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Meet Goli Gabbay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Goli Gabbay.

Goli, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I lead guided meditations in large auditoriums, the audience can feel the frequency of their bodies shift into a more peaceful, content one.  They can also feel the tangible peaceful shift we create in the entire auditorium itself.  Peace within and in our relatedness to the outside world is totally attainable when people are taught the tools to connect within.

But more often than not, our world is filled with unrest, disconnection, and distractions that keep us disconnected. I witnessed human unrest first hand at age six.  Revolutionaries threatened to burn down my American elementary school in Iran.  The next day, my family and I left everything behind to flee for safety to Paris, our second home, where we lived happily for two years.  Eventually, we moved again to settle in Los Angeles as political refugees where I witnessed more human unrest.  Despite the warm welcome, love, and close friendships I developed in Paris, I was greeted instead with hostility and bullying by the students in my elementary school.

A few years later, my Mother began teaching me about spirituality.  One night, I sat down in my room and closed my eyes. I pressed my palms together at my heart. I sat in stillness for about 10-minutes.  And for a split second, I I felt a powerful bolt of light shine inside me.  In that instance – that flash – I was exhilarated with a sense of  purpose.  I ran to my Mom’s room, sharing with her that I was here to make a difference in the world.  I knew that I somehow I wanted to elevate consciousness. I wanted to inspire a peaceful and compassionate way of living that generates connection, stewardship and harmony between people, animals and the earth.

I graduated from UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, embarking to help organizations achieve the highest standards in environmental stewardship.  I launched my career as an Environmental Consultant and Educator. I designed an array of public education campaigns and environmental programs for many non-profit organizations (including the United Nations Environment Program;) an array of government agencies; businesses; luxury hotels (including the iconic Hotel Bel Air;) and manufacturing plants (such as BP Solar.)  I helped a large manufacturing plants attain a 90% recycling rate.  One luxury hotel eliminated hundreds of thousands of plastic straws used per year, and reduced hundreds of on-site chemicals down to six.  These initiatives save companies money in reducing wasteful purchasing and operational costs and help protect the environment at the same time.  It’s a total win-win. Eventually, I designed environmental programs for entire Cities, including a highly-acclaimed Business Greening program I co-created for the City of Santa Monica called “Sustainable Works.”  The program – which reduces waste, water, energy, chemicals, transportation and has a strong environmental education component – has run smoothly since 2001 and been called “the most successful business program to date” by the City of Santa Monica’s office of Sustainability and the Environment.

But something happened along the path of my environmental career which led me to a path of wellness.   I had to undergo a sudden surgery in my thyroid gland, and in the quest for something healing, my Mom (and well-respected Doctor in Psychology) took me to a private Kundalini yoga session.  I sat with a kind, long-bearded teacher dressed in white.  I breathed. I moved vigorously.  I meditated.  I relaxed.  And then, I experienced a vortex of inner peace, calm, strength and a deep connection to my inner being that I had never felt before.  I wanted more of whatever that was. The world needed more of that feeling.

I became a highly dedicated student of Yoga and Meditation for eight years to follow, practicing regularly with Master Teachers.  One Summer, at a yoga retreat on top of a beautiful mountaintop in New Mexico, I had just completed three eight hour days of yoga and meditation. I was finally laying down in savasana, a relaxation pose, among thousands of other white tunic-wearing yogis when a strong voice inside of me repeatedly commanded:  “You Must Teach Now!”

I set forth to complete a series of several 500-hour Teacher Training Certifications. The first one in Kundalini yoga and meditation and later in Yoga Works’ style alignment-based vinyasa flow yoga among others.  I began teaching in 1999 and fell in love with it instantly.  I wanted to use yoga therapeutically to help people attain the same peace, joy, inner strength and self-awareness that I had gained.

