The amount of stress in an average person’s life is constantly increasing, so the matters of stress reduction and staying on top of our emotions become more important than ever. Andrea Trank, a Certified Yoga Teacher, HearthMath® Certified Trainer and Clinical Coach, and Trauma Certified HeartMath Professional, discussed these topics, and more, in an exclusive interview for MysticMag.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us about your professional background?
I am Andrea Trank, a mother, a grandmother, a registered Yoga Teacher, a Certified Gentle Somatic Yoga Teacher, a Certified Restorative Yoga Teacher, a Certified Memory Maintenance Yoga Teacher, a HearthMath® Certified Trainer and Clinical Coach, and Trauma Certified HeartMath Professional, and a certified integrative medicine health coach. I also teach cooking and make energy jewelry. My background is as eclectic as my jewelry designs. I was a TV news reporter in the 80s. As I covered more environmental disasters, I became concerned about environmental issues, so I became an environmental activist. After a frustrating few years of trying to change adult behavior, I realized that our real hope was in the classroom teaching children, so I went back to school and got two advanced degrees in education from the University of Virginia– an M. Ed. in Science Education, and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction. I taught science and journalism at the high school level for 10 years and college-level education courses for eight years. Teaching is my passion.
I had always practiced yoga since I was 25 to help deal with anxiety. But when my mom got sick with Alzheimer’s in 2008 and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a few years later, I left the traditional classroom and went back to school to learn how to heal. So, with two more degrees and lots more training, I now have the tools for myself and my clients to manage stress, deal with chronic illness, stay emotionally regulated, and age vibrantly, no matter what issues we face. This is my mission! I work with clients facing anxiety and chronic pain and illness using HeartMath tools, Health Coaching tools, Gentle Somatic Yoga, nutritional and supplemental approaches, detoxifying personal care and the home, and other Lifestyle approaches including Ayurvedic and TCM principles, Mindfulness practices, and practices from Deb Dana’s Practices in Polyvagal theory. I also train college students in the field of education and teachers in classrooms how to self-emotional regulate and create a coherent classroom using HeartMath. I was born in 1958. I have been married to my sweetheart since 1984. I have three children and one beautiful granddaughter so far who lives in Brazil. Her name is Isabela.
How did you come across HeartMath and how did you become a HeartMath Coach?
I came across HeartMath by accident. I was taking a course on the Chakras systems from a Yoga Therapist. She was also adept at reading people’s energy. She asked for a volunteer and I said yes. As she was studying me, she stepped back with a jolt and said you should be working on people’s hearts. I asked her what that meant. She said she was not completely sure. Her message sat with me for a day. The next day I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I noticed a post about HeartMath offering a 50% discount to go through one of their trainings and certification on Stress Anxiety and Emotional Regulation. I signed up that day and have never looked back. I am now certified in four HeartMath programs including Resilient Advantage, The Resilient Heart Trauma certification, Stress and Wellbeing Assessment, and my initial coaching certification in Stress, Anxiety, and Emotional Regulation. I write extensively about HeartMath on my website.
How can HeartMath techniques improve one’s well-being?
HeartMath is a proven system of tools designed to sync your heart rhythms with your brain waves, and other physiological systems. When they are synced up, it is known as a state of physiological coherence. It is a more efficient state that improves one’s physical, mental, and emotional health. 30 years of studies have shown that by using the HeartMath breathing, emotional regulation, and biofeedback tools, one can reduce anxiety, sleep better, perform better at work and school, and get along better with others. The biofeedback device shows when you are in a state of coherence through a color-coded system—green, blue, and red. It also shows when your Heart rate variability is synchronized with other living systems including people, dogs, horses, and trees. There is also research on synching up with the magnetic field of the Earth. And research on the improved intuitive capabilities of people who practice HeartMath.
What can a person expect from your Yoga classes?
My yoga classes are not your typical yoga class. I am a Gentle Somatic Yoga teacher who works with people who have chronic tension in their body. So we do not do what is a typical stretch. Somatics involves the retraining of the nervous system and the sensory motor cortex which helps people restore their natural range of motion. Think of how your dog or cat gets up from a nap. We incorporate this kind of movement into a beautiful, safe, and practice that is accessible to all. I also include HeartMath practices as well as other mindfulness practices. I am certified in Mudras and Chakras as well. And of course, I add in lifestyle advice as well as nutritional advice in my classes.
On top of that, you also design jewelry, including Yoga Jewelry. Please tell me more about that.
I have been designing jewelry for more than 30 years. I originally started to help with my healing from gut issues and anxiety. My hobby became my passion and eventually a thriving business. I put intention and attention to detail into every piece I design. I am currently certifying as a crystal healer and that in addition to my background as an Earth Science teacher is why my Malas are so gorgeous, unique, and energetically healing for each customer.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
I love helping people and the variety of ways that I can work with people to help them heal and age vibrantly no matter what they are facing.