Anya El-Wattar, an inspirational public speaker, healer, philanthropist, and pragmatic visionary, teaches a relationship with food that feeds our bodies and souls, enhances our capacity for love and relationship, and leads to longer, healthier, more fulfilling lives.
Anya grew up in Soviet Russia, always dreaming of a better life elsewhere. When she was a teenager, her family immigrated to the United States six months before the fall of the Soviet Union. They toiled to build a new life—and that struggle took its toll on Anya. Through a series of setbacks, bouts with depression and loss, by age 18, Anya felt she had lost everything meaningful. She found herself facing the long, dark night of the soul, spiritually disconnected and eating poorly just to subsist.
On her way to the store one day, a young man handed her a flyer for a local yoga class. She was desperate and she had nothing to lose, so she went. At her first class, the yoga teacher said, “Every molecule in our bodies was made in an explosion of a supernova. In our deepest nature we are stars — the crown jewels of creation.”
The statement, and the yoga, awoke Anya’s spirit and started her on a decades-long spiritual quest. She became a serious yoga and meditation practitioner and went on to study philosophy at Columbia University, ancient medicine at the Ayurvedic Institute, and food and healing at the NYC Natural Gourmet Institute of Health and Culinary Arts. Anya realized her relationship with food mirrored her relationship with her spirit, as both were transformed. This understanding deepened her culinary passion.
Anya began traveling the world, exploring the culinary and spiritual traditions of various cultures. Her travels and explorations gave her new vision and knowledge, and a desire to bring positive change to the world. Out of her life experiences and the revelations along the way, Anya developed a unique approach to food and spirituality for busy, modern souls that she calls the Tantra of Food.
The Tantra of Food improved Anya’s health, vitality, and quality of life, magnifying her joy, and making her a source of nourishment and blessing to those around her. Anya teaches the sensual pleasure of eating, the secret of infusing food with love, and the Tantra that makes any meal a sacred ritual. She teaches a way of eating and living that awakens greater consciousness of the nourishment life offers each of us in every moment. She knows how a divine transformation of the molecules in our food can become a healthy body, a peaceful mind, and a loving heart.
When not traveling, Anya resides in San Francisco with her husband, Kamal, and their four children. She is currently working on her first book, The Tantra of Food.