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Entries in entourage (1)

Monday
Jul202015

CBI First Person: Perrey Reeves

You were born in New York City, but raised in New Hampshire. How did rural life affect you?

We were always doing something outside, skiing, playing soccer, etc., even in cold weather; in school, I was a gymnast. As a result, I love anything that involves movement. My parents always said, “You’ll stay young forever if you remain active.” And the mental health benefits are huge.

Speaking of mental health, we’ve heard that you’re very serious about meditation and yoga. A few details, please.

Yes, I started a meditation practice in 1992 and a yoga one in 1994, before they were cool. I like a simple, mantra-style meditation. You focus on something, and, when you drift off, you come back to the mantra—it’s very gentle, restful, and rather effortless.

As for yoga, it’s a Hatha practice. I first started with Ashtanga, since, having been an athlete, I wanted something really active. But I realized that I already have enough energy—I needed to calm down. So, today, my practice is a series of standing and balancing poses, plus stretching. I do what my body needs from day to day.

You’ve established the Sanctuary at Two Rivers, a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. How did that come about?

I wanted something beyond a career in Hollywood. I love acting, but have a lot of other interests. Because nature, health, wellness, and yoga are my passions, I thought, “I want to create a camp for adults.” Costa Rica is a beautiful country. And Sanctuary is situated between two rivers, with waterfalls, not far from the ocean. We built 15 structures—a little village with a spa and pool, on 40 acres in the jungle. We’re 100% solar, with luxurious tree houses—very Asian. We offer weeklong programs, with yoga classes and three meals a day. It’s restful, rejuvenating, and fun.

Life is draining, and nature helps restore one’s energy.

How do you attempt to motivate people to pursue a healthy lifestyle?

If you’re overweight and haven’t been eating properly, it’s hard to do things to get better. When, physically, you don’t have much energy and, psychologically, may be depressed, you’re more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors—it’s a vicious cycle. So I advise people to do something simple, initially: for instance, commit to just walking around the neighborhood—something realistic that they can do.

Say, “I’m going to do 15 minutes a day, three days a week, for 21 days, and I’m not going to let myself down.” It’s remarkable how happy that can make a person feel.

You also stress the importance of eating correctly—right?

Yes, if you’re not providing your body with the proper fuel, you’re not going to feel great. I’ve been a vegetarian much of my life, but I’m sure if I was doing a movie on location, living in a hotel, and a grilled cheese sandwich was the only thing I could get—I’d eat it. But if I’m not eating well, I don’t feel well. Health is a lifestyle—all of the different factors have to fit together.

All of this sounds like a far cry from Melissa Gold, the character you play on Entourage. Do you resemble her in any way?

Well, Melissa is devoted to her family and really loves Ari; all of their behavior comes from her desire to guide him, because he’s so out of control. So I’d say that we’re both strong women ... and both of us also talk fast.

After Entourage, what’s next for you?

Something will come along. I’m sure of it. That’s the great thing I’ve learned with meditation and yoga. I don’t stress over those types of thing anymore. There’s a calmer way to exist.