Kieba (American Indian for “Sunrise”) has challenged herself to the highest standards of health and fitness her entire life. In fact, at one point she set the bar so high she nearly died. Growing up in a typical, Midwestern Indiana home Kieba learned – as we all do – standards for health and nutrition from her parents. In the 60’s and 70’s, the typical American diet was fairly predictable: spaghetti, hamburger, lots of chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and green beans out of a can and as much bread and Jell-o that you wanted. The fast food industry was also roaring into prominence as well, so McDonald’s Burger King and Baskin Robbins were regular treats for the family night out. But another trend picking up steam in the marketplace at the time was a focus on health and fitness. Jogging, aerobic dance classes and yoga were becoming new trends; as well as a luxurious day or weekend of pampering at a spa retreat was a sign of new consciousness. Kieba’s Mom dared to tap this new thinking and, after a few spa visits of her own, brought some interesting habits home to the family: fresh juice replaced soda, white sugar was all at once a no-no and a wheat bin in the garage storing freshly ground flour became the new norms.
Already established as a young athlete, Kieba’s path to wellness – and a lasting appreciation for healthy eating – was now embedded. Her young adult years were very busy. Completing a degree and advanced studies at Purdue in Child Development and Family Sciences, while raising a daughter as a single Mom, Keiba conditioned the tenacious work ethic she still exhibits still today. Along the way she continued to learn more about nutrition, explored a passion for teaching Autistic and physically challenged youngsters and, not incidentally, fell in love with exercise as a lifestyle.
In 1990, yearning to discover new horizons, she packed up her daughter and her ambition and traded Midwestern roots for sun and an even more active lifestyle in California. Diving deeper into her passion for fitness, Kieba gravitated toward body building. She eagerly absorbed all the knowledge available from those around her and fully adopted exceptionally strict standards for pure clean, nutrition as well as advanced physical training principles. Applying all this to rigorous personal discipline she transformed her body to a world-class standard. Establishing herself as a highly sought-after personal trainer she not only trained others to discover ultimate fitness, she achieved envious accolades by winning the Miss Natural California Body Building competition and placing second Nationally. But sometimes pursuit of excellence has a boundary. Years of placing rarely-attained physical stress on her body while following an obsessive raw vegan diet began to take a toll. Suddenly, standing at 5’3” and weighing a mere 87 pounds she found herself at a dangerously low body fat percentage of 3 ½ % – and very sick. As it turned out she had fallen into a disorder called Orthorexia; a result of consuming only very lean, raw foods while also cutting out too many equally healthy foods including essential proteins and fats, critical for life-support of internal organs and metabolic systems. Seeking all alternatives she could find to literally save her life, Kieba discovered Primal eating; a diet consisting of the familiar raw food combinations she was accustomed to, but adding raw meat, nutritious fruits and vegetables and healthy fats from many other sources. The result: new health, a new energy and a new-found passion.
Now motivated to disciple her new discoveries, Kieba went on a quest in 2004 to find the ultimate environment to live, work and play – and she found that perfect place in a beautiful, off-the-beaten-path patch of paradise on the island of Hawaii. Spending 3 ½ years of tender care and diligent work, Kieba built a rustic, welcoming and fully-equipped Camp and Retreat that serenely beckons others to join her in discovering an ultimate lifestyle. She anointed her respite as “The Body Temple Boot Camp” and subsequently attracted campers with diverse backgrounds and goals – guiding each through their own, customized metamorphosis that includes new awareness and lasting knowledge in nutritious and balanced eating, rigorous but transformational physical exercise, and reconnection with powerful life-force of inner peace.
Kieba’s unique and holistic approach has been featured on BBC, the Discovery Channel, numerous articles and interviews and a prominent presence in the growing raw food community nationwide. Now, in her 50’s, she continues to represent an impressive example for what is possible by defying the typical effects of aging and retaining her own world-class physique, a wonderfully contagious spirit of gratitude and a tenacious encouragement for all who allow her to touch them with her innovative definition of healthy living for the whole of life.
Meet Alexis Cox:
Alexis Cox is a yoga teacher in Lower Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is resident faculty at both Kupukupu Yoga at Hawaiian Sanctuary and at Kalani. She teaches traditional Hatha yoga, Vinyasa Flow, and Yin/Restorative classes, as well as private or private group sessions. She first studied in the ancient tradition of teacher to student in India, giving her incredible insight into how transformative it can be to work one-on-one with students, tailoring the practice to their needs and desired results. When she returned to the West, she then completed teacher trainings with Govind Das at Bhakti Yoga Shala and her Advanced Certification at Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda with Mas Vidal. She has been fortunate to study with many amazing teachers and continues to grow her knowledge and training. She builds her classes on the core tenets of Yoga and Ayurveda, while intuiting a sweet flow that meets her students where they are, allowing them to expand from there. Her goal is to bring yoga back to the breath, the mind-body connection, and to offer students the tools to ultimately maintain their own practice. www.alexiscoxyoga.com