Nikita Ramchandani of Kita Yoga Teaches Us How To Be The Best You You Can Be
Who knew that finance could somehow be integrated into the practice of yoga? Less than a year ago, Nikita Ramchandani left New York and moved to Hong Kong, where she took her background in finance, mixed it with yoga and created Kita Yoga. As soon as she got off the plane, she hit the ground running to find the perfect studio where she could take her love for the "transformative experience" of yoga, and share it with as many people as she can.
You recently opened Kita Yoga in Hong Kong. Explain the feeling of seeing your vision come to life...
It’s been a whirlwind! I left New York last October with a desire to create a beautiful space in which to practice and host gatherings to build a community in Hong Kong. Three days after landing here I saw some spaces, fell in love with the energy of a little spot on U Lam Terrace in Sheung Wan, and blindly signed the lease of what is now Kita Yoga. I have such a big vision for what I want Kita Yoga to be, but I’m trying to be patient and take it one step at a time. We’re so lucky to be in the Sheung Wan neighbourhood - creative and vibrant, but somehow so peaceful - and to have started building relationships with some incredible, like-minded people and businesses to create the ultimate wellness experience for our students. I’m so excited when people resonate with our philosophy and say they feel good in the space.
One of our goals is to keep things fresh and exciting by introducing free movement and creativity, braiding different art forms with yoga. Eventually, we want to develop our own training program so we can teach the methods we believe in, which have inspired us and helped us not just with our physical practice but also with our approach to life.
What motivated you to get involved in teaching yoga?
Five years ago, when I worked in Finance, I started practicing yoga to move my body. As I deepened my practice, it changed me - how I felt and how I perceived situations. For me, yoga has been and continues to be a transformative experience and a form of creative expression. I am drawn to it and continuously want to explore. Teaching allows one to continue and expand that learning. Getting to know each of my students and being a part of deepening their practice is so cool.
How do you integrate your finance background into your daily classes?
My background has made me very practical, rational and theoretical; and yoga is as much as a science as it is an art. While sequencing is fluid and creative, it is also intelligent and informative. My favorite classes, both my own and those I take as a student, have a strong focus on the physiology of the body.
You have a BSc in Management and a MA in Mathematics, what has been the biggest lesson you have learned from studying those fields?
Keep it simple.
“My biggest—not obstacles, but opportunities to grow—are learning to allow myself to be okay with making mistakes and accepting that I can’t always control the outcomes of my efforts."
When you started, you were based out of New York City, what made you decide to open up Kita Yoga in Hong Kong?
I came to Hong Kong last year to visit family and found myself missing my studio in New York, where I really knew the students and teachers and had people who were invested in the progress of my practice. I missed the connection and the sense of belonging that I found on the mat there. I thought Hong Kong could benefit from that same kind of space; a place both to do yoga and to hang out. People need yoga in this city - it’s so crazy! At Kita, we want to challenge students in their practice, to have them grow and evolve, yet leave them with a sense of energized calmness. Our biggest focus is to create that vibe where people never want to leave, where they take yoga beyond the class and become more conscious of themselves and everything around them.
Will you be opening up any other locations in the near future?
Definitely! I want to keep things intriguing. I’d love to open pop-up locations all over the world. Each location would have its own twist, but be an extension of our brand and focus on collaborations and wellness as a lifestyle.
How has practicing and teaching yoga changed your personal lifestyle?
I used to always want to do, do, do; live for the next moment and get a high from how much I could potentially achieve. Yoga has taught me, and continues to teach me, to take the time to create space between my thoughts and actions. I get excited about the minute details of my day and I’m more conscious of why I am doing things. I can allow myself to feel and just be.
Moreover, I think when you start to feel good in your body, you always want to feel that way and hence, indulge in little rituals for yourself. Eating clean and natural, getting massages, sleeping, making tonics and potions. And those little slip up moments of crazy nights and too much wine just highlight how much you love your regimen and the way it makes you feel.
You state that you found yoga as a medium to refocus. Can you elaborate on this?
Yoga has helped me clear up my thoughts - providing a greater sense of clarity as to what is actually important, and allowing me be more receptive and less skeptical. I came to the realization: Why can’t I do what I want?
How do you want people to feel when taking your class?
Joyful, creative, challenged, explorative, powerful, limitless. Students should leave with a better sense of wellbeing and a greater understanding of their bodies.I want them to seize the opportunity to create space in the body to create space in the mind, connect with themselves and find a sense of comfort in discomfort.
What has been the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome so far?
My biggest - not obstacles, but opportunities to grow - are learning to allow myself to be okay with making mistakes, accepting that I can’t always control the outcomes of my efforts, and being comfortable not having all the answers. I’m learning as I go, and handling the overwhelming parts as elegantly as possible. If you’re not having fun while you’re doing it, then what’s the point?
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Hustler, but sexy cool.
Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
Sounds cliché but it’s my mom – fierce, strong, beautiful, inspiring, wise, caring, selfless...the list of her positive qualities is endless.