April 2022 Ambassador Spotlight: Renee RampersadsinghApr 22, 2022
Renee Rampersadsingh (she/her), our Ambassador Spotlight for April 2022, identifies as an Indo-Trinbagonian, cisgender, non-disabled, college-educated, woman living in South Trinidad.
We asked Renee...
How did you get started with yoga?
Officially, yoga and meditation became a part of my life in 1993 when my mom started taking me to classes with her. Unofficially, as I’d come to learn over the course of a lifetime, yoga has always been a part of my cultural heritage – from a young age the philosophy and devotion are taught through satsangs and everyday family rituals. Yoga became much more present in my life when my mom found her Guru in 1993 – that led to weekly satsangs, morning hatha classes and years of participating in youth camps first as attendees and then as coordinators and organisers.
In 2009 I participated in a four-month Karma Yoga program at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts, USA. During this time, I became more aware of the Western view of yoga and also gained a greater appreciation of the depth of yoga. In 2013, following the passing of my mom after a 17-year journey with cancer, I completed my 200-hour teacher training obtained from the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica. This led to a career change in 2014 when I became a yoga instructor. I am registered through the Yoga Alliance as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 200-hour level and hold additional certifications as an Accessible Yoga Teacher and a Yoga For All Teacher.
My personal practice is woven into all aspects of my life and this is the space that I teach from – the space where we practice our yoga through our thoughts, our attitudes, our feelings, our actions and reactions, where we work with our bodies to find clarity and stillness. Whilst I teach to all ages and abilities, I do focus more on seniors and those with injuries and/or disabilities. My experiences as caretaker of my mom has also led me to a deeper appreciation for palliative care and thus I have been exploring how yoga can fit into the palliative care framework.
I am forever curious and you can often find me making things – food or art or a garden. I am particularly fond of flowers and photography (and yes, taking photos of flowers). In my downtime you’ll find me exploring the world through books, computer games, and animated movies.
What does Accessible Yoga mean to you?
Due to my upbringing I consider the philosophy and practice of yoga to be inherently accessible. To me, Accessible Yoga offers persons of different body types and abilities the opportunity to have a more nuanced physical practice. I have also been exploring what accessibility means in other contexts such as financial accessibility to programs, classes, conferences etc.
How did you get started with Accessible Yoga?
My interest in Accessible Yoga is two-fold – I wanted to be able to modify postures for my seniors and also wanted to learn how a yoga practice could be worked into a palliative care framework.
Please share about your work and the populations you currently serve.
I work primarily with seniors and persons with injuries or disabilities. I have classes that are open to persons of all ages and abilities. I have also worked with various women’s groups and health associations (the Diabetes Association of T&T, T&T Endometriosis Association, and the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons).
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