Former strategy consultant turned classical hatha yoga instructor Rekha Krishnamoorthy founded Sathya Yoga and Wellness here in Sri Lanka and has since been sharing the classical yogic practices primarily through monthly or bimonthly workshops, private consultation sessions, wellness retreats, and corporate programmes.
The use of the word “classical” refers to a system of hatha yoga that has been handed down by a master teacher/Guru and taught in its purity for self-transformation and complete inner wellbeing.
Rekha shared her journey that led her to discover the path of yoga and leaving behind the corporate world. “I went through a difficult time under sudden and challenging circumstances. As per my usual coping mechanism, for the most part I immediately buried myself in work, and my role as a strategy consultant in Chicago meant that I was engaged and buried in work most of my days,” she shared.
However, she said that things soon changed and distracting herself proved to be exhausting and unsustainable. “As life has it, distracting myself from the trauma of the tragedy, in conjunction with corporate burnout, caught up with me, and less than a year later I started experiencing severe anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and other physical ailments,” she said.
When her physical and mental wellbeing started to take a toll was when the turning point came in her life, which kick-started her journey into self-care and spirituality.
“I resigned from the corporate world and left for India to undertake a yoga teacher training programme, where I spent five months engaged in a residential yoga teacher training programme at the Isha Yoga Centre founded by Sadhguru,” she said.
She shared that during this teacher training, she experienced significant transformations, both physically and on many other levels, many of which cannot quite be put into words. However, they’ve all had an undeniable positive impact on her physical and mental health. She stated that the way she experienced life changed fundamentally – her interactions with others, her perception of her own self, the lightness in her body, and the intensity of joy that was within her.
“When I discovered the potential of yoga as a self-transformation and healing tool, I was determined to share this ancient and sacred science with others. As a result, I decided to embrace the path of yoga wholeheartedly and help others embark on their own journey towards complete wellbeing,” she explained.
Rekha’s training was in classical hatha yoga, under the guidance of Sadhguru. The practices she teaches empowers one with the tools for inner wellbeing, and, according to her, this is what differentiates her teachings.
Malaysia-born, having completed her primary and secondary education primarily in Europe, and finally having worked with Stax Inc. for nearly a decade in Sri Lanka and the US, we asked Rekha why is it that she chose Sri Lanka to invest in Sathya Yoga and Wellness, to which she said: “I chose to come and share the ancient science of yoga in its purity in Sri Lanka, as I believe there is a need for classical yoga to help people overcome stress, trauma, and anxiety, and for their overall wellbeing. The sheer amount of tragedy the people of Sri Lanka have undergone just in the last 30-40 years alone inspired me to want to offer tools for wellbeing here.”
Having once worked in Sri Lanka for Stax Inc. in Colombo as a consultant, she was familiar with the country and its people, and has come to love the island over the years. She said that when she first came here, there were very few classical yoga studios in the island, adding that the teaching of eastern sciences such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi is a market that is highly saturated in Malaysia, India, and Thailand. However, in Sri Lanka, we were yet to embrace it. She also added that overall, she just felt a natural affinity to Sri Lanka.
Rekha shared that Sri Lanka, however, is now starting to make positive strides in the wellness space with sustainable balance of self-care and spirituality, adding that she was thrilled to see the recent initiative adopted by Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa in making yoga and meditation mandatory for all national sports squads in the country, which she believes to be a step in the right direction as Sri Lankan athletes only stand to benefit from this decision.
For those who feel that ‘yoga is not for me’
There is a misconception that yoga is purely a physical practice, but physical benefits such as weight loss, flexibility, and toning are just the wonderful byproducts of yoga, said Rekha, sharing that just about anyone can pursue yoga as a practice as there are no prerequisites on the path of yoga, but a commitment to one’s wellbeing. What it really does is allow you to return to your true nature by bringing a certain inner balance and ease to the body and mind.
There’s an abundance of benefits you will experience once you adopt the practice of yoga into your lifestyle, including physical fitness, inner peace, control over your daily compulsions, increased energy levels, and better mental clarity and focus, and all of these benefits stem from the practice of yoga restoring your inner system to its natural state, which then allows your body to function from a state of balance and ease, changing the way you respond to and manage external forces and challenges such as stress.
Rekha carries out her teachings primarily through workshops for employees of organisations such as Perigon Lanka, select University of Kelaniya medical trainees, Persistent Systems Lanka, and Unilever; wellness retreats at Soul Resorts, The Fortress Resort and Spa, Santani Wellness Resort and Spa, Aditya Resort, The Kingsbury Colombo, and Jetwing Ayurveda Pavilions; as well as collaboratively work with Workout.lk and Spa Ceylon to conduct wellness programmes.
She added that these programmes are tailored to give the people the opportunity to disconnect and reset their body, mind, and souls. Typical wellness retreats encompass holistic health sessions including yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and healthy eating.
- 24-26 October: A beginner’s yoga workshop to learn the Sun Salutation practice (Surya Kriya)
- 7-10 November: The ultimate yogic workout – learn Angamardana
- 21-24 November: Learn a series of classical asanas
- 28-29 November: A holistic wellness retreat at Soul Resorts, Dickwella – an immersive healing experience into the ancient sciences of Ayurveda and yoga