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27 Questions: Nikita Ramchandani, Kita Yoga founder and proponent of conscious living

Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with notable Hong Kong personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all revealed in roughly the same amount of time it takes to sit through a round of speed dating. 

With a city as dense as Hong Kong, it’s not surprising to find an overwhelming number of yogis in the mix — whether by hobby or by profession. But to be able to stay grounded in this whirlwind city of contrasts can be a challenge: not many can easily live a conscious life of health, light and joy that the yoga practice preaches here. For this edition of 27 Questions, we take a moment to chat with Nikita Ramchandani — a former I-bank strategist turned founder of Kita Yoga and Lululemon ambassador — on turning her previous high-strung life upside down, and some of her favourite things about living in Hong Kong.

Name: Nikita Ramchandani
Age: 29
Neighbourhood: Tai Ping Shan
Occupation: Entrepreneur

1. What is your life motto?

Feel good. I can do anything. Your people are everything.

2. What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Hong Kong?

Ronin uni, yum. Although when I was a kid that street cheong fan was pretty dreamy.

3. Who is your role model?

Dad — the most altruistic, ambitious and caring person I know!

4. What was your first job?

Quantitative Strategist at Morgan Stanley.

5. What is your drink of choice?

Water most of the time and then red wine, sake and black coffee — I want it all!

6. When was the last time you drove a car?

Woah, when I was 18, 10 years ago. I recently took my sister’s car out and she told me to get out, haha. I have lived in Hong Kong, London and NYC so I walk everywhere.

7. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Both. Need to sleep more in life.

8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

So hard — I love food. Eggs or acai bowls? I cannot choose!

9. What is your biggest regret in life?

Nothing. Life makes you, you. Learn from your experiences and move on.

10. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?

There’s so many people that sometimes you have to line up to cross the street — like what!?

11. How often do you prepare your own meals?

I make breakfast almost every morning, it’s my favourite. I love the idea of preparing nourishing food for yourself. Supafood all day when I’m teaching and in and out of meetings.

12. What is your greatest fear?

Losing people I love. Being mediocre.

13. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Protein bars and sake.

14. What is one movie everyone should see?

My best friend is a director so when her feature comes out — THAT.

15. What is your typical Sunday like?

Body clock still wakes me up at 5; breakfast in bed, maybe squeeze in a workout before teaching at the studio. On Sundays, Natalie Soderstrom and I teach a class together to cure all hangovers which is so fun plus my friends are the best and will come visit us for class. Food with friends after and naps.

16. Which moment in your life would you most like to relive?

Being 24 in New York, no care in the world, just living, enjoying every little tiny moment, being truly in the present.

17. What makes someone a real Hongkonger?

When all they want to do is to be home alone you know they have been here forever.

18. What is one song you know all the lyrics to?

Complicated by Avril Lavigne — definitely might have sung that for a Year 9 singing competition.

19. If you could banish someone from Hong Kong forever, who would it be?

You hold the power to be affected by people — let people be, no beed to banish anyone!

20. Where do you go when you want to be alone?

5am hikes when nobody is out, it’s so therapeutic.

21. What is one thing you’ve never revealed to your parents?

Haha, they’ll be reading this so it stays that way.

22. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?

I’m going to say my scent, Santal 33 by Le Labo. I really just spray it so I can smell it all day. On second thought, the scent of fresh baked banana bread with cardamom is pretty damn cosy too!

23. Who is the best teacher you’ve ever had, what is one important lesson that they taught you?

My parents. My mum taught me to be ambitious but told me to let go of the outcome, and my dad taught me to be independent — “only you can help yourself”.

24. Would you rather never be alone for a single moment, or be alone for the rest of your life? Why?

So hard! I love being alone but I love my people — I’ll take my people.

25. What is the last dream you remember waking up to?

Ahhhh, it was a nightmare! I had chem, math and physics tests and had studied nothing the whole year. I legit woke up with heart palpitations — I’m such a dork.

26. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Which do you wear the most often?

So many I cannot count, but I wear the same old Nikes everyday, although I’m loving my new Lane Eights, they make me look taller and bring out my quads!

27. What is your unique party trick?

I’m more of an “in the corner” person at parties, but give me sake and I can dance on tables!

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.