Many people practice Yoga as a physical practice, often in aim to fix something whether that is recovering from an injury, losing weight, relieving stress, anxiety or insomnia.
I started Yoga from a broken place.
I wasn’t enjoying my job and I was in the middle of an abusive relationship.
The stress and anxiety of these led me to neglect my health – smoking and drinking even more to relieve stress and remove the sense of emptiness. It led to a really bad eczema flare-up and my self-esteem hit rock bottom.
This pattern repeated in another abusive relationship a year later. This time, it wasn’t just eczema flare-up, but it also appeared as a form of a knee pain. I also suffered from thinning hair…which led me to completely lose my self-confidence.
Yoga class was where I could escape, be myself, let everything go and recharge.
If you are reading this, you may relate to these feelings.
What started as a physical practice as an escape to make me feel better about myself, led me to completing my first 200 hours Yoga teacher training in 2014 and then 100 hours Ayurveda and Yoga teacher training in March 2019.
I know how much yoga has helped me and I want to share the healing process with others.
I am passionate about helping men and women re-build their confidence & self-esteem by integrating Yoga & Ayurveda in their lives, so that they can experience their full potential and ultimately live a more content life that is both fulfilling and meaningful.
What is Ayurveda and how does it relate to yoga?
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian system for health and healing and can be traced back to 5,000 BC. It is also a philosophy.
The word ‘Ayurveda’ is made up of two Sanskrit words: ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ means the knowledge. Therefore Ayurveda is often translated as ‘Art of Living’ or the ‘Science of Life’.
Yoga and Ayurveda are considered sister sciences.
Ayurveda gives us the knowledge to maintain a physically and emotionally balanced state by living in harmony with nature, diet and a lifestyle unique to our mind-body type.
This mind-body type is called a ‘dosha’ in Sanskrit and by understanding our dosha we can start to bring our mind and body back to a balanced state and ultimately live healthier, happier life.
Yoga gives us the technology (physical practice, meditation and breathing exercises) to attain or re-balance your mind and body to full potential.
Ayurveda is widely practiced on the Indian subcontinent. According to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, more than 90 percent of Indian nationals use some form of Ayurvedic medicine.
I offer diet & lifestyle advice and Yoga classes unique to your Dosha combined with Yoga & Ayurveda philosophy, so that you can regain full alignment in your mind, body and soul.
Who am I?
I’m Risa, a passionate Yoga teacher and a dedicated Yoga student.
I was born and grew up in Japan until the age of 9 when my parents decided to send me to boarding school in the UK. I was sent to a well known alternative school called Summerhill School. A place where lessons are non-compulsory and both adults and children have equal status.
“The school’s philosophy is to allow freedom for the individual – each child being able to take their own path in life, and following their own interests to develop into the person that they personally feel that they are meant to be.”
– Zoe Readhead, Principle of Summerhill
I didn’t speak English at all and living in a small community in a small town in Suffolk far far away from home was frightening. I was regularly homesick in my first year, but learnt to adapt to a new environment and embraced the freedom during my 7 years at school.
When I graduated from school at 16, I moved to London alone and enrolled onto a Media and Photography course at college. I wanted to be a photojournalist back in those days, dreaming of traveling the world and photographing important moments.
But the reality really hit me after completing college. I couldn’t afford to go to the university to further my education! I decided to look for a full-time job so I could save money.
I worked hard and changed jobs several times in my 20s aiming for better jobs and salary. At one point, I was working for one of the Big 4 accounting firms and studying towards an accounting qualification, but I never felt enjoyment in the jobs and constantly felt something was lacking in my life.
As I got promoted and took on more responsibilities, I was working longer hours with spending most weekends studying for my qualification. I was stressed out, exhausted and feeling miserable from my unfulfilling job and abusive relationship.
I filled my sense of emptiness with cigarettes and alcohol hoping this would relieve my stress.
When I finally left the Big 4 and started working in a smaller company it gave me more free time to focus on my life. I was in another abusive relationship at the time and emotionally and physically I was in the dark place. But this time I was living on my own.
I started practicing Yoga regularly in my local studio and started learning about Yoga philosophy in my spare time.
From student to teacher
In 2014, I enrolled onto a 200 hours Yoga teacher training course with the Yoga People and everything changed.
After completing an intensive Yoga teacher training course, I received my certification from the Yoga People. I was officially a qualified Yoga teacher. But this was just the start.
Little did I know at the time that it meant much more than just becoming a teacher and instead, I was embarking on the long journey to finding my true-self and my true life purpose.
Through regular Yoga practice, I brought back balance to my body and mind. As I develop my yoga practice, both physically and spiritually, my other area of life started to shift.
The biggest accomplishment after completing my Yoga teacher training was to quit smoking. I’d been a heavy smoker since a teenager and continued to smoke to relieve stress and remove the sense of emptiness throughout my 20s.
Yoga really helped me look at my life from a different perspective and showed me that I didn’t need to rely on cigarettes to feel happier in my life.
In March 2019, I travelled to Rishikesh, India to further study Yoga and its relationship with Ayurveda I completed an advanced 100 hour Yoga teacher training course called Ayurveda and Conscious Living at Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram, I was blessed to learn from Yogrishi Vishkvketu, Himalayan Yoga Master and the founder of the Akhanda Yoga approach and Stéfanie (AtmaShakti) Lolivret, an Ayurveda teacher.
I’m excited to bring Yoga & Ayurveda together in my teaching and share how you can integrate Yoga & Ayurveda in your life and discover your true-self to ultimately live a healthier, happier life!
200 Hour Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training from the Yoga People
100 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Ayurveda and Conscious Living from Yogrishi Vishkvketu, Himalayan Yoga Master and the founder of the Akhanda Yoga approach and Ayurveda from Stéfanie (AtmaShakti) Lolivret. I’m trained to teach Akhanda Yoga.