Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice came to the NBC4 Telemundo44 Health and Fitness Expo on Sunday and shared how she stays healthy with yoga -- and the latest housewives scoop.
From spending a year in prison to the sudden loss of her mother, the reality star and New York Times bestselling author has been through a lot. She sat down with us for a quick interview after her Expo appearance to tell us how her love for yoga has helped her get through it all.
How did you get into yoga?
"I got into yoga when I was away, when I was at you know, at the federal correction institute…it was really called 'the camp' where I was...So I just, I was working out every day. They had yoga classes going on so I was like let me try it. I've tried it before and it was kind of hard so it's something that, you know, you just have to keep trying it and once you try it, it does wonders."
So, there was an instructor?
"No, they just played a tape. Yeah, they had yoga tapes there. So every morning they would play them and so I started doing it and I just loved it and really my body was sore. I used to always have pain in my lower back and I started doing it and it did wonders for my body. It really did and then I started reading all the yoga books and about meditating and everything. It does relax your mind because sometimes you go, go, go, go, go and you never have time to relax and meditate and I started doing that and I loved it."
Did yoga help you whenever you were worried about your family while you were away?
"Oh yeah, it really kept me at peace - really - Namaste. Because that was the only thing I thought about was my parents and my kids, you know, because we were always worried about my dad, his health and then you know, when I came home it was my mom. So I always prayed for...both of them and my children."
"And then I loved yoga so much that when I came home, I wanted to learn everything about it. So that's why I got certified because I just wanted to learn everything about it and that's how much I loved it."
Speaking of Namaste, tell us about your Real Housewives tagline.
"'If you're not about the Namaste, then get the hell out of my way.' But I didn't want to say 'hell' because I'm like it doesn't go with the Namaste… I always say that, but I say 'If you're not about the Namaste, then just get out of my way.' But they wanted the 'hell.' And I'm like that's not really Namaste!"
Have your four daughters gotten into yoga as well?
"Gia does hot yoga. Gabriella and Milania are not there yet. The baby, Audriana, I was sending her to kids yoga. Her and her best friend Olivia - they loved it. She loves it and she loves doing it with me."
What about your husband Joe?
"He's working out a lot. He stretches a lot because he does Tai Kwan Do. He's a black belt so he's very flexible. He should do more yoga. I don't know if they do yoga there. Maybe they do... But you know I'm going to tell him. As soon as we're done with this interview, I'm going to call him and tell him 'you better do yoga!'"
What's your favorite pose?
"I love child's pose. Every morning I bend over forward and it helps my lower back or I go on my back and I just cradle my feet. I do all the stretches for my body. I love tree pose, there's warrior one, warrior two. Those I usually do them in class. There's crow, there's tripod. You know, what I haven't mastered yet - a headstand. I can do it against a wall, but I have to learn to do it without the wall."
What is your advice for someone who is a yoga beginner or who is trying a new exercise?
"When I first tried yoga, I was discouraged because it was hard. It was like poses you never did before and I'm like 'what am I doing?' You feel weird doing it, but I would say do it a few times. Like, when you go on a first date - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's not, but give something like a second or third chance. Try it a few times and then decide if you enjoy it or not."
Ok let's talk housewives - Danielle Staub is someone who shares your love for yoga. How is your relationship going with her?
"Everything's good. I'm getting to know her because before I didn't get a chance to know her because Jacqueline was, like, in the middle. Like she just was sort of trying to keep us apart. So now I'm getting to know her and she's really sweet. Before I was trying to get to know her, but she had somebody in her ear, I had somebody in my ear so we never got a chance to get to know each other."
What else would you like people to know about yoga and how it has helped you?
"It does release endorphins that make you happy. When you exercise it makes you happy because you're releasing good energy. Meditating - give it a chance. Nobody gives themselves time you know they're always running. Our lives are crazy. But when you do yoga and at the end when you just relax and just try not to think about anything, it does do your body good. It does."
"It is really true. I know people are like 'what are you talking about?' But it did really change my life. It did make me feel better spiritually and body-wise."
"Sometimes things happen in life and you gotta just take the time and do it and you've got to take time out for yourself. And I did and it paid off."
Editor's Note: Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity.