Here we get an inside glimpse into the lives of international yoga teachers, Ron Reid and Marla Meenakshi Joy. Join them in Costa Rica this April!
How many yoga trainings and retreats have you led?
We started teaching internationally in 2001….in Europe…before many other American yoga teachers hit the scene over there. The energy was so fresh and yoga was still so new there…so it was an exciting time to be there, and there was so much enthusiasm and openeness to learn , in a field where up until that time, in those places, there wasn’t a lot of information about the practice. It’s hard to say how many, but a lot, as we would travel twice a year…Europe, Asia, India, and also the States. They ranged from weekend workshops, Master Classes, Teacher Trainings, and Conferences. We also travelled and did Kirtan all around the world, and spread our love of both yoga and music.
Which one was the most memorable and why?
Each time was so unique and memorable! A lot of places we would return to for a good ten years. Then as the scene changed and more international teachers started visiting these places, we started to switch to returning to a studio every 2 years. Our experienced ranged from staying in a camper van while teaching outside of London England in the country side, to staying at a 19th century convent in Malaga, Spain at an eco-retreat (which then became a canvas Teepee), to such amazing retreats as singing and playing music for two weeks at a retreat at Sting’s villa in Tuscany! Those two weeks were out of this world crazy…as Sting and Trudy Styler own about a quarter of Tuscany…so their property was out of this world incredible, and we sang during Savasana and every night in Sting’s chapel.
What are your students most excited about during the retreats and trainings in a foreign country?
To be able to be a part of a different culture, experience their amazing cuisine, learn some of the languages, and generally have the space and time away from their regular responsibilities to really dive into their practices, and be transformed by the experience. It is truly the highest honour I find as a teacher to guide students through this process and really just watch and witness them flower and bloom! And I find we get very close, like a family on retreat, and those memories are life-changing and remain as an incredible imprint in their memories and lives. When it comes to Costa Rica, it has a quality of “pura vida” to it where it deeply connects the students to nature and thus themselves, so its like a return Home! Home to themselves.
Tell us about something that happened on retreat that was funny;)
One of our students, among other talents, was a rapper! So he started rapping one evening at dinner when we were all at a restaurant last year in Costa Rica, and it was amazing! He also got up with a live band one night with a whole crowd of people and did an impromptu rap with the band and included all that he had learned in the yoga room into the rap…it was hilarious!!
What is the level of students who usually sign up for your trainings and how do you adjust to the students who have a less active yoga practice?
We generally expect a wide range of students at trainings, especially one such as this that involves travel as well. We always adjust to the student in the room and adapt the practice to their level. Our teaching method includes adaptation and modification, meaning that students may be practicing different versions of the same pose or sequence.
What do you love about the trainings and retreats you have already led in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a very special place. The natural beauty that surrounds you and the abundance of energy that you feel from that is ideal for yoga practice. We find that students are able to take their practice to a whole new level.
Join Ron and Marla April 12-24, 2020 in Costa Rica!!!
Use the code ‘YOGATRADECR‘ to receive $200 off from the whole retreat or $100 off from the 6 day training.
THE ART OF INTEGRATION: SPANNING THE 8 LIMBS
Ron Reid has been practicing yoga for over 30 years and teaching since 1988. He is the co-owner and director of the Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto, Canada. Ron has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath both in India and North America and was one of the first Canadian teachers to be authorized by Pattabhi Jois. Ron is one of Canada’s top teachers, as well as a celebrated international master teacher. His approach is inspired, informed and non-dogmatic.
Marla Meenakshi Joy, owner and director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, spent years in the Himalayas studying meditation, Sanskrit, and Yoga Philosophy. Practicing and studying Ashtanga for over 20 years with some renowned teachers, she began teaching in 1999 in teacher training programs across Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Asia, as both a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative yoga. As a celebrated songstress, she also leads Kirtan with her band SWAHA, and has recorded 5 CDs.