A healthy mind lives in a healthy body and to remain healthy, there is nothing better than Yoga, which has several proven benefits. So, today in an exclusive interview, we spoke to renowned Yoga Trainer, Ms. Urmi Pandya, who explained, why Yoga should be a part of life.
Hailing from Ahmedabad, India, Mr. Urmi Pandya is a freelance yoga teacher, who trains students of every age group. She is an international Yoga player, who has won 3 silver medals at national and international level. She has been conducting several seminars and workshops on Yoga. Urmi can be directly reached through Instagram handle yogaurmi.india.
Below are some interesting and informative discussions with Ms. Urmi Pandya about the benefits of Yoga.
Editor: When did you start practicing yoga and why?
Ms. Urmi: I started practicing Yoga since last two years and prior to that I was perusing CA. One thing, I want to mention that I was also into Kathak dance and only during my dance tenure, I realized that I should do Yoga too, which I read and heard that it has many health benefits.
I slowly started practicing Yoga on my own and to give a try, I took leave from my work and dedicatedly practiced yoga for 48 days, which included reading, writing, and self-training. I thought before switching to a complete career in yoga, let me try it for some time and see if I can really do it.
Editor: Where did you do your training?
Ms. Urmi: As I mentioned, I started initially practicing Yoga on my own but later realized that professional guidance is required if I want to go for teaching students. It is very important to know, which form of Yoga is beneficial for which part of the body etc so that I can ensure the safety of my students.
My thought was that in future when I will start practical training, I will have students, who may come to me with issues like back pain, knee pain etc., so I should be aware of the type of Yoga that will solve that particular problem. So I joined a 200 hours yoga course at Patanjali International Yoga Foundation in Rishikesh.
Editor: Right now, what are some of your favorite yoga postures to practice and why?
Ms. Urmi: When anyone asks about my favorite yoga poses, 3 asanas come to my mind namely Hanumanasana, Chakrasana, and Dhanurasana. I really enjoy doing these extremely beneficial asanas. Let me give you a little brief about the benefits these three asanas.
Hanumanasana: Also known as monkey pose, Hanumanasana helps in gaining muscle strength in the thighs, hamstrings and groin region. Those who practice it regularly can make their hips extremely flexible. Hanumanasana is great to stimulate the digestive organs of the human body.
Best time to do this asana according to me is early morning as you need to remain empty stomach. One needs to keep at least 8-10 hours gap between meal and the practice, so the ideal time is morning.
Chakrasana: Excellent for liver, pancreas, and kidney including heart, Chakrasana also helps in getting rid of depression and stress. Those who have weak muscles can benefit a lot from Chakrasana as it provides strength to legs, abdomen, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, wrists, buttocks, spine, shoulder blades, and arms.
I do not recommend to do this asana in case of any kind of back injury. One should consult a yoga trainer before proceeding.
Dhanurasana: You can also call it Bow Asana as you need to bend in the form of a bow to perform this asana. The benefit of Dhanurasana is that it gives a good stretch to the complete back portion thus making the body more flexible. The asana is considered beneficial for abdominal muscles as well.
Although, this form of Yoga is best to do in the morning but if you have a tight schedule, it’s ok to do in the evening as well. For pregnant women, I do not recommend this asana as you may accidentally injure yourself.
Editor: What keeps you motivated in your yoga practice?
Ms. Urmi: I get motivated when I see the results of my students who are doing well in Yoga. When I teach them advanced postures of yoga and they do it nicely, I really feel inspired.
For example, I have students who weight around 80-90kgs but they can do Sheersasana so well. Also, I have clients, who suffer from ailments such as Diabetics and due to Yoga, their diabetic is now under control. I have a student, who is 102 years and she is so much interested to practice various forms of Yoga. Although she has reached 102 years, she has no blood pressure or high sugar related issue.
I get frequent queries on social media from people, who share their problems such as back pain, knee pain, and many other diseases. They want to know, which type of Yoga will help them to get rid of any particular disease. So these things give me the motivation to continue with Yoga and gather more knowledge.
Editor: Describe your current personal & professional yoga practice.
Ms. Urmi: I get up 3.30-3.45 am every morning as my batches start from 4.45 am, which goes on till 1.45 pm. I visit the client’s place, where I teach students in groups mostly, and some students need individual care, so I take solo classes for them.
Again my batches starting the evening from 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Also, I do 2-3 free workshops every month to make people aware of why Yoga should be done.
Editor: What do you like to do when you're not teaching or practicing yoga?
Ms. Urmi: Saturday and Sunday are usually my week-off but sometimes I get requests from outstation clients, who specially come to take classes. So I have to devote 2-3 hours for them during weekends. However, normally, during weekends I get up at 5 am in the morning and do some yoga with my family as I can never think of starting my day without Yoga. I usually spend time reading more about Yoga and sometimes go out with friends for 2-3 hours to chill.
Editor: Can Yoga be a substitute of Gym? What is your Opinion?
Ms. Urmi: To give the answer to your question, I will give my own example. Initially, when I started doing Yoga on my own, I felt that my shoulder strength is less but before starting a Gym I thought to complete my Yoga course at Patanjali International Yoga Centre, and if then I still need to go to the gym, I’ll go.
However, after visiting the center, my entire concept changed. If anyone thinks that 6 packs can be attained only by Gym, it’s completely wrong as it can be attained also by Yoga. Even in my case, I gained my shoulder strength due to only yoga. So I think, yoga can 100% be a substitute of Gym.
Editor: What advice would you give general audience whether he or she is a yoga student or not?
Ms. Urmi: According to me, everyone should do yoga. Even, if you are a doctor or advocate or a college going student, you should make yoga a part of your life. Those who can’t manage time, they can at least do 30 minutes of Surya Namaskar and Pranayam. Just 5 Surya Namaskars per day in the morning is enough. Each Surya Namaskar has 12 asanas, so you can think that how many asanas will be covered. Pranayam is another great yoga exercise, which has several benefits, such as it helps to improve the breathing process and also contributes towards reducing belly fat.
Yoga is about holding; when you are holding your legs to perform a particular asana. In practical life, it will help you increase your focus on everything to do. When people perform breathing exercise in the form of Pranayam, they learn to take a decision with a cool mind. So according to me yoga helps people in their day-to-day life whether its health or a professional life.
Yoga is not only for those who have passion in this subject, it’s important for everyone to lead a healthy life.
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