Hanumanasana – Push the boundaries of your potential!

Ever-bubbly, cheerful, ready to help, Mahua is a rare personality – the kind you will want to have more of around you. I first met Mahua during one of our Healthy Eating Awareness events at Kausalya, and she was very kind to hold my hand through my healthy cooking demonstration. We realised we were doing our Diploma in Nutrition & Health Education together too, and that was another torturous journey we undertook together. Her passion for Yoga is unmatched, which is what I try to capture here in this article 🙂

Tell us something About You

I’m a professional Yoga instructor. I’m 42 years old (*my jaw dropped at this point and remained that way for a while*), mother of two – a 17-year old son and a 10-year old daughter. My husband is a Captain serving at the Indian Navy and we’ve been married 23 beautiful years. I’m a Navy child raised in Vizag and Bombay, and then fate brought me back to Vizag now as a Navy wife.

When did you start practicing Yoga?

I have been practicing yoga for more than 25 years now. At school it was more intermittent, although it became a part of my daily routine since college. It slowly became an important routine of my day and began to shape how the day progressed, so I quit my full-time job as a school teacher and chose to pursue a Post Graduate course from Andhra University, which I topped! This gave me much needed surge in confidence and the needed credentials.

I’ve been teaching Yoga since July 2016. I have conducted Corporate workshops and group classes as well in VUDA City Park, Navy Studio etc. One of my signature styles is teaching Yoga with progressive trance music – this makes it more fun and intensifies the experience immensely.

Camatkarasana

Why Yoga?

Yoga enables you to start you day refreshed, with loads of energy. It has all the essential elements of healthy living – right cleansing techniques (kriya), breathing exercises (pranayama), eating right (mitha ahara). The asanas, which are the first requirement of yoga, stabilize the body and enable the body to sit/ stand/ bend in the correct manner, along with pranayama or regularizing/ controlling breath. Together, asana and pranayama offer stability, facilitating dhyan or meditation.

Is Yoga superior to all other forms of exercise?

No. No single form of exercise is wholly superior to another, and each form of exercise can yield the desired results in a long-term, permanent way if done in the proper form and with absolute dedication.

How is Yoga different than other forms of exercise?

Yoga is an anabolic form of exercise, which means that it conserves energy as compared to other forms of exercise like strength-training or intense cardiovascular activity which expends energy. It is calming in nature. It aids in preventing injury if done in the right manner. It has other benefits like improved CNS and neuro-muscular coordination.

Yoga relies on the following 6 asanas to deliver its benefits:

  1. Standing postures
  2. Sitting postures
  3. Prone postures (on the stomach)
  4. Supine postures (on the back)
  5. Balancing postures (Standing/ sitting via arm support)
  6. Spinal twist postures (aid in longevity)

Anjaneyasana or the ‘crescent-moon pose’ – Strengthens gluteus and quadraceps, stretches hip-flexors and opens shoulders.

Is Yoga the answer to weight-loss?

Yoga does lead to weight-loss, as there are certain procedures like Suryanamaskar wherein movements like stretching, bending and twisting occur in a coordinated manner which does result in toning of body.

However, weight-loss is not the intention or purpose for taking it up. Yoga is valued for its therapeutic and preventive effects.

What are the other health conditions Yoga can help with?

Yoga has been proven to help relieve the effects of depression, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, postpartum depression, diabetes, coronary heart diseases, PCOS, spondylitis etc.

A variation of Chakrasana – taking practices to the next level.

What keeps you motivated to practise Yoga every day?

I find that Yoga keeps me calm, collected and composed. It is what I call my ‘me time’, and my energy levels are high all day long.

Advice for those who wish to try out Yoga

There is no right time to start practicing Yoga – people belonging to all age groups take it up. However, if started at early, Yoga does wonders for posture correction, enhanced flexibility, graceful poise and movement etc. It’s as good as finishing school in terms of how you carry yourself!

However, I would advise people to remember that Yoga is no means to an end, and it requires continued efforts to reach that desired stage of perfection. Be patient and keep at it. Set small milestones to record your progress, e.g., touching your head to toe etc. Once you start seeing results, it’s easier to stick to the routine, but there are no fast-track options, as with any form of exercise, to achieve sustainable results.

Natarajasana – improves balance and coordination

Do you follow a specific diet plan?

Not really, but I keep a loose track of my macro intake and avoid unhealthy food choices to the best of my capacity. I start my day with a hearty breakfast, include 2 portions of fruit in my daily meals, take care to introduce a midday beverage like coconut water, buttermilk or fresh-squeezed fruit juice for refreshment. I balance all my meals. Supper consisting of warm milk and turmeric is a must for me – a must for healthy skin too!

How do interested people contact you?

You can follow me on my FB page – Doyogawithmahua Deb where I answer user queries and post updates on a regular basis.

Uthitahastapadanguthasana – attaining a sense of balance.