Yoga You. Yoga Me. Yoga We.

yogaIt’s fun. It’s balancing. It’s strengthening. And most of all, it’s portable. Yoga has been my favorite activity for the last ten years. Everywhere I have traveled, everywhere I have lived, I have taken it with me and shared it with others, sometimes even inspiring others to make it part of their lives. Its diversity makes it applicable to different people’s needs and personalities, manifesting collective positive outcomes.

Yoga helps me to express my dedication to health issues and life balance, representing a lifestyle and not just an exercise. I want to be able to share the gift of yoga in the most effective way possible, and to me, that necessitates a more thorough understanding of the philosophies and technical practices of the asanas, how each pose can benefit the body in its own way as well as together with other poses.

I have had many favorite yoga teachers, in Los Angeles, New York, Guatemala, France, Iran and Washington DC. I have taken something from each one, be it a philosophy, a technique, a flow sequence, or a style. I remember one teacher I had in particular in Los Angeles named Rudy, a power yoga instructor. One line he said has stayed with me not only in yoga, but in life: “It’s never too late to have a perfect yoga class.” I took this to mean, let go of whatever might have happened up until now, you can still make your next move with fulfillment and joy and that in itself makes for a perfect class.

As I aspire to learn this art in the part of the world where it originated, I want to study in the peaceful setting of Rishikesh, India at Tribe Yoga. Their yoga training is comprehensive in terms of styles of yoga and meditation. Ashtanga, my preferred style of practice, is given special focus here which will allow me to explore it more deeply and be guided in its movements. Tribe includes a study of anatomy and physiology which is essential in understanding the inner workings of body movement.

Set on a lucid section of the Ganges River and nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, the surrounding elements will help me quiet the mind in order to better listen to my body, as well as discover inner peace and balance; these will be key elements to bring back to an urban space, where finding inner peace is often quite challenging.

I plan to take my training with me everywhere I go – each country and community. I want to make yoga an accessible practice, both geographically and mentally. As yoga is perfectly portable and, at its foundation, only requires one’s own body, I feel it would serve as a valuable outlet for those seeking movement and serenity within their means. I would particularly love to work with HIV-positive support groups to supplement my outreach efforts as a public health professional so I can introduce a holistic mechanism for improving health and well-being.

2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay

By: Neda Dowlatshahi

If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

Join the Conversation

  1. Lauren says:

    i think neda would be a wonderful candidate for the scholarship!

  2. Taylor says:

    Great article Neda! You’d be an awesome teacher!

  3. Christian Crowley says:

    Rock on, Neda! Have a wonderful time learning and growing in Rishikesh.

  4. Cyrus Dowlatshahi says:

    Neda you’d actually be great for this…

  5. H says:

    You deserve this opportunity!

  6. Rajiv says:

    Great job Neda!

  7. Caitlin Holliday says:

    Neda is one of the most inspiring, caring, dedicated friends that I have had the privilege of knowing. I could not think of a more fitting candidate for this exciting opportunity. Traveling to India to pursue yoga training has been one of her life goals and there is no doubt that she would use this experience to its fullest potential.

  8. Kei says:

    Neda inspires me in yoga and so many other ways all the time! Love you Nedita!

  9. mb says:

    you are a humble and compassionate human whom i admire greatly.

  10. Zahra Moazami says:

    What an inspiring essay. I have been practicing yoga at home and this essay has inspired me to take it more seriously and be more committed.In fact it was Neda who introduced me to ashtanga yoga which has given me a sense of calm in life. No one is more deserving of this scholarship.

  11. elena says:

    I really love that Neda wants to combine her yoga practice, travel experience and outreach efforts to give back to others. The work she does is so amazing, and it would be wonderful for more leaders to embrace a practice that embodies harmony and understanding. To India!

  12. Sarah says:

    You will make a great yoga teacher! Good luck!

  13. Michael says:

    Good luck Neda! You are so right about how you can practice yoga regardless of where you are, and I think working with HIV positive support groups is especially admirable!

  14. Tina says:

    Wonderful Essay. I recently started taking yoga classes and I’m really enjoying it! I hope you get the scholarship!

  15. Akilah says:

    Namaste 😀
    I’ve known Neda for a couple of years now and I don’t think I know anyone else as dedicated to this craft as she is. When I think about yoga, I really and truly do think about Neda (I know that sounds super cliche, but I’m just saying). Because of her skills, she helped my husband with his back pain. I strongly believe that the yoga teaching world would benefit from having her as part of it. She is a beautiful person on the inside and outside, but at the same time she offers real criticism in the most calming and friendly way possible.
    Also, because of her work in public health I think this is an added benefit to the yoga world because you can see that she is committed to the healing process of the body not only physically but also at the social and mental health level.
    Love you Neda and I’m praying that you get it!!! Go Team Neda!!!

