I first met Anela 20 years ago at my college library and her beautiful smile and friendly attitude caught my attention. We instantly became friends for life. Her positive attitude is highly contagious, she lights up the room at every occasion and makes connections for life.  Anela is fearless, courageous, powerful and risk taker.  Her confident personality towards life has personally inspired me. Anela talks about her recent venture, love for her daughters and how she balances between work and motherhood.

Tell us about your professional background? 

I had studied classical piano in Europe. Over the years I have worked for numerous companies mostly in furniture design, where I gained knowledge of business and design trends.  I always kept music to be part of my life by teaching others.  During the life cycles of ups and downs, I found safety spot on my mat.  Yoga for over a decade now became my daily practice.

You recently launched CITTA YOGA NYC tell us about your vision? 

I always loved what I do.  I know it could be overdone statement, but I truly do.  The best things happen when you are passionate about it.  Citta Yoga NYC was created based on the needs of yoga practitioners. Many practitioners including me, they turn to yoga practice mostly for the reason that they are going through something emotionally difficult or experiencing some physical difficulties.  It is so important for everyone to feel comfortable while moving from one asana to another.  I had created Citta Yoga collection that allows this movement.  I also have a great love for design, so I included black and white designs.  It represents the ying and yang in eastern cultures, and in western cultures it’s considered timeless design.  I want each Yogi to feel comfortable and confident during their practice.

When did you first start practicing yoga?

About 11 years ago, when I was going through some challenging times.

Love all your recent blog post when do you get time to write? 

I try to do it once a month.  It’s always good to share positive information so I simply make my time for it.  Usually, I will write when my kids are asleep at nights. You can check out my recent articles at https://cittayoganyc.com/blogs/news

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I do love a few figures (famous), but I learned that the biggest gifts, inspirations, is what you have.  So, I would say my two beautiful daughters.  They motivate me every day to do the right and best things for them and myself.  They also motivate me to create and it is a beautiful journey.  They also keep me in check as a human being.

What’s your favorite quote? 

“I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.” Brene Brown

What’s been the toughest challenge in balancing family and career so far?

Feeling of Guilt and Fear. Guilt constantly pops up as you are leaving them to go to work. You start questioning yourself am I doing the right thing? am I spending enough time with my kids? Do they love me less because I go to work instead of being with them?  Fear is a harder one on me…constantly worrying if they are okay?  If they eat enough at school?  Are they safe?

Most rewarding thing about being a mom?

Simply watching them grow into lovely and healthy human beings and those warm hugs and kisses that are absolutely priceless when you arrive home.  The fact that they trust you and they look up to you to set the example and guide them through life.

What kind snacks do you like for your kids?

I personally love to stock up on fresh fruit, veggies, cheese, and occasional crackers. But homemade snacks with fruit and veggies are probably one of my favorite things to make. I have found that sometimes presenting veggie snacks in a more fun way the kids are more likely to eat them. I prefer to shop at farmers market and prepare them at home for my kids.

What is your favorite healthy snack?

I pretty much do the same for me.  My kids eat whatever I eat and vs.

Do you follow any specific diet to stay fit and healthy? 

I am big believer in balance. Just trying not to eat a lot at night, and I try to workout 3-4 times a day and that’s all.

What is your favorite vegetarian dish you like to cook or eat?

Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano from Cookie and Kate

What’s your secret HOT sauce?

Homemade buffalo sauce

You are from Montenegro, tell us little bit about the country and the best places to visit?

Montenegro was part of former Yugoslavia.  Its located in Southern Europe, right across from Italy, right on Adriatic Sea.  Small, gorgeous gem.  People are warm and caring.  Love going there and my kids enjoy summers on the beach as well.  One of my fav places on the coast are Kotor, Petrovac, Budva, on the north  Black Lake Durmitor.

Your top five favorite restaurants?

Via Carota