Updated: Mar 28, 2021
My name is Emily Perrin and I am the CEO and Founder of Perrin Wellness and Performance.
I am a Mindfulness and Performance coach and am a full time student at the University of Denver getting my Master’s in Clinical Social Work. My passion is working with elite athletes, studying mental health and trauma within the elite athlete community and building programming that helps us proactively address and navigate our health and well being. I came to this work after being a DI Student Athlete at the University of Virginia and then a DI assistant coach at the University of Pennsylvania and seeing firsthand the need to help athletes address their mental health and well being.
I started this company during a long and overdue journey to heal myself and get to a place where I was healthy in mind, body and soul. I think many of us equate “health” to what we eat and if we exercise or not. If we do those things we should be “good”. But health is so much more. We are starting to move in the direction of addressing health holistically but we still have a ways to go.
Although I was a collegiate athlete and knew roughly what to eat and how to work out, I still struggled in so many ways. I believe this is an all too common story. I can’t tell you how many athletes or former athletes I speak with now that say “I wish I had known this stuff” or “I wish I had done these things” when they hear about my work.
Throughout my 30 years of living, I have been in inpatient psychiatric care twice.
I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic attacks that were so bad that I couldn’t leave my house to go to the grocery store.
There have been days on end where I wasn’t able to get out of bed.
My coping mechanisms have included self mutilation, alcohol abuse, binge eating and chronic and obsessive working out.
When I say I have been to rock bottom, I have been to rock bottom. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Complete rock bottom.
I believe that healing and the path to recovery is unique and very individual. We all have to find what works for us and do what is best for ourselves. I did many things such as therapy, medication, changing habits, moving into a better environment and ending relationships that were no longer healthy and productive. Many of these things I still do and continue to do to this day.
But I will be perfectly honest in that mindfulness, yoga, meditation and breathwork are what really transformed my life. In many ways, these practices are what saved me and gave me a new meaning in life.
It is now my life’s work to teach these practices and bring their insight, awareness and beauty into the world.
I spend the majority of my time teaching and working with athletes through these practices. Many people hear about what I do and automatically call me a “sport psychologist” or think that this is sport psychology. I am not a sports psychologist and these are not the same thing.
For an Elite Athlete, the element of Performance is constant.
It is included in almost every aspect of their training. Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation, and Breath Work have NO performance entity. We cannot be bad and we cannot be good. I believe that giving athletes time and space for this is crucial and will in turn positively impact their performance AND their lives as a whole. What I do is create space and coach athletes through practices and skills that help them develop awareness and insight. The more awareness and insight we have, the better.
However, I will take these a step further and talk about the science behind these practices that show the positive transformation that can come with taking up these practices.
Scientists have been proving that the Brain is capable of neuroplasticity. We can CHANGE and REWIRE our brains in key areas such as decision making, memory and emotional reactivity. What science shows - is that meditation is one of THE best ways to do this.
Studies are also continuing to show that both Mindfulness and Meditation strengthen the brain’s ability to focus on one thing and be less distracted.
Studies show that those who meditate and have a mindfulness practice produce less cortisol during stress and less reactivity in the amygdala. **This means we are able to handle stress and are less likely to be hijacked by our emotions.
Yoga is not just a physical practice. Yoga means Union. It is the union of the mind and the body. It is an embodied, mindfulness practice that trains and enhances our mind-body connection.
Understanding the breath means understanding our Nervous system. The BREATH is the conductor of our Nervous System. When we understand and have control over our breath, we have control over our lives and our performance.
We are living in a time where we are more disconnected than ever. The average person has more stress and than most inpatient psychiatric patients had 50 years ago. For an elite athlete the pressures of social media and all that come with being in the spotlight are real. Roughly 1 in 4 people struggle with diagnosable insomnia. These are real issues that athletes and coaches face every day.
So when we look at these issues and we live them I feel it is a no brainer to be practicing and using skills that help with these exact issues.
I truly believe in the power of Mindfulness, Meditation, Breath Work and Yoga. I believe that they help us navigate the good, the bad, and the ugly. The added bonus for an elite athlete is that they also enhance performance. It’s a win win in my opinion and this is what I spend my days doing.
These practices and this work has and continues to transform my own life but it has also done so for the many athletes and teams I work with.
So if you are someone that reads this article and resonates with any part of it I encourage you to try some of these practices. Please reach out and let’s have a conversation. I truly believe that there is something and some form of these practices for every single person. We just have to find what works and helps you.