  16. Bridget Seegers says:

    Lovely and well written! She seems to truly understand Yoga and life’s balance

  17. Kelley says:

    I believe in you – your lifestyle in so in line with your goals, and I would love to be your yoga apprentice.

  18. JoAnna says:

    I really like the idea of yoga as a tool for empowerment and healing. I wish you the best of luck on your teacher training!

  19. Michelle says:

    Inspiring. Neda, you are destined to bring calm and joy to all corners of the world!

  20. Kian says:

    Keep up the good work Neda!

  21. Andysheh says:

    Wow, Miss, you have traveled far and wide. I am very curious about the different ____Central Tenets____ that you’ve come across from the yogis you’ve learned from. More importantly, I think it speaks volumes about you in how you adapt the forms and styles that most work for you as the mind and body must first be open before attempting to address the heart and soul.

    Your short description of the Ganges River and the Himalayas met your goal in that moment for me. I imagined getting away and discovered it’s something I very much need but forget as a perpetual city dweller. I hope you win so that you can bring this back to all of us, so that we don’t forget the importance of peace when we’re constantly surrounded by so much chaos.

  22. Frooz says:

    Neda is an ideal candidate! VOTE NEDA! I don’t think you could find a better teacher than her. x

  23. Rachel Hampton says:

    Neda has lovingly brought yoga into her workplace, where I also work, and taken the time out of her schedule to organize yoga classes for the whole staff after work. She is extremely patient and supportive, and is an incredible teacher. I cannot think of anyone better suited for this opportunity.

  24. Eliakimu Sane says:

    I have worked with Neda, i know that she is a very hard working and dedicated person. I recommend her in the program.

  25. TEAM NEDA says:

    If you win, can I come visit!? Good luck.

  26. ulug kuzuoglu says:

    wow! Neda definitely deserves to pursue her life interest.. Good luck in India!

  27. heather says:

    It’s a true balance, this peace of mind. I’m so happy you have found a way to keep that balance. Good Luck!

  28. Josef Fuentes says:

    I do not participate in Yoga and in conversations with friends I haven’t really been convinced to try it. In reading this essay, I found it to be inspiring and I now would like to give it try!

  29. David says:

    Good luck Neda!

  30. Dup says:

    The article is spot on. And I love the photo too. Combining daring balance, form and naturalism all in the same photo is not easy.

  31. Kathryn Rosecrans says:

    Neda brings yoga, both physically and mentally, to all of her friends. She’s an inspiring teacher.

  32. Christopher Gibbs says:

    Good Luck!!!

  33. Gordie says:

    Nice work Neda. So happy for you.

  34. Caitlin says:

    Excellent essay, Neda!

  35. Jes says:

    I’m grateful for teachers like this. They share their knowledge with the rest of us!

  36. Eda says:

    I belive in Neda! With her calming, loving and wise energy, she would make amazing contribution as a yoga teacher! Good luck already!!

  37. Elisabeth Berger says:

    This girl is a rockstar!! GO NEDA GO! Go get that dream. I’m in your corner.

  38. R P says:

    Fabulous Neda! I can’t wait to have you sharing your good vibes with even more people! :)

  39. R P says:

    Wonderful!! I can’t wait to have you sharing your good vibes with even more people! :)

  40. Dino says:

    Rocking! :) Good luck!

  41. Gaia Pelliccioli says:

    I love this article and the energy of the person who wrote it!

  42. Lisa says:

    Wow – you’re getting so much love! G’luck Neda, you’d be perfect for this!

  43. Lara says:

    Good luck Neda! You’d make a great teacher!

  44. Anna Ostermeyer says:

    Awesome!! Hope you win and then come back to teach me some yoga! :)

  45. oli says:

    i just yoga’d after reading this

  46. Damalia says:

    Neda is a beautiful person both inside and out…She is the perfect person for this. Can’t wait to take a class from her!!!

  47. Katie says:

    I agree with Neda’s points about the practice of yoga. She has a solid understanding of her practice and would make an excellent teacher.

  48. Shez says:

    I have had a difficult relationship with yoga, but you inspire me to try one more time! All the best, Neda!

  49. Lauren says:

    All the best!

  50. Kayla says:

    Yeah!!! Go Neda!!!

  51. Dara says:

    Neda will be an excellent instructor and I can’t wait to learn from her.

