Reconnecting with Ancestry and Culture through Yoga Teacher Training

Reconnecting with Ancestry and Culture through Yoga Teacher Training

A Journey of Yoga Teacher Training and Cultural Reconnection - By Laura Broadway

Reading time: 3 minutes

What a journey it has been so far, as I sit here, yoga mat and block to the left and teacher training manual to the right, I reflect on how and why I decided to look to yoga and start the 200 hours teacher training (and it's not what you might think).

Yoga has been a part of my life on and off for the last 25 years and I can remember vividly my first lessons. I would have been around 20, maybe a bit younger and they were at the local sports centre in the nearby town I grew up in in the UK.

The teacher ‘Jeannie’ (actually for the longest time I thought it was Janey, but it is in fact Jeannie and who incidentally is still teaching), was the most lovely friendly lady, calm and serene and very bendy lol. Her classes were like a little slice of heaven and I remember she would always do a guided mediation at the end which I just adored, one week I can remember feeling like I floated out of the class – I felt that good!!

After that dipped in and out of yoga for years, I moved to Basel Switzerland when I was 23 but in all honesty never really found a class I vibed with while I was there and it wasn’t until I moved to New Zealand 8 years later that I really dived into yoga again.

Specifically it was after relaunching my handmade jewellery business back in 2020, just as we went into lockdown, of course we were all doing the free yoga sessions online and so once again it came to the forefront of my mind.

My business then took a turn to crystal jewellery and I started exploring more of a spiritual path personally. It was when an online friend and fellow spiritual business owner suggested on her stories one day that we should all be looking at our own ancestral lines for guidance that I decided to do just that.

After getting a DNA test done and tracing my family tree quite extensively on Ancestry I found out on my mums side I had a strong link to India. My mum was born in Kolkata India, leaving after the partition in 1961 when she was 11, she grew up thinking she was British/Irish/Portuguese- this was what she was told.

However my DNA showed a rather hefty 20% Indian (zero Portuguese) and I was able to trace her family through India through 100’s of years. This absolutely fascinated me and I admit I became a little bit obsessed, I was able to trace lines back to Ireland, England and France but many lines just stopped at dead ends, presumably my Indian ancestors?


The more I researched the more I wanted to learn about yoga again, particularly the yoga philosophy which absolutely fascinated me and totally resonated. Perhaps some of my ancestors were yogis?? Who knows but I definitely needed to know more. I started reading, listening to podcasts and audio books but it was a little confusing putting all the pieces together.

I had contemplated yoga teacher* training before but it’s expensive and time consuming, I work full time and have a family and small business I wasn’t sure I could manage it. Then I came across Alice Cammock- Yoga as Embodiment, who was offering the yoga teacher training here in Christchurch in separate modules. This suited me perfectly as I could do each module as and when I could afford the time and money, I signed up for the first module!

So now I'm halfway through, with just the Anatomy and Physiology and Art of teaching to go this year, I have been blessed to find a teacher that understands my desire to connect with Indian culture. There have been many many beautiful and spiritual moments throughout my training so far where I have felt the energy of my Indian ancestors behind me, happy that finally they are getting the acknowledgement they deserve.

It was never actually my desire to teach, merely to learn the philosophy and reconnect with the culture that is a part of my family history, however the more I've learned the more it started to become a possibility. I've now decided to put myself out there and take the plunge with teaching and I'm feeling quite excited, Yoga has taken me in a whole new direction and for that I am so grateful.

Embarking on my 200-hour yoga teacher training journey wasn't just about perfecting poses; it was a journey to reconnect with my Indian ancestry. A part of my heritage I knew very little about up until I took a deep dive into all thing’s genealogy! Yoga isn't just a physical practice; it's a celebration of my roots, a journey into the rich tapestry of part of my heritage.

Grateful to have found an amazing teacher who is also passionate about the roots of yoga and for the wisdom gained on and off the mat, weaving together the threads of mind, body, and culture.

*commission earned from this link.

Laura Broadway

Yoga teacher training student
UK born, living in Aotearoa New Zealand
Early childhood teacher
Reiki practitioner
Small business owner
DNA genealogy obsessed