Alysia Reiner is Bent On Learning

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Orange Is the New Black star Alysia Reiner and new mom Hilaria Baldwin recently co-hosted the Bent On Learning 5th Annual Inspire Gala in New York City. Bent On Learning (BOL) is a nonprofit organization committed to teaching yoga to children in NYC public schools as a way to directly promote health conscious, learning-ready students.

Alysia opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about doing yoga with her 5-year-old daughter Livia, the benefits of staying active and being aware of your breathing, and her hit Netflix series. “We have the best cast in the world,” she boasts of her Orange colleagues.

CBS: Tell us about Bent On Learning‘s 5th Annual Inspire Gala. How did you get involved with the organization?

AR: “I have known Satya Scainetti (co-Founder of Satya Jewelry) for years through Golden Bridge yoga — my yoga home in LA and NYC. She is on the Benefit Committee for the Inspire Gala and asked me to host (this year). And, of course, I said yes — it is an incredible organization I am so proud to support.”

CBS: It sounds like it was a family affair with your Orange Is the New Black cast mates also in attendance. What did that mean to you?

AR: “We have the best cast in the world! Seriously, such incredible women — so much talent and hearts of gold. It’s like the sorority I never had in college because my college (Vassar) didn’t have them. I feel so blessed.”

CBS: How has BOL influenced you as a parent?

AR: “I have been doing yoga with Livia since she was in my belly, and we practice at home. I do a 5-10 minute set every morning and many times Liv joins me — though much of the time we end up in what we call ‘snuggle pose’ or tickle position.

I am double lucky because my sister is also a yoga teacher and specializes in teaching kids. It was so ironic when they asked me to be the host, because we had already planned to do our ‘family share’ (where you share about something you do as a family) about yoga and meditation that day in Liv’s school.”

CBS: Besides yoga, what other ways can parents help keep their kids fit and healthy?

AR: “I think staying active is so important. I actually just talked about the importance of fitness for moms in an article for well&good, but I think it is equally important to stay active with your kids. They do what you do.

Liv and I are huge fans of dance parties (if it’s raining, we have been known to open some umbrellas inside and sing to the Glee ’Singing in the Rain’ mash up). And as a family, we love hiking, swimming, skiing, skating, etc.”

CBS: Why is it important to you to bring health and fitness awareness to other parents and their children?

AR: “BOL is such a gift to so many children and communities because they bring yoga, and yoga brings so many lessons: movement and stretching, of course, but also physical awareness, breathing, listening, peace, meditation — to pause and be aware, the idea of practice, discipline, community and flow. So much magic.”

CBS: How’s your daughter Livia doing? Tell us a little about her personality.

AR: “She is pure heaven. I am so smitten. She is a little scientist – she created the character ‘Volcano Girl’ to be for Halloween – who wants to take the energy from volcanoes and turn them into electricity. Where she got that idea I have no idea, but her environmentalist mama loves it!

She is super goofy and loves to make everyone laugh. But she is also so kind and loving — be it telling me how much she loves me or that the dinner I cooked is the best she ever had, or at school she never wants anyone to feel left out or teased and is very verbal about that.”

CBS: With Valentine’s Day around the corner, what’s your favorite way to spend it? Do you and your husband David Alan Basche find time for date nights?

AR: “Lately with David shooting The Exes in LA and me shooting Orange in NYC, we have been sorely lacking in date nights! We don’t usually do a big deal for Valentine’s Day. I prefer the surprise flowers, secret love note, or sweep-away weekend to a calendar-enforced box of chocolates any date! But this year is special to me because I co-designed a locket and 100% of the proceeds go to the Women’s Prison Association. So the biggest gift I want this year is a lot of men to buy it for their ladies and raise a ton of money for WPA.”

CBS: How do you balance health and fitness, a busy career, and being a mom? Do you have any tips?

AR: “I think we are all sometimes looking for that magic combination or equation — be it in our schedule or workouts. Honestly, I think for me for today the best advice I could give myself today is gratitude and breathe. Lots of deep breaths. Be present in every moment — with your kids, with your work, with your workout. Whatever you are doing, do it to the fullest. And lots of gratitude for the moment — find the magic.”

CBS: Orange Is the New Black is a huge success — congratulations! What do you think accounts for its popularity?

AR: “Thank you so much! I have no idea how we got so lucky, but it certainly is amazing. We have so much incredible talent involved. Sometimes the stars just align, and I am happy to be dancing among them.”

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