We are all about mentors, but it must be the absolute one for your correct field. Today is about spirituality. Today is about yoga. Today is about awakening. Meet Tara Mitra. A yoga therapist & ashtanga teacher who has been in the business of teaching it for over 18 years. Here you will read our full blown 1 on 1 talk with Tara for you to get-to-know her and how she got here.
Tara, your work is powerful. First, tell us where you are you from?
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Mother is Canadian, Father from India. I moved all over country. When I was 27, I drove out of the T.O. blackout to Vancouver, BC. Now I am 47 and in Sicily, Italy
Share with us an inspirational moment from your childhood that really stuck with you.
Being raised in an abusive home, I don’t recall many moments of inspiration.
Wow. What was that like? What were your thoughts like in an environment like that?
Survival was at the forefront of my mind. Although, I was born with a deep urge to stand up and call out what’s not right. This trait for justice shows itself in the very first sentence I ever spoke when my oldest sister pushed me and I fell down. I stood up on my wobbly toddler legs, looked up into my sister’s eyes and said with full power, “say sorry Teesa.” (My sisters called me that as a nickname) commanding an apology.
Would you say your past haw shaped you into the power figure you are now?
Most definitely, yes. Even stories about other people experiencing victimization, abuse, trauma, etc. reminds me every day that this is why I do what I do.
What took you into this direction of your career?
My pain was the catapult for my choices.. my childhood that was full of turmoil and confusion that stayed within me. I knew that I could either be like my stepfather or break the chain of disfunction as I liked to call it. I chose the latter. After 3 years of trying to maintain life and new freedom I began to get to work on myself, real work and once I set my mind to something I do it.
I became a manager at 18 years old and decided that if I was to lead people, it was time I took a good look at who I am, and where I am responding from. I began reading every book on psychology I could find – starting with the popular titles in management; the 7 habits of highly effective people, how to win friends and influence people, the one-minute manager, who stole the cheese. And then looking at myself through various styles of therapy. You name it, I tried it; Talk therapy (social workers, therapists, psychiatrists, emdr, body worker, somatic healing, nutrition, I even began relationship work in 1998 with a women’s weekend. ~ I tried all these methods in search for 10 years from ages 18- 28 (I learned to love, trust and respect myself during this process) and then I found yoga. I began practicing yoga as a tool to help reduce the stress from my career in high-end restaurants. Eventually until I found Somatic Healing & Music (singing) which created a huge shift. I continued to study several self-healing modalities, angel healing, reiki, sound healing and shamanism. I began incorporating principles of Ayurveda, Pranayama & Chanting into my daily practice also. Each step created a bigger shift in my awareness, in my responses. After 12 years of teaching Ashtanga yoga I became a yoga therapist in the T. Krishnamacharya lineage. This deep curiosity that I carry continually and gently pushes me to the next stage when I am ready. Why do i teach yoga? To help others connect to a place or strength within where they can begin to heal, moving towards a pain-free and peaceful life while maintaining my balance and inner work.
What are some struggles you have had to deal with along your journey?
Moving from India and learning Italian! My family and I just moved to Italy. Starting a new business; shala/wellness centre here in Sicily.
Tell us about your biggest inspirations!
The ancient texts/shastras are my biggest influences and my teachers that guide me through deciphering the deeper meaning behind these texts. And my students, for showing up day after day, trusting me despite the work they need to put in.
What would you say your biggest accomplishment to this day would be?
The bravery to look at my pain, realize it is not mine, that it was inflicted upon me and to heal from it each day. Proving that no matter what we endure we can live well, be happy and thrive while creating positive change for myself and the world.
Walking out a very successful career as a multi-unit restaurant director & Sommelier to teach yoga. You see to practice yoga you must look at yourself, your fears, your short comings, exactly where you are now, without judgement or labelling.
What are you currently working on right now?
2 research projects (group & individual case studies) on “The Role of Yoga as a Coping Mechanism for Women with PSTD due to Sexual Violence”
Outside of yoga, what are you passionate about?
I love cooking (I’m a chef – graduated in 1999)
Art of all types; photography, oil, acrylic & encaustic painting, galleries, music, theatre, ballet, opera, intelligent and genuine conversations, Philanthropy, Self-Study, continually growing and learning. Feeding and helping street animals around the world and my rescue pups, to live with lower impact on the earth; planting our own food, buying antiques and recycling instead of buying new, shop local. Reducing our carbon foot print on every level. Clean-up projects; beaches, Indian side streets. Making people feel seen. Dropping smiles (stardust) as I go) – Tara means star. 😉
What should readers and people who want to learn from you expect to see from you next?
I have a few things in the works. I would like to open a yoga shala/wellness center in Sicily where I live with my husband (@morethananatomy) and 2 rescue pups. Offering Natural Healthcare; Yoga, Yoga Therapy (injuries and or mind related issues), Chiropractic, diet & lifestyle suggestions. And eventually my book, its burning within just waiting to be written.
Workshops & Retreats around the Globe – International Yoga Teacher – Spain, Finland, England, Sicily, Belgium, Ireland.
Tara Mitra has GRAND goals and ambitions that are already in the works and going well. This is a trusted, certified yoga teacher who we would highly advise for you to reach out to in correspondence to yoga, meditation, manifestation, trauma healing, and spirituality. 18 years of experience — you don’t find that too often now a days completely readily available for you.
Connect with Tara Mitra –
Instagram – https://instagram.com/taramitrayoga
Twitter – https://twitter.com/taramitrayoga
Facebook – https://facebook.com/taramitrayoga
Website – www.taramitrayoga.com