Practice, Reach Meet Ravi Dixit: Not Adding Our Own Spices to the Practice “We are all spiritual warriors having to deal with everyday life.” By Wanderlust Step onto the mat every Monday on Wanderlust TV as Ravi takes over the LIVE studio to host Traditional Hatha Yoga and Pranayama. Ravi ‘the smiling Yogi’ was born in India into a family of spiritual teachers and from a young age he grew up with a yoga practice as part of his daily life. In his early twenties he lived at the Mahatma Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh where he studied Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga with well-respected Yoga master Yogi Ji. During the last ten years, Ravi has been teaching all across India and the UK to thousands of students from all over the world and recently opened his own Yoga Resort in Goa. In his work as a yoga teacher, Ravi is passionate about making the original principles of traditional Indian Yoga understandable for everyone and combines movement, breath and sacred mantras in an accessible and playful way. When was the first time you tried the practice? I started doing yoga when I was 9 years old. I grew up in India, my grandfather was an astrologer and spiritual teacher and he started teaching me how to chant mantras and practice mudras. From that moment yoga was part of my daily life and I realised it was my calling to live a life with yoga. In my early twenties, I moved to Rishikesh to study yoga in the Ashrams. That’s where my teaching also began. How has your practice evolved when you transitioned from being a student to being a teacher? I was living in an Ashram in Rishikesh where I practiced yoga with Master Yogi Ji and I naturally transitioned into teaching guests in the Ashram. That’s when I really started living the yogic lifestyle and it felt like I had found my destined path in life. I think we are all forever students of yoga, the practice is mostly about understanding yourself which is an ongoing journey. Personally, it changed a lot of things in my life. Once I got deeper and deeper into my practice, parts of my life that I didn’t need any more naturally fell away and were replaced by better things. Professionally it has made me more connected and patient and teaching yoga has allowed me to travel the world. Overall yoga has made me a more loving person. Your class is called Traditional Hatha Yoga and Pranayama – is there an intention you put into this name, inviting students to come back to the Roots? We are all connected to our roots and to the roots of yoga, it’s part of our natural being. Hatha Yoga is the most traditional form of yoga in India. Traditional means we don’t add our own spices to the practice it but we come back to the original recipes provided by the Rishis and Sages, the original fundamentals and essence of the asana and pranayama practice. What is the intention you carry as you share these sessions online? What essence are you hoping is transmitted through the practice that goes beyond just watching someone on a screen? My intention is to show that a practice can be very simple but very beneficial to your daily life. You don’t need any fancy clothes or an expensive mat or a long class. Yoga is about connecting with yourself in any place at any time. What would be the one piece of advice you could give to the Wanderlust TV streamers to deepen the connection with a teacher during their online practice? It’s not about the teacher, it’s about the connection to yourself. I’m only here to guide you to find your own practice. If you could have dinner with an influential persona in the history of Yoga, who would it be and why? I would like to meet B.K.S. Iyengar, maybe not have dinner but to ask him a few questions. I have watched many of his videos and although he has so much knowledge of yoga and I get a lot out of his asana guidance, he can be quite rude sometimes, he is often seen shouting at people. So my main question would be to ask him to be a bit nicer to his students.