Arielle McFadden is a Pilates trainer and celebrity yoga teacher in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. Today she shares with us her strategies for taking care of herself, and using yoga to find authenticity in a community that thrives on make-believe.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Personal Motto: I choose love.

Favorite Vegetable: Broccoli.

Favorite Exercise: Power Yoga.

Favorite way to Center: Meditation.

What gets you out of bed every morning?
My pug!

What is the most important part of your routine?

My morning meditation is the most important part of my routine. My goal as a teacher, daughter, friend, and lover is to be able to give unconditionally to others. If I don’t make that time in the morning to get centered and get grounded, I cannot give as much.

Ultimately, we must first care for ourselves in order to care for others. I spend 20 minutes every morning meditating, followed by a few more minutes of self-reflection and mantra writing in my journal. It truly changes everything about my day and allows me to show up fully and presently at all times for everyone in my life: most importantly, myself.

What about your routine is uniquely you?

The great part about my day is that my work, play, and love all blur together. My work is my playtime and I love it so much! So in my Owaves day, anytime you see a briefcase: it can just as easily be a heart, a yin yang, a beach ball, or a sneaker!

Whose “O” Would You Love to See?

Sophie Jaffe. She constantly inspires me. We were certified together in 2009 and the universe has kept us in touch and a part of one another’s hearts and souls since then. She is such an amazing, open, strong, incredible woman. I admire her deeply.

What is your #1 wellness habit?

Moderation. I never, ever restrict myself from eating something I want. Because I allow myself to eat the things that sound good to my body, I very rarely crave things that are not good for my body. It keeps me happy. I love my body and I treat it as such: there is no better wellness than the wellness of self-love.

What is the best piece of health advice you’ve ever received?

My mom used to make me start my mornings with lemon water as a kid. I HATED it! She made me drink it because her mom made her drink it. I was always told it would give me beautiful skin and I’d be grateful someday. Guess what? She was right. Moms always are. Having that habit as a child has made keeping it up as a morning ritual so much easier now that I’m an “adult.” And now, I actually add apple cider vinegar to it and use warm water. It’s a wonderful way to start the day: helping to detox and alkalinize the body from the inside out.

What is your favorite part about living a healthy lifestyle?

How wonderful I feel! I have so much energy and can give so much love and guidance to my students and friends. I have become a more present and joyful person all because I take care of myself. There is no better feeling than being tuned into and loving your most authentic self, then putting it out there for the world to see!

Describe your sleep ritual.

More often than not I am in bed by 10:30 pm at the latest. I usually persuade my mom to walk her dog with me and mine at 9:30 pm so that I can crawl into bed at 10:00 pm.

Once the dog walk is done and I do my skin routine, I crawl into bed and do a little free writing: I like to reflect on my day and how I’m feeling about it and then rub my dog’s belly and pass out. Every once in a while, I’ll go to bed later than that on weekends but I typically am a 10:00 pm to 6:00 am solid sleeper.

Tell us about a time you were stuck in an unhealthy cycle and how you got out of it. What was the main inspiration for positive change?

There was a pretty large period of time in my life where I had too many jobs that were not fulfilling me and I was in a relationship with a wonderful person that was not right for me. I was allowing myself to be told and treated like I wasn’t enough in all aspects of my life.

Yoga brought me back to life. Once I went back onto the mat and made making time for myself a priority, those jobs faded away and teaching came into my life without me even having to struggle for it! The universe provided. When I started teaching and my life was filled with yoga, filled with time for breath and self-care, I was able to have the strength to walk away from my unhealthy relationship.

My mat guided me out of the toxic cycle I was in. I would find my truest self during my practice, and realize how shut down I had become in my life off of the mat. And I didn’t want to feel that way anymore. I wanted to feel loved and valued: and that started with loving and valuing myself first.

Change is scary. Taking risks is scary. But there is nothing more terrifying than spending your life doing, or with, something or someone that takes away your light. If you listen to your intuition and come from a place of love and trust: you can guide yourself onto a healthy and fulfilling life path.

If you could give one piece of health advice, what would it be and why?

Make time for YOU. Whether it’s a yoga class or a boxing class, or going on a walk, you have to do something for yourself, for your mind and body, on your own. The relationship you have with yourself is the single most important relationship you’ll ever have. Love yourself.

Pamper yourself. Be affectionate and kind to yourself. Know your value and never, ever lower it for anyone or anything else. When you make a mistake, learn from it. When somebody hurts you, learn from it. Try not to hurt anyone else. And smile always. Especially at strangers. These acts of kindness and self-care will lead you to such a healthy life, free of so many physical and emotional ailments so much of our country struggles with on their quests to take the best selfie and have the most money.

Arielle McFadden is a Celebrity Yoga Instructor & Pilates Trainer. For more inspiration from Arielle, check out her websites Arielle Yoga and HotPilates, and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.