Popular local yogis celebrate 50 years of happy marriage

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MURWILLUMBAH LOCALS Yogananda and Gopala Krishna are celebrating 50 years of being happily married this holiday period.

The couple, who teach yoga locally, visited The Weekly recently to share their amazing story of love, loss and their eventual arrival in Murwillumbah on Christmas day 1990.

“From about the age of 12, we were brought up in the seaside resort town of Mt Maunganui in NZ and met in our first year of high school,” Gopala said.

“I asked Yogananda to come to the movies with me on my 16th birthday and by the time we were 17 I had asked Yogananda’s dad if we could get married – he said “no” but we went out and bought an engagement ring anyway.”

Gopala said it was around this time that the couple started working for his parents in their bakery.

“I was the assistant pastry cook and Yogananda was the shop assistant, working together has been a constant feature throughout our lives,” he said.

“After a short time, our parents realised we were serious and allowed us to get married once we turned 18, in those days you had to get permission to get married if you were under 21 so on the 14th of January 1967 we were married.

“On the surface, it may have seemed we were not suited as Yogananda was quiet and shy and I was the opposite, but when we talked about how we thought about life, relationships and children and how a marriage should be, we both thought the same.

“When we look back we are amazed that at such a young age we spoke about these things in such depth, we didn’t feel as if we were young at the time.”

Wedding Day 1962

Gopala said the couple had their daughter Samantha in March 1970 followed by a son Adam in August 1971, having a “pigeon pair” was their dream.

“We shifted to Australia in May 1972, and lived in Sydney working at various jobs including having a record store and a coffee lounge together,” he said.

“In 1977 our daughter Samantha was killed as she was crossing on a pedestrian crossing and in our grief and confusion we were drawn to the spiritual teachings of yoga which sustained us and became our life and a few years later we began teaching yoga and meditation and have continued to do so up to this time.”

In 1988, the couple travelled overseas for six months with their son Adam and then travelled around Australia searching for a place to settle.

“The strange thing is Yogananda had this feeling that we were going to end up living somewhere in Northern NSW even though we had never been here before, but time proved her right and we moved to Murwillumbah on Christmas 1990,” Gopala said.

“Thanks to the support of so many people over the years we have been able to continue teaching yoga in Murwillumbah for the past 23 years and so many of our students and others have become close and dear friends.

“We think Murwillumbah is such a nice town to live in with friendly and welcoming people.”
Golapa said locals often ask them for secrets to a long and happy marriage.

“We have to say that as long as we can remember we’ve both felt lucky to have each other,” they said.

“It just seems like we were drawn to each other and have enjoyed being together since we were kids,” Gopala said.

“If there has been a constant feature we would have to say being truthful, supportive and understanding under all situations are the special ingredients also a day never goes by when we fail to express our love for each other.”