Meet Rupali and Tania – best friends, business partners, yoga teachers in Hawaii and the folks behind the rather wonderful website Blissful Yogini. It would be nice to say we caught up with them in Hawaii, but alas, it was all done online…
What advice would you give to aspiring yoga teachers?
Rupali & Tania: Trust yourself…be willing to make your mistakes and experiment. Keep it real and be honest about who you are and your students will understand if you don’t always show up ‘perfect.’
What was your life before yoga?
Rupali: Painful, in that it didn’t make sense. Yoga started making sense of life.
Tania: Very Type A…haha! Aggressive, competitive, driven.
How did you get into yoga?
Rupali: Recommendation by a friend to help me heal from a history of back injuries.
Tania: Friends invited me to a yoga class in their home. It was a small group and the teacher was Rupali. She taught us Kripalu yoga…the pranayama hooked me.
What would you say is the one best thing about yoga?
Rupali: It provides a worldview through which to understand life…I like thinking about things in terms of how they affect my energy and thoughts.
Tania: Space between my thoughts. I get on my mat and my mind slows with my breath and movement.
What style of yoga would you teach if you weren’t teaching your current style?
Rupali: I’d be teaching more meditation and philosophy.
Tania: My teaching is fed by several styles and by my own practice and experience.
What was your most embarrassing class teaching experience?
Rupali: The time I taught an adult ed class after hours in a school cafeteria…when I turned off the lights for savasana, these big sumo-sized cockroaches crawled up out of the floor drains around my students. I ran around quickly putting blocks, bags, whatever I could find on the drains because I didn’t want to disturb their rest.
Tania: More stressful than embarrassing was the time a student brought her 80+ year old father to my Ashtanga class…said he was pretty active and mobile…then told me had a prosthetic lower leg. I think I didn’t take one full breath during the whole class!
What was your best class teaching experience?
Rupali & Tania: Watching the beautiful transformation of our yoga teacher trainees during our one-month intensives…we’ve completed 23 of them now.
Where is your favorite retreat destination?
Rupali & Tania: We are both looking forward to our upcoming retreat on the Big Island! We’ve gone other places, but Hawaii is special in our hearts.
What else do you do apart from yoga?
Rupali: Latin dancing, hula, enjoy Hawaii’s beauty, study languages, philosophy and quantum/neuroscience.
Tania: Ocean swimming, hiking Hawaii’s amazing trails…pretty much anything outdoors!
Do you have a signature dish? Can we have the recipe?
Rupali: Yeah, no, not such an amazing cook. I eat to live, whereas Tania lives to eat! 🙂 (Luckily, I get some of her famous GF cookies.)
Tania: This very moment it’s my gluten-free dark chocolate chip cookies with seeds and nuts added. Yum!!! Sure you can have the recipe – email me!
What is your favorite place to visit in the local area?
Rupali: Kaimana beach.
Tania: Mauka and makai…the mountains and the ocean.
Besides yoga what is your favorite thing?
Rupali: My big ol’ orange-tabby kitty, Shanti…purrrrrrr. He’s the epitome of yoga.
Tania: The ocean and its inhabitants.
Where? Pahoa, Hawaii, United States