From Marketeer To Yoga Teacher, Meet The Man Behind ‘Yoga By Reilly’ Who Quit His High-flying Corporate Job To Pursue His Passion
Reilly Rebello opens up about the benefits of Yoga, how he got into it, quitting his corporate job in pursuit of happiness and more in this exclusive chat.
Reilly Rebello is a marketeer from Mumbai who recently quit his sucessful corporate job to become a full-time yoga instructor. Founder of yogabyreilly.com, Reilly’s last stint was at ZEE5 as the Marketing Head for SVOD Content & Music. He has worked in the corporate world for around 20 years now. As Reilly decides to move forward with his decision to pursue yoga full-time, we got in touch with him to learn more about how he arrived at this decision, as well as gain some insight into the world of yoga. Read on to know what drove Reilly towards Yoga.
When did you start practising Yoga and how did you come across it?
I started practising in the year 2018, so it’s been about three and a half years now. And quite honestly, I never fancied yoga. I always thought yoga was always meant for old people. In fact, two of my very close friends got into yoga and I would always make fun of them and say like, “Dude, what are you guys doing? yoga is for old people. You guys are so young. Why do you want to do it?”. They did the course about some 9-10 years back from the Yoga Institute in Santacruz. One of them, who is a friend of mine from advertising was planning to quit his job to follow yoga full-time, but I couldn’t understand why.
Later approximately four years back, I was working on an advertising project for Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation. They suggested that we go and experience the atmosphere at the Ashram, maybe even do a course, so that we can come up with better ideas. I went there with a colleague and what we did in those three days was such a mindblowing experience. Just by breathing properly, eating right, and by doing a few asanas, mentally you are in such peace. I kept telling myself why would anyone want to get intoxicated when doing yoga and meditation gives the exact same feeling. I came back from that three-day workshop in such bliss. No matter how stressful work got, I was always at peace.
Then I came back and enrolled myself in the 2-year teacher training course from Santacruz Institute. I’ve been religiously practising for over three years now and it has completely changed the way I look at things. It has made me a lot more calmer and fitter as well.
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Since you never fancied Yoga, how did it develop into something you’re so passionate about?
So the three-day workshop definitely was a starting point, but it developed as I started practising it regularly during my teacher’s training course. Also, people mistake yoga to be just about asanas or stretching and bending, but it’s not correct. Asanas are just one of the eight steps in yoga. Yoga is a complete change in your way of life, and exercise is just a part of it. So when you start doing it every day, it relaxes you, you get so much calmer and stronger, both physically and mentally.
Also, when you work in a corporate environment, things can get very stressful. Endless meeting and tremendous amounts of stress are always present. So this just helped me balance my whole life. On days that I didn’t do yoga, it would show in my demeanour. I would get more irritated and stuff like that. And that coupled with the pranayama and the breathing exercises, which you have to do every morning, along with the philosophy of yoga as a whole way of life, just simplifies your life.
What motivated you to take this step of quitting your corporate job?
I thought if it can make such a huge difference in me, someone who didn’t believe in what yoga was, how happy at peace would it make others. And one of my goals in life was to do something that would make people happy. Then I thought if this is making me so happy, it’ll be so much cooler if I can just share it with everyone else. There would be so much more calm and peaceful people around. And that’s when I realized that no, maybe I worked for so long in the corporate world, that it’s time for me to do something else.
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How difficult was it to come to this conclusion of quitting your high-paying job?
It wasn’t very difficult. It’s like once your mind is made up and you know that this is what you want to do, then the universe just makes things happen around you. You just have to start putting a plan in place. When I decided that I wanted to be a yoga teacher full-time, I knew from day one, I would not make the same amount of money I would make when I was working in a corporate job. That I’d be starting from scratch again.
So what I did was I just put together a plan. I made sure that my bills were paid off, my loans are cleared. I got debt-free and managed my finances. I didn’t want to be in a place where tomorrow I don’t have any money to eat. Because this was like a complete 360 turn, going from a high-paying job to start again from scratch in a completely different field. So it’s just basically making a plan and working towards it. If you plan your finances it’s very much achievable.
What is your future plan as a Yoga Instructor?
I always liked to make people happy, that’s why I even started my blog Curators Of Quirk which talked about designs, culture and just made people happy. So I thought Yoga would be the perfect way for me to do that. Moreover, people always think of yoga as physical activity, but it’s actually a way of living that makes you calmer and more peaceful. The way I plan my yoga classes is how to bring out not just a more flexible and stronger but also a peaceful side of you. So, I’ll be combining happiness with what is popularly being done as yoga, to get the end result as making you happier. Currently, everything will be online where we’ll also focus on yoga along with mental health.
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What do you think makes Yoga different from other fitness activities?
Other physical activities are only physical, whereas yoga is not really a physical activity, it is a whole way of life. The asanas which is the physical part of it is just one step in it. The others are your duty towards yourself, your duty toward others, your concentration, the difference in your breathing patterns, etc. What makes yoga different is that unlike when you’re running or in the gym, where it’s just mindless muscle training, yoga combines your breath work, with the physical moments that you do and just makes it a wholesome workout, not just for your body, but also for your mind. That’s how it is different.
How beneficial is it during these stressful times?
I think everyone should do it at least once in the morning for an hour or half an hour. No matter how long, even 10 minutes of yoga will help you. It helps to focus and eliminate unwanted thoughts from your mind. The more you focus on your breath, the lesser thoughts you will have in your mind. In these COVID times, when there is so much negativity around, it helps to focus on the thing that is really important to you. It could be your family or something your working on, it could be a hobby or anything that makes you happy.
Have you been following any yoga instructor?
I learnt Yoga from the Yoga Institute in Santacruz so I follow them because they bag yoga with a lot of science. It’s very scientific and commonsensical, so I follow their teachings. In terms of trainers, I follow everyone. In terms of schools, since I learned here and their teaching is very wholesome and grounded, I follow the Yoga Institute in Santacruz.
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Any essential tip you want to share with beginners?
I think they should just start with it even if they don’t have a lot of time. You just need a pair of loose clothes and maybe a mat, and that’s all. If you don’t have time, just do it for 10 minutes a day and you will start seeing the difference. And honestly, don’t think that yoga is boring because that’s what I used to think. But once I started doing it, I realized that it’s not boring. You just need a teacher to guide you in the beginning.
What message would you like to give our readers on the upcoming World Yoga Day?
I wish all of you a beautiful start to your yoga journey. And remember yoga is not just about flexibility and strength but also a pathway to your happiest self.
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