Browsing Category Interviews

Yoga Teacher Umit Sedgi on the Ego

When we think about who we are individually, what do we identify ourselves with? Maybe it is our name, culture, religion, or personality. What about our ego? Do we ever think about our ego as an entity separate from our essence?

Yoga teacher Umit Sedgi believes the ego can, and should, be separated for a better understanding of who we are. Umit Sedgi believes that humans identify themselves with their egos; the entity in our being that constantly emphasizes itself and demands things. He became interested in the practice of yoga in an effort to understand himself and his ego more closely. “It is constantly giving you demands, asking you to fulfill its desires.” He discussed how the five senses used by the ego within our brains satisfies its cravings.

“We are constantly in search of stimulating our five senses to enjoy our surroundings. Eating unnatural foods for their towering taste, going to shows to satisfy our eyes, and different sounds to entertain our ears… we use our senses to enjoy as much as we can in this limited time in our lives. But when you start paying attention to the idea that this is not all that there is, you start to see that there is much more beyond the five senses.”

Umit Sedgi’s story of becoming a full-time yoga teacher started off by what he believes to be karma. It was, as he described, something that  he felt was meant to happen.

In 2012, the stress of working at an electronics company started to become overwhelming for Umit, when the dynamics with the people he worked with became unhealthy. His older sister suggested he try yoga.“In the beginning, I was practicing every other day, and within a week, it became as frequent as every day. Teachings on self-discipline and spirituality was what I had been looking for. I thought it would be my path to the light so I decided to become a yoga teacher,” he said.

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Nikita Kapur: Nutritionist with a Holistic Approach


Nikita Kapur, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), uses her credentials to “help fix the problem, and not just put on a band aid” for her diverse clients.

She is an RDN and manager at the nutrition clinic, Compass Nutrition, based out of NYC, which focuses on the holistic component of functional nutrition. The Compass Nutrition team ensures to treat their clients as a whole person, taking into account their cultural backgrounds to meet their needs. Nutritionist Nikita Kapur says the secret to their success is that “we see our patients as a whole person and our job is not to preach or convince you to do something, our job is to educate and empower you.” Implementing elements of behavioral psychology for those seeking healthy eating habits has shown to be successful in treating their patients.

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Noelle McKenzie: A Top-Tier Personal Trainer


If you’re not a fan of using machines for working out, Noelle McKenzie may be the personal trainer for you. This fitness trainer uses unconventional methods for her devoted clients. She reminds us that “you can do an entire body workout with just your body.”

Noelle McKenzie’s career of fitness training happened by accident. Starting off as a model, she would not have predicted being a personal trainer to become her primary career. She has been on the cover of Runner’s World magazine, on Reebok, on the cover of romance novels and even on billboards in Times Square. She has also been featured in a couple of short films. She began working sporadically as a personal trainer part-time to work with her modeling and acting schedule, and within the first year of working in New York City, she built herself from the ground up as a top-tier personal trainer.

“I was with the gym for two and a half years, but I got tired of the monotony of being in the same place all of the time. I felt boxed in. I wanted to try fitness training on my own and took a leap of faith. Four of my clients at the time followed me, and within two to three years, I began fitness training full time.”

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Joel Elfman: NYC Hypnotist Inspires Resiliency

new york city

We enter trance-like states more often than we’d believe. Falling asleep, waking up, conversing with others and scrolling through our phones are all forms of trance, according to NYC hypnotist Joel Elfman.

When coming across the word “hypnotism” one is likely to imagine a cloaked sorcerous figure swaying a swinging clock in front of their eyes, chanting, “You are in deep sleep,” as movies and entertainment have conditioned us to envision. Modern hypnotism is not quite as mystifying, but it can indeed be life changing. Hypnotist Joel Elfman uses his hypnotism skills to incite positive change in people’s lives. He can help modify habits and beliefs, and create confidence and relaxation for many people. The therapeutic technique of hypnotism has the power to “find or tune into people’s passions and purpose,” says Elfman.

Twenty years ago, Elfman wanted to make some changes in his life.

He had no idea how he was going to do it, until he had stumbled upon a newspaper in New York City advertising classes for hypnosis. Interested in science fiction and the power of the mind, this class changed Elfman’s life and prompted him to start a hypnotherapy career of his own. He had spent 100 hours of training through Neuro Linguistic Programming, a forty-year old method combining communication, personal development and psychotherapy. “What we are doing is based in science,” he told me.

“Basic rules of neuroscience show how the brain operates. When two or more sets of neurons (brain cells) fire together, they wire together. So a major requirement is intensity or repetition.”

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Personal Stylist Tavia Sharp: Men’s Fashion Mastermind

tavia sharp personal stylist in nyc

“He went from getting barely any dates to a few dates a week. His transformation was so dramatic,” says Tavia Sharp about her client, Shir Aviv.

Tavia Sharp shows people how to achieve their own transformation. Tavia is a Men’s Fashion Expert and personal stylist, and her company, Styled Sharp, is geared towards helping men gain confidence personally and professionally, through wardrobe changes and coaching.

