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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Eisha Yadav Bends the Norm by Teaching Accessible Yoga Classes

Sophomore Eisha Yadav practices yoga. Photo courtesy of Yadav

While many 16-year-olds focus on getting their driver’s licenses, sophomore Eisha Yadav has turned her focus inward by earning her yoga teaching certification. Yadav started yoga in 9th grade to bring some movement into her day. However, unlike the average Saturday yoga attendee, Yadav invested more time in her practice after finding it relaxing and strengthening.

“It started off with me not having time to do a full time sport, and I’d never thought of myself as an athlete,” Yadav said. “Sports never brought me a lot of joy [and] it didn’t make sense doing something I didn’t enjoy.”

Yadav initially joined Menlo’s yoga program, run by math teacher Sujata Ganpule. After becoming more involved in the weekly classes and implementing yoga into her daily routine, she realized that she wanted to bring the joy of yoga to others by becoming a teacher. But Yadav first wanted to solidify her yoga knowledge and ensure the safety of her future students, so she took a certification course. “You need a certification or a license because yoga is a pretty dangerous thing and it doesn’t seem like that but you can get huge spinal injuries, mess up your back, neck and joints.”

Yadav found the course helpful despite the time it took to complete it. Additionally, she enjoyed learning about the history, culture and health benefits of yoga. “Earlier I thought sitting quietly for 10 minutes is a waste of my time,” Yadav said. “After taking the course I learned more about how it’s proven and taught to really just bring some more settlement in your daily routine and life, and how impactful that is.”

Yadav’s training covered the full range of yoga styles as part of her certification course. Like many yoga instructors, she chose to focus on Vinyasa flow, a mentally calming practice that seamlessly connects breath and postures. 

Yadav strongly believes that yoga should be accessible to individuals of varying fitness levels, so she offers modifications and “reach-goals” to her students to challenge them further. “I do give more strength options, for example I encourage my students to use ankle weights or resistance bands to try and amp up the practice.”

As Yadav became more immersed in the yoga community, she realized that it was very exclusive and predominantly tailored to affluent social circles and “yoga moms.” “Unfortunately, yoga is something that is super expensive if you want to take actual classes, which is a little ridiculous because yoga should not be hard to access. You just need a teacher and a mat.”

Yadav used to teach a small number of online classes, but she has now expanded her lessons to the wider community. She teaches free classes at the Redwood City Senior Center for seniors with special needs. By doing this, she hopes to bring her love of yoga to all people, regardless of their financial status. “[Yoga] needs to be accessible; it needs to be in community centers; it needs to be for all.”

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Anya Ramani
Anya Ramani, Assistant News Editor

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