I met Vinay at a dinner organized by someone in the yoga grapevine here in Bangalore. During dinner I found out that like me, he used to work for Accenture too, and eventually decided to follow his passion.
Vinay also practices acro yoga and is India’s only level 2 certified acro yoga teacher. His personal practice consists of hatha/vinyasa yoga 4 times a week with some yin yoga thrown in 1-2 times a week. He does yoga nidra/meditation daily
Vinay studied yoga in school with his parents too at home but never with strong focus on asana. He cultivated an interest in asana as he grew up and become more interested in learning more about the body how it functions and exploring its capabilities. This also helped bring stillness to the mind.
Although hatha/vinyasa is his primary style or practice and teaching, he continues to explore different styles every now and then.
I knew of Namrata long before I met her. We actually met at a Yoga Matters event. Tall, lithe and gorgeous. Scroll through her Instagram and you’ll be amazed.
Namrata was actually a dentist before dedicating herself full time to yoga. She has been practicing yoga for 15 years and constantly looks to evolve and grow. She’s learnt from great teachers like Manuso Manuso, Shiva Rea, Tara Stiles, Mohan Bhandari, Gulnaaz and Bharat Shetty. No wonder sh’es much sought after teacher in the country.
Do check out Namrata’s beautifully curated yoga retreats to interesting places around India and the world. Find out more on https://www.nikayayoga.com/
Namrata, Omkar and me lending our support for a Yoga Matters event a few years ago.
The last day in Sri Lanka we thought we would check out city life. It was Poya day and we stumbled upon the preparations for the Perahera. Poya days are the full moon days every month and are holidays. This particular Poya day was also the Navam Perahera Festival. Preparations were underway for a massive parade that would include elephants, dancers, acrobats and the like. We were excited to see the crowds and the buzz. We had planned to see some of the famous Buddhist temples in Colombo, but they were all closed. Although we noticed that many foreigners with ‘special passes’ were being allowed in. Shady business.
We didn’t have the patience to wait for the procession to start, nor the energy to brave the crowds. So we decided to head to Keels, a local supermarket to see if we could do some last minute shopping. All of us picked up some tea, Sri Lankan pickles and some spices.
Finally we took an Uber back to our hotel to sit on the terrace for dinner, as the moonlit waves crashed against the shore.
The next day we took an Uber to the airport. As we were driving through Colombo, I was reminded of the city I call home. I penned my thoughts down and you can read them here.
Below are a few more scenes from the vacation. If this is the first blog of the Sri Lanka series that you’ve landed on then click here , here and here for the other two blogs.
By Pune I mean the Ramamani Memorial Iyengar Yoga Institute (RIMYI). For Iyengar practitioners ‘Pune’ is synonymous with ‘RIMYI’. After studying for five years under my primary teacher here in Bangalore, I started going to Pune last year. I’ve written about my time in Pune in previous blogs. This blog is about the little known and surprising aspects of the RIMYI experience.
RIMYI is the most famous institute for Iyengar yoga on the planet. It is the epicentre of all Iyengar yoga related activities in the world. There is a wait list to attend classes at the institute, and you may have to wait for up to a year or more to get a spot. To even apply for a spot you need to be studying Iyengar yoga for at least 5 years under a certified teacher. We reserve our seats and accommodation many months in advance. Sometimes years in advance.
Everyone cries. Yes, RIMYI has a lot of grownups in tears. Teachers at the institute aren’t known to mince their words or to bother about the political correctness of their words. The experience can be intense and nerve wracking. What’s interesting is that despite quaking with fear, dread and nervousness on our mats, we still return year after year! I’ve broken down countless times. The experience can be very cathartic and just goes to show that the path of yoga takes your blood, sweat and tears.
Teachers hit you. While we’re not being shoved into doors and walls, a sharp slap on the quads or the back of the knees to take our awareness to our ‘sleeping’ body parts is routine. I’ve had teachers slap my quads, the back of my knees, the sides of my thighs…even had my toes flicked painfully because, ironically, they weren’t relaxed enough. We joke that ‘BKS’ Iyengar stands for ‘Beat Kick Slap’ Iyengar!
So you see, studying at the best yoga school in the world is not a blissful-gentle-stretching-meditating-all-day experience. It’s actually a tremendous achievement to make it through and back again the next year!
At the Osho Gardens. I had Dengue during this time!
Sundays looked like this. A joke we will never forget!