Nurture. Learn. Evolve!

Ritu Rai is the Residential teacher & founder of Yoga Gyani. A creator moulding the light within her, Ritu began her practice when she was just ten years old. She shares her own alchemy of Sadhana and Dharma, which she believes to be her true passion.In Year 2000, a near rock climbing adventure lead to an accident and ritu injured left knee badly,  The doctors adviced Ritu  that she would never walk again if she continued to practice advanced yoga postures. Not one to allow obstacles to destract her spirit and enthusiasm for life, she sought after alternative approaches and found the determination & discipline of Yoga to heal her. ritu then dove herself deep into Practicing Meditation and Pranayama in nature, and seeking alternative healing techniques to heal herself and slowly get back to her Yoga practice. This incident woke her up  she loved movements and it felt terrible when she couldnt do practice and to restrict herself from doing certain movements. She learnt Hatha yoga in her school times and ashtanga practice when she moved to University vivekananda were she persued her studies in computer science she had to wake up 4.00 am practice yoga in the university hostel so that she could discipline herself, her parents sent her there as they saw she was interested in yoga and this was the only university were they provided yoga along withg studies. Ritu always enjoyed her Yoga practice in nature, thats is the reason once she recovered she followed her heart she quit her well paid job in bangalore and followed her passion of Yoga and travelling to wild nature like Mountain, trekking in mountains and Practicing yoga. She deeply feels that bieng in nature is healing itself and practicing yoga in nature connects us to nature and our nature within. 

She was determined to explore many styles after her accident and Spent time years learning Iyengar style of yoga in dharamshala and continued her practice and completed 200 Hrs, She travelled to Rishikesh Capital of yoga to get her 500 hrs and Continued her journey of Yoga.  She met her husband during those journey who is from greece, He is passionate about cooking, & music , eating healthy food grown from garden and learning about prebiotics because he had a serious problem with his stomach since then he eats what he grows. 

Ritu has been fortunate enough to have her retreat in Greece which was called adventure of yoga,  She has been featured in Book Yoga Retreats as one of the top retreat in greece. She was called to different studio to teach Yoga workshops at various  places in greece like , Crete , Athens, Thessaloniki & in Romania Waha festival were they had yoga worshop in middle of Transalvanian Forest. Now a well known yoga teacher and professional fitness expert, ritu lives in samothraki Island where she teaches regular classes in Studio and outdoor in nature. She also has clients (individuals and corporates) all over the country. She helps them achieve ultimate mind and body experiences through practice of Yoga, diet and lifestyle advice, and has helped them arrive at their goals.

In Ritu’s words: I grew up in the amazing country of India, which is the birthplace of Yoga. I started practising Yoga at a very young age and have been immensely passionate, extremely dedicated and disciplined about it. The stress of having to be the best at everything is nothing new in India. We are always asked to push ourselves beyond our boundaries and the only thing that has kept me going between all the stress is my Yoga Practice. The burden of years of debilitating anxiety showed me that balancing the rich beauty of life was about being ‘calm’. I realized that by being still and not wanting to chase everything in life, is what will make me achieve my true potential. The practice of mindful living invited me to let go of my beliefs of feeling lost. It prompted me to search within myself what I was seeking outside. Through the practice of Pranayama, Yoga & mediatation, I found my centre, my space which belonged to me and I started to feel more connected with myself.

My practice has changed my life in infinite ways. At the age of 19, I met with a disastrous accident and had a knee-bone injury. I was extremely stressed out and back then I stayed at my Grandmother’s place with my family who loved me dearly and took care of my every need. I was adamant about practising yoga despite my injury and although the doctor advised against it, I was still determined to practice my art. This episode was truly the beginning of my Yoga journey, this was the road to my transformation as a Yogini because I learned to be more grounded and patient with myself. I started to meditate every day and learned to be more at peace with myself. I encouraged myself not to rush and to trust in the process of everything I am supposed to be. I devoted my time in mindfulness meditation to calm my mind and to practice breath techniques during my resting time that was adviced by doctor. 

I believe that “Yoga is a journey which if taken, never ends”. I try to impart the same knowledge to my students and also learn to believe in themselves throughout the process . I’m ultimately interested in the process of yoga and how it reveals a deeper understanding of who we are. 

I learnt throughout my experience one thing – The more i practice the better i become in what i practice. What matters the most is How much time are you willing to put in your everyday practice. For me its Yoga , for other it may be different but anything you want to achieve “Practice is the key”. So when you join my course you will see nothing but bieng disciplined towards oneself and to thier Yoga practice. 

What i teach?

I teach three styles Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga and Ashtanga Yoga so i combine all the methods of these styles in my practice and teaching, The reason why i do this is because i love to experiment with movements, I have learnt through my experience and practicing among others that every body is different and its important for students to have the foundation of hatha yoga learn Fundamentals of yoga, and to learn iyengar methods to be able to practice and teach all age safely using block and props and focus on alignment of posture and once you have learnt the foundation and methods its safe and easier to flow in ashtanga primary series sequence. Our practice will always include Mantra chanting,  Asana Practice, Pranayama and meditation in retreats and Teacher training course. Without these in combination yoga practice is incomplete. Always my students have transformed thier lifes through this practice. For some it improoved thier daily life to kick start the day and to some it helped to release anxiety. I feel happy and blessed to be able to share the knowledge of yoga and practice among others. 

I sm sure you will too. If you are someone seeking healthy life style and to integrate mindful practice you will love this practice, We live in an island filled with nature and is an energetic place to be in greece. I have had an adventure through journey of yoga and when i saw this island it was ideal place to do my sadhana and to be involved in trekking and walking in nature, hot spring bath, mountains it was my dream and now i am living it.  if you want to start your adventure through yoga then i cant wait to see you in Samothraki.

Teaching Yoga itself is great karma yoga because it reconnects people to its source”.
– Amit Ray

Chaturanga Dandasana: the Four Limb Staff Pose. An asana in modern yoga as exercise and in some forms of Surya Namaskar, in which a straight body parallel to the ground is supported by the toes and palms, with elbows at a right angle along the body.

Chakrasana : Upward Bow or Wheel Pose. This pose brings blood to the brain, therefore nourishing it is a good pose to remove sluggishness of the body and build stamina.

Rajakapotasana : The King Pigeon Pose. The perfect pose to balance our modern lifestyle as it is a hip opener and helps strengthen the backbend of our body. It also lengthens the psoas muscle (the muscles that run from the lower back around to the front of the body and down the groin, it is this muscle that often causes lower back pain). This posture provides ease in the lower half of the body.

Sirsasana : Headstand. It is often referred to as the King of Yoga Poses, and it is onethat many people are drawn to, but which many of us also find challenging. It can bring up understandable fear, and facing and overcoming this fear is part of the headstand journey.