Rebekah Borucki, known more commonly by her moniker “Bex”, is a busy mom or four (with a fifth on the way!). She lives outside of Manhattan on an 8-acre homestead in southern New Jersey. When she isn’t wicked busy creating Youtube videos, maintaining her popular website BexLife and hosting a television series for the Veria Living network called 'Got Zen?' — she is raising backyard chickens and goats, tending to her organic garden, formulating healthy recipes, and wrangling rugrats with her rock photographer hubby, Justin Borucki.
With such a packed schedule, I am personally both thrilled and flattered that she took some time to sit down and answer a few questions I have about her lifelong yoga journey.
1. You stated on your introductory video from your Youtube handle Rebekah Borucki that your fitness philosophy is to “keep it light and fun”. Is this why you stick to short workouts (under 10 minutes) on your videos and DVD’s?
My videos — and my work in general — targets beginners. Long, difficult workouts and complicated moves are only going to alienate someone just starting their journey to health. I’ve never been interested in working with elite athletes. I like to show people who never thought they could be fit that it’s way easier (and more fun) than they ever imagined.
2. You have four children and a fabulous body! Did you learn to teach prenatal and/or postnatal yoga during your pregnancies? What advice can you offer women who are expecting (or expecting to be expecting) on staying healthy and lean before, during, and after pregnancy?
While there are certain yoga poses and fitness moves that you should definitely avoid during and right after pregnancy, I think that women should be encouraged to practice whatever routine they were rocking before right into their pregnancy. I don’t teach “prenatal” yoga specifically, I just tell women to be safe and listen to their bodies. If they’re having a healthy pregnancy (and have permission from their healthcare provider), they should be able to participate in any activity they feel comfortable with. I taught yoga and ran races up until two weeks before giving birth to Baby #4, and that training made all the difference when it came to having an natural home birth, the single most athletically challenging event of my entire life.
3. I have read a few of your blog posts — not only on your site but on RebelleSociety.com and others. It is apparent that you definitely have a knack for writing! Did you learn to write in college or are you self-taught? If self taught, what inspired you to get into the habit of writing?
It may surprise a lot of your readers that I’m actually a high school dropout. I left school in my senior year of high school to work full-time and support myself. I eventually finished and attending some college, but as a young mom (I was 19 when I had my oldest daughter, Winona) I decided to focus on family rather than school. I was always an A student and I’ve been writing and drawing since I was a little girl. But everything I do — from writing to graphic and web design to editing my videos — is self-taught. I’m probably one of the most curious people I know, and I want to know how to do EVERYTHING before I die.
4. You definitely stress a healthy diet as important to a healthy lifestyle. What are a few simple, basic pieces of advice that you can offer our readers who are looking to change their eating habits?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or complicated. I joke that I eat a mostly raw diet because I just hate to cook and I’m too lazy for recipes. There’s nothing easier than grabbing a piece of fruit or throwing together a fresh salad. And when you buy produce that’s in-season and locally grown, you can save tons of money. Even when I was a single mom of three on food stamps, I was able to feed my family healthy food. We shopped sales, visited farmers’ markets, and grew our own patio garden. We also saved tons of money by never having to go the doctor or buy over-the-counter medications. But whatever the cost - time, money, energy - eating healthy is always worth it. You can’t afford NOT to do it.
5. Yoga and fitness seem to definitely bleed into other areas of your life. Would you consider yourself to be leading a “yogic lifestyle”? If so, what does it mean to you and please give a few examples of things in your life that you do as a direct result of subscribing to yogic philosophy?
Yoga has taught me to approach every situation with curiosity rather than judgement. When something isn’t going quite right in my yoga practice, with my body, in my relationships, with work, etc, I ask myself questions about what’s going on instead of assigning judgement to the situation. This approach has brought more peace and balance to my life and I have yoga to thank for it.
6. Not only are you a yoga and fitness instructor, you are a hypnosis and meditation coach as well. How has meditation and hypnosis helped you as well as others who you have worked with?
