Happiness Inside & Out with Oksana Sokol
We are excited to introduce our next guest, film technician turned health, detox and nutrition expert, Oksana Sokol.
"I met Oksana many years ago while we were working on a show called Farscape. As well as being an amazing Yoga instructor, Oksana is a very talented Continuity Script Advisor, Director and Writer who has worked on a variety of Blockbuster Films and TV productions. Working in this industry plus the long hours and travelling makes it hard to maintain a consistent routine and having catered gourmet food is not always an option.
Over the years we have both been slowly fulfilling our passions and dreams for what we truly believe in: to sustain longevity with a happy and healthy lifestyle. We have always been interested in the benefits of skin, yoga, eating organic raw, green smoothies and detoxing. Oksana filmed a documentary years ago with Green Smoothie Guru Victoria Boutenko and for the past 10 years has been living in Ubud, Bali learning, teaching and training with the best in the world.
I highly recommended to do a Raw Retreat and Juice Detox. Her teachings will guide you on how to create a happier and healthier life."
- Nuggett McCabe on Oksana Sokol
Oksana’s personal journey with health challenges led her to immerse and practice nutrition with living foods and energy healing. Through nature, connection and the ability to grasp the moment of wellness she has set out to make her life her fullest expression, could life itself be her art.
The road to recovery is also redefining, with its many turns and corners, it’s reinventing and fortifying a new way of being. By becoming empowered she now leads others to improve their well-being with coaching, food, movement and lifestyle choices as well as successfully guiding individuals through personalised cleansing and detox programs.
With numerous yoga training’s and certifications she now primarily teachers and practices Yoga Synergy as taught by Simon Borg Olivier and Bianca Machliss. From Australia she has spent extended time in Bali teaching yoga at Radiantly Alive Yoga Studio and on numerous retreats. She also assisted the Bali Global Foundation by creating the volunteer yoga program for underprivileged local students.
Yoga for Oksana is a way of life, consciously living every moment of the day aligning her values with her actions and connections. She creates retreats and experiences with the ultimate goal of sharing ideas and inspiration about living a fuller, a more enriched life.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Oksana and learning more about her life in Bali, yoga, green smoothies and if fasting is just a trend.
From Lord of The Rings to The Matrix, you have worked on some incredible films. What made you change career directions to pursue a life of health and wellness in Bali?
I started to have a deeper yearning to express myself in a more meaningful way. But as a busy film technician going from one job to the next, I didn’t know what it was that I wanted to do, what it would look like. I just knew I needed space from the treadmill of life, I needed to be somewhere with less demands to pursue all that was trying to come through me. Incidentally I had gone to Bali for the first time to do a detox in 2008. The minute I arrived; I knew I was Home. 2 years later I had moved permanently.
How long have you been practicing and teaching Yoga and how has it changed your life?
Ive been teaching for 10 years and practicing for 15+. Coming to Bali and teaching yoga is intricately intertwined, as I did my yoga teacher training and then never left. The teacher training gave me a foundation and the skills to teach. It gave me a voice, and my first platform. This was the catalyst that propelled me into being committed to being part of the wellness industry, to teach others about what I was passionate about.
Your Instagram feed @oksysox features photos of some delicious food and juices. What is your all time favourite juice recipe and what key ingredient could you not live without and why?
I am a big proponent of green smoothies. Juices come second, although to be honest in a perfect world I would have one of each every day. I was fortunate to meet Victoria Boutenko in 2007, the author of Green for Life. Her work revolutionalised my understanding around health as I understood for the first time that greens are not vegetables, there should really be 3 categories: vegetables, fruits AND leafy greens. It’s the leafy greens that are the building blocks to optimal health. Smoothies are the best way to get leafy greens and all its fibre into the body.
My favourite is spinach, mango and water. That’s it. 3 ingredients! Anyone on any diet can include green smoothies into their diet and feel the results within just a few days. All you need is to blend a bunch of leafy greens, any fruit with water.
