Goodbye Vancouver… for now :-)

The wind changed direction, it is time to leave. Leaving means going away and going away means arriving… so we are leaving to arrive.

17 years ago i arrived in Vancouver from Israel to open a yoga center. I remember walking on the streets with no idea where is what. I was lonely but not lost. I was looking for a location for a yoga center. A couple was chatting in the entrance of a store. I walked to them and asked where do they “think is a good neighborhood for a yoga center?” they both looked at me strangely and said: “Yoga? there is no yoga in Vancouver. Vancouver is an outdoor kind of a place, people ski and climb mountains, but they do not do yoga.”

Shortly after i opened Prana yoga center in Yaletown. I called the Georgia Straight and asked to have an advertisement in the “mind and body” section of the paper. As yoga wasn’t one of the categories in the section i asked to have a Yoga title above my add, the same as massage therapy and martial arts had. Kathy, the wonderful mind and body’s editor told me she can not put a yoga title as i will be the only one that advertises Yoga in the section. She had her reasoning but i wanted my Yoga title ;-) so i said: give me a yoga title and within a year you will have a list of yoga adds under the yoga section… and the rest is an history… :-)

In the last 17 years yoga boomed in north America and became the hottest trend.

In the last 17 years i observed many beautiful, sincere students that opened their hearts and lives to the yoga practice, expanded their consciousness and connected with their inner powers. As well, I observed many students and yoga teachers that embraced yoga as a pure work out that creates hot bodies ;-) .

As yoga grew up and got established as the “THING” to do i watched many yoga teachers that turned into yoga celebrities, moving in the yoga world as divas and giving the impression that it is an honor for the world to be in their presence ;-)

I as well watched many yogis that became dedicated humble teachers, serving their students genuinely with the intent to share their love and gratitude to the practice.

I watched many lovely yoga centers open as mushrooms after a rainy day, with owners and dedicated teams of teachers that hold the space for students to grow and transform. These wonderful centers are like sanctuaries in the desert of our fast paced existence.

Sadly i was witnessing as well, yoga centers opened by business people that have no idea about the practice and that transformed yoga centers into commercial spas with white towels and zero spiritual teaching, for the single purpose of making profit. These so call “yoga centers” lead astray innocent students from the spiritual path, leading them into the illusion that we are only physical bodies ;-)

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all our students, graduates, teachers and wonderful people that came on our path and became our energetic family.

For now we are going to teach in other destinations: Bali, Israel and Montenegro in Europe. Pepe and myself are inviting you to come and share with us the bliss of the Path, wherever we are. We are coming back to Vancouver for a short teaching visit in March 2014. Please stay in touch with us through the Prana website, Facebook and emails to the office, that will be run by Su.

We are now in Bali for teaching 200 teacher training starting March 25 and 300 course starting April 22. After Bali we are heading to Israel to open a yoga college. If you are in the neighborhood please come and visit, otherwise, if you would like to connect with us, please do so as we are fully available to you in our hearts.

Thanks for being in our lives


16 Responses to “Goodbye Vancouver… for now :-)”

  1. Ivana

    I started practicing yoga with my mom back in your studio in Yaletown. My mom practiced in the 80′s in Serbia before we moved to Vancouver. I just read that you are going to MOntenegro, and am thrilled! Could you let me know when and where in Montenegro will you be?

    Enjoy Bali,

  2. Holly Cooper

    Dear Shakti

    It’s almost 4 years ago that I trained with you in Italy when our small group of 6 were blessed with your teachings. Yoga has taken me on a wonderful path which allows me to share to many in my home town in Brighton. I too come across many humble and dedicated students and teachers but also here in the UK many new places open up with a real lack of care for their students. Thank you for you spreading your teachings around the World, I feel privileged to have studied with Prana College.

    I too would be interested in your Europe dates as I often think about taking my 500hr training but Vancouver was too far for me.

    Love and light Holly Cooper in Brighton, UK

  3. Jayne Scott

    Hi Shakti & Pepe… I have just read your ‘farewell’ letter, and again I am so inspired by reading how you very first started! I am so glad to have met the both of you, and I can totally understand your decisions. I respect and admire you for that! You are a TRUE yogi, and you have represented it well.

    I will see you again as you placed a large piece back into my empty heart.

    Bless you both..


  4. Dionne

    “Sadly i was witnessing as well, yoga centers opened by business people that have no idea about the practice and that transformed yoga centers into commercial spas with white towels and zero spiritual teaching, for the single purpose of making profit. These so call “yoga centers” lead astray innocent students from the spiritual path, leading them into the illusion that we are only physical bodies ;-)

    This is a completely misguided and judgemental statement with no basis.

