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@Hemalayaa Biography of a Yoga Teacher

Hemalayaa Biography of a Yoga Teacher

What is your inspiration behind beginning to teach?

When I first began practicing yoga I did it at home, alone, using books to learn. I never intended to teach. I did want to help myself into healing and to become spiritually stronger. I never thought of yoga practice getting me “in shape”. It was more of a way to find myself. I had simultaneously discovered ayurveda, so the therapeutic qualities of both were greatly influencing my life. I was releasing a lot of tension – my bad habits abruptly ended. I was committed to a new life. Emotions came up, then cleared and there was a real movement of energy that allowed me to feel lighter and better about myself and life.

After a few years of practicing on my own, I started adding dance into the time\ I had slotted for relaxing with yoga. I’d play some bhangra music, and get up, sweat and dance. It made me feel so alive, and happy. It felt like the perfect combo. I was balancing with the relaxation and strengthening of yoga asana practice with the breathing exercises, meditation and now dance, WOW, this was a whole spiritual practice. I found myself feeling great and wanted to share with family and friends. The teaching happened naturally because I HAD to share. Small intimate groups sprang up around the informal classes I was giving which was sweet and intimate. Soon after I realized the transformational outcome of this practice for a wider number of people and, I was asked to pitch my vision to Acacia. And there the DVD’s came. The Bollywood Series…

 When I first began practicing yoga I did it at home, alone, using books to learn. I never intended to teach. I did want to help myself into healing and to become spiritually stronger. I never thought of yoga practice getting me “in shape”. It was more of a way to find myself. I had simultaneously discovered ayurveda, so the therapeutic qualities of both were greatly influencing my life. I was releasing a lot of tension – my bad habits abruptly ended. I was committed to a new life. Emotions came up, then cleared and there was a real movement of energy that allowed me to feel lighter and better about myself and life.
After a few years of practicing on my own, I started adding dance into the time I had slotted for relaxing with yoga. I’d play some bhangra music, and get up, sweat and dance. It made me feel so alive, and happy. It felt like the perfect combo. I was balancing with the relaxation and strengthening of yoga asana practice with the breathing exercises, meditation and now dance, WOW, this was a whole spiritual practice. I found myself feeling great and wanted to share with family and friends. The teaching happened naturally because I HAD to share. Small intimate groups sprang up around the informal classes I was giving which was sweet and intimate. Soon after I realized the transformational outcome of this practice for a wider number of people and, I was asked to pitch my vision to Acacia. And there the DVD’s came. The Bollywood Series…
What was your earliest memory of yoga?
My earliest memory of yoga was watching my dad practice a little asana from the age of 6 on…
He taught me meditation and chanting “Aum” from the age of 11 on. It was because he wanted me to do better in school, not really for spiritual reasons. We had a strong spiritual tradition, being Sikh and following those religious views and practices was our spiritual life. We prayed everyday together and on our own. This was the yoga I knew growing up. I did not relate yoga to be exercise or asana alone…
When did you begin teaching yoga?
When I was in my late twenties. I’m in my late thirties now…
When did you decide to decide this was your life’s path?
I found that when I taught, i learned so much more as I was leading others to find their way with the practices. I felt so much joy for and from the people that I practiced with. That’s what determined me making this my life’s path. 
Do you have any mantra’s, Bhagavad Gita phrase, special reading or special story from your own life, to use as motivation for your path in yoga?
There’s so many mantras that i sing everyday, and the one that is the most well known is the Maha Mritunjaya, the liberation mantra with Shiva. I feel it helps me recycle all my “stuff” in me that needs to be recycled. 
What do you enjoy most about being a yoga studio owner/teacher?
I love that it keeps me in the place of love and joy and I get to share that with others. By just doing it, teaching it, I feel alive, and joyful…

www.hemalayaa.com

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