Priya was introduced to four different types of yoga (Bhakthi, Karma, Hatha and Nada Yoga) through her study of south indian classical dance (Bharathanatyam) from the tender age of two under the meticulous guidance of her mother and mentor dance maestro Uma Suresh.
Through the continuous study of this dance form, Priya began to explore the intricate aspects of Bhakthi Yoga, through the enactment of devotional songs and stories requiring an understanding and mastery of emotional states; Karma Yoga, by practicing keen awareness of every movement as a reflection of the Divine and dedicated her performances as an intimate offering to that Divine; Hatha Yoga, by practicing asanas and hasta mudras to better learn the intimate links between the movements of the physical, emotional and mental bodies; and Nada Yoga, meditation on sound by developing a focus on certain sounds to teach the body to move in synchrony with them and achieve a certain state of meditative consciousness.
As the famous dancer Balasaraswathi said, “in Bharatanatyam actions are not avoided; there is much to do but it is the harmony of various actions that results in the concentration we seek. The burden of action is forgotten in the pleasant charm of the art. The feet keeping to time, hands expressing gesture, the eye following the hand, the ear listening to the master’s music and the dancer’s own singing – by harmonizing these five elements the mind achieves concentration and attains clarity in the very richness of participation. The inner feeling of the dancer is the sixth sense, which harmonizes these five mental and mechanical elements to create the experience and enjoyment of beauty. It is the spark, which gives the dancer her sense of spiritual freedom in the midst of the constraints and discipline of the dance. The yogi achieves serenity through concentration that comes from discipline. The dance brings together her feet, hands, eyes, ears and singing into fusion which transforms the serenity of the yogi into a torrent of beauty. The spectator, who is absorbed in intently watching this, has his mind freed of distractions and feels a great sense of clarity. In their shared involvement, the dancer and the spectator are both released from the weight of the worldly life and experience the divine joy of the art with a sense of total freedom.”
After 25 years of practicing Bharathantyam in this way, Priya began to dive deeper into her Hatha Yoga practices and discovered Anusara Yoga known for intertwining the deep Shiva-Shakti Tantric philosophy into an asana practice that focuses on anatomical alignment to achieve the optimal physical, emotion and subtle blueprint of the body and mind.She is currently an RYT-200 Certified Instructor and will continue to deepen her own yoga studies under her Teacher Kathy Simonik. Priya’s teaching style is simple, focused, and driven by her desire to connect to each student to help them connect to themselves better and realize their inner harmony both on and off the mat.Her vast knowledge base from her study of dance, rich cultural heritage, rigorous personal philosophical study, and meditations make her sessions enriching for not only the body, but the mind and heart as well.