Day in the life: Dubai yoga teacher's flexible schedule

Sucheta Chadha is a yoga teacher based in Dubai, a career she moved into after 12 years working in corporate marketing. Ms Chadha, who holds a master’s in strategic HR, decided to turn her passion – a desire to help others – into a full-time occupation, completing her yoga teacher training in 2013. The 35-year-old now teaches classes for adults and children in gyms and studios across Dubai. Ms Chadha, from India, also documents her yoga journey via blogs and on Instagram. She lives in Deira with her parents.


It’s always an early start for yoga teachers, and some would say this is not early enough. I definitely prefer an early morning routine to get to my classes while the roads are still peaceful and the weather is relatively pleasant. I love the way the sun looks at this time and I take at least 15 minutes to meditate and visualise my day ahead. Before a 7am class, breakfast is something light like an avocado, a banana or an apple.


It’s the first of my three morning classes. Usually I have three back-to-back classes, the last of which is at another location with my own teacher – as I also continue to keep learning and growing in my own practice. One of my gurus told me that the best way to impart yogic knowledge is to keep practising and learning from your own body. No theory can substitute for real experience from your own life. Also, yoga is all about discipline and I believe it must start from us. I also spend this part of the day with my mum, as we do the yoga class together.


Now is the fun part of my day. I pose in yoga positions and my mum takes beautiful pictures that I post on my social media. There has and continues to be a debate in the yoga community about photographs of perfect yoga poses. This often deters people from trying out yoga, thinking that they will never be able to achieve that perfect pose, which is not what yoga is about. Yet others feel that people should be allowed to share pictures of their practise.


Lunch. This is simple Indian vegetarian food like lentils, vegetables and roti. I am usually starving by this time and in much need of a break. I take time to relax by watching my favourite show, either a superhero film or a musical.


Business administration takes up this part of the day. Follow- ups, reports, setting up meetings and I also teach myself some aspect of entrepreneurship either through reading or exchanging ideas with a like-minded person.


Time for my private one-on-one sessions. I really enjoy this side of teaching because it is mostly focused on the therapeutic form of yoga. Usually these clients are unable to go to the gym or do other sport activities due to injuries. One-on-one is the original form of yoga teaching, as everyone’s body is unique. Plus teaching like this helps focus the class to an individual’s needs and explore the wonderful aspects of yoga such as pranayama (a yoga breathing technique) and meditation.


I usually grab a bite to eat, again something light such as a smaller portion of what I had for lunch, depending on when I am teaching next. I use the time to prep for my classes and sessions thinking about variations, fun aspects and the level of challenge.


If I am not teaching, I dedicate my time to some form of volunteering. I either meet young women or other people I know that might benefit from personal interaction and some words of encouragement.


This is the latest I like to be home so that I can spend time with my family. No matter how exhausted I am, once I walk in I sit with them and we discuss our day. We exchange ideas, spend time together watching TV or catch up with my brother and his wife in India. I also have my second shower of the day, chat to friends and try to do some reading – either on something philosophical or yoga articles.


To unwind before going to sleep, I listen to a guided meditation or meditate myself to relax more before sleeping. It is not always easy to do this as it is tempting to watch TV before sleeping – a diehard habit of mine for many years before becoming a yoga teacher. I try to grab the best of both worlds and listen to a long musical meditation just before my eyes close.

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