  52. camilla lai says:

    indeed. all true, been practicing for half my life and confirm what Neda says. lokah samastah sukino bavantu. go neda!

  53. sash says:

    Bonne chaaaaaance neda…!

  54. plotzk says:

    nice essay neda

  55. katia says:

    This was lovely to read. You’d be a great teacher, I hope you get this!

  56. Jacquie says:

    I am inspired, when can I sign up for your class?

  57. Lauretta says:

    Thanks for sharing!

  58. Isaac Rudder says:

    I loved this Neda, I actually feel super inspired to try yoga nad have you teach me now lol. I hope you get through, I think you’d be an awesome teacher!

  59. Lkauf says:

    Neda will make a fine teacher. She’s got the heart, soul and determination to reach many! She should be given the chance to pursue this dream of hers at Tribe.

  60. Ben Audrain says:

    Very poignant article, Neda!

  61. Justina says:

    Awesome article- definitely inspiring! Makes me want to pull my yoga mat out and get into the studio! Good luck :)

  62. Adz says:

    You are amazing! You can yoga me anytime!

  63. Adz says:

    Really nice article BTW

  64. Stephanie says:

    I really liked the perspective on yoga as being portable. Unlink many other things and passions, all we need is our body and mind…
    I wish you all the best and I am glad that you are trying to do this.

  65. cudjoe says:


  66. Kris Coontz says:

    Great article!

  67. Iris says:

    Neds, you’d make an awesome teacher. Very inspiring!

  68. bridget says:

    Neda taught me about yoga for my first time while we were in Tanzania together! It was great and I’ll always appreciate her love for yoga, which made me open to learning. She’s a great teacher, and a great person. She deserves this scholarship so she can teach more people like me.

  69. anne says:

    Great article and great teacher!

  70. shannon says:

    Neda is an inspiring person and would be an even more inspiring yoga teacher with this opportunity!

  71. Daina paulin says:

    I have been one of Neda’s lucky students at her spontanous yoga sessions and I believe she would be a wonderful yoga instructor. This would also greatly benifit the people she works with and touchs in her profession in the health industry. I send a strong vote for her essay and for her. Choose Neda, she would be the ideal canadate for your scholarship!!

  72. Alexandra F says:

    Can i reserve you for vip yoga lessons now already???

  73. Agata Matteucci says:

    Great article!
    Neda is a wonderful person and more importantly an awesome friend… She was born to become an incredible teacher!

  74. Sima F says:

    Neda is amazing

  75. Ciro says:

    Bravo Nedita!! My next yoga instructor!!!

  76. Aimée Julien says:

    Great article my friend!
    Neda is the awesomest! and she has taught me so much in the 5+ years I’ve known her, including tons about yoga!! I don’t know of anybody more appropriate and deserving of this scholarship!
    You rock Nedita! :)

  77. sachin says:

    well written and to the point

  78. Sarah S. says:

    I’d take her class! Neda is awesome and dedicated and more than deserving of this opportunity.

  79. Irving Flores says:

    have been on the fence between yoga and pilates. heck, even yoga-lates entered the picture…but neda, being the most awesomnest of ambassadors for this discipline…nay! this way of life, has wholeheartedly convinced me to jump in head first (or rather, salamba sirsasan) and embrace the zen-ness that is yoga.


  80. M.D. says:

    OMG, so great. Well done

  81. CJ says:

    What a beautiful essay. I really love the idea of incorporating yoga practice into current public health outreach.

  82. Priscilla says:

    Neda would be an amazing teacher! Very inspiring!

  83. Lara Pierpoint says:

    I love your writing Neda! Wishing you big deep breaths and divine inspiration.

  84. Julie says:

    This was beautifully written and so deeply conveys the essence of yoga! You will make a terrific yoga teacher.

  85. Darya says:

    This is a very nice article! After reading it I get inspired to start attending yoga classes. I hope you receive the scholarship, because you really need it and deserve it!

  86. Onyx Moore says:

    I wish you the best of luck Neda!

  87. kirby lynum says:

    I enjoyed the essay, I will love to learn yoga it will help me.

  88. Noella B says:

    Neda lives her practice; She is one of the most calming and joyful presences I have had the pleasure of encountering. I hope to be a yoga student of hers one day!

  89. Genessa says:

    Amazing woman- you would be lucky to get her. Vote Neda!

  90. Borna says:

    Very cool! I think this would be a great opportunity. Hope you win the scholarship! : )

  91. Matt says:

    Neda is perfect for this scholarship. Brings back memories of Yoga on the sides of the PDF mud pits.

  92. Bea Van Nuffel says:

    Great writing Neda! Hope you win the scholarship.

