Date:: July, 2011

Hemalayaa’s playful spirit is animated by a life devoted to yoga and dance. Many of her workshops culminate in a night of dance. Hema’s yoga training began at home at an early age. Her first teacher was her father. She then went on to study yoga philosophy and meditation as well as asana. Her in-depth study and practice of classical Indian dance informs how she teaches.

The Spice Mistress is honoured to welcome Hemalayaa as the focus of this month’s Pancha Q.

Hema loves turning her students on to the vibrant styles of Indian dance, from the classical to the latest moves from Bollywood, Bangra and Indian MTV.

1. How do you begin your day?

Hemalayaa: I do some stretches in bed before getting up. Gentle stretches and twists. Then make myself some tea, write in my journal, shower and then do breathing exercises and my sadhana (spiritual practice). I am then ready for my day.

2. What’s one piece of life changing health advice you can share with others?

Hemalayaa: Exercise and get my heart working and playing everyday. My friend had to see an oncologist about her diagnosis of cancer, and the doctor said they have only one thing they have found this far in the research on preventing cancer and that is sweating everyday and doing cardio/raising heart rate up. It can be 10 minutes only, but you should sweat and get your heart-rate up higher. My dvd’s are perfect for this…

3. What’s one thing that gives you hope for the future?

Hemalayaa: Nature always has an answer. Whether we are dis-respecting mother nature, she will always do what she needs to to survive, and SHE will. We may not survive, but she will.

4. Any lifestyle ‘crimes against wisdom’ (Prajnaparadha) that challenge you?

Hemalayaa: I worry and stress about things too much. I am learning to ‘let go’ of control and be of service by surrendering my egoistic tendencies. Breathing exercises and dance help me get more oxygen in the body and bring me back in alignment with my truth which allows the stressing and worrying habit cease.

5. A moment of beauty that inspired you today?

Hemalayaa: Dipped into a serene river in Ojai with four divine girl friends. And, picking oranges and lemons off a tree. Two in one day, I feel blessed!

Thank you for the interview, Hemalayaa. Om Shanti!

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