“I am very enthusiastic about teaching Pa Kua. From the very start, I wanted to give my family and friends some techniques to improve their health and life in general with exercises that are millennia old and effective.”
For many, Pa Kua is literally a foreign term that they have not heard of. For Master Bella from Pa Kua Healing and Martial Arts, this discipline is not just a form of martial arts, it is a lifestyle. The Pa Kua symbol has its roots in the many concepts of Chinese Philosophy, including Yin Yang (the complementarity of two different elements) and the Eight Changes (a classification system comprising of heaven, earth, thunder, wood, water, fire. Pa Kua itself is known as an ancient art form of healing of over a thousand years and is able to bring positive benefits for all.
In today’s Host Spotlight, meet Master Bella, who has been practicing Pa Kua for over 15 years and holds a 5th degree in the discipline. From earning an MBA to holding degrees in Nutrition, Chemistry, and Nursery - it is still the passion that she has for Pa Kua that motivated her to commit her life to the ancient art of healing, and is bringing her Pa Kua knowledge to the community in the classes she offers.
Hi Bella, can you introduce yourself to our community and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?
Hi! My name is Bella from Pa Kua Health Studio. I’m born in St.Petersburg, Russia and came to America four years before the fall of the Soviet Union, and earned an MBA from UCLA. I was searching for a technique to heal the body naturally without using overprescribed drugs and became attracted to Pa Kua’s Reflexology’s ability to heal chronic ailments like alleviating symptoms of seasonal and substance allergies during the process. I kept studying Pakua knowledge, learning Archery, Sword, other weapons and healing techniques; and opened the Pa Kua studio in North Hollywood to give more Angelenos a chance to benefit from “Ancient techniques that empower ourselves to face daily life’s obstacles”.
At Pa Kua Health Studio, we offer a wide variety of Martial and Healing Arts classes. Everything we offer is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Martial Arts. Archery, Swords, Tai Chi, Chinese Yoga and Martial Arts are the ways for us to harmonize our body and mind, while also engaging in a fun and exciting activity. All the classes benefit beginners and advanced students, the environment is safe, friendly and warm. Everyone feels welcome and comfortable. Many people keep coming for classes after trying out once, but even just one session at Pa Kua Health Studio will create a strong and positive effect. This memorable experience could not be duplicated anywhere else.
Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?
I became interested in Chinese healing arts like Pa Kua Tai Chi, Reflexology, Chi Gung (Chinese Yoga) and Acupuncture when I saw the amazing healing results on myself after an injury, and later got involved in Pa Kua Martial Arts classes as a Yin/yang harmonizing practice. My favorite experiences in Pa Kua includes taking classes at 5 AM with Grandmaster and other highest ranked teachers of Pa Kua, and teaching in my hometown St. Petersburg, Paris, Copenhagen.
What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?
I am very enthusiastic about teaching Pa Kua. From the very start, I wanted to give my family and friends some techniques to improve their health and life in general with exercises that are millennia old and effective.
The enthusiasm comes from seeing people look better physically, emotionally, mentally in a matter of days or even hours. I don’t need a motivation to teach or to practice myself, I know I will be better if I practice and I teach. I started in my backyard with family and friends, when my house could not hold all the newcomers, I opened a small studio on a corner of Laurel Canyon and Magnolia, North Hollywood. My MBA background helped running the business side of the new studio. A few years later we added another space, and now we have a large, spacious Studio with two mats for Martial Arts, Archery, Tai Chi and Yoga.
How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?
The community around the Studio changed so much in a last 15 years, and I think we were an important part of a change - there were very few health-oriented Studios in North Hollywood when we started. We teach Tai Chi classes in the park and often people come and join in.
How long have you been living in Los Angeles? What are some insider tips you’d like to recommend to someone who just moved to the city?
I came to LA from St. Petersburg, Russia - a beautiful city - with a damp and cold climate - so when in LA, enjoy the outdoors, walk, hike, find your favorite beach. I spend many hours at the Archery range with my students, and Tai Chi is best done at the park, barefoot! I love the beach, I try to go to more quiet and picturesque places, like Laguna Beach, Chrystal Cove. Hikes are fun in LA too.
What is your favorite moment/story you’ve had between you and your students?
I have so many favorites! Love it, when I see complete beginners come to Archery class, and hit the target in a most graceful way by the end of the first class. My achievements are my students. We do not have competitions in Pa Kua. Love having my both sons, now in their 20s practice with me on the mat for years.
Any recommendations to someone who might want to start their own business?
What are your goals for the future?
I had many different career opportunities, but only in teaching Pa Kua I felt my true calling. When you love what you do, there is no need for motivation, you are always enthusiastic.
What does Verlocal mean to you?
I like the idea of Verlocal, there are so many choices and wonderful events in this town. I also think we should give time for the practice, so once you tried Martial Arts, Archery or Tai Chi - make it your weekly routine, and see how your mind will calm and focus and your body will feel young and strong.
Start your journey to better health with Pa Kua! Share the reason why you want to start practicing Pa Kua and/or questions that you have about this discipline and comment below before March 17, 2017! Two lucky commenters will get to attend a Zen Archery Class with Master Bella for FREE and experience the techniques of an ancient Chinese Warrior.
If you are a host on Verlocal and would love to feature on host spotlight, send us an email at [email protected] with a short paragraph about why you want to be featured!