On his path to inner peace while juggling multiple roles, Yadav Baznath has achieved a great deal since he landed in Vancouver six years ago.
Born in Mauritius and raised in Senegal, Baznath came to Vancouver in 2013 to major in economics at the Vancouver School of Economics. After graduation he enrolled at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and is currently studying for his Certified Public Accountant designation. As well as being a full time student, Baznath is also a yoga instructor and a part-time barista.
Baznath grew up in an ethnically Indian household and was schooled in an international missionary school in Senegal. His parents kept their Indian culture and traditions alive for their five children.
Growing up in a Hindu family, in a Muslim-dominant country, and attending a Christian school enabled Baznath to be aware of and learn about many different cultures and traditions, just like a true Vancouverite. He says that his research about the city’s diversity and lifestyle, as well as the fact that one of his brothers had already settled here, were among the reasons he chose Vancouver.
A healing journey
Baznah believes that living here has changed his life in a positive way, and helped him grow more fully into his own cultural background.
“I started noticing that I would be anxious about exams, and wasn’t performing my best because of it,” says Baznath.
Concerned that this was not the best for his mental health, he read the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. At the same time, Hotbox Yoga opened a studio on the UBC Campus, which he decided to attend.
Baznath admits that attending a Christian missionary school limited him from understanding the connection between mind and body; initially he was very self conscious and embarrassed.
“Yoga was considered very basic at the time…I would leave my yoga mat outside my university classes so no one would see it,” he says.
Fast forward to today, and Baznath is now a full-fledged yoga instructor on his path to healing not only himself, but other people too.
Vancouver is home
“I would never have had the opportunity to go to a university that has a yoga studio if I were back home,” he admits. He credits Vancouver for his firm belief in the connection between mind and body, and his control over his internal dialogue.
“Vancouver is what made me embrace that aspect of my culture a lot more… I experience Hinduism more so in Vancouver than I did back home,” says Baznath.
He describes Vancouver’s diversity, health and fitness lifestyle, the number of trees, the many public parks and the ocean, with the word “pristine.” This is because he finds everything in Vancouver very organic, and fresh.
“As a yoga instructor, I think a lot about my breath, and in Vancouver you get that full fresh air,” he says.
Whether from the familial feeling he gets from his neighbourhood community, or the pristine environment, Baznath has adopted Vancouver as his new home.