INTERVIEW WITH: LEENA JOSHI
Can you tell us about your background?
I was born and raised in, London. There I was a trained RN , I specialized in neurology nursing. We moved over to Canada in 2005, I gave up nursing to raise our two daughters. In 2006 I completed my 200 hr teacher training and in 2016 completed my 300 hour teacher training. Early next year I will be undertaking a 2 year teacher certification in mindfulness meditation.
What brought you to yoga?
As a young child I watched my 81 year old grandmother elegantly and gracefully do handstands in the middle of our family living room, she was totally blind which even now, when I think about it quite literally gobsmacks me . The impact of growing up with that, I wanted to explore more about yoga and how the breath and poses dance so intimately together. Watching her and my mum with their mala beads sit in meditation even though there was chaos all around with an extended family’s comings and goings, I was always amazed at how well they both maintained such balance in their emotional life.
Why did you decide to become a teacher?
I started my journey as a student and have been inspired by amazing teachers. The compassion they demonstrated has been an inspiration for me. I will always be a student, but the next stage in my development is to inspire students in the same way I have been taught.
What do you love most about teaching?
I enjoy seeing my students evolve in their practice, their motivation and devotion is the reason why I teach.
What is your favourite pose?
I don’t have one favourite pose, I could pick a handful (tree, lizard, child’s) mainly because each pose teaches me something different daily.
What should your students expect from You?
They will get Leena, my accent often brings a few chuckles, I try to be real and transparent and just me.
What do you want your students to take away from your teachings?
I want my students to feel a whole body experience not just the physical but also the emotional aspect which is so important to me. I want them to love themselves no matter what’s going on and be ok with what may arise, and to know they are supported. I’m there to facilitate the journey and to hold a safe space for them.
Proudest yoga moment ?
Truly I can’t say there is one that sticks out but I am proud of being able to overcome self doubt learning to be comfortable in my own skin, and teaching from my heart.
Most embarrassing yoga moment?
Oh my, lol .......when I first had Invisalign and I had a wee lisp, I would say now ‘shit ‘ your hips to the right or left rather than shift.
‘Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself ‘ the Bhagavad Gita
My daughters ,my family and friends and Chaiya (means shadow in Hindi). Our dog her ability to really be in the moment, let go , and her down dog is just perfect. Also Life; the journey, the highs, the lows, everything and every moment is an inspiration if we are open to it.
What is your advice for new yoga students?
Just roll out your mat and practice. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be in your body and allow yoga to be your experience.