Biography

Lilla Bek has a rich medical tradition in her family history. Six of her living family are registered doctors practising in Europe. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that Lilla showed a natural interest in medicine, healing and therapy at a very young age. In one way or another her whole life has been dedicated to exploring,  communicating and practising medicine – particularly natural, therapeutic medicines such as art, dance, movement, and creativity.

1932    Alicia Irena Teresa Zebrowska – later known under the name Lilla Bek – was born in Brzesc (Poland). Her mother was an opera singer and her father was an officer in the Polish Army – he wrote books on military history. Her family roots go back to the 12th century when one of her ancestors saved the King’s life and was made his treasurer. He was granted a Coat of Arms and given land. As her father had no male heirs, he arranged with the Polish Army to give Lilla the unique honour of having representatives of the Army be her godfathers. The Polish Army provided transport for Lilla to be taken out of the country when Poland was in danger of being invaded. They subsequently brought her to Scotland where they contributed to her education. She was educated mostly in St. Margaret’s Convent in Edinburgh until she was 18.
Already as a little girl Lilla goes to ballet classes, and her dancing training is continued in Scotland. Throughout her school years, Lilla shows a devoted interest and application in dance, ballet, stagework and art. With great enthusiasm she takes part in the annual children performances and a career as a ballet dancer seems to be intended for her. She receives with distinction an Oxford Matriculation in dance and art, and, consequently, the choice of subjects for her studies  is determined by what she has already achieved in these fields.

1950    After grammar-school she enrols at the Edinburgh Art College, when plans to pursue a professional dance career are unfortunately thwarted after Lilla’s mother became seriously ill, requiring Lilla’s full time care. Lilla is able to complete an Art Course at an Edinburgh Night College. But then there is a turning-point:

1951-1959    She accepts a job with the National Coal Board as a research-analyst for the Scientific and Medical Department. This is her first experience of medical research. She gets into contact with miners who suffer from pneumoconiosis and has to examine their cases with respect to their insurance.

1959-1968    1959 She marries  Jerzy Beksinski and dedicates the following years to raising a family and to auxiliary nursing in a mental hospital. She enjoys substantial training and varied work experience in the world of professional care. For much of the time she was located at Netherne Hospital Purley near London.

1968-1974    1968 Lilla Bek enrols on a Therapeutic Yoga Course at the famous London School of Yoga, run by Lillian Donat. Due to the experiences at this school she will be later in her future profession able to unite the knowledge and practical skills acquired both in the scientific-medical fields as well as in the world of art and dance . She soon becomes the personal assistant of Lillian Donat, and after receiving the diploma it is only a small step towards independence and running her own therapeutic classes.

1974-1980    Lilla works now as a qualified Yoga teacher at the Sutton College of Liberal Arts, and such is the popularity and demand of her work, that she eventually runs ten workshops a week for health professionals, therapists and the general public.

1980    In collaboration with Annie Wilson of the World Health Organisation Lilla Bek writes her first book ‘What Colour are You?’, published in 1981 and followed by more books.

1982    With the death of her husband a new period in her life starts, as she can dedicate more time to research. Besides the work at different books she begins with therapeutic counselling, which will subsequently fill out more of her time.

1986-           Lilla Bek engages in diverse research projects and starts to carry her knowledge to other continents, travelling through America and Europe from lecture to lecture, from workshop to workshop,  enriching others by personal contact, and widening her own knowledge through collaboration with experts in various fields. In the meantime, at home in England, the material for further courses and publications is increasing and waits to be dealt with when time allows between her travels abroad and her counselling sessions.