Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2017
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- JA Manafaru, Maldives; Six Senses Spa, Kuwait; The Station Mahé Island, Seychelles; Universal Yoga Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; SVYASA University in Bangalore, India; Patanjali Yogpeeth in West Bengal, India; Arogyadhama SVYASA in Bangalore, India
- Aranghata, Nadia, India
- MSC in Yoga Science, Diploma in Spa Management, BSC in Yoga Education, Certificate course in Yoga Therapy, Principal Yoga Teachers Training
- Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Kannada and English
Hailing from the small, secluded village of Aranghata in the east Indian district of Nadia, Prabir Podder grew up in a humble farmer's family as the youngest of eight siblings. As a child, Prabir suffered from chronic asthma and it was the village's elderly yogi who first introduced him to yoga when he was just seven years old. "When I was young, asthma meant that I really struggled with my breathing and it was only once I began yoga that I was able to get control of this - from this moment, I knew that yoga would take a special place in my life," says Prabir. Once he became a student of yoga, there was no stopping Prabir, who looked to every opportunity to practise his postures. "In my school days, I would be found teaching yoga to my classmates in the playground - it had become part of my identity and I would turn to it at any available moment."
Life in his agricultural village was demanding and Prabir sought a way to build his life around his passion for yoga, dreaming to travel to new places in this quest. Fuelled by his enthusiasm for yoga and his hunger for success, Prabir initially took up foundation courses to kick start his career and landed his first job as a yoga therapist at Arogyadhama SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana), which is looked upon as one of the premier yoga research universities in the world. "Just as how yoga helped me, I wanted to use my teachings of yoga to help others."
Prabir spent several years guiding yoga students on developing their skills and techniques, always seeking to acquire new insights from the way each student progressed. It was this craving for knowledge that led him to deepen his understanding of yoga through enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Yoga Education, followed by a Diploma in Spa Management and a Masters of Yoga Science. “The more I taught yoga, the more I wanted to know. It had been my passion since childhood and now I felt it was taking me into the next step of my life, as I found international opportunities presenting themselves. As of now, I have worked across both Asia and the Middle East, with time also spent in the Seychelles and the Maldives. For me, there is something very special about tropical islands, so when this position in Mauritius became available, it felt like a natural calling."
Prabir describes yoga as an art and a science within itself, rather than a sport, where there is no competitive angle, only connection to oneself. “My favourite yoga pose is Padmasana, also known as the lotus pose or the ultimate yoga pose. It is the best way to connect to my inner self. I have witnessed yogis holding to this posture while meditating for days.” Adopting yoga as part of his lifestyle has brought a self discipline to which he adheres to at all times. Even now in his new island home, Prabir rises at 3:00 am and starts his day before dawn to practise Pranayama for one hour, followed by various other yoga techniques. It is also at this early hour that Prabir takes time to read the Bhagavad Gita (a Hindu sacred scripture in Sanskrit language) and completes his mantra chanting before his working day begins.
From his native village in India to Mauritius, Prabir's career has taken him through numerous countries, always with a chance to gain a new perspective, yet with the practise of yoga remaining his core focus. In Hindi, Prabir means "an excellent and brave warrior" and it is Prabir's hope to live up to this meaning as he continues his global journey through his lifelong study of yoga.