"Yoga is for everyone"— Anshita Chawla (Sunday Stories 3rd Edition)

by Shinjini Guha December 24, 2020

"Since I left my home for further studies, I was seeking something that would give me the feeling of safety I so strongly yearned. For many years I sought self-awareness, knowledge, happiness and love through both creative and destructive ways. I found a lot even there, but not what I was looking for. I am grateful for all the paths I’ve walked, and all the people I’ve met. They have brought me where I am today. 

I first discovered yoga when I was doing my post-graduation in London. I knew immediately that this would be a companion for the rest of my life. That’s when my journey with yoga started.

I found yoga classes near my university and I’ve always wanted a good flexible body However, yoga helped me more than just being flexible. I used to attend university in the morning and go for a job in the evening. I rarely found time for myself. Yoga didn't just help with my anxiety but also with loneliness. Staying alone and dealing with a different culture was leading to nervousness and anxiety. Somehow, I managed to spare 1 hour for myself and started meditation and pranayama. It helped me calm down and open my mind towards ‘spirituality’. 

Later, I moved back to India started working in corporate job. It wasn’t easy to hold a job, excel in it and deal with the everyday stress that arose from it. But practicing meditation and pranayama kept my mind at peace and calm the senses.

I restarted my practice with my teacher Shree Ganesh in Mumbai. I was committed towards my practice, loving the clarity of each class and pose. Every pose taught me so much about myself. I started falling in love with myself a little more each day.

Continuing with my yoga journey I started following an Ayurveda diet and lifestyle that made lasting and healthy changes in my life. I’ve always been impatient, always keen to learn or do more difficult poses quickly. But after understanding the importance of Ayurveda through my friend Dimple G Jangda (Ayurvedic health coach) in Mumbai, the benefits filtered into all aspects of my life, including yoga practice.

I became gentler and more sustainable with my practice. Information shared by her on social media really helped to adopt healthy changes in my lifestyle.
Yoga has transformed me into a completely different person. My experiences of life have given a unique awareness that most people my age don’t have, However, I have experienced trauma from being unable to process painful experience as they were happening, and then burying them deep inside.

Last year in 2019, my trauma stemmed from the death of my mother, who died from a kidney failure. I suddenly stopped doing anything. I didn’t know how to react and my mind was blank.

After a year, I thought of taking a break and joining the yoga classes again as a last resort. After a break of 6 months, I went to my first class in Goa and finally I felt truly awake in my body. I was aware of the sensations pulsing through me. Yoga transformed me. Yoga has allowed me to find happiness again. It brought me back to my body, grounded me and comforted me.

It has helped me find beauty in the present. There are days where my grief is inescapable. Life is not about obtaining an end to suffering, it's about looking between dark moments and finding joy.

Everyone can do yoga. It's not about having a perfect body or flexibility. Yoga is a relationship that you create with yourself. There are different reasons to join yoga. You may extend your religious practice, some do it for spiritual growth and some do it to maintain good health. Each reason implies different practice and knowledge.

The beauty of yoga is that you don’t have to be a yogi or yogini. Don’t be intimidated by the terminology, fancy studios or complicated poses. Yoga is for everyone." 

Shinjini Guha
Shinjini Guha

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