There are two wildly different sides of Brittney Rose. One, the yoga practitioner and instructor, is grounded and introspective. Another, the Instagram model and reality television star, is showy — baring heart, soul and a fair bit of skin for the camera.
So it only makes sense that a year and a half ago, the San Fernando Valley native moved to Venice — where yoga studios and social media entrepreneurship intersect under picture-perfect sunsets — to build her spiritual practice as well as her brand.
“I couldn’t have dreamt up a more wonderful and nourishing environment for myself. I live with artists and yogis, so there’s a lot of creation happening,” the 28-year-old explains.
Just as Rose was settling into beach life and her private yoga practice, Hollywood called. She was cast on the dating show “Temptation Island” as a “single” tasked with tempting a stranger away from his girlfriend.
Reality television wasn’t something Rose watched, much less saw herself participating in. A former roommate was asked to be on the show but declined. She ended up referring the casting directors to Rose’s Instagram instead.
Rose hesitated. Yoga was private and self-reflective, while reality TV would be public and revealing.
“After a month of sitting on the contract, I spoke to some friends who had been on reality TV and thought, ‘You won’t know if you say no to the experience,’” she recalls. “I thought, worst-case scenario I’m going have the greatest digital detox of my life. No phone. No computer. I was thinking it was going to be so peaceful and serene.”
But being on camera all the time, including intimate moments, proved to be anything but peaceful and serene. Rose relied upon yoga, which she’s been practicing for 11 years, to stay centered during filming.
“My yoga and nature were what kept me sane and grounded because we didn’t even have music. No music. No books. I just had to rely on what I had, which were those two things,” she says. “I was practicing physical yoga at least every other day. But I was really relying on meditation, affirmations and presence. And really taking care of my thoughts while I was there.”
As it turns out, the dramatic on-camera relationships of reality television helped Rose with her off-camera ones after returning home.
“It gave me a lot more compassion for myself and other people,” she says of her current brush with fame. “Being in such a high-strung environment where there are feelings involved, it was fascinating for me to observe how people act under pressure and what gets triggered or brought up.”
Identifying and addressing such pressures is something Rose hopes to do with a series of wellness retreats that she’s planning with the help of fellow Westside yoga instructor Dominick Cole.
It seems that Rose’s excursion to “Temptation Island” affirmed that Venice is where she wants to stay.
— Lawrence Yee
Photo by Brett Wulfson