Jayna Valen is a Yoga Acharya of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta disciplic succession (RYT-500 Yoga Acharya / RYT-200 Yoga Siromani – Yoga Alliance USA and Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy). She is also a writer, blogger and multi-medium artist.
Spiritually initiated as Shrishthi Brahmarupa, she was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1983 to parents of Indian ethnicity. Raised in bustling, multiracial Malaysia, her work is heavily influenced by the rich diversity of Southeast Asian cultures. A frequent international traveller, she is free-spirited with an open, universal mindset. She identifies strongly with ancient cultures, especially tribal, aboriginal and indigenous people around the world. A lover of simple village life, she maintains a deep spiritual connection with her roots in India. “I’m a very organic person in every sense,” she says. “To live in the best way possible, one must be spiritually connected to the earth.”
Jayna completed her Bachelors of Arts (Hons) degree in Marketing at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, in 2007. She began her career in publishing and journalism, eventually moving on to the banking and financial services industries. She’s currently a financial services professional with a US-based MNC in Singapore.
She conducts international yoga courses, workshops and retreats that incorporate the tenets of the original, traditional form of Hatha yoga. A versatile writer, she blogs on a variety of topics, including yoga, health, spirituality, Sanskrit works and Vedic scripture. She is currently in the midst of a novel, which is projected to be completed by 2019. As an artist, she utilizes various mediums and art techniques for self-expression – her current favorite medium to work with is acrylic on canvas.
She favors remote, densely forested areas for personal yoga practice and meditation. She spends significant amounts of time in temples and places of worship of all faiths, as well as the tropical rainforests of Malaysia. “The energy vibrations in the forest are excellent for spiritual pursuits,” she says. “Trees have immense healing energy. If you know how to harness and use that energy, respectfully and with full consciousness, you’d be amazed at what it can do for you.”
She is artistically and spiritually inspired by everything in life, from her travels off the beaten path to the people she meets. As a teacher, she prefers an open, flexible approach to teaching and rejects rigidity. Her unique teaching style, while described as ‘New Age’ and ‘eccentric’ by some, has its foundations in ancient Vedic scripture such as the Patanjali Sutras and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, including the teachings of self-realized yogis and bona fide spiritual masters.
She is not a follower of any one particular faith, sect or organized religion, neither does she conform to ideologies or beliefs of any specific religion exclusively. “I find it impossible to confine myself that way,” she concludes. “Seeking is a lifelong journey, and knowledge can come about in many different ways, through many different paths. To limit yourself would be a shame. If all paths can lead to Rome, the same goes for self-realization.”