SmartyPants recently sat down with Briohny Smyth, yogini, teacher, healer, and mother, to talk about a multitude of topics. We found out how she finds balance and practices self-care while teaching yoga around the world, how she raises her two beautiful children, and how she can stomach the cuisine most people would consider a dare.
SP: What first attracted you to yoga?
BS: I was really young – I was 15 – and I didn’t know that taking care of yourself was important and I got really sick from an eating disorder. When I had my first experience with yoga, it was an experience I had never felt before: this feeling of surrender, of self-love, of the ability to let go of all of the thoughts in my head and just BE. Just be right there at that moment and learn who I was. It constantly does that for me now. Coming back to bow or whatever it may be, I’ll immediately feel balanced and continue on that path towards self-care.
SP: Now, what attracted you to SmartyPants?
BS: (laughs) I love that question. What attracted me to SmartyPants was the fact that – a little back story. Being a mom, there’s so much information [out there] and so [many products] to choose from at so many different price points, especially when it comes to daily health. When I found SmartyPants and @SmartyHealth…it was the colors – the vibrancy of the colors is intoxicating. And you’re clear about the ingredients, and the overall goal of the brand itself. It was like a no brainer for me. I had actually used SmartyPants many times before I started working with you guys.
SP: When you are looking for a brand to collaborate with – like you did with SmartyPants – what is the most important message you want to send to the people who follow you on social media?
BS: It’s important to me that it’s either a product I already use or it’s something I learned about and started to use and then want to share it. It’s so important that it’s truly how I live my life. Knowing that my followers are inspired by my life, I want everything I do to be authentic. That authenticity trickles down to the products I choose, too. Quality ingredients. Sustainable sources. They think about their impact on the world.
SP: And SmartyPants fit the bill?
BS: Of course. Also, one reason I really love SmartyPants is you’re so informative. There’s such a vast world of information out there – and it’s refreshing to have a brand that’s not just selling their products but also helping parents and adults understand why they need to be healthy.
SP: We’re so transparent. Whatever you want to know, we’re going to tell you. About anything. We’ll tell you what’s in our vitamins. We’ll tell you what we’re having for lunch today. We even have glass doors on all the conference rooms so you can always see what’s going on inside and out. We sit in an open concept space. Everything is truly transparent – that’s how we operate as a company.
BS: (laughs) Exactly.
SP: What would be your dream place to travel to right now?
BS: Probably be Palawan. I go to the south of Thailand for three months every year to this beautiful island called Koh Samui, but I work the entire time. I used to take time off and just enjoy the island, but now, my life’s even busier, so I find if I’m going to go on vacation, I have to go someplace far and small. With bad reception. Where I can’t text or email.
SP: When you are traveling, how do you find healthy food options? Do you tend to shop and prepare your own foods? Do you eat out and sample local fare?
BS: It really depends on the location. Preferably I like to go out and experience the local flavors, but if I’m in a place like Australia, where the food is pretty similar, then I like to cook at home. A little mix I would say, more towards the going out and experiencing local foods. I grew up in Asia, so my stomach is really strong (laughs).
SP: You can handle anything. Nothing frightens you. You watch Andrew Zimmern’s show and you’re like “Yeah, whatever, dude, I can handle that.”
BS: (laughs) I’ve had bugs and weird stuff like that. It all part of the experience. If another human can do it, so can I.
SP: Well, speaking of tasty treats, what are your go-to power snacks? What gives you that extra boost during the day?
BS: I always have nuts – nuts are so important. One of my go-to, life-saving things is any sort of immune support tincture and a probiotic. I take the SmartyPants probiotic daily. I had health issues when I was younger – I had an ulcer – my digestion isn’t great and that tends to spark me not feeling well. So anytime time I start feeling off balance, I just add an additional probiotic. And then I feel great.
SP: You influence so many people, but who influences you?
BS: My first huge influence in yoga was Annie Carpenter. She taught as you learn about your body, you learn about your mind. And as you learn, you slow things down and really get in touch with yourself. Lisa Walden was another huge influence in yoga. And my mother. My mother is one of the strongest women I have ever met and she inspires me every day just in the way that she cares for our family, the way that she lives her life. She’s super inspiring.
SP: What’s the best advice you ever received?
BS: I think it would be you are responsible for almost everything in your life. You can find your responsibility in everything. And you can’t change anybody else – you can only change yourself.
SP: What are some of the most surprising lessons you have learned along the way since you started practicing yoga?
BS: I always heard that when people had been practicing yoga for as long as I have now – 20 or more years – that it slows down and it becomes more meditative and you don’t need the strong practices and I was like, “No!” (laughing) That’s exactly where I am now. It is surprising how you work at it and the work becomes less work and more…intuition.
SP: What are your plans with your kids this summer?
BS: Every summer we go live on an island in the south of Thailand for three months while I do teacher training, but I always make time to have fun with the kids on the island. We’ll go to the waterpark there and my son is going to take Muay Thai martial arts.
SP: What is in your Netflix queue?
BS: Tales by Light, Abstract, Riverdale, and 13 Reasons Why – I’ve been watching those with my daughter.
SP: Riverdale is fun – it’s a teenage soap opera.
BS: It’s good. Archie Comics come to life. With Luke Perry.
SP: And Molly Ringwald.
BS: Our teen idols as adults.
SP: And who doesn’t love a good soapy melodrama now and then?
SmartyPants LOVES Briohny and Bryce Yoga. You can show her some love on Instagram @bryceyoga, on Twitter @briohny_dice, and on Facebook. We look forward to a long partnership with her and really hope to master that shoulder stand one day.
Posted on June 22, 2017