A chat with London Yogi, Somita Basak

"My intention is to reach people of all backgrounds and abilities to enable them to experience the beautiful benefits that [yoga] can bring to their lives." - Somita Basak, yoga teacher
[caption id="attachment_21666" align="alignnone" width="600"]Somita Basak Somita Basak[/caption] Somita Basak is a London based yoga teacher trained in ballet and South Indian classical dance. Five minutes with this cute and energetic yogi and we wanted to break out into Vinyasa. How did you discover yoga and why did you become a yoga teacher? I began learning ballet and then South Indian classical dance from a young age. We would use postures from yoga to enable us to increase our flexibility in the dance. I joined a yoga teacher training programme with the intention of improving my own practice. I began to enjoy the feeling that yoga gave me so much that I felt compelled to share this with others and so began to teach. I have been a Karmi Yogi at Indaba Yoga Studio since graduating as a yoga teacher. Karma yoga is the yoga of selfless (altruistic) service so as a Karmi Yogi, I work at the studio doing the most mundane tasks. This allows me to be with in the yoga community and to feel connected and to have the opportunity to attend wonderful workshops lead by truly inspiring teachers. I feel happy to be of service and receive the opportunity to grow on my yogic journey. After your initial yoga teacher training, have you furthered your yoga studies? I'm a Yogic Arts Instructor after completing the Teacher Training with Master Duncan Wong. I had heard about his workshop and I was curious as it was a martial arts and yoga combination and he was located in Japan. All of this drew me to his practice; I can relate the discipline of the martial arts to my classical dance background, and I love Japan, the country and the culture. [caption id="attachment_21661" align="alignnone" width="480"]Via Duncan Wong facebook Duncan Wong Via the Duncan Wong Facebook page[/caption] The class was wonderful, intense and deep, I felt a connection with Duncan almost immediately, his intensity and passion for the form resonating in the space. I felt that I had been pushed to new limits and it was exciting to experience. The assists were very intimate and I had to truly trust in him. I was left with desire to practise more and deeper and pursue this form further. 2014 was my opportunity to train with Duncan Wong again and to join his teacher training level one. It was wonderful to meet people from different back grounds some with martial arts training. We spent an intense week together and grew into a family and at the end of the week we were assessed and then presented with our certificates to show that we were indeed Yogic Arts level one teachers. I have since incorporated a lot of the training into my yoga classes and teach some of the yogic arts sequences especially the cross core ones. I get a great response from my students when I take them through these sequences. I am currently training to become a Yoga Therapist at The Minded Institute. This is wonderful work which takes me into hospitals and into the community. I wish to work with the mental health sector mainly as this is very much influenced by the connection that we can create between our physical and spiritual selves. How have you incorporated your dance training into your yoga classes? My enthusiasm for movement began at an early age. I have over 20 years of experience in teaching and performing. I incorporate this in my yoga classes offering a unique ‘Sweet and Powerful’ style. I tailor my classes mindfully to maximum the potential of the individual students present in each practice, passionate about movement and the healing benefits it brings physically, mentally and spiritually. My intention is to reach people of all backgrounds and abilities to enable them to experience the beautiful benefits that it can bring to their lives. The class I teach is open to all levels from beginners to more experienced practitioners. I incorporate a dynamic flow, pranayama, meditation and some dance in my classes. I also hold Skype classes for those students in other parts of the world on a one-to-one or group basis. Donation based classes in the park are proving to be very popular during the summer months. http://instagram.com/p/wPtW8Jmite/?modal=true What is your best tip for nourishing the body? Drink lots of water this is essential to wash all the toxins out and to keep the body hydrated. What advice would you give to someone trying to develop a personal yoga practice? Be kind to yourself. Listen to your body; each time you come to your mat, your practice will vary. Achieving a posture one day does not guarantee that you will be able to attain it the next. First thing in the morning after showering and brushing your teeth, awaken the body, mind and soul with yoga practice, whether it be Pranayama or asana pracitce. Last thing at night once clean and ready for bed, meditate and practise yoga nidra to calm the nervous system and prepare for restoration of the body, mind and soul. Yogi Somi (2) What have you been listening to lately that you find inspiring? I listen to India Arie. She is a beautiful poet and talented musician. "I am Light" is a song I play in particular at the end of my class. If you can choose one quote to live by, which one would it be? "Happiness is a journey not a destination," by Ben Sweetland. somidance Somita teaches beginners through to experienced practitioners. Learn more about Somita at somitabasak.net or contact her by email at somitabasak@gmail.com. Find Somita on twitter @somita_basak and youtube: somita basak.

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