Nikita Ramchandani, Kita Yoga
I first met Nikita back in London in 2018 when she dropped in on one of my yoga classes.
It was at the height of my studio career and I was putting in about 15/20 hours a week teaching. Some students just stick out, often for no particular reason at all, however, I felt drawn towards her practice. Maybe it was intuition, maybe it was energy, perhaps I could sense that she too was a teacher.
I don't really recall our first conversation but I do remember distinctly feeling like it wasn't our first conversation, like we'd been old friends for a while. This pattern continued every time she came to class, we'd sometimes sit afterward and disclose secrets with this understanding that our shared space was safe.
We'd probably be great friends if we lived in the same city, however, as we're both drifters at heart, we tend to bounce around from place to place. I imagine it's this similarity that keeps us drawn to and inspired by one another.
Nikita is the founder of Kita Yoga, a community-focused lifestyle brand and creative network, celebrating wellness, culture, and design.
We're delighted to have her as our Guest Teacher this month.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in India but grew up between Guayaquil, Ecuador and Hong Kong. I moved to London when I was 17 to study Economics, and then to New York at 21 to pursue a masters in Mathematics. I truly love the ocean, cultures, traditions and stories; a random mix of things haha. Wine and coffee are true contributors to my life, that and the people I love. In 2016, I left my role as a Quantitative Strategist and blindly hopped on a flight to Hong Kong to start my own Yoga studio.
What are some of your biggest motivations?
To be able to add value to people's lives in some way,
People + places. Nature, art, architecture, the sheer resilience, and ambition possessed by some.
How might someone describe you
Ambitious + kind + sometimes reckless
What brings you ease?
Music + solo hikes + the water + training + family
Describe your first yoga class
My first ever yoga class was forced upon me in high school. I liked to move fast, and at this first encounter, I felt no affinity for Yoga. I then stumbled across yoga again while at grad school in New York. I started to become more aware of myself, my body, my feeling state and it truly shifted the idea of what yoga is to me.
How did you start Kita?
I knew I wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial venture and had fallen in love with Yoga and movement in general. I wanted to build a community, a space for teachers and students to find what yoga meant for them. I left my career in finance, hopped back on a plane to Hong Kong, and signed a lease within three days. Our purpose at Kita is to share experiences and ideas that evoke emotion and conversations that matter. We’re weaving together a family of people who see the importance of connecting to ourselves, to each other, and something bigger.
What's next for you / what creative projects you are working on
I feel like we are constantly growing and evolving as we get to know our people, incorporating what we find into our offering. We are set to launch our sport line this summer, a collection of elevated essentials for everyday leisure. All-natural fabrics. Breathable, timeless, everyday pieces. We are also working on a new experiential wellness space to include a mixture of movement + coffee + retail and showcase our partners within the community.
What you have learned this year (about yourself)
Too many things. When everything slows down you are pushed to sit with yourself and be introspective. I have learned to better question why it is that I do what I do, whether it is truly guided by internal ambition. Moreover, there has been a shift in what garners importance in my life. I have learned that I tend to make things more complicated than they are, that I thrive under pressure, moving slowly for me is uncomfortable and that I find ambiguity very disconcerting yet liberating. Yet I have also found that I look at all situations with optimism and look for solutions when I feel lost.
Why do you practice?
To feel free. These days I feel like my practice is so personal; I close my eyes and just allow myself to get a little lost - in the music, in my own breath. I practice to feel good, clear, and soft yet strong. Everyday is different, and you uncover something new; a nuance you may have missed or a newfound skill.