For the yogi within you

How is Chennai celebrating World Yoga Day? Trainers tell us.

In school, we were often called to assemble in the gym to sit on folded blankets or mats, and watch our history teacher instructing us on yoga asanas. Our favourite was savasana, as it made falling asleep to his monotone voice easier and imagine saar’s delight as our breathing evened out to a more relaxed pace! We didn’t know how important yoga was for our lifestyle. Even today, with the power of the Internet in our hands, we still don’t know the extent of its healing capabilities.

Perceptions are changing — slowly, but the transition is visible. Of course, some mock the exercise for being too feminine or silly-looking with the special clothes and hipster mats, but in the words of Divya Srinivasan, an instructor at Rutland Gate Yoga Studio — “It’s okay to have five good yoga practitioners and 10 non-believers. Yoga is here to stay.” She was part of the International Yoga Day celebration at Covelong Point, along with other yogis, ringing in the fest early and on a weekend.

Joshna Ramakrishnan, who also hosted the yoga session with Divya, says, “We had an early morning beach yoga session, followed by meditation and breakfast. For being so far away from the city, the response was very good.” She adds, “I think Chennai has a long way to go in terms of yoga. I was in Hong Kong the same time last year and there were thousands of people celebrating the day! People should pay special attention to their health and well-being. Yoga originated in our country, so we should be embracing it even more!”

A few places are also holding special and innovative sessions that are bound to be fun! Sarvesh Shashi of Zorba studio is conducting a paddle yoga class at Aqua, The Park. It’s basically yoga on a paddleboard; the same ones used by surfers. “It’s different from normal yoga because it strengthens your core and improves balance. Not just that, knowing that you have successfully participated in such a session makes you more confident!” says Sarvesh. While a lot of awareness has been built, there are many who don’t fully appreciate yoga and it’s preventive power. “It’s not something you start at 45! It should start early, which is why our aim for today is ‘yoga for everyone’, with a special focus on children and young adults,” he adds.

Rohini Manohar, trainer at Chennai Yoga Studio is conducting sessions and workshops all day. It starts with a session on the Uthandi beach at dawn, in collaboration with Chinmaya Mission. “Then I have a workshop at ITC Chola, where I am teaching the employees desk yoga — basic stretches, breathing exercises and more that you can do at your desk,” she explains. In her eight years as a yogini, it has become the one constant in her life and still remembers last year’s events at Times Square, New York with 30,000 other yogis. “Yoga has been in India for centuries and I wish we wake up to it and respect it as much as the west,” she adds before signing off.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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