Richmond Yoga Teachers: Live Their Craft
Richmond is home to many dedicated yoga teachers with passion to sustain their practice and live it off the mat. With the complexities of modern life, here is how several local yoga teachers recognize that their practice is a major contributor to maintaining balance and clarity in mind body and spirit:
“I started practicing 16 years ago and have had a very consistent practice over all the years. I can’t image life without a practice. A nurturing practice allows us to find balance in our busy lives. Our bodies have strength to heal, cure and realign if treated with care. Yoga’s holistic path is a journey of ‘Love of Self’—we start each day deciding the direction of our attitude and self love allows us to think positively. A regular practice gently reminds us to be present in a yoga class and in daily life.” - Kathleen Baker, owner of Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center - Richmond.
“Living yoga is living your truth, it is applying all of the philosophy of yoga into your daily life. This includes not stealing, not harming self or others, being truthful, not being greedy, living in moderation, being in the now with contentment and being clean in body, mind and environment. Beyond that there is daily hatha, meditation and journaling that is essential to building your relationship with Self. As a teacher and mentor, all I can do is inspire and encourage my students while ensuring I am walking the path of yoga authentically in my own life.” - Lydia Nitya Griffith, yoga teacher, author, owner of Yoga With Nitya.
“If yoga is not incorporated into daily life, it’s an exercise just for the body with a selfish or ignorant motive and does not meet the ancient definition of yoga—from the word yoke which is to unite—meaning we are one body-mind-spirit and one with the ‘cosmic consciousness’, known also as peace, stillness, Universe, Divinity, God... My teacher Swami Satchidananda, founder and spiritual leader of Yogaville, in Buckingham County, taught us that the goal of Integral Yoga, and the birthright of every individual, is to realize the spiritual unity behind all diversity in the entire creation and to live harmoniously as members of one universal family.” - Nora Vimala Pozzi, director, Integral Yoga Center of Richmond.
“This may sound strange, but to me it is far easier to maintain living the practice off the mat, in terms of how I conduct myself, my interactions with others, observing compassion, limiting my excess and generally continuous effort to be a good person. This is the real yoga practice. These are the things that allow one to navigate the world with a bit of grace and a lot of confidence. It helps me to maintain clarity and stability mentally. So daily, you could say I work on living the most peaceful existence possible. The physical practice is necessary because physical health is a necessary component of total wellness. It’s difficult to maintain peace of mind if the actual body is wracked with pain or full of disease. Staying nourished inside and out, moving to be able to move and working diligently to maintain personal peace becomes second nature, whether I roll out the yoga mat or not.” - J Miles, co-founder of Project Yoga Richmond and creator of Maha Vira Yoga.