I worked with MD’s at UCLA’s Collaborative Center for Integrative Medicine and their patients.  I helped develop corporate wellness programs for companies, including Tiffany & Co in Beverly Hills.  I taught celebrity clients such as long-time client actor/producer Gerard Butler.  I taught at two of Los Angeles’ prominent psychological treatment centers where I gained 16 years of clinical research and experience uplifting some of the most traumatized populations. There, I developed a unique system of Yoga Therapy for Mental Health + Wellness that proved to be consistently effective in leading individuals to experience their truest, most peaceful essence (no matter what their diagnosis was.)

When people learn the tools and practices for well-being, they get on the leading edge of how to manage their own mental, physical and emotional wellness.

A young woman I worked with struggled with anxiety, panic attacks and depression for 20 years.  She had gone to rehab centers twice, sought therapy,  medication and nothing seemed to work.  When we worked together, she began to notice a positive shift in her mood in just a few sessions. After working closely with me for several months, I taught her simple practices (such as mindfulness, breathing, relaxation tools and yoga) to manage and soothe her anxiety as soon as it came up for her.  She used the tools in her daily life.  She has never gotten an anxiety or panic attack ever again.

Today, I share my expertise in yoga therapy and mind-body wellness by leading an interactive program and key note talk called “Feel Good Now – A Master Class in Well-Being and Mental Health” to Universities and companies across the United States.  Teaching leading edge stress-relief techniques such as: mindfulness; guided imagery; progressive relaxation, alignment-based Yoga; meditation and plant-based nutrition — I help people connect to their balanced, peaceful, good feeling state of well-being.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Given my extensive background in environmental sustainability, my passion for well-being extends not just to people, but to the planet as well.  I’m  challenged with things such as social media and branding.  It is easy to write, share and post about: yoga, mindfulness, meditation and mental health.  But I’m equally passionate about: climate change, animal welfare, reducing plastic pollution, the far reaching effects of animal agriculture, deforestation, species extinction, ocean conservation, leading a plant-based lifestyle, and overall stewardship of our beautiful planet. Health and wellness for humans cannot be sustained without a healthy planet. My challenge is how to express all these passions in a way that is coherent to my audience.

Balancing a Mom-Professional is another struggle.  Prior to having children, my time was all mine.  Now as a hands-on, dedicated single parent, I am challenged with balancing teaching, projects, writing and the very important and demanding work that is Motherhood.  The investment in my children has been worthwhile!  It has resulted in two happy, loving, emotionally-intelligent, kind and conscious children.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I am a Teacher, Yoga + Wellness Expert, Speaker, Writer, Consultant and Activist for Animals and the Environment.   My gift is to lead people to experience their truest state of peace, connection and well-being. With twenty years of teaching experience, I’ve gained the trust of Universities, celebrities, corporate leaders, MD’s, and Los Angeles’ most prominent psychological recovery centers.

As a pioneer in my field, I helped launch yoga into a groundbreaking therapeutic movement for optimal mental health and wellness.  A young man I worked with  was so depressed that he did not leave his house for 8 months -—not even to pick up the mail.  When I met him, he had never tried yoga therapy before.  I worked with him outdoors, challenging him to move his body through postures while breathing deeply.  Week after week, he become visibly stronger, more connected, more confident and more alive.  He was able to sit in meditation with himself in a brand new, peaceful way.  Within two months of regular practice, his eyes sparkled with the joy of life.  The disconnected feeling leading him into depression had transformed to a deep, beautiful, potent connection to himself and to life.  He connected to his value, his calm inner being and his greatness.  In our last session together, he told me, “Goli, because of you, I found my Soul.”

I love teaching.  I love helping people connect to who they really are.  I love facilitating human transformation.  And I believe that a state of sustained well-being and inner peace is truly possible for everybody.   And it is possible now.

Both globally and as a country, we are seeing mental health issues that are closely tied to chronic stress.  I teach people leading edge practices and healthy lifestyle tips to relieve stress and manage and uplift their own mental, physical and emotional health by leading a keynote talk and customized, interactive program called “Feel Good Now – A master class for Well-Being and Mental Health.”  I lead the program to Universities, Colleges and companies across the country.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Michel Andreo, Juan Pablo Zapata, Patricia Pena, Michel Andreo

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