My Yoga Journey
with Jalaja Ramanunni
Published 30 May 2020
Jalaja Ramanunni is a yoga teacher and business journalist, based in Dubai. Her articles have been featured in various renowned newspapers, tech magazines and online platforms. In this interview with Ayurooms, she shares her yoga journey and motivation for practicing yoga.
What does yoga mean to you?
To me, yoga is a a place of stillness where I feel home. On the mat, my mind goes quiet and I listen to my body. We have an honest conversation. It helps me turn into a better version of myself every single day.
When did you first start practicing yoga and why?
I went to my first class out of curiosity, in 1998. I’ve always loved body movement and stretches - that’s what yoga meant to me initially. With disciplined practice, I realised that yoga stretched my mind too. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with my body, mind and the universe.
Were you ever resistant or hesitant to learn yoga?
No, but I went through a period of questioning its purpose. It was an intensely personal time as I lost someone dear to me and I kept away from the mat for months. I wondered what the purpose was. One day, I dragged myself to the mat for a few rounds of Surya Namaskars and for the first time in months, I felt good. I still don’t have an answer to my life’s purpose but I felt whole and remembered who I am. It made me trust my practice again and that’s why I go back to the mat every single day.
One day, I dragged myself to the mat for a few rounds of Surya Namaskars and for the first time in months, I felt good. I still don’t have an answer to my life’s purpose but I felt whole and remembered who I am. It made me trust my practice again and that’s why I go back to the mat every single day.
How has yoga impacted your life?
Yoga helps me move closer to my truest potential. When I did an immersive teacher’s training at Sivananda Ashram, Kerala, I discovered that there’s strength, flexibility and space inside me, waiting to be used. I feel that I treat my body with more kindness and respect today. Over the years, it helped me slow down and live each moment mindfully.
Why should someone practice yoga?
In short, because yoga will transform every area of your life. You will expand and grow in every direction, unlocking your true potential.
What are your favourite asanas and why?
I love the reclined spinal twist and I can linger in the posture forever. BKS Iyengar describes twists as a squeeze and soak action. I feel refreshed each time.
I also love playing with headstand variations. It helps me grow more fearless and flexible - both on and off the mat.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
A suggestion to anyone interested in yoga - try out different styles of yoga with an open mind. It will take you places.
Jalaja's yoga journey reminds us that yoga heals. Yoga can help us overcome loss and grief. Coming back to our mat in times of happiness and sadness is always available to us. When no one else can rescue you from your emotions, make the decision to get back to your mat, even if only for a few rounds of Surya Namaskars. Namaste!
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