TEACHER FEATURE: Arti Daryanani

Arti Daryanani

We would like for you to get to know our Body and Breath and Yamuna Body Rolling instructor, Arti!

Arti is a wellness practitioner and life coach, and a firm believer in wellness through movement. An experienced yoga and meditation instructor of almost 20 years, Arti is also certified in the Yamuna® Body Rolling method and GYROKINESIS® exercise, both new and innovative methods that combine deep physical and mental-emotional release.

Here is Arti’s inspiring story about her yoga journey!

‘I started practicing yoga when I was an undergraduate in law school, at the suggestion of my mum. I’d always suffered from insomnia and, in uni, I suppose compounded by the stress, it got really bad. It had reached a point where I was always cranky and irritable and found myself unable to function effectively. I think she had enough of suffering me, and insisted I go to yoga – to make sure I went, she came along with me!

I found my first, and subsequent few, yoga classes quite boring!!! And the thing I disliked the most was yoga nidra!!! When I started taking yoga classes, it wasn’t trendy at all, I was 19 years old in a class full of 40 somethings, the teacher was a yogi in saffron robes who sat on a podium in lotus position the whole time she issued instructions. There were no yoga mats as we know it, we all laid towels down on the carpeted floor of the ashram and did our thing. As a beginners’ class, the practice was very slow and gentle, mostly joint mobilisations and some very simple dynamic movements, ending with a 20 minute yoga nidra. Those last 20 minutes seemed like the longest 20 minutes of my life!!! I felt so impatient and fidgety, just waiting for it to be over.

But I was desperate to start sleeping properly, so was willing to stick to the classes. That first term was for 3 months, and I attended classes weekly. Slowly, I started to slow down and enjoy the classes more, especially the movement. And then the practice started to change me. The changes were subtle at first, but I remember, after a few months, I started sleeping much better. I lost my edginess and crankiness. After a night of sitting at my desk studying, my body would crave yoga, and I would lay down a towel on the floor and do a short practice before going to bed. A few months later, I sat for my year end exams, and my grades shot up! I wasn’t studying more, I think I was just more focussed and clear. Over the years, I stuck to my practice, with some breaks when I went through very busy times at work.

My practice has had a profound impact on my life – it has provided me with invaluable tools to help cope with life’s challenges. Certainly it has made me a calmer and more patient person, for which I am very grateful.’

Arti would like you to know that ‘yoga is a practice, through which we evolve and grow – it offers strategies to manage our body and our mind. It is a tool for self-understanding, and the contemplative aspect is an integral part of the practice. Without awareness and contemplation, our physical practice is not yoga. So just keep practicing! It’s a never ending journey!’