Bliss to me is feeling totally alive, so ustrasana is my bliss pose.  The fire of this deep back bend transforms anything that is stuck!

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We first met Vyda Bielkus (E-RYT 500), a co-founder at Health Yoga Life (HYL) on Beacon Hill through Liz Swenton Hosman, a longtime student of Vyda’s.  She reached out to sing her teacher’s praises and also those of the studio’s – a place Ms. Swenton Hosman has called “home” since its doors swung open some four years ago.  A champion of self-transformation and an accomplished entrepreneur, Vyda works on projects that bridge the gap between business and wellness. In addition to teaching regular yoga classes and frequent workshops and trainings, Vyda co-leads “Train the Trainer” programs. The cornerstone of her work is The Emotional Responsibility Method™ a change-management coaching technique she co-created.

Health Yoga Life, both a yoga studio and wellness company, was opened by Vyda and her three sisters.  It was launched with a mission to inspire others to make healthy lifestyle changes. The crew looks forward to the upcoming opening of their second location in Cambridge’s Kendall Square.  Aside from daily classes at the studio, Health Yoga Life offers Yoga Teacher Trainings, HYL Coach Training programs and an on-line yoga and custom wellness plans.

We caught up with Vyda in between her full teaching schedule, her YTT teacher curriculum prep and the host of other hats she sports as a champion of yoga!  See Vyda’s schedule and keep current with Health Yoga Life on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  Beware…  if you do find yourself in one of Vyda’s classes, you may just find yourself inhaling and exhaling to some Abba!

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Wind up… How do you get ready for the week ahead?
Owning a yoga company means there is no “week ahead!”  Life is right now-personally and professionally.  My surefire ways to wind up include: meditating daily (it’s like having your own battery back),  dance parties in my living room, if it’s football season, watching the Patriots crush the competition, and getting my to do list down on my yellow notepad. If it’s on the notepad, I don’t spend time thinking about it, I just get it done.

And when you need to exhale, what’s your other direction?
Again daily meditation.  It’s just the ultimate balancer. Sometimes if I have had a big push and a lot of energy out with students, work, friends and family, then a few days of solitude resets everything, so I have more to give. Even better if it includes the beach, mountains or time outdoors.

Favorite high powered snack?
Corn Cake (like a rice cake but thinner) with Vermont Chunky Peanut Butter  (best peanut butter on the market) and local raw honey from the farmer’s market.  Or, any green juice I can get my hands on the greener the better (Essential Greens by Evolution Juice does it in a pinch).

What three things are you never without?
-Laughter.  Life is so darn funny!
-One of my sisters. With having three of them and all of us working together one is not usually very far away.
-Ioten Dark Green Ice Tea

Sound of Music…  You have room for five tracks on your playlist, they are?
I’m Alive, by Michael Franti
Chiquitita, by Abba
Journey Home, by Gurunam Singh
Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen
Shostakovich’s Second Waltz, by Andre Rieu

Run that by me one more time…  One cue you always share with your students and the story behind it…
“Why you start yoga is not why you stay with yoga.”  I tell students that I went to my first yoga class in search of Madonna like arms, after seeing her on Oprah looking fabulous with beautifully strong and toned arms.  On the show, Oprah asked Madonna what she was doing to look so strong and fit. Madonna answered with one word: Yoga.   I thought she was lying, but I decided she must know something I don’t.  So I went searching and found my way to a power yoga class, and in that moment I knew my body would morph.  My arms would get toned!  But as you practice the toned arms, the fit body is side a benefit, the peace of mind and deep connection to and understanding of self is what keeps you coming back for more.

Your bible…what’s one book you have given most often as a gift?
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying  by Sogyal Rinpoche  is the book I give as a gift because it’s full of insight about the dying process (which we all have in common but all seem to think will never happen to us) and an incredible reminder of the power and preciousness of our daily breath.  It’s a book that teaches one about the power of compassion.

Merging with Siva by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami is the book on my nightstand.  If you are yogi, this book illuminates the process of awakening with practical application and deep insight.  With over 1000 pages it’s not something you will read quickly.  But flip to any page and I guarantee there will be something that will inspire contemplation, understanding and growth.

Bliss pose?
Bliss to me is feeling totally alive, so Camel (Ustrasana).  The fire of this deep back bend transforms anything that is stuck!

Finish this sentence… I’d like to teach the world
That most of what you are thinking is false.

Author Susan Currie is Managing Editor at BOSTON YOGA and an Associate Editor at LA YOGA magazine. Beyond her contributions to these publications, her words and images have been featured in the Boston Globe, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times, the Huffington Post, Spirit of St. Bart’s and on the cover of the book Moving into Meditation (Shambala) by Anne Cushman. 

Susan is also the creator of the Daily Inhale and an RYT 200 registered yoga instructor. She unpacks her various professional experiences through creative (and yoga) workshops she leads throughout the country. Her new book, Once Divided (Shanti Arts 2016), a blend of visual and verse, is now available in wide release. GRACENOTES, its follow-up, will be published in 2017.