Meet Pooja Virani

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Three years ago, I realized that my “dream job” was making me miserable. I earned a considerable amount of money but I had no free time in which to spend it. My favorite part of the day was working out before work or attending a yoga class after work. I decided to quit my job and complete a yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Ayurveda. That training changed my life.

I had been practicing yoga for over a decade, but it wasn’t until I deeply dived into the practice that I understood how it transcended physical postures and affected mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. Yoga taught me about the power of authenticity, connection, and movement. I began to relate to the people and the world around me in a completely different way, assured in my own identity (even when my path differs from what society has told me it should be), certain of the values I hold important, open to vulnerability and the sense of belonging it can provide, and convinced of the links between singing, dancing, moving, and experiencing joy.    

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 Like everything worth achieving in life, yoga takes practice and dedication. Yoga took me to Southeast Asia where I traveled for a year with only a carry-on suitcase. It took me to Bali, Indonesia where I lived and breathed yoga. There it constantly forced me to confront my ego. When surrounded by more advanced practitioners, I repeatedly question whether I am strong enough, flexible enough, or good enough to call myself a teacher. When I persist in the practice, it rewards me by reflecting the growth I have achieved thus far, telling me that I am perfect exactly where I am, and reminding me that I will always have more to learn. 

 Now I’m back in the U.S. to share my love for yoga, dance, and movement with everyone I meet. I recognize that not everyone has the same opportunities as I do to travel, but don’t we all deserve the good fortune to take care of our bodies and minds every single day?   

Pooja Virani