Siridatta’s Journey

About Siridatta

Teacher profile: Siri Datta

Siri Datta, turned her back on the empty glamour of the fashion industry to focus on teaching yoga. She now over ten years’ experience teaching kundalini yoga and meditation in the UK and abroad.

What first led you along the yoga path? How long ago was this?

I first discovered yoga in 1996, after reaching the heights of being a “kool” fashion designer, and feeling a real emptiness.

My 13 -year old dream of being a designer was not all it was cracked up to be. I felt there was something missing, and I began to search for what that might be in 1996.

So in essence, I felt an inner yearning. I knew there had to be more to life than outer success.

How long were you practising yoga before you trained to be a teacher?

For about a year, three times a week.

Where did you train?

At the SKY – School of Kundalini Yoga. It was the only yoga training available in the UK at the time.

What type of yoga do you teach and why?

Kundalini Yoga. This style was the one for me, and I knew it in an instant! It challenged me like no other, it demanded endurance, stamina and commitment to deeper and richer qualities.

This style isn’t about a physical practice, it was a commitment to a lifestyle; I was being asked to take full responsibility for my entire life and who I was. All of this I desperately needed – back then I was irresponsible and fickle.

When do you fit your own practice around your teaching?

I always do my yoga practice first thing in the morning. I get up at 5am, and I am done by 7.30am. We call this our Sadhana, and, as kundalini teachers, we are strongly encouraged to do this practice.

But in reality, my entire life is my practice – my relationships, what I eat, what I notice, where my attention is, whether I am creating beauty and ease in my existence or harm and conflict.

What do you enjoy about teaching?

I love encouraging people to go beyond what they believe is possible. I love bringing qualities out of people that they may have forgotten about in the Western World.

Old traditions such as honor, integrity, honesty, endurance, loyalty and passion – these qualities are what makes a person rich and deep.

I so love to see my students claiming the full power of their being and using it way beyond what they thought was possible.

What do you think really makes a good yoga teacher?

A person who truly walks their talk. A person that magnifies their students, encourages truth, strength and expansion.

A teacher is someone who truly delivers that person to God, so that the student actually has an experience that obliterates doubt once and for all. A teacher delivers an experience.

To you, what are the most important elements of yoga – and what are the challenging elements?

The most important elements of yoga are times in solitude, meditation and inner experience. Prayer is also high on my list. It is the true inner journey of experience; of the eternal truth of our never-ending vastness and freedom.

The challenging elements are the daily practice, the commitment, the realization that yoga is lifestyle and a living prayer.

Do you think we in ‘the West’ give enough time and attention to meditation?

No, I don’t. We in the west think yoga is postures, and breathwork. Yoga is life, it’s the way we make decisions; it’s the work we do and the way we love.

The greatest question we could ever ask ourselves, is “What is my life about, what is my purpose?” What do I stand for? What is my legacy?

That is yoga, and those answers will only ever arrive during meditation. Otherwise all we are doing is gymnastics.

How is yoga perceived in the UK now? Do you think it will continue to grow in popularity?

Yes I believe we have realized now that yoga is not a fad, and it will only continue to expand.

From my experience, we are a great nation of people – and when we are “touched”, we catch alight and burn with radiance. We are so incredibly strong, inside and outside.

Is it feasible to earn a reasonable salary as a yoga teacher in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to earn a reasonable salary in the UK. Speaking from experience, there is a chance you will be teaching non-stop.

I was in this situation and noticed that I wasn’t teaching from a place of passion, but necessity. So I stopped, as I felt I was not being true.

Slowly I came back making sure that I only taught a small amount of classes a week, so that I would burn with enthusiasm.

I now have to do other things to create an income that enables my lifestyle to be comfortable; I write for magazines, create nutritional programmes, and write books.

What advice do you have for someone currently training, or considering it as a future career?

Teaching yoga is not a career, as such – it is your heart’s longing. I think that if you view it as a career, you are missing the vital point. You teach because you care, and you want people to become free and at peace.

Meet Siridatta at her other sites:

Her Raw Foods and Yoga Programme available to all

Her other main sites are:


Siri Datta teaches kundalini yoga exclusively at hotels across London, including The Metropolitan, The Halkin and The Great Eastern Hotel. She also teaches at Alchemy, Tri Yoga, Yoga Therapy Centre and at yoga retreats worldwide. Siri’s new book, Mini Size Me – Ride the Raw Yoga Revolution is published in July 2008.

You can email her here directly –


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