Meet Halle Becker: Kick ass yoga instructor, Lululemon Ambassador and single mom. Halle came to New York about 15 years ago, via Cleveland, Boston and DC and is the owner of Homegirl Yoga, a semi-private yoga studio in New York City. At almost 50 years young, Halle’s energy outpaces almost everyone she meets. She infuses this boundless energy into her sought after yoga classes, which mix rocking music, with a spiritual message delivered with her renowned, wicked sense of humor. Halle has always been driven to own and run her own business. Prior to becoming a self-proclaimed “spiritual gangster”, she founded and ran Comet Productions at the age of 23. The event planning and production company still exists today. Halle’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude has played a significant role in the success she has come to achieve and served her well in overcoming the roadblocks she encountered along the way.
We recently had a chance to speak with this wonder woman. She shares her story with us about where she is today, her love of practicing yoga with hundreds of people at once in New York’s Bryant Park, what keeps her inspired and how she became an adoptive single mother. What you’ll find is that Halle is a unique woman, helping others achieve their best while giving hers. Halle Becker is a Woman You Should Know.
10 Questions with Halle Becker
WYSK: Did you always want to be a yoga instructor?
HB: NO WAY! I was very slow to surrender to yoga. I was a big high-impact aerobics instructor – with the leg warmers and disco music. I then met Michael Lechonczak, a very athletic yoga instructor who changed my way of thinking about yoga. I realized that the science and poses of the practice, matched with the breath, transported me and made me feel great.
WYSK: Bryant Park is a huge venue, and yoga is such a personal retreat, what type of experience do you try to create for the participants?
HB: It is a total rush and such a blast to teach this class. I am a rather loud person, so I am a loud teacher, but in a good way… hopefully I make people laugh and smile, and not take themselves so seriously. I use the music with laughter, eye contact, touch and the sweet science of yoga and breath to unite us all.
WYSK: What does it mean to be a Lululemon ambassador?
HB: They look for teachers that match their vibe in the community. They choose people whose classes people are inspired by and love to go to. We give a lot to each other. I really love the company, the people and their philosophy. They have been very supportive of me and I am grateful to them and am flattered to be in such an esteemed group of professionals.
WYSK: What inspires you, keeps you motivated?
HB: My daughter, my yoga students, my desire for a life well lived, with lots of giving and laughter.
WYSK: What’s your greatest personal achievement? Professional?
HB: My greatest personal achievement is having overcome a longtime addiction that plagued me for many years. Conquering this, led me to become able and ready to adopt my beautiful daughter Maya, who will be 8 this year. Professionally – my production company Comet Productions, which allowed me to create and produce awesome events, work with great musical performers, as well as have the amazing pleasure of working with Oprah Winfrey – for two years I executive produced her Live Your Best Life tour.
WYSK: You are a single mother, how do you balance your career with motherhood?
HB: Motherhood always comes first. I teach mostly during the day and my schedule is pretty flexible. I try to be home at night – she will only be young once! I also teach at home. Two of my most favorite classes that I teach are in my home, in the mornings – the class is mostly moms and we have a ball. Everyone who reads this should come!
WYSK: What led you to choose adoption; how has it changed your life?
HB: I could not have kids for various reasons and I also found out that I carry an X linked chromosome called retinoschisis, which is an eye disease that can cause loss of vision. This disease affected my sister’s son, so I chose not to take the chance of having my own. Adoption gave me the opportunity to become a mother to my beautiful daughter Maya. I loved her the moment I saw her. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and it felt very right. She was wearing a silly little pink dress and I cannot tell you how great it felt, how right, and how scary all at the same time!!!
WYSK: What was your experience with adopting a child like?
HB: For me it was pretty magical, we worked with a wonderful agency called Adoption Source in Boca Raton, FL. It is so important to choose a good agency that has a relationship with the country that you want to adopt from. We always we knew we wanted to adopt internationally and from Russia, as Maya’s dad and I both come from Russian ancestry. I did not want to adopt domestically, because I did not seek a relationship with the birth mother – that did not feel right for me. It was very surreal at times, and I wondered if it would really ever happen.
I was most scared that we would not be good and capable parents and that I would screw everything up. My husband and I weren’t doing so well and it was a tough time to be making a family, but we came through despite it all. Although her dad and I are not together now, we are still good friends and actually live in the same building.
WYSK: What does your daughter know or understand about her adoption?
HB: We have never hid it from her. We told her that out of all the babies in the world, we chose her and that we were always meant to be her parents.
WYSK: What’s next for you?
HB: I would like to become well known nationally in the yoga community with my Homegirl Yoga brand. I’d like to participate in some festivals and conferences – but most importantly I want to raise my daughter well, with tons of attention and love – she is my true yoga.
WYSK: If you could teach a class anywhere in the world, where would it be?
HB: Probably to headline a Yoga Journal conference here in New York, in Central Park with my daughter and my rescue dog Sylvie.
WYSK: If you weren’t a yoga instructor what would be your fantasy career?
HB: A rock and roll drummer – for real.
WYSK: What do you want people to know most about yourself?
HB: I am sort of an introverted extrovert – when I am not teaching my classes and living my life in the city, I actually enjoy just hanging out at my country house in Duchess Country, NY with my daughter, our horse and dog. I really do like to read and just chill out!
A final message from Halle – “We as women have to really unite with one another and be loving and supportive – so stay connected to people who make you feel good about yourself and enjoy the ride! Namaste.”Follow Homegirl Yoga on Facebook and Twitter