A lot of people say eating raw/vegan/vegetarian is too hard. What advice would you give to someone wanting to make the switch to a raw food journey?
We are creatures of habit so change comes up with resistance because it challenges comfortability. I like to divide things into manageable sizes so I look at the 3 meals a day, and recommend making breakfast all raw, maybe extend this to all snacks until lunch. If you have a big salad for lunch (with a cooked part) then you are already theoretically 1/3 to 2/3rd raw leaving dinner for a cooked meal. It takes the neurosis out of it, and makes it so much easier to feel you are on your way to a healthy brighter version of you!
What are the main health benefits from a raw diet?
You feel and look younger, your body stays alkaline, your muscles are more flexible. Your skin glows and your eyes sparkle. You absorb the sun better and are less prone to burning, your mood and hormones are much more balanced. The benefits are incredible ~ we can live a disease free life by the food we eat! The more the food source is fresh and alive, the less our body spends time digesting and more time on repairing! It’s a science... but its not rocket science.
It is a buzzword which has received a lot of hype. Talk to us about Fasting. What are the key benefits and is it just a trend or something which should be incorporated into your routine?
Fasting has been around for 1000’s of years. Its in every scripture and religious text. Fasting is obtaining from food, originally done by only drinking water, the more modern version is to drink juices for an extended period of time. This gives the digestion a break, by removing old waste and toxic overload the body begins an innate process of ‘cleaning house’, this is when natural healing occurs. Pain disappears, inflammation goes away, the body returns to homeostasis. I recommend everyone to look after their body by dong an extended fast at least once a year. Just like you take your car into service every year, the same needs to happen with your body if you want it to run like a well-oiled machine for 100 years!
With the craziness of the world right now people are certainly feeling a range of emotions. For anyone feeling scared or anxious, what techniques would you recommend to help ease their nerves and calm their mind?
Number one instant anxiety relief is alternative nostril breathing. You block one nostril breathe out, breathe in, then block that nostril and breathe out the other nostril, same nostril breathe in. Repeat for several cycles. This is also a wonderful tool when you can’t get to sleep and the mind is too busy. It is true that coffee only heightens anxiety and needs to be replaced with an alternative beverage. Even strong cups of black tea won’t have the same effect on the adrenal glands.
Adding Adaptagens to your day can improve alertness, concentration, focus, learning, memory, reduce brain fog, but the primary purpose is to reduce physical and mental stress. Ginseng either American or Asian, Gotu Kola, Lemon Balm, Ashwaganda, Gingko Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea and Bacopa Monnieri are all excellent for bringing balance back into your life.
It is great to see that you have launched Online Retreats so that you can share your knowledge with people all over the world. What can participants expect to learn and other than not being with you in person, how would this differ from your regular retreats?
It has been an incredibly positive transition taking my retreats online. The biggest positive has been that detoxes and cleanses have all of a sudden became possible for people in the comfort of their own home, and yet they feel totally supported and held through the process. It also gives everyone a lot of freedom, without having to make big travel plans, hotel arrangements. Theres a quicker empowerment process that happens as well, where people realise they can do this on their own once they’ve mastered the techniques.
For anyone visiting Bali in the future, where can they find you and how can they secure a spot in one of your retreats?
My programs are always evolving and growing, the raw food and yoga retreats are the most popular ones, since its all about eating good food.
My website is www.artofliferetreats.com
I also run detox programs at The Yoga Barn once a month.
And Im also happy to tailor-make programs for individuals, for specific concerns. And to share my knowledge and support for people who want to transition to healthier lifestyles. I also do consultation for digestive issues. If anyone is struggling with indigestion, bloating, acid reflux and has tried everything please reach out, I have the solution!
What does Happiness mean to you?
Happiness for me is pretty simple. When I am warm, my belly is full, and I'm in my man's arms feeling his support and his ever presence. But really it's a way of being. To be content regardless of the external outcomes, and to always be grateful for what we have!
Images courtesy of @oksysox
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