For many of us in the Western world, yoga becomes relevant once we come up against a “challenge” in life. Unfortunately people wait to hit their rock bottom before they take action and explore what it means to actually be healthy. As clearly shown by the people who are buying all the self-help products and services, most of them are in their thirties to fifties.
Chitra Sukhu was blessed in that she grew up in a family that was already committed to living the yogic lifestyle. By the age of three she was already meditating, learning about Ayurveda, and practicing yoga. Because she was put in touch with her “true” self, her path was always clear and therefore did not have to address so many challenges as most do.
We were fortunate enough to get an interview with Chitra Sukhu where she offers some insight on what yoga is and Her mission to teach teenagers the power of yoga so that they too would not have to go through as many challenges as their parents and grandparents did.
What is yoga to you?
Yoga is a way of life, it is a mindset or I should say a “mind flow”; when you are able to flow rather than be set in your ways you experience yoga in action. Yoga helps you to experience your essential nature. It allows you to experience life as a creator, responsible and accountable for your life. It is an outlook that is freeing and overflowing with potential and joy at every moment. Through yoga you can attain the highest state of being; union with the “self”.
What inspired you to become a yoga teacher and with whom have you done your trainings?
I’ve come from a yogic family, my dad Yogi Hari has an ashram in Florida and my mother Leela Mata has an ashram in Pennsylvania. They were part of the Sivananda Organization in the early 70’s when Swami Vishnudevananda was building the many ashrams and centers that are now all over the world today. My training started at the age of 4 so there was never a time where I made the conscious decision to learn yoga it was just a natural part of my early childhood, the decision to teach came about in stages when asked to teach by others. My training is continuous starting from the age of 4 to now as I continue to live yoga and teach others through my lessons and realizations. In a more formal way… I’ve received my diploma in Ayurvedic Sciences from Kerala Ayurveda and Yoga Certification from Leela Mata’s Peaceful Valley Ashram.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in developing your teaching career and how did you overcome them?
Marketing has been my biggest challenge. Creating the program and teaching is what I like to do; I would like to leave the business side to someone else. I’m currently learning online marketing to help in this area.
As the director of your schools teacher training programs, what is your overall goal and objective?
Right now I’m concentrating on a Youth Yoga Teachers Training Course; this allows me to teach young adults 16-21 skills to master life while becoming certified yoga teachers. Most people find Yoga after many years of struggle and pain; they turn to yoga to find relief. My early years learning yoga and meditation have been what set me apart from my peers. While others went through life without an understanding of the overall process of life I was privy through meditation a glimpse into the “self”, which allowed for a perspective that always kept me balanced. I would like to give this to other young adults who could benefit at an early age from the practice and wisdom of such an ancient science.
What do you feel is unique about your yoga teacher training programs versus other schools? Please tell us about your program.
This Youth Yoga Teachers Training Course (YYTTC) is the first of its kind. In addition to teaching all the required knowledge to become certified yoga teachers we teach lessons relevant to your stage of life; lessons like yoga secrets that can help you master life, laws of the universe which allows for an overall view of the world we live in and how we fit into it, and how to live a balanced stress free life. We do all of this in the setting of an ashram so that you can live yoga during the time you’re studying these concepts. This allows you to really lock in the teachings through experience.
What type of students would best fit your programs?
Young adults ages 16-21 are welcome to train with us if they have a sincere desire to learn and grow in ways that will push their boundaries, expand their minds beyond the known, and are able to conceive the idea that they are the ultimate creator of their lives.
What qualities do you feel make a good yoga teacher?
One that is willing to serve others with compassion, love and understanding. A teacher is aware and able to see through the drama, cutting through layers of untruth to help show others the way to a more fulfilling life. A good yoga teacher is not just someone who is able to perfect the postures but someone who exudes an aura of health both in body and mind, this kind of example is a true yogi.
Is there any advice you would offer to aspiring yoga teachers?
Live yoga; in order to teach you have to experience yoga and incorporate it into your life so that it is as natural to you as breathing, only then can you truly teach in a way that is authentic and uplifting.
To learn more about her visit New Age Kids
To learn more about her Youth Teacher Training Course go here.