With the daily grind of juggling city life, a career and multiple responsibilities and passions, it’s easy to sometimes forget that just like our minds, our bodies too need to learn to unwind and recharge. Enter Bee Bosnak, a yoga instructor who takes healing seriously. Leading classes, workshops and retreats with an emphasis on inclusion and reflection, we caught up with Bosnak to hear about her journey to heal not only herself, but others.
When did yoga enter your life?
Yoga entered my life around 8 or 9 years ago, when I moved to Los Angeles. It just came to me by surprise one day as I walked on the street and passed by a yoga studio, seeing that they had classes. I decided to take a class, and within the first few moments of class I found myself intrigued, and became so interested in the practice that I continued showing up, and from there on I really began to find myself in the practice, so I began to pursue it on a much deeper level.
What was your first class like? Were you immediately hooked or did it take time to grow on you?
I was definitely immediately hooked! I was always practicing – I wasn’t like a diehard yogi who went to class everyday but I definitely took a lot of the teachings with me into my life practice. So as I showed up more to practice on my mat, I realized it was reflecting in aspects of my everyday life.
What sparked your passion for yoga and pursuing it professionally?
The passion that really sparked for me the need to bring this teaching to as many people as I can was the power of yoga and how it changed my life, helping me emotionally, physically and mentally – it’s just not something that you want to keep to yourself. You want to share it with others, you want to help as many people as you can – so really it was the mission and the message behind what I was doing that allowed me to turn my passion into my job.
How long have you been a yoga instructor?
I’ve been teaching now for about six years.
What is your specialty as a yoga instructor?
I would say my specialty is a combination of many various teaching and practices – but I’d say it’s mainly Vinyasa, with a heavy focus on Jivamukti and the teachings of Ashtanga, but also a lot of therapeutics, understanding the psyche when you’re going through a practice, and understanding how the psyche affects you. Yoga is a psycho-spiritual practice, so understanding the psychology of it, the philosophy of it, as well as the anatomy and the physiology as well as everything else makes it a really holistic experience.
Where do you teach currently?
I teach workshops and retreats internationally, as well as online at oneoeight.com, which is a website for yoga, meditation and nutrition. I also teach at BeachBody.com, where I lead yoga class and meditations, and classes at Equinox clubs across New York City.
What is one of the proudest moments in your career so far?
I’ve had many, many moments, but I think it’s really seeing the courage my students take, whether it’s risks on the mat or risks in their lives, stories they share with me – those are the moments I really feel I am making a difference in people’s lives. That’s my dream come true, so it makes me very proud.
What has been one of the most challenging parts of building your name and brand in the yoga industry?
I think one of the most challenging aspects in building your brand in the wellness industry – and especially here in New York – is that there is so much competition. At the same time, you can create yourself in a way that there is no real space for competition, because your are so uniquely you that no one can teach what you teach, or know what you know. So I think it’s really about building yourself intelligently in a way that has a lot of aspects of education to it – really educating yourself, knowing what you’re talking about, understanding what your message is, knowing who your audience and clientele is. It’s knowing that there are so many students waiting for the right type of teacher to show up, and that you might be that teacher. So yes, there may be competition but at the same time there is so much abundance, and that when we come together as an industry we pave the way to create more of that abundance.
What is one tip you’d give someone who’s just starting a career in the fitness industry?
One tip I’d give someone who’s just starting out, is to keep showing up. It doesn’t matter what you can do or can’t do, you need to keep showing up at the mat to your practice, and just see how the practice is slowly starting to change you – it may take a couple of weeks, a couple of months, or even years – but things are going to be changing, and I think the practice of yoga is beneficial for every single body, You don’t have to be a certain size, a certain religion, faith or color. Yoga is for everyone, and if you can breathe you can do yoga, so just keep showing up.
What is Heal Yourself?
I created Heal Yourself about four years ago – it’s a comprehensive method that includes asanas and yoga poses as well as deep contemplations, meditation, chanting and mantra work, along with an emphasis on yoga therapeutics. The message is really to heal yourself from the inside out, because we all have healing qualities within us – all we have to do is find the right guidance, or the right teachers, and inspiration to turn that light on. Once we turn that light on, we can use that light for others, so it’s really about sharing how yoga has impacted my life at times when I felt darkness in my life. All I had to do was find that light in order to expand. It’s about finding balance so that you’re not just living, but so that life becomes more joyful and meaningful. I lead week-long retreats across the world in places like Spain and Tulum, giving a good amount of time to immerse in what yoga truly is – to understand that it’s not just a workout, it’s a “work-in” – you’re working your issues, your patterns, your conditions, and within the week you return home with the best version of you that you’ve ever experienced in your life. It’s a great chance to really take the time to understand what yoga is and its benefits.
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