By Florence Hwang
Bev Zizzy is passionate about yoga, education, music, and travel; but not necessarily in that order.
She was one of five early yoga instructors in Regina in the 1970’s, who together formed the Saskatchewan Yoga Teachers’ Association. Zizzy was the Founding President. The SYTA brought in Yoga Teacher Trainers from Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, San Francisco and Hawaii.
“It’s not like now, where there are numerous studios and yoga teacher courses. It wasn’t like that. Yoga was a very novel concept, but there was an appetite for it," Zizzy says.
She says yoga has never been just exercise: it is a way of life.
“My yoga teachers in Bali say that the way you approach your mat is the way you approach your life. If you’re aggressive and hard on yourself on the mat, you probably will be so the rest of your day,” Zizzy explains.
Professionally, she was trained as a French and English language teacher. Now, after 30 years teaching in Regina, she runs into former students everywhere.
“Especially if I go to the north end, where I taught at Winston Knoll Collegiate for 15 years. I also have former elementary students who eventually cared for my mother in her nursing home. Others, now professional musicians, were involved in my last CD production. It happens often - so many lovely, hugely rewarding connections like that.” she says.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Zizzy and her husband still call Regina home, but they are also extensive global travellers.
“Every year we try to visit a new country, and to date have visited about thirty. We now return primarily to Thailand and Indonesia, a country of many islands that feel like different countries,” Zizz explains. While there, she continues her yoga studies, learning her fourth language, Indonesian, and sharing music.
Zizzy is generous with her talent and time. She recently completed her sixth benefit concert for the Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers raising funds for AIDS affected women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Equally importantly, she raises awareness.
She says her music is never about promoting herself. It is about sharing stories and making connections.
“Hopefully [through the stories] and the positive energy, people can relate to the experiences and benefit from [them],” she explains.
She released her latest album Standing on A Platform of Kindness in 2016.
To young women, she offers two words of advice: Passion and Balance.
“Nothing in life is worth it if you’re not passionate about it. If you’re loving what you’re doing, then the word ‘work’ doesn’t register on the radar screen,” she says, “but if you’re out of balance, everything falls apart. It’s not easy.”
“Stay soft and strong; driven, but not driven beyond. Honour your passions. Follow your heart. Follow your intuitions. Don’t be afraid of hard work, as long as you love what you’re doing, and always remember to be balanced, and to care for yourself,” she says.
For more on her life, music, and travels, visit bevzizzy.com