessons she hopes to impart on her students—as well as the wellness essentials that keep her healthy lifestyle on track.
Her how-to for feeling grounded
Because yoga is what lifted Cooke up when she was at her lowest point, she tries to use it as a tool to do the same for her students—hopefully before they ever reach that stage.
"I hope my students leave my class feeling more grounded in their truth and more accepting of their authentic selves."
"I try to share with my students what I found in yoga, which was a comfort inside of my own skin and acceptance," explains Cooke. "I hope my students leave my class feeling more grounded in their truth and more accepting of their authentic selves."
Finding self love through yoga
At the upcoming Well+Good Retreat at Cedar Lakes Estate in New York's Hudson Valley (where participants will be treated to elevated summer camp vibes and endless amounts of Health-Ade) Cooke will be tasked with helping people find their Zen during the outdoor yoga sessions.
Her goal? To promote that same self-acceptance that flows through all her yoga practice. "I hope to teach people how to feel lighter in their mind and step," she says. "I would love for everyone to leave with a deeper connection to themselves and a community to stay connected with."
Her wellness essentials
In order to fuel her students' wellness journeys, Cooke makes sure to invest in her own self care. "I love to imagine wellness as a literal well," she says. "Wellness is knowing exactly what one needs to fill up their well with the purest water so they can give that to others. It's knowing how to recharge and take care of ourselves so we can show up as best we can."
"I love to imagine wellness as a literal well. Wellness is knowing exactly what one needs to fill up their well with the purest water so they can give that to others."
Her essentials obviously include lots of yoga (she practices every day), but also feature a lengthy morning routine and a daily wellness bev ("I love Health-Ade's Pink Lady kombucha!").
"My morning practice starts with a gratitude list, followed by meditation and breathwork," Cooke says. "I set an intention, which is usually to be of greatest service to others. Then I foam roll, which isn't my favorite but so important. I drink water and coffee while listening to a song of the week, and I’m on my way."
In partnership with Health-Ade
Follow Your Gut® is a registered trademark to Health-Ade Kombucha LLC.
Top photo: Renee Choi/@sfreneenyc
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