Surya Vatsa is a RYT 500 Ashtanga yoga teacher from Russia. Born to an Indian father and Russian mother, she was lucky to discover yoga at a very young age. Her first formal yoga class was in the year 2000, by an Indian yogi from Rishikesh. That was the moment when she fell in love with the practice. Surya’s second serious brush with yoga was in 2010, when Usha Devi Rathore visited Vladivostok. Usha’s workshop made Surya look at her values again and feel something that was always there inside her – yoga. Finally, she knew that her life would be dedicated to yoga. For all practical purposes she was an ordinary Russian girl, born and brought up in Russia, visiting India frequently as a tourist. But at that moment she began looking at India as her second home.
At that time Surya was a third year student of Finance and Credit in the Far Eastern Federal University. She was enrolled in a five year graduation program and had two more years left to study. With great difficulty, she managed to change her study plan in the university from five to four years and completed it successfully. By 2011 Surya was already in India, with the main objective of practicing yoga. Also she enrolled in a MBA (HR) course at the University of Mysore.
In Mysore she faced a very difficult decision- choosing the right yoga school. Sri Krishnamachariya (The Father of Modern Yoga) had two ashtanga followers: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and B.N.S Iyengar. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Shala is world famous; the most advanced practitioners from all over the world come there. The number of pupils in a class is as large as hundred. If Surya was to join Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Shala, she might not have been able to withstand the crowd. She preferred a small group of 10-12 to practice ashtanga without any stress. She joined classes of B.N.S Iyengar’s direct disciple. He had more than fifteen years of intense practice in asana, pranayama, meditation and could deftly assist students of different levels. Surya practiced with him six days a week for two years. During those years he did not miss a single class, even in the “off season” when she was his only student.
In two years Surya had completed the intermediate ashtanga series and did Teachers Training Course from Mystic school. In August 2013 Surya was back to Vladivostok and started teaching ashtanga yoga at the Saraswati yoga centre. It continued for over a year, during which she gave many seminars and workshops. Many of the sessions were initiated and organized by the Consulate General of India in Vladivostok.
The feeling of the traditional ashtanga yoga practice in Mysore is absolutely different from any other and it is impossible to substitute it with anything else. The crave for such practice brought Surya back to Mysore in the end of 2014. She enrolled in MA Philosophy course in the University of Mysore and continued teaching yoga as well as practicing at Mystic school.
Surya teaches people of different levels. In her classes she is happy to see both a novice who has no idea about yoga and a strong practitioner, with whom she can share her third series experience.
I am eternally grateful to my parents for their endless support. Who I am now is because of my parents’ merit. Throughout my life their faith in me and in my practice has given me strength. Their boundless mutual love and perfect harmony in the family calm my soul and give me confidence every single day.