Juggling different roles in life is a feat not many are adept at. But Shikha Sharma, founder of NutriHealth has mastered that art. A writer, doctor, dancer and entrepreneur, she has a lot on her plate and believes it is important to find one’s own path based on individual nature.
After completing her graduation from Maulana Azad Medical College, Shikha wanted to work in preventive healthcare. “I faced a lot of challenges when I started as there were not many people working on preventive healthcare. I started on my own, and it evolved into a business. There was a time when I had eight clinics of my own. At that point, I realised that I wanted to expand my business,” she shares.
Shikha then took on funding from a venture capitalist. It came along with a lot of mental pressure. “Doing business in India is very difficult. I am a trained doctor, not a financial analyst or a lawyer. But all these were a part of my work. Due to this, I was feeling stressed and tired all the time. I started looking at solutions on how to de-stress. I tried meditation, yoga and a lot of other exercises, but couldn’t do it for more than three months,” explains Shikha.
One day, while researching about methods to de-stress, she stumbled upon ‘Natya-Yog’ and at the age of 45, she started her pursuit of the graceful activity. “My interest grew as I saw that this is a combination of exercise, meditation and dance. So, I signed up with a Bharatanatyam guru. When I started, I was not very good at it. But, even though the practice was only twice a week, I started noticing changes in my body. I felt very energised and active. I was feeling very positive and my memory also improved. The same set of problems that would bother me earlier, stopped bothering me now,” she adds.
This is how she was motivated to look after her own health. “I started reflecting on how Bharatanatyam has elements of acupressure as well. This dance is also a prayer in motion. I realised that these connections need to be made and that is why I decided to write about it,” explains Shikha.
She has recently written a booklet, Arangetram, on the scientific effects of Bharatanatyam on human health. “It is a 360 degree stress management technique. For my Arangetram, I started planning a bit more, and practised a lot in the past two months. I took extra classes as well,” she shares.
She did not have to go the extra mile to achieve this, as she believes that the discipline came naturally. “Apart from Bharatanatyam, playing the tabla could also be a great way to distress. In fact, there has been a great deal of research on how percussion instruments help people de-stress. When you are dancing or playing an instrument, you need to concentrate solely on it, so you tend to forget other aspects of life and that is what de-stressing is all about,” she explains.