Fashion Stylist Rebecca Atlas on Cancer, Clothes and Yoga
February 6, 2009
Head Fashion Stylist, Westfield Geelong, Australia Yoga Teacher, Mom Yoga Styles Iyengar and Vinyasa Flow Personal style Classy and a little bit Boho Mantra “Be the best you can be” and “It takes just as long to look bad as it does to look good”.
International model-turned-supah stylist Rebecca Atlas is big on dressing to impress—not others, but yourself. Her daily question: “Models and celebrities have fashion stylists, so why shouldn’t you?” She’s all about helping people pick clothes that highlight their best features and make them feel fabulous. “It’s like yoga,” she explains, “You start from the outside and that feeling that makes you shine penetrates inside.”
When and why did you start practicing yoga? I started when I was a teenager (over 20 years ago). A friend’s mother at school practiced yoga, so whenever I stayed at her home we would do yoga. She gave me a Yoga Nidra tape to take home with me, which I still have. It made me feel like I could conquer and achieve anything I wanted to.
Take-Away Tips How has yoga been useful to you? Yoga inspires us to just do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Grab that mat now. Be the best you can be and do the best you can do.
Yoga Teachers What yoga teachers inspire you? Leigh Blaskhi not only opened my mind to yoga studies I had never thought of but also yoga therapy. Ros Buttonshaw is a very sweet soul and a wonderfully caring yoga teacher. Tim Oddie allowed me to continue yoga classes although some would say I was too ill. I knew my limits and he trusted me. The yoga made me feel alive.
Learnings What challenging life experience became an opportunity for you to learn? Yoga has been the catalyst for my recovery from a tumor in my jaw bone requiring radical open face surgery. The surgery required having half of my face removed and replaced with bone and dermis fat grafts. There was no way to know if the tumor was malignant before the operation. I was scared that I might have had to leave a three year old daughter and a husband behind if it was, as there is no cure for bone cancer in my age group.
I started having a new radical treatment before the surgery which made me very ill and I lost 15 kilos in four weeks. Yoga was my light! Yoga and my daughter kept my focus on the best-case scenario. My tumor was benign.
Inspiration What inspires you? My daughters. My first daughter, Anabelle, would be six, but was diagnosed with a brain tumor on her brain stem when she was young and passed away within weeks. I have been blessed now with another beautiful little girl, Giselle, who has inspired me to share the amazing tools yoga has given me with young people. I’m developing a yoga curriculum for children and adolescents that could fit into an existing school’s curriculum.
Stress Busters How do you combat stress? Yoga, floating in the ocean, apple, carrot and celery juice, and a trip to Byron Bay.