  93. Linda morales says:

    Wow, what beautiful and genuine writing. It’s quite obvious you deserve this scholarship. Your dedication to yoga, as well as being an advocate for health and wellness, are admirable. Best of luck!

  94. Karine Devroye says:

    Great article,Neda ! I started to follow yoga lessons not so long ago, but I’m completely convinced of the advantages. Please go on and I wich you good luck !

  95. denis therien says:

    Dedication + Love = Success

  96. rhiannon says:

    This is an inspiring and well written article . You are obviously so passionate about yoga. Maybe I should give yoga another shot!

  97. Vida Moazami says:

    Neda joon, this was a great article, and being your aunt and someone who has known you for so many years and (a yoga practitioner for many years myself) I can not think of anyone who would be more qualified and worthy of such a scholarship than you. You have my vote!!!!

  98. Wim Devroye says:

    Great … I hope you win the yoga teacher training.

  99. Ali says:

    Good Luck!

  100. Corrie says:

    Wonderful, good luck Neda. May you always have this much passion to share your love for yoga with others. Hope you will be in India soon!

  101. Kyle says:

    Almost every time I see Neda (and these events are all-too-infrequent), she is engaging with yoga. I sincerely hope she is given the opportunity to pursue her studies to their fullest!

  102. Kristen says:

    Hope you get it! Will you teach your yoga classes in the trees?


  103. rachael peters says:

    You go Neda!

  104. Rubi Vaughn says:

    Neda, loved your essay! You are so deserving of this wonderful opportunity!

  105. Sean says:

    Neda i loved your essay peace, you desreve this program, cross fingers.

  106. Carla Bazemore says:

    Great Job, Neda!
    I have been teaching for 17 years, studied yoga for over 25 years. I dedicated my life to learning and teaching yoga but never been to physically in India. May your dreams come true.
    Carla B.

  107. David Watts says:

    This piece has the same vibrance that has always shone in you, Neda. Good luck to you, friend, and may you one day teach the perfect class!

  108. spiro says:

    katherine and i thoroughly enjoyed the essay! good luck, sending much love and blessings your way!
    PS – i love portability too!

  109. Katja says:

    good luck!

  110. Jordan says:

    A very inspiring essay to train in a very inspiring pace!

  111. Carlos says:

    Neda wins! She helped me get rid of the pain in my back!!! Neda! Neda! Neda!

  112. ladan says:

    Well written and deserving of recognition. Good luck!

  113. Mame-Yaa says:

    Congratulations Neda! You are following the your calling and sense of deep spirituality! I look forward to you coming back and travelling the world and taking Yoga to the scope of people we all serve in our daily lives, for me it is women and children’s health and other gender. Enrich yourself and and return with the more purity and love. That is Public Health—Yoo. Kisses and all the best!

  114. Dorna says:

    I hope to one day follow your path Neda. You are truly inspiring and want to do great things with your yoga training.

  115. ayse says:

    nice article eda’s friend. hope you’ll win!

  116. Duncan says:

    Neda – follow the dream. You’d be the best! And you’d love it! I’ve already seen you share your yoga talents with so many and would love to see you take it to even more people.

  117. asantos says:

    Great article and motivating to those who have not tried yoga

  118. Beth says:

    This essay is beautiful, Neda! Yoga is such an amazing practice :) So glad you’re spreading the word!

  119. Beth says:

    This essay is beautiful, Neda! Good luck!

  120. Alexis Nakamura Doris says:

    Neda would be a perfect candidate! Well written, intelligent and inspriing as always, Neda. Best of luck – you deserve this opportunity! <3

  121. amy says:


  122. Tara says:

    Neda was my favorite yoga partner in Guatemala!:) She carries the spirit of yoga with her wherever she goes!

  123. daniella says:

    Great Stuff, Nada. Good luck.

  124. Todd says:

    Great article Neda. Way to go!

  125. lngrs says:

    well written! g’luck!

  126. Melda says:

    Awesome! Neda was born to be a yoga teacher. She would really be perfect–she is spiritual and wonderful and supportive and would be amazing. Best of luck Neda!

  127. Colleen says:

    Neda, I remember you doing yoga with our host family in Tanzania! You would be a wonderful yoga teacher :)

  128. Chris Demonte says:

    ever since I’ve seen her practicing yoga at sunset in venice beach i thought she’d be a marvellous teacher!

  129. Hanni says:

    Good luck Neda! May your yoga always be filled with love, light and blessings :) Safari njema!

  130. CBM says:

    I love it – you’re following your heart. Heart!

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