Loving the Self with Priti Robyn Ross: Spotlight Q&A

Please share what you do:

I am a self-care specialist. My life’s work is to hold a loving and safe container for transformation, awakening, and healing. I use methods including gentle yoga, soul coaching, and self-nurturing workshops and retreats.

2. Why do you do what you do?

I have found a way out of my own self-suffering — and my purpose is to share the tools I use with others. When I witness even the smallest signs of progression, I feel I’m living my soul’s calling.

3. What are you currently fascinated by in your work?

I am starting a self-care revolution! People are so depleted in this society…. it’s an epidemic. I’ve been leading workshops called “Refilling Your Well” for more than a dozen years, including another special version for the ashram called “The Art of Sacred Self-Care.” and I am also leading a special version at the Ashram called “The Art of Sacred Self Care.” I’m also writing a book to support people in balanced living with practical tools. It’s always fascinating to teach people what authentic self-nurturing means … and how it positively and dramatically affects the human spirit.

4. How did you come to your path? Any aha moments or key teachers?

I had a few key awakenings along my journey.

One, when I was on a mountaintop at the tender age of 15. There was a moment when I was utterly awe-struck by the profundity of nature and all its spectacular glory! All the teenage superficial desires I had in life just melted away in that instant. I knew from a deep and centered place that life was miraculous and I was worried about too many trivial things. The more profound questions entered my heart.

Another awakening was at 25, in my very first yoga class at Kripalu when it was an ashram. I was rolling up from Janu Shirsasana, and as lengthened my spine and my crown was lifting up … everything stopped. I experienced complete stillness and emptiness — my mind was quiet for the first time in my life.

In that space I felt connected to absolutely everything and everyone along with a feeling of complete transcendence and love. Then my mind rushed in and said ‘This is so cool!” and then snap — I was right back in my body. Yet, that flash of knowing opened my soul forever.

5. What book(s) did you like reading this year?

Too many!

6. If you’ve taught at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat before, what is one surprising thing about the experience for you?

This will be my fourth year teaching at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat. Truthfully, as soon as I entered the ashram, I felt I came home. It’s so beautiful how the whole environment of the ashram profoundly supports the essence of the workshops and retreats — it’s a perfect fit! It amazes me how each participant easily settles into a place of pure peace there.

I also personally love the chanting in the satsangs. I was curious how my students would respond to that, and I was pleasantly surprised to see so many of them finding the chanting to be healing in very personal ways.

I can’t wait to come back home to the ashram!

Priti Robyn Ross has been leading yoga and wellness workshops and sharing her passion for the transformative power of yoga for more than 25 years. She is co-founder of the Pranotthan Yoga School and has directed teacher training programs in Kripalu Yoga, Prana Yoga, and Integrative Yoga Therapy. Priti pioneered a cardiac yoga program at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center with Dr. Mehmet Oz, developed corporate and hospital-based wellness programs, and contributed to two medical textbooks on yoga therapy.

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