Sivana Yogi Spotlight: Holly Bennett
Wife, mother, and yogi, Holly Bennett was raised in San Diego, CA. She first learned about yoga watching Lilas Folas on PBS in the 1970’s. Two treasured books from her childhood include Lilas, Yoga, and You by Lilas Folas and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
As aerobics took the world by storm in the 1980’s, she became a AFAA certified instructor but returned to the practice of yoga in the 1990’s and has maintained a personal practice for over 20 years. Holly is currently a consultant in the healthcare industry, a yoga instructor, and entrepreneur.
In 2013 she launched her company Mama Kuka and brought YogaSphere™ Strapping System to the yoga community.
Your Personal or Professional Goals:
I’m entering a very unique and exciting season of my life. I’m rapidly approaching my 50’s and preparing for life as an empty nester as my youngest daughter leaves college next summer.
For the last 25 years my focus has been pursuing the “American dream” – building a career and raising a family.
While this has brought me an incredible amount of joy and abundance I feel I’m on the tip of a rebirth.
I’m reinvigorated with the fun questions of life….. What am I excited about? What do I want to do? What new opportunities can I create? What role can I play in making the world a better place for myself and others?
Many of my personal goals involve answering some of these questions. I want to tap into this incredible flow of new energy to craft my “rebirth”. I’m a huge fan of visioning to create and manifest my desired contributions to myself, others and the world.
Yoga and meditation play a integral role in this quest as it provides the structure and space to tap into the elusive moment of “now”. Creativity and energy mingle in those moments allowing the clarity and synergy of heart and mind.
While many people fear aging, I am excited about the possibilities it offers.
With age comes freedom, confidence, wisdom, and a certainty of self that was just not available in my formative years. I feel as if I’ve finally finished reading the “owner’s manual” for the world and now I’m ready to own it!
Professionally, teaching and reaching as many people as I can with the gift of yoga is a prime area of focus. Consulting in the healthcare industry is very eye opening to the need for complementary therapies for both patients and healthcare workers.
It’s exciting to see more hospitals offering yoga and meditation to patients. I’ve begun studies to expand my yoga education in the area of Yoga for Cancer and hope to offer my services to this and other under-served populations.
Why did you become an instructor:
I was fortunate to grow up in a place where yoga was mainstreamed and universally accepted. Having traveling across the US and abroad it’s apparent that many people don’t have access to this life affirming technology. Bringing yoga to different areas of the country – such as rural North Carolina – is exciting.
Of course, most people first come to the mat for the physical qualities of yoga but what really stokes my fire is when the “real yoga” starts to seep in.
People begin to live more consciously and connection is restored first with themselves, then others, and then the world.
Ever time I witness these transformations, I am also transformed. It’s a beautiful thing and the greatest reward of teaching
Where do you teach:
One Heart Yoga in Fuquay Varina, NC
What do you teach?
I teach traditional hatha yoga, vinyasa, power flow, and 5Elements Kunga Flow. I’m currently pursuing my 500YTT at Wilmington Yoga Center under Kristin Cooper.
Who/What Inspires You?
Spending time exploring other countries leaves me inspired, fascinated and thirsty for knowledge. World travel is unmatched for generating creativity as you experience the world through the filter of someone else’s culture.
I’m constantly amazed that even when cultures, customs, and traditions seem so vastly different people everywhere are all seeking the same thing – love and acceptance. We really are more alike than different.
I spent time in Africa earlier in the year and came home infused with the tribal rhythms and high on the smiles of the beautiful locals. I poured this passion into my teachings creating new flow sequences that captured the earthy raw-ness of Africa.
Every time I venture into a new country (or even a new city or town in my own country), I can feel myself grow intellectually and spiritually.
Giving back plays a large part of my life as a yogi.
Ironically, the spiritual name given to my by 3HO is Param Dayal Kaur which translates to “giving with kindness”.
I love my spiritual name, meditate on it often, and endeavor to live up to its nobel meaning. I welcome all opportunities to teach yoga on a seva basis through community and yoga in the park programs.
My husband, who is also an instructor, and I hold annual yoga/food drives to boost our local emergency food pantries.
Additionally, my company, Mama Kuka, makes annual donations to Give Back Yoga and Home of Hope, India.
The Mama Kuka mantra is “Everything is Within Reach”. Of course, this is a tongue in cheek reference to yoga poses but is also reflects my desire to bring the notion and reality of universal abundance to all.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.” Mark Twain
Just reading that quote makes my blood flow a bit faster. The world is an endless playground for exploration. The key to getting the most out of it is dropping all preconceived notions and judgements and keeping your eyes, heart, and mind wide open!
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