Meditation has taught me to always be in the moment. Ninety-nine percent of the time, no matter what moment I find myself in, I am safe and in good health. When I focus on only living in the moment - not stressing about the past or worrying about what’s next - I’m able to avoid any feelings of depression or anxiety. And when I need to feel sad or angry, I just let myself do it. I allow myself to feel the feeling and move on. I was a long-time sufferer of depression and anxiety, and after healing myself with meditation, I felt compelled to share what I had found. Just like with my workouts, I knew the people who needed it most would probably feel intimidated by esoteric philosophies and huge time commitments. I teach people that they can change their outlook, moods, their whole lives in just four minutes a day. I get letters every day from teenagers and college kids who are meditating because of my videos. It’s the greatest blessing that my job has brought me.
7. Yoga Accessories is a popular purveyor of yoga apparel, props, and other accessories. What are your favorite brands and types of yoga clothing? What type of mat or mats do you use? What is your favorite prop(s) and why do you think they are important?
I’m blessed to know so many creative indie designers of yoga clothing, and my favorite is Victoria Keen. We’ve been supporting each other’s work for years. I’m a huge fan of Manduka, Jade, and Plank Yoga Mats. [Note: Right now, Yoga Accessories has Plank Yoga Mats on sale AND as a buy one get one. These unique mats come with their own carrier and are heat-activated!] I rotate between them and probably have about 10-15 mats that are all well-worn and well-loved. As a teacher, I think the best props are the ones that you allow you to feel confident and safe. I used to never use props, but now that I’m pregnant again, blankets, bolsters, and meditation pillows are my best friends.
8. What is your absolute favorite yoga pose and why? What about your least favorite?
My favorite yoga pose changes with my mood. Sometimes I’m all about the warrior series. They make me feel strong and beautiful. Other days, I just want to sit tall in lotus with my eyes closed. Arm balances are always fun, but I’ve yet to master my inversions. I’ve always had a fear of being upside down, so I’m still working on my handstand.
9. What is your favorite style/school of yoga?
I think my friend Tara Stiles is a revolutionary, and her Strala method of yoga (a version on vinyasa) is my favorite. It frees you from any worry, judgement, apprehension, or struggle that you may have about your relationship with your body or yoga. It’s just magic.
10. Where is your favorite location to practice?
I live on an 8-acre wooded lot, and we built a meditation and yoga platform in my backyard last year. It’s such an amazing place to practice and to feel connected with God and nature. My second favorite place is Strala Yoga in NYC. It’s the first studio I practiced in and I taught there through my last pregnancy.
11. How has your popularity as a teacher affected your ego and/or practice?
I think it has kept my ego in check and has maybe even destroyed it a little from time to time. I feel so much responsibility to be honest with my followers. If I’m having a bad day or if I’ve fallen off the wagon with my practice, I talk about it. I never saw the value in secrets or illusion, so I let all my faults show. I’ve fallen in headstand enough times on the internet to not have a big ego about what I’m doing.
12. Finally, what advice would you give someone who is looking to get into shape and try some yoga, but they don’t know where to start?
Start with what you love. If you’re not having fun, you’re not getting fit. True health is as much about your happiness and it is about your waistline. If you like to walk, walk! If you’re social, join a group fitness class. If you’re terrified of going at it alone, get a workout buddy to keep you company and keep you accountable. And don’t give up! I used to hate yoga. I even made fun of it in an early BexLife video. It wasn’t until I met Tara Stiles that my attitude changed. I just hadn’t found the perfect yoga home for myself yet. I also don’t define myself in terms of fitness. Anything that keeps me interested and sweaty is what works. Who knows - next year I may be into Crossfit (but I doubt it).
BexLife has a shop, so you can purchase her signature apparel and jewelry, ebooks, fitness accessories, and all-natural supplements. Primarily, however, her website is a smorgasbord of complementary diet plan downloads, free meditation and yoga videos, recipes, and awesome blogs out the wazoo. You will get free meditation tips, totally original vegetarian recipes, Bex’s favorite smoothies, and so much more when you sign up for Bex's weekly newsletter, right here!
Meditation for Beginners:
Hypnosis for Weight Loss & Self-Esteem with Grace Smith:
How To Use Yoga Blocks:
YOGA for STRESS & Weight Loss:
Posted by Jessica Adams on 4/4/2014 to
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