Where are you from? I was born and raised in Knoxville. My dad is from India and my mom is from Singapore. They came to Knoxville in 1987.
How long have you lived in Knoxville? I have lived in Knoxville my whole life, 27 years.
What do you like about living in Knoxville? I like that Knoxville isn’t too big or too small. It’s more like a big town rather than a city. I love how welcoming, friendly and helpful people are here - you can go anywhere and strike up a conversation with somebody you’ve never met before. Knoxville just feels like home to me!
When and why did you begin practicing yoga? I have to thank my younger sister, Pooja, for introducing me to yoga. She has been practicing for 9 years and always encouraged me to do practice along with her. I however only recently started practicing seriously after I suffered a bad hamstring pull during taekwondo practice. I have always been very active and health and fitness are my passion - I’ve practiced martial arts since I was 7 years old, I played tennis for close to 10 years, and I love working out and keeping my body healthy. I also have my masters degree in exercise physiology and work as a personal trainer to help others lead a healthier lifestyle. Since fitness is a huge part of my life, it was very difficult for me to be limited in activity due to my injury. That’s when I discovered the benefits of yoga. It gave me a way to be active while I was healing and I believe it helped me recover faster. I began by practicing on my own and following videos online. I joined Blue Ridge Yoga a few months ago so I could experience yoga in a different setting.
What is your favorite thing about yoga? Yoga has helped me become more flexible and fluid in my movement and this has helped me with injury prevention while practicing martial arts and working out. While it has greatly helped me physically, my favorite aspect is the mental and emotional journey just one class can lead you through. When I step on my yoga mat, I feel like my surroundings just melt away. It’s like being on vacation and not having to be anywhere or do anything. It’s a time to just take care of myself.