Puja Telikicherla is an e-RYT 500 hour instructor as certified by the Yoga Alliance.
Her practice started on a Monday morning in rural Virginia, when her mother made her join a required class as part of her dance training. She was 7 years old at the time, and quickly determined that yoga was not her “thing”. Her asana practice was inconsistent through most of her teenage years, but she retained an interest in the philosophical architecture of yoga, and did her best to return the mat when she could. Many (many) years later she signed up for teacher training and she has never been the same since.
Puja is a graduate of both the 200- and 500-hour teacher training program at 8 Limbs Yoga Centers in Seattle. In her hometown of Washington, DC, she completed the 33-hour training at Tranquil Space Yoga and taught vinyasa classes at the Nrityanjali dance school in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Puja is a first-generation Indian American and has performed professionally as an Indian classical dancer (Bharatanatyam). She has run too many half marathons, founded the Seattle Pub Runners in 2010, and routinely captains the University of Washington Press Book Peddlers cycling team.
You can expect Puja’s yoga classes to include a blend of movement and stillness, and she will ask that you use your block and remember to breathe. She fusses over her playlists and which Sutra she’ll discuss, and at some point she might forget which pose comes next. But the class is comprehensive, accessible, and intended to bring you home to yourself. She wants to help you wake up to your own expansive, brilliant awareness, exactly the way you are.
Off the mat, Puja is an introvert hiding behind a book on the 586 bus. She and her medium-sized dog go on adventures in the nearby pine forests and, when she’s not otherwise busy with her publishing job, she’ll try to knit you a pair of mittens or convince you to read Karl Ove Knausgaard books. Puja abandoned the effort to learn German but she is still trying to memorize her favorite Mary Oliver poem. She has two degrees from NYU, a not-current pilot’s license, and library cards from every city she’s ever lived in. Her favorite words are delicatessen, ambiguous, and ausfahrt.
Her recent reading list:
Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Runaway by Alice Munro
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Nutshell by Ian McEwan
Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction by Siva Vaidhyanathan
Approaching Oblivion by Harlan Ellison
The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky
Free Boy: A True Story of Slave and Master by Lorraine McConaghy and Judy Bentley
My Struggle (Book 2) by Karl Ove Knausgaard
My Struggle (Book 1) by Karl Ove Knausgaard
The first half of Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
Her recent listening list:
Dreams, The Whitest Boy Alive
Ogilala, William Patrick Corgan
Fever, Kylie Minogue
Carrie and Lowell Live, Sufjan Stevens
Puja was featured in the December/January 2015 issue of Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine with several of her teachers and colleagues.
In 2012, she was included in a NW News feature on Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga in Ballard.
Her weekly playlists can be found here.