Community Spotlight | People Love - Helene Taito-Jensen July 10 2017
This month we are so excited to bring to you one of our favourites Helene Taito-Jensen – animal rights activist, yoga teacher and promoter of compassionate, plant based living. Her goal is to empower her students to live contented lives through the teachings and techniques of yoga.
2 things for me really stood out for me when I met Helene for the first time (which was at one of those totally awesome complimentary yoga classes Lululemon does on a Sunday).
- She has one of the most calming speaking voices I have ever heard. She literally opens her mouth and you're immediately put into one of those ‘ommm’ meditative states. Seriously, she’s instructing you to start breathing and poof! You’re totally blissed out. It’s a super power, for sure.
- Her smile. So welcoming, so beautiful… such good teeth. I love a good set a teeth. One of her answers to my question below tells you why.
Not everyone discovers yoga as a child and gets to use it as a tool to get through the tough time but that is Helene's yoga story. As a young child she was haunted by vivid, recurring dreams of flying. One afternoon she saw a yogi on TV talking about levitation, and demonstrating yoga postures and meditation techniques. Immediately, she went straight to her room and started practising. Life soon took her on a different path, but yoga remained in the back of her awareness. In her early twenties she struggled with addictions and depression. Yoga and meditation helped her through. Later, while working as a radio journalist in Copenhagen, she experienced stress and anxiety. Again, yoga was there to help her. In 2008 when she arrived in New Zealand, she met the yogi Caitlin Casey, and started to get serious about her practise. In 2011 she graduated with a Diploma of Yoga, and started teaching. From there she has continued to grow her practice through attending many workshops and intensives, with numerous teachers and yogis. Her greatest love is teaching Yoga Nidra as it combines the elements of storytelling and meditation, and it can very quickly bring people to a place of inner stillness where healing on all levels of human existence can happen.
Currently an ambassador for Lululemon, she is currently teaching in west Auckland and on the Northshore. As well as being in the midst of smashing a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of setting up an online shop of relaxation recordings called Mind Monkey Relaxation.
A must read book...
It is so hard to choose as I’m an avid reader. I’m currently reading two books.
One is “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition” by T. Colin Campbell. A great combination of nutritional science and critical thinking. It is a must read for anyone who wants to empower themselves.
The other book is “Midnight with the Mystic” by Cheryl Simone, an inspiring story of a woman's spiritual search for enlightenment and her encounters with her guru.
If I could only eat 1 food for the rest of my life
Sweet, juicy, ripe mangoes. Happily!
The biggest thing on my bucket list this year is...
I do not have a bucket list, but I would like to have inched a little closer to self-realization before I pass on...
I am happiest when...
I’m in the ocean, at the beach or in a warm bath. Water makes me elated.
I can't live without...
My biggest/hardest to achieve/scary goal at the moment is...
Going live with Mind Monkey Relaxation, which is my online shop of relaxation and yoga nidra recordings. The fear of failure is strong!
What’s your favourite mantra when and do you use it?
“Is it really important?” I ask this every time something disturbs my peace of mind, and it helps me to perform a reality check on the situation, let go and move on.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given…
“There are two ways of existing. Either you are above the line, or you are below it. Where do you want to be?” This advice changed my life (Thank you Kelly!), and whenever I have a decision to make, I ask myself what is the “above-the-line" thing to do.
We hope you enjoy this new series featuring people we love in our community! If you know of someone, or are that someone that would love to be featured, we would LOVE to hear from you !!