    The teachers at these ‘commercial spas’ are amazing human beings that care deeply for their students and offer a rich history of offerings to share and bring light to many lives. A studio is a space – simply that; white towels or not.

    Asana is the gateway to spiritual practice – there is no reason to be dismissive of its importance. If anything, it is an incredible sight to see so many people turning to the practice of yoga and allowing it to serve their highest selves – no matter where they are on their path.

    You only highlight your own hypocrisy when you turned to the same ‘commercial spas’ for assistance when you could no longer run one of your own teacher trainings – that you run for a profit.

    Safe Travels!

  5. Angelina

    Dionne – it’s a shame you had to include insults in your goodbye. Insincerity diminishes your beauty. Practice yoga – let go.

    Shakti & Pepe – you will be missed by all whose lives you brightened with your work! Those who know you well, know what you have done here and how it has changed us. Thank you.

  6. Farah

    Thanks for all you’ve done to create a community of yogis here in Vancouver. I attended my first yoga class ever at Prana Yoga, and it was the beginning of a path that has transformed my mind, my body and my entire way of being. Prana Yoga Center was such a sanctuary for me, and I loved attending your classes and all the classes taught there. It was during that time that I was inspired by the grace, beauty, and demeanour of you and the yoga teachers you trained, and my ‘wish’ to one day be a yoga teacher was born in the space that you created. Wishing you much love in all that you do to spread the light and wisdom of yoga. Much love (and OM), Farah Moolji Nazarali

  7. shakti

    Dear Dionne,

    I have no idea to which organization, yoga center, institution, or school you belong to.

    My observation about the yoga world comes from my own humble perception and practice, and if you think all yoga places teach spiritual yoga I fully respect your perception.

    Your reaction to my observation demonstrates that you took it personally, feeling that I am addressing it to your school or yoga center. Why would you think so if your school does not fit in my description? Is it really just about the color of the towels or maybe deep inside, you feel you teach yoga not from the right place?

    Where does the assumption come from, that your school is the one in discussion, if not from your own conclusion?



  8. Magda

    Good bye Shakti!

  9. Jayne Scott

    Wow Dionne, I have to agree.. you need to let go as your comments are very negative and very uncalled for! Its a shame that you are so defensive and bitter.



  10. Carol.

    Shakti! Wow! Absolutely thrilled to hear news of your very much alive adventurous spirit and transformational decision! Congratulations to someone who is one of my greatest teachers in life through the practice of yoga and teacher training.
    Sending love – Peace.

  11. delia

    Hi Shakti,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ll never forget the 1st time that I met you and for giving me and another girl a tour of your college. I knew instantly it’s where I wanted to attend.

    I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to learn my practice from you. It’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m still practicing on my own and slowly getting back into teaching. I plan on doing it for as long as I can.

    Namaste :)


  12. Sean

    I am a Vancouverite, who is relatively new to yoga. I am currently in that stage of exploring a range of different yoga styles to find the one that best suits me. The truth is, I have found many to be rewarding in their own way.

    Before you embark on this exciting new chapter in your life, do you recommended any specific studio, or instructors who really try to welcome an integrative approach to their practice?

  13. Angelina


    Check out Prana’s Graduate Directory for teachers near you. Many of the teachers who trained with Shakti have integrated their own lifetime’s worth of knowledge and experience into their own unique style, and so there is a rainbow out there to choose from. One compliment I always receive as a Prana-trained teacher is that the emphasis on safety and connection to the true purpose of yoga is paramount with Prana grads, regardless of how their style has changed from Shakti’s root teachings. You will find all types in all studios, so look for something local and start dropping in to see what fits you best! You may also find that as you develop new perspectives as a yogi, your own needs for a teacher/practice space change. Be open – there are many great teachers out there for you!

  14. Sean

    This was just the advice I was looking for. Thanks Angelina.

  15. Patricia

    Hello Shakti! I am so sorry that you are leaving but deeply happy for you and all of those lucky people in Israel that will come into your light! I started taking yoga seriously 7 years ago. It seemed that every teacher I absolutely loved were taught by you. One day I came across an ad for a yoga retreat just north of Squamish at a Buddhist retreat centre being given by you and jumped at the opportunity to spend some time with someone who had taught and inspired so many to be such spiritual beings and amazing yoga teachers. The weekend and your teachings had an enormous impact on me which I am truly grateful for. It is my dream to become a yoga teacher taught by you one day no matter where you are! Until we meet again…take good care.

    • shakti

      Thanks Patricia for your gratitude, I feel humble and very happy to know my teachers are out there, sharing the light yoga with people as you. Please contact me whenever you feel it is the right time for you to full fill your dream to become a yoga teacher so together we make sure you manifest this dream.
      Lots of love


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