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Posted by Ritu on July 27, 2020

As I reflect on my history with yoga, I would have to say that my journey started about 8 years ago. I took occasional yoga classes at my local fitness centre and experimented with various styles of yoga. I absolutely fell in love with restorative yoga and the way it made my body feel. I remember commenting, “I feel like I don’t need to go for as many massages anymore”.

As time passed, some of my like-minded friends suggested that we go on short local yoga retreats. We did several, and each one exposed me to different styles of yoga and to other aspects of yoga such as nutrition, spirituality, chakras, breathing, and meditation. Not being a very religious person and not practicing any regular spiritual rituals, I had my guard up to ensure I wasn’t being “brainwashed” or falling for “hokey” nonsense. Each experience opened my mind and my heart to the various joys of a yoga practice.

I then looked for yoga experiences whenever I traveled and have had the pleasure of practicing in some of the world’s most beautiful places. Costa Rica, Mexico, Bahamas, Bali, Phuket, San Diego, Palm Springs, and Sedona are just a few of the places where I have been blessed to practice yoga.

The most recent yoga retreat that I had the privilege to experience was in Nosara, Costa Rica at the Bodhi Tree Resort. I had been looking at this retreat for a few years after my niece had gone to work there and told me about it. Manifestation? Maybe:) The resort and town were stunning but the retreat itself opened up another world of yoga of which I had no awareness. This retreat was focused on Kundalini yoga. I was skeptical of the things the teachers were saying, but by the end of the week I was crying for unknown reasons, seeing purple and green when my eyes were closed and taking a walk to the core of the earth in a cacao ceremony…….all positive things, by the way.

Coincidentally, after this retreat in Costa Rica, I was on a non-yoga retreat to Cuba where the programming of activities was kept secret from participants. On our second last morning there, I received the sad news that my dear aunt had passed away. I was devastated, but then the retreat organizer informed me we were scheduled for a yoga class that morning. I knew that would probably be the only thing that would bring me peace at that moment, so I went to the class. To my surprise, it turned out to be a kundalini class and the instructor knew exactly what I needed. The universe had my back.

Since I love restorative yoga so much, I researched a weekend workshop at a studio close to home and completed the workshop in June 2019.  My colleagues knew of my developing interest in yoga and had asked on numerous occasions if I would lead a yoga practice over the lunch hour for them. I told them I had not done my teacher training plus my travel schedule was hectic and I was having back and neck issues so I kept deferring their request. Finally, in December 2019, I started leading the occasional class at the office. My colleagues were grateful, but I wanted to offer them a better experience, and to feel more qualified and prepared.

I looked into several courses for Yoga Teacher Training, but I could not commit to the time required for in-person training due to my travel commitments. I found an online course that was perfect for me. No deadlines and no strict schedules, but the course would not be recognized by the Yoga Alliance. I loved the idea of taking my time and truly absorbing the information at my own pace. I was fine with not being a part of Yoga Alliance as long as I maintained my knowledge and kept up with my own continuing education. I had already registered for some great workshops at the upcoming Yoga Conference in Toronto, so I felt reassured. I asked a few teachers that I knew for their opinion on the course and they said that they did not recommend online training but I went with my gut feeling of what was right for me.

AND THEN COVID HAPPENED

Everything went online...things we never thought would be online were suddenly. Performances, meetings, teaching, etc. The yoga conference was canceled but Yoga Alliance accepted that the world had changed and made an exception to recognize online training for this unprecedented time. I completed my course, got my certificate, and registered with Yoga Alliance in July of 2020.  I am now enrolled in the Yin Yoga Teacher Training online course as this is the type of yoga I want to offer my students.

Again, the universe had my back. I plan to lead quality yoga practice for my colleagues, friends and family, incorporating my passion for health, nutrition, and wellness. I trust the universe is going to take me where I’m supposed to be and guide me to do what I am meant to do. It’s done well so far:)