Let loose and find your childlike self, where all things are possible! This is just one of the many wonderful messages you will find on Elizabeth Beeds’ engaging Interior Wellness Show videos, which clearly convey that the quest for health is not only necessary for an enjoyable life, it’s doable and fun right now! But then, Beeds knows this stuff inside and out. With more than 25 years of experience as a yoga instructor, wellness coach, business trainer, event planner, and the publisher and editor of Interior Wellness magazine, she knows how to inspire individual and community wellness.
Beeds has studied biology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria, trained in hatha yoga and Shiva Rea’s Prana Flow yoga, served as a vitamin and supplement expert, and she continues to direct the annual Interior Wellness Festival, so she also knows the science, strategy and the stories behind well-being.
Elizabeth, your reach and output are staggering! And yet your presence is so affable and unassuming. To me, you embody what it means to “have one’s arms around it all” in the right way. What drives you? What’s the secret?
I genuinely care about people, and I have a passion for what I do. By passion I mean a feeling I would do this no matter what. I love bringing people together, inspiring and connecting them, and giving them options for a better, healthier life. So it rarely feels like work to me, as it’s all about making our world better. Saying I have my arms around it all makes perfect sense, because it’s how it feels to me. I do a lot of things, but they are all connected and come from one place: the heart. That is what drives me.
Interior Wellness and the magazine are many years old. It’s exciting to me that you’re a passionate story seeker and community builder, pursuits deeply important to us at BWB. What motivated you to expand beyond teaching yoga to connecting people and sharing information on this scale?
Yes, actually we are celebrating our 10-year anniversary of Interior Wellness magazine this fall. You are right, I started off as a yoga teacher and had a passion for health and holistic healing for 20 years before that. It is something I was drawn to at a young age, but at the time I started seeking there were not a lot of resources. I was motivated to change that, and so I started the magazine.
I was teaching yoga and working as a nutrition consultant in a health food store. One day I saw people in the community coming into the store, looking at the yoga poster on the bulletin board, and then walking out of the store with their arms full of grocery bags. I thought to myself: They need something to take with them, because they are never going to remember what’s on that board.
I also noticed that all the yoga teachers were putting up their own flyers, and I thought, we should just staple them all together. So I sat down at my computer, having had no computer experience, and next thing I knew a magazine popped out! I saw the need in the community, the idea was put in my heart, and it just happened.
After a while the magazine had so many remarkable practitioners and businesses in it that I wanted to bring them all together in person, so I then decided to put on an event. What started as a small, half-day yoga class with six teachers has evolved into the three-day Interior Wellness Festival with close to 50 teachers and over 70 workshops. It has been an incredible evolution to watch, especially as it continues to exist because the community keeps requesting it. Also, I always align the event with a charity. So far I have raised over $20,000 for different charities in the community.
Your magazine’s pieces are deliciously concise. Here’s a challenge: Tell me a brief story about something you experienced on your journey that moved you in a way that surprised you.
Well, the magazine itself surprised me. Not only had I no computer experience, but I had no journalism or editing experience. I was a yoga teacher and health nut, so I was very surprised to find myself publishing a magazine and putting on large-scale events. This wasn’t something I had planned. My intention to staple some flyers together took on a life of its own and grew into an ongoing success. I just had be willing to do the work that was laid out before me.
We like to finish our profiles with a fun fact many people may not know. Care to share?
I used to be a mountaineering guide in the wilderness mountains of British Columbia and Alberta. This is probably what sparked my love for nature and soulful transformation.
This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.
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