Puravi Joshi, Mysa London
Describe your first yoga class.
My first yoga class, I guess I would say would be my first Bharatnatyam class. I’m a trained Indian Classical Dancer, and so much of yoga is incorporated in the movements of this dance style. However, my earliest memory of a yoga class was being in pigeon pose thinking "what is going on with my body why does this feel so uncomfortable?" Now I lie in pigeon pose whilst I’m watching tv - I guess that’s what you call growth!
How might someone describe you?
That depends who you ask, as I definitely am someone that feeds off the energy in the room. My best friends would describe me as loving, fun, and a little bit dorky.
You recently launched MYSA. What led you there?
MYSA my lockdown baby was actually born through a period of time where my mental health was suffering. I had always wanted to create something and a friend of mine suggested I push forward with one of my ideas to help me get out of my funk. When creating the Yoga Deck, it was always my intention to drive home my message of inclusivity and diversity. Living in London I’d not seen an Indian Yoga Teacher which was wild to me, I want people to know that yoga IS accessible, you can meet people that look like you in yoga classes. Its the little details that have gone into the deck that make it that extra bit special, you’re learning without even realising. Sun Cards - Energetic Poses, Moon Card - Grounding Poses. I feel genuinely lucky that I have been able to create something that educates and breaks down a few barriers at the same time! I’ve recently just launched my Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Activity Book - Mindfully Me, this is helping me to drive my passion, and am so excited that schools in the US and UK have picked it up already for their classrooms!
I feel lucky that I have been able to create something that educates and breaks down barriers at the same time.
We spoke a lot about the importance of South-Asian representation in yoga when you were in the studio, and specifically of your experience as a teacher in London, do you mind sharing a bit for our readers.
I think representation and giving voice to South Asian Yoga Teachers is imperative. A lot of what is learned through YTT is inherent in South Asian Yoga Teachers' way of life. I know personally, it’s been a bit of a struggle when I first became a yoga teacher that I felt unwelcome to be in spaces to teach because I didn’t fit the mold. The reality is South Asian teachers are the mold! It’s been a journey accepting that I’m categorized as an ‘Indian Yoga Teacher’ I was never known as an ‘Indian Investment Banker’ I see some positive changes that have taken place in the past 18 or so months, there is still a long way to go! I would love more transparency within studios to see what their selection process is for hiring. I’m honored to be working with some great teachers and studios that have diversity and inclusion as its ethos instead of a tick box. That’s also why I created Mysa to showcase diversity more. All bodies, all ethnicities, showing yoga for what it is whole encompassing.
Is there anything you're currently learning or unlearning at the moment?
I feel like we’re all constantly learning and unlearning. I’ve spent the last two years working on myself, who I am, what I value, my boundaries (as a people please this has been the most difficult one). Other than that I’m currently really interested in Psychology so maybe going back to studying is on the cards…time will tell 😉
Why do you practice?
I practice more for my mind these days. I enjoy getting out of my head and on to the mat. I feel like my yoga mat is my journal because I’m terrible at actually journalling!