Gravity Meets Nikita Ramchandani, Founder of Kita Yoga
We sat down to speak to Nikita, the founder of Kita Yoga in Hong Kong.
We sat down to speak to Nikita, the founder of Kita Yoga in Hong Kong. She began her career in finance before starting her entrepreneurial journey to create a community centred yoga studio. We spoke about the impact of yoga on the mind, how to meditate and tips to get yourself started in the world of yoga.
Tell us a bit about you
I’m the founder of Kita Yoga, a community-driven wellness brand focused on contributing to the well-being of people. Before starting Kita Yoga, I was on a quantitative strategy team at Morgan Stanley. I read Management and Economics at university in London and went on to do a masters in Mathematics in New York. This is where I found yoga and have now been practicing for ten years.
Four years ago, I was visiting Hong Kong, where I grew up, and found myself missing the sense of community I wanted from a yoga practice. Classes felt too corporate, dogmatic or weight-loss focused and I couldn't resonate with studios’ messaging. I am in love with movement and yoga, and had always wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial venture to create my own brand. So in October 2016, I moved to Hong Kong with a clear vision to build a community inside a beautiful studio with natural light and authentic, high quality teaching. Kita is a light, bright, plant filled studio acting as a second home to our tight knit team of ten teachers and diverse student body. We lead retreats around the world, and continuously host unique workshops and events in our space.
Why do yoga?
Literally speaking yoga means union: “That which brings you to reality.” I personally practice yoga to feel good; to find freedom in movement and clarity in thought. Yoga can provide you with practical tools and techniques to enrich your wellbeing, and it is always evolving and progressing with you. Ultimately the practice of yoga becomes one where you are constantly exploring what a certain breath work, meditation or pose is doing for you sensationally and emotionally.
On a fundamental level yoga will improve your strength, stability and mobility, improving your range of motion, energizing spaces in the body that feel stagnant and easing spaces that feel restricted. Yoga is a practice for longevity. You can take this one step further and witness how the physical movement of yoga and translates into your life and into your behavior towards yourself and others. Furthermore, when practiced with intention and precision, yoga can stimulate glands and organs and act as a therapeutic exercise.
What does yoga do for your mind?
Weaving together the breath, the mind and the body allows you to bring a heightened sense of awareness to the present moment. Moreover all forms of the practice, whether it be a strong physical practice, meditation or breath-work, allow you to turn inwards and find effortless focus and attention. For me, yoga is that state where nothing is missing and with every class you are constantly cultivating that state. It really allows me to be with myself and block out all the external stimulation we are constantly surrounded with.
How to/ tips for meditating during yoga?
Find your seat, clear your space, and start simple. It does not have to be complicated, five minutes in the morning of closing your eyes and just breathing intuitively is enough. In this exercise, allow for the mind to roam free, just witness, accept, and detach from any idea to find that feeling of freedom. Our essential nature is usually overshadowed by the activity of the mind. Yoga means to move towards an experiential reality where one knows the ultimate nature of existence, the way its made rather than what you think it needs to be.
Any tips on finding the right yoga class/style?
If you are new to yoga, find a studio or teacher that resonates with you (energy is a thing), and start with a Hatha class to build a solid foundation and understanding of the postures and alignment. To feel the potency of the practice, it is important to find that connection to the movement and feel what it does for the body and mind. So move slow to start. From here you will have an understanding of where to go, whether that is a stronger physical practice or a slower meditative grounding practice. And this will always change, my style of practicing and teaching is always evolving based on what I need and what my students need.
Top position for beginners to learn/ how to get started?
I say dive into it, there is no wrong way to do yoga, as long as its practiced safely with correct alignment. Drop into a beginners class at a studio or explore the plethora of options on the internet, including KITA TV, our on demand library of yoga classes. How often should I do yoga a week? Take the time to explore a few different teachers and you will find the one that really speaks to you!