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Jai Yoga – a journey from India to Coquitlam

Jai Singh Yoga Teacher Jai Singh moved to Canada three years ago from India where he was a practicing dentist. He soon realised the cost of transferring his qualifications was too much of a financial burden. But Jai didn’t want to have to start from the bottom, as many newcomers to Canada do.

Between keeping busy with work and worrying about his future, Jai stopped making time for Yoga, until his wife suggested he join a class. “After just one class, I felt super good so I kept going back. I loved it. Some days I would do four classes – two in the morning and two in the evening.”

While on a trip back to India, a phone call with his wife inspired him. “She said, why don’t you pursue your passion, not your work? And something clicked in my mind.”

After doing some research, Jai decided to enrol in the 200-hour Foundation Yoga Teacher Training at VSOHA led by Rebekka Walker and in just 8 months after graduating, Jai has a full schedule teaching studio classes, and is opening his own studio in Coquitlam.

One of his first jobs after graduating was in a retirement village where Jai teaches both the physical practice of yoga, as well as sharing his philosophy from India.

“People there love how I teach and when I share my Indian philosophy. They are doing really well now-a-days.”

Jai’s philosophy includes his belief that yoga is for everybody, not just flexible, lean-bodied people. “I want to tell people in Canada and the world that yoga is not just for lean-bodied, flexible people. If you are keeping in your mind that yoga is for people who can touch their feet – that’s your own phobia. Clear your mind. Yoga is for everybody.”

Since graduating, Jai has also taught regularly at a number of studios in and around his local Coquitlam area, including Steve Nash, Gold Gym and YogaGeneration.

“Right after I passed the course, I was like ‘Jai, where are you going to teach?’, but now-a-days, I’m having to turn down jobs down because my schedule is already filled out!”

Jai is opening his own Yoga studio in Coquitlam this July, a 1520 square foot space where he is able to hold classes for up to 30 people. He plans on teaching according to the five principles of yoga, as he was taught by VSOHA yoga  program director Rebekka Walker, in his own unique style, which he describes as a “powerful hatha and vinyasa”.

Jai says one of the benefits of a strong practice is being able to build heat within the body and consequently, to sweat.

“Sweating is really important for everybody as it helps you secrete unwanted toxins from the body. In Canada summer is quite short so you don’t get to sweat much here. In India, we sweat almost all year round!”

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