Kennedy Summers was crowned as Playboy’s Playmate of the Year, so of course she has the looks, but by just looking at her we knew there was way more than meets the eye. From practicing yoga daily, to becoming a vegan, to goals of starting her own fitness company, Asana Journal wanted to find out more about what goes into Miss Summers’ life style that helps her to stay looking the way she does…
How were you first introduced to yoga and what were your original thoughts?
I was introduced to yoga by my grandmother. I’d never heard of it, but I remember her going to classes when I was a kid. I also remember wondering how stretching was a workout!
How important is an active, healthy lifestyle to you?
An active, healthy lifestyle is the focus of my life. I eat a strict vegan diet (veggies, not processed Twinkies, etc!), I work out six days a week, and I make sure to sleep at least 8hrs. My priority is my health and diet, because if your body isn’t healthy, the rest of your life will suffer. Food is both poison and a cure, so I make sure to choose wisely.
Do you ever feel pressured to look a certain way given the industry you are in?
I definitely do feel pressure to look a certain way because of my industry. I think that people outside of the media feel pressured to look a certain way, too, though. I think that we all feel pressure from all sides, but the important thing to me is to keep a clear mind and keep perspective. I never take advice from people who aren’t somewhere in life that I’d want to be, and when I’m stressed, or sad, or angry, my go-to reaction is to go for a 20-minute run. I guess that instinctive reaction helps me keep in shape, but my priority is my health, not my looks.
What types of yoga do you practice these days?
I really like Hatha Yoga because the breathing exercises help to keep me centered. I feel like it’s easy for me to get pulled in several directions, but finding time to meditate and connect with my body is a healthy way to maintain balance.
You have travelled the world from Canada to China – did you learn any new types/styles of yoga on your travels?
I’ve been so lucky to get to experience all different types of yoga around the world. I think that when I practice at home, I integrate a lot of different styles and poses. The coolest place I’ve ever done yoga was at Sanctuary in Thailand. It’s on Koh Phangan and you basically lock yourself away on an island with no cars and minimal electricity for two weeks. They do a complete body cleanse and daily yoga. You feel incredible when you leave.
Is it hard to find time to do yoga with your busy schedule as a med student and model?
My schedule is busy, so I don’t always get to do my full hour of yoga! Luckily, I’ve got a trainer from Bangladesh and she really appreciates the importance of yoga in my regimen. She helps me with posture, stretches, and breathing, in between cardio and calisthenics. Like with everything in my life, I’m happiest when I have a balance.
What has been your greatest challenge when it comes to your practice?
My greatest challenge is my strength. I have toned muscles, but sometimes, I’m just not strong enough to hold the poses as long as I (and my instructors!) would like. I know a lot of it is mental, which the hatha yoga helps me with, but in reality, yoga is incredibly difficult (someone go tell five-year-old me that, please!!) and if you aren’t practicing consistently, it can be hard to hold the poses!
Why do you feel yoga is important to your every day lifestyle and who you are as an individual?
I think yoga is great for me because I like to connect with my body after a long day of meetings, photoshoots, and studying. I’m constantly on-the-go and wearing so many different hats, so the chance to align my body and mind is so helpful. Yoga keeps my stress levels down and keeps my mind clear. Plus, when I get anxious, I use yoga breathing exercises to unwind, instead of turning to western medicines.
What advice would you like to share with other practitioners based on your personal experience or others looking at getting into yoga?
I would tell anyone who is considering getting into yoga to just go for it! Sign up for a few beginner classes and give it two weeks! See how your stress levels change and your posture improves…and the endorphins will make you happier in your day-to-day life!
Tell us about one of your greatest yoga experiences to date…
My greatest yoga experience to date was over the summer. I was staying in a beautiful resort in Phuket, and we woke up, had a healthy breakfast, and did yoga overlooking the ocean. The views were beautiful, the breeze was perfect, and the yogi was amazing. I feel so blessed when I remember that morning!
Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?
My favorite place to practice yoga is outside. There’s nothing better than being able to connect with yourself in nature, where we were meant to be! If I could do yoga near the ocean everyday, that would be incredible.
You are also a Vegan… how much healthier do you feel since choosing to be one?
My body has changed a lot since becoming vegan. My skin used to have pimples, but now I rarely get them. My hair is as long as it was when I was a little girl, my fingernails are strong, and I feel happier. I don’t carry as much weight, I sleep less, have clearer thoughts, I don’t get sick, and I feel genuinely healthy. I was pretty much born a vegetarian, so veganism wasn’t a big stretch for me, but I’ll never switch back. I have so much energy and a lot more inner peace now that I’m vegan.
What are your future dreams and goals both professionally and personally?
My goal for next year is to launch my own fitness company on January 1st. I’m currently studying for my USMLE Step 1, modeling, and doing social media, so there’s a lot going on here. I would say my goal is to just take advantage of my health and energy, and really chase the things I want. Personally, I would like to stay out of romantic relationships and really focus on my body and my career. I’m not looking for love or marriage right now.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
If I could change one thing in the world, it would be homelessness. There’s nothing that breaks my heart more than seeing someone struggle and go without something that the rest of us take for granted every single day. No one grows up thinking, “I’d really like to be homeless someday,” but it can happen. I wish that this country could help the ones with mental issues get treatment and care, and also offer more temporary shelters where other homeless people can get back on their feet, shower, sleep, and find a job, before moving on.
Is there anything else yoga-related you wish to add or touch base on?
Even if you can’t find time to work out, yogic breathing exercises are an invaluable tool for stress and decision-making!
To read the full article please download our Asana Journal App or purchase Issue 166 October 2016.