Rina Deshpande, Ed.M., MS.T., RYT-500, is an Indian-American yoga teacher, writer, artist, and researcher. Yoga was always an intrinsic part of her family’s Indian culture. Her parents regularly practice pranayama (conscious breathing), recite mantra, and attend or host yoga lectures. She and her sister were raised to always pause in gratitude before opening a gift, honor ancestry, serve community, and feel compassion for animals and nature.
In 2004, as a first-year New York City public school teacher, Rina reconnected with Yoga through meditation and asana—the physical practice—understanding its ability to relieve anxiety and symptoms of burnout by seeing positive transformation in her own self.
While teaching in NYC as a public school teacher and as a founding assistant professor of practice for academic teachers at Relay Graduate School of Education, she continued to practice Yoga, complete her 500-hour certification at ISHTA Yoga, and learn from family and yoga lectures in India and America. In 2015, Rina earned her master’s degree in Mind, Brain, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused on mindfulness and yoga as practices of self-regulation.
For over 15 years, Rina finds herself committed to practicing and teaching Yoga in studios, schools, and organizations across the globe, bringing light to Indian cultural meaning and history, its scientific benefits, and its inspiration of life enjoyment and empowerment. Find her writing at Yoga Journal, Self magazine, the Huffington Post, Sonima.com, Learning & the Brain, and @RinaThePoet on Instagram, where she shares her whimsical handwritten and hand-illustrated yoga poetry. Learn more and connect with Rina at @rinathepoet and Rinadeshpande.com.