Today we’d like to introduce you to Pia Das.
Pia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I found yoga in 2007 around the same time, I began my career as a lawyer at a large firm in New York. At the time, one of the perks of my job was a gym membership. But I wasn’t much of a gym person and took more interest in the group fitness classes. There just happened to be a late evening yoga class that fit perfectly into my schedule.
After my first yoga class, I was hooked. I quickly saw that yoga was much more than physical exercise. Practicing yoga gave me a sense of equanimity that I had never felt before. This inspired me to dive deeper into understanding the roots of yoga, which ultimately led me on a soul-searching journey of self-discovery.
Although I was working around the clock on an intense trial at the time, I decided to commute to New Orleans once a month for a year to complete a yoga teacher certification program. Moved by the authenticity and wisdom of my teachers, I became more in touch with what I really wanted out of my own life. The more I learned, the more I wanted to grow, but making changes isn’t always easy. Ultimately, yoga became a vehicle for the transformation of my life. No matter what was happening around me, I knew I could always go to my yoga mat to find a sense of steadiness and peace that I could eventually bring into the world.
Taking a complete leap of faith, I decided to leave the practice of law for a few months so I could travel to India to immerse myself into understanding yoga in a more profound way. Spending time in India helped me connect deeply to my spiritual practices and led me to the path of Bhakti yoga or the yoga of service and love. I met incredible teachers, spent time in ashrams and temples, participated in kirtan (devotional singing), and made many wonderful friendships with people from all over the world. Over time, yoga became a deep part of my being and a way of life. Through yoga, I learned that we can find our own sense of peace, which ultimately leads to a more peaceful planet for everyone.
I created my blog Being in the Stillness to share my experiences and to offer a feminine perspective on yoga as a way of living. My hope is to inspire and uplift others and to highlight the miraculous nature of the present moment through my poetry, writing, and photographs.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yoga has been an unexpected road for me with many incredible twists and turns. I honestly never saw myself as a yoga teacher or that yoga would become such an important part of my life.
When I first started practicing yoga, I was not flexible at all. But that did not matter so much to me. I was drawn to the practice because it was my refuge. Whenever I would feel stressed, overwhelmed or lost, I would go to a yoga class and I always seemed to find my way again. The wonderful thing about yoga is that there are many styles and paths, and I would seek out teachers and classes that resonated with me. To me, yoga was not about striking fancy poses, but about finding peace and connecting to my own body. Over time, I realized I was drawn to a more feminine flowy form of yoga. I particularly fell in love in love with the archetypes of the goddesses of yoga and the combination of yoga and live music. I just wanted to keep learning. So I started spending my weekends and vacations traveling all over the country and world to learn more.
Starting a blog was intimidating. I had wanted to write about my experiences for a long time, but I wasn’t very tech savvy and wasn’t sure I could put my thoughts into words. It was the encouragement of friends and the advice “to just write” that led me to create my blog “Being in the Stillness.” It is a work in progress and constantly evolving, but it is has become a space to share my thoughts and creativity with others.
My advice for other women, and particularly young women starting their journey is to listen to your own inner guidance system and do what resonates with you. Everyone’s journey is different, so trust yourself. Don’t second guess yourself just because you have different yearnings than others. And don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The best thing you can do for yourself is to follow what you love, let go of expectations, and just see what happens.
What should we know about your practice? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I teach and write about yoga from a feminine perspective with a twist of Bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga is the path of love and service to others. I combine spiritual and emotional aspects to the physical practice. My approach is soft, fluid, and soulful. I encourage my students to listen to their own bodies, to connect to their own divine inner intelligence, to get out of their heads, and above all else to send love to themselves. To me, yoga is not about competition, hitting perfect poses, forcing your body into alignment, or driving your body to the point of no return. I see yoga as a dance with life. I believe in meeting my students where they are and guiding them to tune into the rhythm of their own being. I think this is especially important for women because so many of us are disconnected from our bodies and its natural healing capabilities. I also love incorporating music and mantra into my classes. Music is very healing and when combined with mantra and yoga, it makes for a very soul-soothing experience. One of my teachers told me to teach yoga is to simply share your own practice, and that is what I do.
For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Every woman is different, but in my experience, on the whole, women can provide a unique perspective and compassionate understanding that is currently lacking in the current world dialogue today. I think it’s especially important to have a diversity of thought and voice as a way to problem-solve and come up with innovative ways of being. You want more women at the table and women from all different backgrounds to provide that fresh viewpoint and perspective.
- Website: www.beinginthestillness.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piadasyoga/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/piadasyoga/
Anthony Rodriguez, Rome Goodson, Sherry Deckman