“There are so many personal stylists for women, but not as many for men. Girl friends, guy friends and boyfriends used to always keep asking me for male clothing advice. A lot of guys really need help with this. That’s where I saw the need for men’s personalized consulting.”

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Terry Payne Finds His Calling as a Massage Therapist

terry payne

Terry Payne saw himself as a healer and decided to pursue an art that society may have forgotten to be an art: Massage Therapy.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Terry Payne and was intrigued by his bohemian essence and calming demeanor. His roots originate from central California, but it was in Los Angeles where he found a passion for helping others. He found himself surrounded with groups of people, who he described were “modeling the kind of lifestyle that I wanted.” He always considered himself an artist and found his calling as a healer.

“It was my experience in LA that really helped me understand what my strengths were, gifts were, and what my passion was.”

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Life Coach Vanessa Talbot Finds International Success

vanessa talbot life coach

The transformation of Vanessa Talbot started at the end of her marriage, when divorce drastically changed her life.

Vanessa Talbot and her husband had made a lot of money in the mining industry, a world that would now be in the past. He held onto the money and the company, while she took hold of the life she had built, which included her property and the animals she was caring for.

“With all those animals and no income, and a little tiny toddler daughter to look after as well, it was like ‘Far out batman, how am I going to make money without having to go and work in town?’”

Thrown into a different reality and now faced with uncertainty, she had to find a way that could provide both income and freedom. In addition to having a young child, she needed to be able to look after her horses and also make time for native wildlife caring. Considering everyone who relied on her, a 9-5 job was out of the question. The epiphany happened when she stumbled upon an Australian new age magazine.

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Kidney Failure Won’t Stop This Acupuncturist

BEN FLEISHER, acupuncturist

Ben Fleisher’s kidneys are severely failing.

Yet, when looking at him, he looks pretty healthy. Diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy around a decade ago, Fleisher had been tracking the numbers on his kidneys every 3 months, but around two years ago, “the numbers started getting worse. I did everything I could to get it to stop, but they just kept going south,” he told me. It was a pleasure interviewing Ben, and to my surprise, he was speaking to me over the phone from a dialysis center. This skilled Acupuncturist and Zero Balancer has spent his life pursuing health and wellness and how it can help both him and others. Despite being on a high priority list for a kidney transplant, no one could ever tell. Perhaps his countenance of wellness has something to do with his lifestyle of treating his body, mind and spirit.

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Dr. Jessica Leon, Ph.D: Bringing Therapy to Your Doorstep

Dr. Jessica Leon, Ph.D, traveling therapist, florida

There is a disappointing stigma in society if one discloses that they go to a therapist, but what if your therapist came to you? One unique therapist does just that. I had the pleasure of interviewing counseling psychotherapist, Dr. Jessica Leon, Ph.D., a mother of three young children, who resides in southern Florida. She is the only therapist in the area that will travel an hour to see her patients. Her methods have been effective and her passion in working with children, teens, couples and families emanates through the energy in her voice. She has even landed a few opportunities on reality T.V. Her holistic approach to treating mental health problems and relationships appears effortless, however, it took years of refinement.

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This man holds the secret behind never getting sick

Can you confidently say that you have evaded the common cold within the past few years?

The majority of people around the world cannot. One person, however, says his family is no longer affected by sickness. I had the pleasure of interviewing a health and wellness coach from New Jersey, Daniel Green, who can attest to the fact that the common cold no longer afflicts his large family of six. Up until just a few years ago, illnesses such as cold viruses and the flu would spread to each of them like a rampant wildfire. In 2014, Green’s wife realized their family had not become ill for an entire year. What is their secret behind remaining healthy? It is what Green calls a detoxified lifestyle.

In 2010, Dan’s life took a hit when a car accident forced him to change his way of life.

Damage to his knee made it difficult for him to continue participating in sports he once loved, as well as hampering his ability to continue working for his flooring company. As someone who deeply cares about his personal health and the health of his family, the loss of independence and inability to exercise lead to serious weight gain, an issue he struggled with for most of his life. In 2013 he decided to get gastric surgery, which took out 85% of his stomach. He lost 85 pounds in six months, and never felt so healthy in his life, except for when he was afflicted by annual sickness.

Speaking to nutritionists and surgeons about his health further ignited his interest in how his family could avoid common illnesses like the cold and flu. He was adamant on exercise and healthy eating, yet the spread of sickness continued to prevail. He knew there had to be another source of where this illness was festering. When he became a realtor, he noticed black mold in many of the houses he was trying to sell. This led him to looking at his own home, where noticed the same black mold.

He hired a professional who confirmed his suspicions of this black mold, wondering if it was what was contributing to sickness. Even with its removal and to Green’s dismay, the family was still becoming ill. The professional suggested that products and chemicals he used in his home could be the culprit of weakened immune systems. This inspired Green to do some investigating.

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